Albert Brown, 25 September 1863

Addressed to Miss Polly Brown, Hallowell, Maine

Long Island, Boston Harbor
September 25, 1863

Dear Aunt,

I am still alive and enjoying excellent health. We left Bangor two weeks ago this morning and arrived at Portland in the evening of the same day. We went into camp on Mackies Island about three miles out of the city and stopped there till last Monday evening. I received a letter from Aunt Betsey while there—the only one I have got since I started. I suppose if any of the rest of you have written, it did not reach Portland till after I had left and I shan’t be likely to get it at all.

Last Monday evening about seven o’clock, two hundred of us started for Long Island on board the steamer Lewiston. We got in here about six the next morning. As we came in the night we did not have much chance for observation on the way. Coming down I did not happen to be seasick.

This is a very pretty place where we are stationed now. Boston city is two or three miles off and all plain in sight.

A detachment of eight hundred left this island for the seat of war a few days before we came here and there were none here besides the guards when we came. Last evening we had an addition to our number of three hundred and fifty men from New Hampshire, That makes five hundred and fifty of us in all. We will be likely to leave when enough get in to make up eight hundred. Those from Maine are detailed for the Sixteenth Maine Regiment. We had no voice in the matter ourselves. The hundred dollars bounty were paid to us when we left Portland.

We have not drilled any yet to speak of. While we were in Portland, we did not drill at all and we only drilled a few times since we have been here. I have had enough to eat, drink, and wear so far. The most we have to do is to answer to our names three times a day at roll call. We live in canvas tents large enough to tent four comfortably. I am getting pretty well used to soldier’s life. I can sleep on the ground now as well as anywhere. I got a pretty bad cold while on Mackie’s Island and my throat was some sore but it has got well now.

I want you to write and tell me all the news at Hallowell, I would like to step in and see you this afternoon. I think I can imagine very near how I would find you. Tell the girls not to wait for me to write to them before they write although I am going to write to them as soon as I get a good opportunity. Give my love to all hands and accept a share yourself.

From your nephew, — Albert C. Brown

Direct to Albert C. Brown, Conscript Camp, Me. Detachment, Long Island, Boston Harbor, Mass.

Direct in this way and it will follow me if I should happen to leave before it gets here. — A. C. Brown