• NY Vols Soldier Writes Of Morris Island, Capturing Five Gunboats, Officer Punishment

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    4 pp, 5 x 8, Camp [22] N.Y. Vols, near Morrisville, VA, Sept. 10, 1863.  A fine soldier’s letter mentioning the evacuation of Morris Island, destroying five Confederate gunboats, harsh discipline for officers and conscripts and dating a Secesh girl.


    “...I am enjoying good health and if I could see some of my friends occasionally, would feel very well contented, now that there is a prospect of the war’s ending before many months.


    “News has been received this morning of the evacuation of Morris Island, which will be a very grand point gained for Genl. Gillmore, and of his fine success I have no doubt. [Morris Island was evacuated on September 6, 1863.] We are not having much to do at present; drilling a few conscripts and getting ready to receive an attack here. Last week we went down the river and with the aid of Genl Kilpatrick’s Cavalry destroyed five gunboats that the Rebels had taken from the Potomac fleet some two weeks ago. I was gone four days. It was quite a change from this monotonous camp life. The discipline in the army is very severe at present. Officers are Court Martialed and dismissed, and as for the poor conscripts, no mercy is shown them.


    “I have some very pleasant rides, also quarrels with a pretty little Secesh, whose acquaintance I have formed since arriving in this camp. She is very intelligent, but has a brother in the Black Horse Cavalry. So you see we can’t agree.


    “I received a letter from your Father a few days since and was glad to hear from him once more. Says he enjoys good health in company with Lib and Maggie, hopes to make a visit to Washington this fall. I should enjoy it very much could he come as far as the Army of the Potomac. He wrote me some amusing incidents connected with the conscripts in old Mount Bellinger’s great amount of patriotism all fizzled out when put to the test, as all of us expected it would. I tell you Rate, there is more wind in him than any fellow I ever knew...”


    “Believe me, Your Friend,


    “A. Van Dereer”


    Folds, toning. Very readable. The writer’s signature is a bit difficult to decipher.


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