A Confederate A Federal

William Wallace van Amber
Civil War Diaries & Letters


Undated, August, 1863

Letter Dated 08/00/63

Rikers Island, New York

Dear Ett,

Here I am on an island some 10 or 20 miles from the city. I wrote to you on Sunday that I expected to stay to Malone but Monday morning the order came to pack for New York, to start at 3 o'clock. So off we went by railroad to Rouses Point, from there to Whitehall on the steamer across Lake Champlain, from there to New York by rail. Got here yesterday at 3 in the city. Got over to the island about 5. It is quite a large island. There is about 5 hundred men here. I was out on police duty this forenoon but this afternoon I won't go. I told them that I was so tired a coming here that I could not work. I am very well but it is awful hot here, but there is plenty of good salt water to bathe in but they won't let us bathe only in

Letter Dated 08/00/63

the morning before sunrise. It is pleasant here to see the boats sailing around here. You can see sometimes a dozen boats at a time. I was out to work this forenoon leveling off the ground and sinking stone down under the ground. I found a large sassafras root and saved some of the bark. Give my respects to all the friends there and keep all my love for yourself. Kiss my little girl for me and write soon. Direct your letter to Rikers Island, New York or get Palmer to direct it for you. No more this time, so good bye my dear,

from your ever faithful
W.W. van Amber