Camp near Jamaica, L.I.
Oct. 20th, 1861
Taking the first leisure time I take this opportunity of writing home to you to let you know that I am safe and sound. We had a very pleasant time going down the river cheering and being cheered continually.
We were in ignorance as to our destination; some saying we were destined for one place, some another. Our quarters, that is Co. A’s, were in the gangway forward of the shaft. We spread our beds all over the floor and bunked in like a mess of pigs; some were in the water shoe deep. I managed to get a dry place and with my knapsack for a pillow slept soundly for about two hours when I heard my name called loud enough to start any living person to stand guard for an hour over our traps (?) and guns.
I was relieved about 12 and ½ o’clock but did not get much sleep after that. About four o’clock New York could be seen through the fog but we kept on past N.Y. Brooklyn and at six o’clock arrived off Staten Island and lay there until the Granite State, which was at N.Y. came up. We then landed into shore. Then commenced a great rush for knapsacks, haversacks etc. which was kept up for an hour but no signs of getting off. We stood for two or three hours with our knapsacks on when one by one they commenced to drop off and by nine o’clock they were all lying in piles again. There was strict guard kept so we could not get off the boat. A little after nine the horses which had been taken off when we first landed were brought back & the steamers were brought under way for we knew not where. We again passed N.Y. and had a splendid view of its shipping, and such steam whistling and cheering I have seldom heard. We landed at Hunter’s Point, L.I. about three o’clock P.M. A part of the regiment took the cars immediately but our company with others waited with our knapsacks on for 2 or 3 hours expecting every moment the train to carry us off. All things must have an end and so did our waiting.
The first night we slept on the ground with the sky for a covering. There was a very heavy dew and thick fog. Our blankets were very wet and our guns covered with rust. We scoured guns all the forenoon and it rained all the afternoon so we did not progress very fast; towards night we commenced to pitch our tents but it rained as hard as it could pour before we got through. We cut cedar boughs (of which there is an abundance) for our beds and lay quite comfortable. We have been washing all the forenoon, cleaning guns, drying clothes, etc. Going to church this afternoon. I have seen Benejah today.
Simsbury boys are all well. We know not how long we shall stay here. My love to all.
O.C. Case Co. A 8 Regt.
care Capt. Burpee, Jamaica, L.I.