Below is the handwritten journal entry for Day 2 written by Brett Kelley:
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A transcript follows the images.
“I begin this journal at 3:10pm on Sunday, February 7th. This is the first opportunity that I have had to sit myself down and write of my experiences. The log hut was finished on Feb. 5th just in time to see the first flakes of snow fall. When I arrived at the museum on the morning of the 6th, I first began to realize what I had gotten myself into. The snow had accumulated to approximately 2 feet, and it took nearly two hours to carry all of my equipment out to the winter quarters cabin. The task of organizing the cabin was nearly overwhelming as I did my best to remain true to the ideal of Civil War era authenticity. I quickly noticed the sense of isolation, and was reminded of my days in the U.S. Marine Corps, when I was deployed away from my friends and family. Although this project is only a mere 2 weeks, I cannot help but think of how hard it must have been for the young men in the North and South to be away from home, many for the first time, not knowing if they should ever see their loved ones again. It is truly a national tradition to send our best men and women to fight our wars and to keep us safe, thank God for them!
Early last night I had my first trial, as I was bending over the cast iron stove I felt a snap, and soon came the inevitable sinking feeling. My suspenders had given up the ghost and left me to shore up my trousers without their assistance. When the elements are relentless and there are many hard tasks ahead, it is the small things that test our courage and skill. When the leather of your suspenders breaks and a button or two goes missing, it is no small thing to walk 150 yards to a freezing Port-a-let while carrying a M1861 Springfield Rifle Musket in one hand and holding up trousers that are intent on joining the rebellion by heading South with the other. The 2 feet of snow is nice to look at but difficult to navigate in.
My first night was a chilly one with temps near zero and nothing but green wood in the fire box. I awoke from my straw filled mattress to stoke the fire and warm the cold air. At 1:00am I awoke to find the fire out and the prospects of starting a new one with green wood bleak indeed. I decided to hunker down under my blankets and great coat. In the morning, I woke to wet leather shoes that had frozen to a consistency of sheet iron. I am not discouraged and continue to learn more each day.”