A Confederate A Federal

William Wallace van Amber
Civil War Diaries & Letters



The following transcribed letters are from William Wallace Van Amber, a soldier of the Army of the Potomac, 9th New York Regiment, to his wife, Marietta van Amber.

He enlisted in Company "E" of the 97th Regiment NY Volunteers on the 14th of July 1863. These letters trace his participation in the Civil War of the United States, beginning with his reporting for duty in Malone, New York through his convalescence at Harwood Hospital in Washington, D.C. and subsequent mustering out on 31 July 1865.

The Army of the Potomac, of which W.W.V. was a member of the First Army Corps, Second Division, Second Brigade, was one of the greater Federal Armies that was active in the western areas of operations, mainly in the Virginias. It was organized by General George B. McClellan in 1861, and while under his command in 1862 it served in the peninsular campaign and later in the campaigns at Antietam. Command of the army was passed to Gen. A. E. Burnside in November of 1862, and was defeated in December at Fredericksburg. In January of 1863, command was transferred to General Joseph Hooker and at Chancellorsville (in May 1863) it again met defeat, but in July 1863 after command was passed to General George G. Meade it won a decisive battle at Gettysburg. General Meade continued in command, under General Grant, throughout its operation in 1864 and 1865.

I have taken the liberty as I have transcribed these letters to provide punctuation, and to update his spelling, (after the first of WWV's letters). I have not altered his word order, for my own convenience. Included in these letters are extracts from his diary as well as letters from his wife and friends.