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Augusta County: H. W. Freedley to Maria Hiester, June 11, 1863

Freedley writes about applying for leave and about Union efforts to block Confederate movement into Maryland. He also writes about the cautious army and government policies regarding mail delivery and the granting of leave to officers, all part of the goal of winning the war.

June 11 th 1863

Camp 3d United States Infantry
Banks Ford Virginia

Dear Maria

You cannot imagine how sorry and disappointed I was when I found I could not join you all in Philadelphia I had been refused any leave of absence but had persevered and had been more fortunate in a second application and had a leave of absence for five days. I received this "leave" the [illeg.] evening before leaving Falmouth and should have left

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for Philadelphia the next morning had the regiment not received an order twelve o'clock that night to leave for the upper Rappahannock at three o'clock. We have been here ever since guarding the Ford to prevent the "rebels" making a raid into my Maryland-and frightening the politicians in Washington. We are under orders again to move and may leave tonight where to or when is not yet divulged.

Your kind letter of the 6th instant was received yesterday. My letters do not reach Washington until the evening of the second day. I fear that many of them are delayed as the mail

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is frequently detained for prudential reasons. The authorities here are exceedingly cautious, in some particulars, regarding contraband information. Politicians have so much information and influence in this army that many of our best Generals are leaving for other fields and none but the favored few enjoy indulgences or privileges. Old officers in subaltern positions with difficulty procure leave of absence for fear that they will not return preferring lighter service not in the field

Remember me kindly to your Father & Mother and with the kindest wishes for your health & happiness I

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am as ever

Your affectionate Friend

H. W. Freedley

P.S. Our position here will not be maintained long and we will either advance or return to the vicinity of Washington.
Excuse this paper and penmanship
I'm in camp.

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