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Augusta County: Jedediah Hotchkiss to Sara A. Hotchkiss, December 21, 1862

Hotchkiss writes briefly about the position of Federal forces, the possibility of securing a leave, and his health.

Sara A. Hotchkiss

Sunday Morning, Dec. 21st 1862

Moss Neck --

My Dr. Sara:

I have a chance to send you a line this morning, and so will gladly avail myself of it, for I know your thoughts are running hither, in spite of anything else that may be transpiring & mine are morning and evening going to my pleasant home by the pond side & wishing I were there to bask in the sunshine of those I love -- but it is otherwise ordered, and so I will not complain, but only for the thousandth time wish the evil days were over and our land was enjoying its days of rest: come they must, come they will, before long, the hand of a merciful Providence is guiding us, by ways we know not of, to the long-wished-for day of freedom -- all things cheer us -- the Vandal host that came with pollution & desolation has been driven back with a loss four fold greater than our own & now skulks between the deep inlets of the Potomac & Rapahannock in constant alarm lest deep rivers may not keep back the "vast Rebel Army" We thank God for this fourth deliverance, "by a stretched out arm" from, from the swarm that would settle down upon our vitals & consume them if they could --

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The enemy is still opposite to us, but removed from the river, and nothing of interest is transpiring -- I am very busy making a map of this county, which I hope to finish in two or three days, and then I want to ask the General to let me come home for a week to attend the fixing of your comfort for the coming year -- I think he will grant it, but cannot tell -- Boswell has applied for leave of absence to go to Alabama for a month -- and he has gone to Gen. Lee now to have it approved -- I hope he may get it. I reckon my letter about my box did not get home in time to have it get back to Staunton -- I have not heard anything from you about it, and so take it for granted that it did not reach in time. I am doing very well though, on bread & coffee -- now & then a little potato soup -- think my health is as good as ever it was -- though I am working very closely, hoping to get a respite for a few days that I may come to my own sweet nest for a few days of this rapidly passing winter. If you have not sent my eatables &c, let them rest until I write again. I have not been able to get any washing done since I left home --

Yesterday 14 persons, in good circumstances, but refugees from destruction, from Fredericksburg & Port Royal, staying in an old house near here, sent to be a morsel of food -- they had not a single thing to eat --

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Harris goes this moment -- so good bye and God bless you

Your Aff. husband

Jed. Hotchkiss

Do write

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