A Confederate A Federal

William Wallace van Amber
Civil War Diaries & Letters


Letter dated September 4th, 1863

Letter Dated 09/04/63

Army of the Potomac
Near Rappahannock Station
Sept. 4th 1863

Dearest Ett

I now sit down to write a few lines to you to let you know that I am still alive and well, hoping that these few lines may find you the same. I have written 4 letters to you but have not heard a word home yet, but suppose that you have written but I have been moving so much that I have not got your letters. I will now give you what I have done as I have it set down in my book since I left the island at New York,

Sun. Aug. 23rd 1863 Yesterday we was ordered to pack up. We got ready and was kept in the open field in the hot sun all day. The boat did not come till 3 o.c. Got on board and started for Dixie. Passed New York and Brooklyn. 300 on board. Took on 100 deserters at Governors Island.

Mon. Aug. 24th 1863 Out at sea, very rough, have been rather sick all day. Water very poor. Anchored till 7 this morning. I feel very well today. Run up to Norfolk, took on coal and back to Fortress Monroe. Run up the Chesapeake Bay, anchored in the mouth of the Potomac.

Letter Dated 09/04/63

Tue. Aug. 25th 1863 At Fortres Monroe got here at 5 o.c. last night anchored till 7 this morning. I feel very well to day, run up to Norfolk too on cole and back to Fortress Monroe. Run up the Chesepeake bay, anchored in the mouth of the Pottomac.

Wed. Aug. 26th 1863 In the Potomac running for Alexandria, feel well today, we lay in front of Alex. at 12 o.c. in plain sight of Washington. Ordered to pack up but did not leave the boat.

Thu. Aug. 27th 1863 We are off the old boat in line in the grass. 8 o.c. marched through Alexandria to the depot, got on to a platform car and rode about 50 miles to the Rappahannock, as far as the cars run.

Fri. Aug. 28th 1863 Here in the Army of the Potomac in the 9th New York regiment or what is called the 83. Within 2 miles of the rebel pickets.

Sat. Aug. 29th 1863 Have rigged up our tents today, got a pretty good one. There was 5 men shot for desertion in the next regiment, only 2 miles from here. They was all substitutes. A good many of our men went to see them shot. I did not go.

Letter Dated 09/04/63

Sun. Aug. 30th 1863 A fine day. We got our arms last night. I have got a good Springfield rifle. Have been all day cleaning my gun.

Mon. Aug. 31st 1863 Was mustered for pay today. Don't know how long before we get it.

Tues. Sept. 1st 1863 David Gotham was here today. Their regiment is only 3miles from here up the river. We are as well as ever yet.

Wed. Sept. 2nd 1863 Been out drilling today. Drill about 4 hours every day

Thu. Sept. 3rd 1863 No drill today, have been fixing up a shade over our tents. We put up crotches and rails and covered them with pine brush.

Fri. Sept. 4th 1863 This is my birthday. I feel well today. There is nothing of any interest going on here, only the routine of camp life, except the driving of our pickets in once in a while by the rebel cavalry.

There Ett, I have written all the news there is. My health is good. Henry Knox and I tent together. We have been examined here and passed in. We have just put our names down for examination for the invalid corps.

Letter Dated 09/04/63

I would like to come home but that is impossible so I don't think of it but I want you to write to me as often as you can. Do not wait for me to write to you for sometimes I can't write in a long time. I suppose that you are at your mothers by this time. If mother has any flannel left you get some and make me a pair of shirts and send them to me. Is George drafted or Charles. Give my respects to all and write mother for me. I did not get my likeness taken for my money might not hold out till I get my pay. Then I will send you some if you want it. You must write so. If not I will send it to Tanner and you can write to him and get it.

No more this time but write soon.

Yours as ever