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Sunday, April 9, 2017

1861 Blog Post

Diary Entry Of July 13, 1861
Nelson McCook

             Today was a very restful and untroubled day. We woke up at dawn and I went out to say a prayer and read the bible. A few minutes after that we had our morning drill which took hours. Between our drills, I did some chores which included fixing my uniforms, cleaning equipment, and cooking meals. Today, we managed to get some free time and I heard soldiers talking about letters from their family saying that they were going to come watch the battle. These soldiers were very enlivened by the valued information they were getting from these letters. Seeing them read their letters made me think of my own family, especially my severely wounded brother. So I decided to write a letter to my precious and treasured family. After writing the letter I heard the soldiers talking about the upcoming battle and they sounded very relaxed. It didn't sound like a very big deal to me as well even though I've never experienced a battle. After some time passed, free time was over and we had to practice for the upcoming battles. We had to prepare for the upcoming march to Virginia, so extra rations were prepared and ammunition was distributed. Each soldier received 40-60 rounds. A round was made up of a bullet and the powder needed to fire it. After practicing for battles, we had some more free time, so I decide to forage for some food. I looked for a lengthy amount of time for food but I found nothing, so I made the hard but logical choice to eat some hardtack to keep me from starving. Yesterday, we were lucky enough to get salt pork, but today was different. I am very grateful for the meal provided by God. I have seen so many soldiers die from diseases and many suffer from diseases such as typhoid fever, smallpox, measles, diarrhea, pneumonia, malaria, tuberculosis, etc. The battle hasn't begun yet, and many are dying. I cannot imagine what's it's like to suffer from such painful diseases. Their families must be terrified and distressed thinking about the health of these soldiers. I am so grateful and appreciative that I don't have to go through such agonizing pain.
A few hours have passed by, and now its night time. Tonight, I'm on guard duty and its a really exhausting task pacing around a well-trod line for hours but I made it through that experience, and I am now exhausted. It was quite a standard day but I got enough time to write to my parents and my brother so I am eagerly waiting for their response to my letter.


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