This letter was written by Ozander W. Douglass (b. 1840), the son of Alexander Douglass (1791-1860) and Laura Stannard (1798-1844) of Brownville, New York.
Ozander enlisted as a private on 9 May 1861 to serve in Co. K, 35th New York Infantry. He mustered out of the service as a corporal on 5 June 1863 at Elmira, New York. He later reenlisted in Co. H, 10th New York Heavy Artillery, as a veteran corporal on 2 February 1864. He was discharged for disability at New York City on 6 July 1865.
Though Ozander’s letter is datelined from Fort Willard on April 11, 1864, the postmarked envelope and the content of the letters reveals that it was actually written on May 11th.
Ozander wrote the letter to his hometown friend Edwin Adams (1840-1926), the son of Malachai Adams (1818-1875) and Malinda Slye (1810-1871) of Pillar Point, Jefferson county, New York.
Fort Willard, Virginia
April [May] 11, 1864
I received your letter of April 3rd and was glad to hear you were well and prospering I have had the fever since I have been here and have been in the hospital most of the time, but am getting better now.
Well Ed, I don’t know but they will get me out of this for there was a dispatch came from Albany yesterday that they knew nothing about such a man as I having enlisted and that there were no papers to show that I had enlisted but I don’t know what will come of it yet. I guess they will find the papers somewhere but I shall not feel very bad if they never do.
I am well satisfied with the disposal you have made of my colt.
We are having awful hot weather here now, in fact, I think it is warmer here now than it ever is there in our hottest weather. The boys are all as well as usual. Dor says tell you he would like to be your right hand man today at the dinner table.
We have news that Gen. Grant is in pursuit of the Rebels beyond Chancellorsville, and I suppose it will be our turn to go and help him before long. Still we may stay where we now are the summer.
Atchel Westcott and boy were over here the other day. They were well & I suppose are making money fast. I saw Dan Van Allen too. He sends you his respects.
It is about mail time and I must stop writing. Give my respects to all your folks and to anybody else who may inquire after me and write soon to your affectionate brother, — Ozander Douglass