Letter by James W. Vanderhoef, December 2, 1866
Transcription of letter written by James W. Vanderhoef, from Williamsburgh, Brooklyn, who fought in the Union Army from 1861 through 1865. Please note spelling variations and errors are his.
"Fort Wood, Bedloes Island
December 2nd 1866
Dear Sister, Brother & Family
Having a few minutes that I can call my own, after inspection, this being about the first I have had since my inlistment. I thought to imploy themin sending a few lines to you. And I hasten to do so, well how are you all, well I hope, and so I am, and I am happy to say that my health has been good all along. But I have been kept so bussy since my arrival on Governor's island, and this Island, making out company papers, and looking after things that I have hardly had time to eat or sleep. Last Monday a week ago I made my examination as First Seargant and I am happy to say passed without any trouble, and received a strong recommendation from the board of officers who examined me, and a promise from Colonel Hayden commanding Governor's Island that when the Board of Officers for the examination of non-commissioned officers for Commissions would next meet, that my name should be presented as a candadate. How are you Molly. A commission in the Regular Army which will be for life, I ain't such a drunken worthless devil as some folks took me to be after all. Well, time will show, quite a differance from this Sunday and four Sundays agoe when I had my homeward march from RailRoading, hungary pennyless and almost Friendless, with the exceptions of a few whome I can never forget, Well hurry up and tell me how Clara, Katie, Jimmie, Buttler, Davey to [illegible] and all the rest is, not forgetting little black Eyed Olive and pretty little Ema. How Is Mrs Grundman, Lizzi Schroder and children, And how is Mr and Mrs Kerr, what whont I get rats from them, Giesus Krist, whont I get fitts, But what I have done is for the best and they cannot blame me for it. Absence from new York State is all that will read me of the Kurse of my life, and lead to my future happiness. I will write to Mr and mrs Kerr some time this week, and tell them the whole thing, for I consider them among my best friends. I hope that they and the children are well. My kindest reguards to them all. I have written to Mattie this week, Well Molly I must bring this to a close to catch the mail. Please remember me to all friends, and answer this as soon as it comes to hand. I expect my company will leave for David's Island tomorrow or next day. But I will give you my correct address and your letters will find me. I should like to see all my friends before I go away for good which will be to Texas and that some time between this and the 20th of the month. My love to Mother and Caroline, if I had their number I would send them a few lines.
Good Bye, God Bless you all
From Your Loveing Brother and Friend
James W. Vanderhoef
1st Seargent 9th Company
Or Else Where
P.S. My situation as 1st Sergt pays me at presant Board, Cloathing, Medical attendance and 24 dollars a month
Citation - Document 89
Letters of Captain James W. Vanderhoef
December 2, 1866
Brooklyn Public Library – Brooklyn Collection