Long Island, Boston Harbor
Sept. 16, 1863
I thought I would write you a long letter today, but I do not know as I can, for I am on guard today. It is very hot here today. I cannot but think of you every moment, and tonight as I pass my lonely – what thoughts of you and the children will be on my mind. I was on from 11 A.M. Until 1 P.M., on again from 5 to 7. The guard are excused from all other duty until tomorrow at noon. I shall then have a good time to write but I wish this to be on the way to you.
Do you wish to know about our encampment? I will tell you. Long Island is about a mile and a quarter long, perhaps a half stretching from Northeast nearly to Southwest Fort Warren is in full view on the right of the island. As you look north Fort Independence on the left, it is as pleasant a place for a camp as you can well conceive, but I imagine none can be pleasant to me. The men here are a much better set of men than those that came here first. There are five rows of tents in the Vermont camp called by way of distinction Companies A, B, C, D, E. A is pretty rough, nearly all substitutes, most of them from New York, and they soften down as you go down in the letters. There were a few that came in last night, real gentlemanly one of them from Shaftsbury told me that he was really surprised to find so fine a set of men here. He expected when he left home to find nothing here but the roughest set of men.
There is no rum here. Those boys from Charleston have been very steady. That Jim Switser is a pretty good fellow, so is Edwin Goodwin. Goodwin, Stokes, Switser, Bryant from Holland and Woodward from the same place tent together; Jim Doyle from Brighton, a young fellow by the name of Smith from Bolton Canada, and a Mr. Martin from Williamstown, a very fine steady man, and a French man by the name of Joseph Secguoin from Montreal. He is a fine gentlemanly man.