More Park Facilities Reopen During May 2013
Watch Hill and Sailors Haven marinas open May 10. Limited ferry service from Sayville to Sailors Haven resumes May 13 and ferries from Patchogue to Watch Hill start on May 18. Remaining park facilities to reopen by May 25, 2013. More »
Fire Island During the Civil War
A Fire Island ConnectionDuring the raid of the CSS Tallahasse in August 1864, a pleasure boat from Fire Island's Surf Hotel took on passengers from a schooner that had escaped destruction. Learn more.
Fire Island National Seashore
On April 12, 1861, the opening shots on Fort Sumter in Charleston, South Carolina changed the world and lives of almost everyone. For the next four years, the bloodiest war in United States history was fought. In September of 1862, the war reached the William Floyd Estate. At that time the Old Mastic House was the home of William Floyd's great-grandson, John Gelston Floyd, Sr., and his wife Sarah. Their fourth child, John G. Floyd, Jr., enlisted and joined the Union army at Staten Island along with 27 other Long Island men, some from the Town of Brookhaven that John himself had recruited.
After a period of outfitting and training, the 145th New York Regiment was prepared to deploy into battle. (See more 145th Regiment details.)
John G. Floyd, Jr. wrote home to his mother:
In March 1863, John was detailed into Battery F of the 4th U. S. Artillery, where his commanding officer, Captain Franklin B. Cosby, was also his 2nd cousin.
You can follow the experiences of John G. Floyd, Jr. during these troubling times through his correspondence with family back home at Old Mastic. Check back as additional letters are transcribed throughout the year in 2013:
On January 6, 1864 Floyd was mustered out with an honorable discharge from the service, thus ending his military career.
Learn More about the Civil War sites and stories preserved and interpreted in the National Park Service.
Did You Know?
Tiny rootlets of the American beach grass (Ammophila breviligulata) and mycorrhyzal fungi hold together the grains of sand that make up sand dunes on Fire Island. You can help protect the dunes by not walking or driving over the beach grass. More...