Trevor's Civil War Scrapbook
Written in the years 1860-1865
May 9, 1860
I bet you are wondering why I, a teen aged boy got a scrapbook for a birthday. My mom Amy, calls it a diary. However, in my point of view, diaries are for girls. My bigger brother Thomas, makes fun of me and says how Mom gave me something for girls. Mom gave it to me because she said it would be good for the later future. I think it is the biggest embarrassment that a boy my age has to go through. My sister Joanna says that she had one when she was 8, but does not write in it as much because she does not have time for it, but the truth is, she hated diaries because I sneak in her room sometimes and read it. I think it is hilarious but she tries to get me back by tattling on me on something I did to get me in trouble. My dad is in the Senate of Florida. His name is James Howard. He i s the one whom is always busy and does work for the Senate. My dad decided to take a picture of this plantation when I was young, so he could give it to me to remember the days of when I was young.
Since I, myself, had nothing else better to do after these hard times, I decided that even writing in a scrapbook would be better than fretting over a war between two parts of our country that used to be together. Since we lived in the South, we decided to stick with the South, or Confederates as we were called. My dad was still in the Senate of Florida, but he had to come up with a new legislature and a constitution with the Senate. We also had to come up with new currency. Some other states had different types of currency which was a financial complication. My everyday life was not as normal as before the war. I still had breakfast, had school, do homework, and help my mother out with the house. On other days, I would have skipped school and help the slaves with the farming and crops. My dad got enough money to pay him and Thomas out of the draft. Thomas Jackson was the one unit in the Confederacy that was firm and helped us win Bull Run and Irvin Mcdowell, the Union General didn’t have a trained army and retreated.That is where Thomas Jackson got the Stonewall added to his name. This is the article that my Aunt Sarah from Richmond gave me on the First Battle of Bull Run
I am back, again. Lately, I have not been getting free time lately and have to do work, work, and work. After the Emancipation Proclamation, all the slaves on the plantation left and me and Thomas had to do the work they used to do work, even though we were not part of the Union anymore. I hoped the war would end soon, but it was still going on and it would be a long time before it ended. I heard about the American Revolution and how all of us came together for us to have freedom, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. We came together and fought against Great Britain. That is the only thing I paid attention to in class. It is so weird how a country who always fought together was now fighting each other. We were like a big family. We would always stand by each other and care for everyone, but we would get into arguments most of the time. I wish we would just come together and stop fighting. Also, we heard news of Thomas Stonewall Jackson dying of being shot by his own troops and how General Lee had given him the most trust of anyone in the Confederacy. It looked like the Confederacy would win, but a little part of me had hope for the Union. I knew that we would lose if the Union started winning battles and took the Mississippi River. However, anything can happen. I got this map of the Mississippi from my tutor.
The battle of Gettysburg has passed and the Union won. They have not won a battle since Antietam and they had sieged Vicksburg and took it over which included the Mississippi. We were doing a little bit better than the last time I wrote but we were still working hard to support the war effort. My father had said that he had gotten the new Florida Legislature for the state of Florida starting from a few months ago. We were having thanksgiving soon, but the only thing I had to thank for was how the Confederates might lose the war. The battle took 3 days and I was having hope for the Union. My father, not so much. He said that if the Union won, it would take a long time for us to get back together and we would lose all of our Confederate money, and become poor. My Uncle Nicolas lived in New York and sent me this article.
We got news from Atlanta and Savannah, Georgia how they were burned and poor and had nothing else but smoke. William Tecumseh Sherman had a march to those places and captured them to weaken the Confederacy and have them surrender. It was getting close to where the Union was starting to win and the Confederacy might surrender. I hoped the Union would win and readmit us to the Union which Lincoln already made a plan called the 10% plan and it was a plan to readmit Confederate states to the Union. I was hoping Florida would do it, but Louisiana did it first and they were the first to be readmitted to the Union. We were getting down to the point when the Confederacy would crumble down. We had less soldiers left and we were short of food. We had no idea what is going to happen but I hoped we would not have troubles since the Union will win most likely. I was really nervous but I had hope that we could get through it quickly enough to win the war. I had an aunt who lived in Savannah, Georgia and she drew a picture of her town destroyed.
April 16, 1865
It has been a rough time after the Civil War and I have no idea what we will do next. I have been going through a lot since the South doesn’t have very much anymore. We were poor now that Confederate money was worthless. We were trying to find ways to earn money but we couldn’t find anything to do. We also had the South in ruins. We were wondering how we could do anything at all and get back to where we used to be. I knew for how long I lived that the South would never be the same again. It was going to be a very long time before we can get around to have normal lives and not be poor. We heard news of President Lincoln died from being shot by John Wilkes Booth. I felt bad for Lincoln since he was trying to get the country back together. We had no idea how the United States will come back together. I put in Confederate money that wasn't useful to us anymore since we lost he war and the Confederacy is in ruins.