Soldier camped in a cemetery in Arlington overlooking the Potomac and Washington

Date Written

Aug. 17, 1862

Member of Series

The following was written 161 years, 1 month, 6 days ago.
It was a Sunday.

August the 17th 1862

My dear brother and sister,

I am well at present and I hope that these few lines will find you the same. We got started 2 o'clock that night. We got in Washington at Friday night. We marched to Arlington that night, four miles west of Washington. We are in camp there. It is a fine place.

We can see the capital any time we are a mind to look. There is a fort about 40 rods south of us. I went over to the Fort yesterday and you can count about 9 forts from here. We saw some very pretty cannons.

I have just been in a swimming down to the Potomac River that is just half down to Washington. We are the first of the new call. We are a going to camp here about three or four months. There is a fort on every side of us.
Tell father that I am well and tell Jim that he must ceap (keep) the old fiddle to remember me. I have not that of home____. It seems that if I was only 6 miles from home and expect to come home the next day.

Frank and I tent together. I am laying in my tent now. Stood guard all last night. I am so sleepy that I can not write. Tell everybody that I like to soldier & I am not sorry that I enlisted nor homesick. I do not know whether I will get that 25 dollars or not. I wish that you would find out whether I can get it or not.

There will be a man on the grounds in a few days and the nect (next) letter that I send home I will send you all my likeness. We are in a peach orchard and lots of apples. Lots of them. They are calling for supper now. I wrote all I know.

Be good children and all. (Keep) your noses clean and if I never come back remember that I went to fight for my country. Tell Jim that he must be a good boy and go to school. And tell all of them that I have not time to write to them. I (am) going to write to Cloe next. Let Rachel read this . Washington is a fine place. I am in a war cemetery. So good by all. I hope that I will see you all.

Direct your letters to Washington, D.C.
107th Regt NYV Company D in care of Capt. Slocum.

William E. Vanaucken

Scans of Letter