Civil War Digital Scrapbook

By: Isabella Campo

July 19th, 1860

Hello, it is Elizabeth Callahan. Today my father, Oliver my brother who is fifteen, and I sat in Father’s printing press right next to our small home. The doors and windows were open because the weather is always nice in the summer in Philadelphia. We talked about the war that will most likely come by next year. The war is between the North and the South since the South has slavery that the North does not agree with. My father and Mother agree with the war only because they want to get the South back with the Union and abolish slavery. My father says he is only scared that we (being the North) will lose. My biggest fear about the war is losing my brothers. I fear that Oliver will leave to be a runner for the war or a bugle boy. I already know that Percy will leave to fight and he is only nineteen. If one of them doesn’t return home after the war I won’t be able to live with myself, I love them both so dearly. In the meanwhile I will most likely continue to play outside with my friends and neighbors and help out Father and Oliver in the printing press. In the press I will mainly greet any customers that stop in. The press is conveniently next to my home. Here is a simple sketch I drew.
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July 26th, 1861

The war has started and another battle was recently fought called Bull Run. I have been told that the Union ran from the South but the South soldiers did not run after us. I also heard that people in the South brought picnic baskets and blankets to watch the battle. It is hard to imagine who in the right state of mind would do that. The North has a few advantages in the war and so does the South. I think that our best advantage is the amount of factories. All the factories will make production of guns go faster. The South’s best advantage is how they have all the agriculture and so getting food is easier for them. Today while my mother was cooking I overheard her, and father talking about President Lincoln. They say that Lincoln thinks the south is rejecting democracy. I didn’t know what democracy was so I asked Father and he said it was government by the citizens. Mother said that she heard about how some of the republican parties said that he wasn't being aggressive enough towards the Confederacy but others thought opposite. My family mainly worries about Percy because we haven’t received a letter since the last battle and he usually sends one every other day. In the last letter he said that the base camps seemed nice enough for being in the middle of nowhere. He also said that everyone around him would write to people any chance they got. One sad thing is that many soldiers are dying at the base camps because of the diseases and illnesses going around. Here is a drawing of what I imagine the camps to look like.

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February 16th, 1862

The Union has finally won their first battle at the Battle of Fort Henry we had captured a port in Tennessee and so that prevented them from continuing trade. Percy wrote about a plan that the Union will use called the Anaconda plan. He said that it’s supposed to capture main waterways, blockade the South so they cannot trade, and defend Washington D.C. Percy said that if we capture the Mississippi River that we could split the South in half which would give us an advantage. I think that it is a brilliant idea and I hope it works. Since this was our first win a lot of morale was boosted and also with the soldiers according to Percy. The printing press has not been making a lot of money recently which has been bothering father. This is because most men have gone off to war and so the wives don’t have interest in politics and the news so hardly anyone has been buying the news.


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January 16th, 1863

President Lincoln has recently issued a proclamation stating that any state in rebellion with slaves must let their slaves free. The states in rebellion are not following this thought because they think that they are their own country and have their own laws to follow. Even though the slave owners didn’t agree with this the slaves did so apparently millions have started to come North. Percy has written us a letter about how some slaves showed up at base camp the other day that I will attach to this. He said that they appeared and started asking for uniforms and they wanted to start fighting, but he said that one of the slaves said their owners were trying to find them. My father and mother wish that the slaves could be freed but they also wish that they would stay down South. They are both scared that the slaves will take over all the jobs in the factories and that they will try to work in local businesses as well.
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April 25th, 1865

The last battle of the war has been fought in Richmond, Virginia. The Union has won and there was a parade in town today that was wonderful. They had payed tribute to each battle that the Union won and all of the Union deaths. The southern general, General Lee, surrendered a few days back because he had been surrounded by Union troops. Father has told me that the process of surrendering is very fancy. They met at Appomattox Court House in Virginia. Both generals get in full military dress and salute each other and the soldiers. General Grant is letting General Lee keep all of their horses and arms as well. A dreadful thing has happened recently and that is that Percy has now gone missing. I wish I could make missing signs and hang them up everywhere in the South and the North but that is impossible. I only hope that he was not in Andersonville prison and even worse, dead. I think that if Percy was there he would have sent word by now but we have heard nothing. Although since the war is over all of the prisoners have most likely been released. I have heard that conditions there were awful and I would imagine that the water was very dirty with so many people there. If at the base camps illness was a very common thing I cannot even imagine what it was like at the prison. I have attached a drawing of what I imagine it to look like.
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December 16th, 1865

I think of this ending to the war as a good thing. I say that it is a chance for a new start and will have really tested this nation to see if we would have lasted. Congress has passed three new amendments, the 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments. The 13th amendment says that there will never be slavery ever again in the United States of America. This is very good because no person ever deserves to be treated like how those slaves were. The 14th amendment says that all persons born in America are officially citizens even the newly freed slaves. My mother is not very pleased with this one because it does not include women in America. My mother two biggest wishes are that her family will continue well and that she will eventually have rights. I hope the same for myself that I will have an input on how our country will be run and I will choose what I believe in. this leads into the 15th amendment which says any American Citizen has the right to vote but since women are not citizens we are not capable of voting.I think of this amendment as if it is a cage that all women are trapped in. All men will get the experience of having somewhat of a voice in how our lives will be governed but we (being women in America) get to watch in silence. I have a picture below of what it feels like not being able to have all the rights as men. The men are getting to vote but we are locked in our cages.
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