4 November 1862

Camp Classen
Near Suffolk, Virginia
November 4th, 1862

Mrs. Freeland,

I received yours of the 29 on the first stating that you had forwarded a box containing the things I sent for — boots, gloves, shirt, handkerchief, cigars, sweetnuts &c. which I received today all right. I wrote you in the morning as I received your letter last night hurrying up those things as everything is wide awake here. We wish everyone else to be so although we do not carry those lamps. I have nothing of importance to write, having written so recently.

When you write again please write what the boots, shirt, gloves &c. cost. I would wish to know the price of butter, cheese, sugar &c. in New York as they are extravagantly high here — butter being 4/- and strong at that, cheese 2/-, sugar 1/6 and other things in proportion.

Our diet is rather thin as our rations are 9 hard crackers per day and salt junk once a day with coffee night & morning. And to fight on that a man must have a constitution like a horse. Yet I think I will live through it.

Our company is about the best in the regiment, so others say. The probability is we will remain here this winter as we are busy building log houses for winter quarters.

I feel quite anxious to hear the result of election. When you write again, post me up as we are mostly Democrats here. We can get the New York Herald in about 36 hours after it is printed for 5 cents.

No more at present. I do not think we will receive our pay before the first of December though we have been mustered for pay.

My respects to all. — Wm. Freeland per S. A. S.

P. S. Direct as before


4 January 1863

Camp near Newbern, North Carolina
Sunday, January 4th 1863

Mrs. Freeland,

I received yours of the 26th yesterday but I had written you a few lines and sent it before I received it. Therefore, I write you again giving you some idea of our march.

Last Sunday a week today we left our old camp near Suffolk about 8 o’clock in the morning not knowing where we was going but we took a southerly direction and marched about 19 miles some of the way wading through water over the tops of our boots. When night came on and we bivouacked for the night in a pine grove and after making fire, we cooked our coffee in our tin cups, partaking our hard crackers after which we retired for the night. But before daylight appeared, we were summoned to arise and prepare for our days march which was much the same as the first though we went only 18 miles when we gain halted for the night going through the same routine as the night before. The question being frequently asked how far we had to go. And finding they differed from 3 to 20 miles, we concluded it was no use to ask any questions. Therefore we resumed our march on the 3rd day being pretty well worn out. Yet we marched about 18 miles when we arrived on the banks of the Chowan River and embarked for Newbern.

Our company consisted of one brigade of 5 regiments. Therefore, it required 4 vessels to accommodate us. We remained at anchor that night and the next morning about 7 o’clock we steamed down the Chowan River into Albemarle Sound, thence to the right of Roanoke Island, and into Pamlico Sound, and then up the Neuse River to Newbern, North Carolina, spending our New Year’s Day on an old craft feasting on hard crackers — likewise the following night which was rather sleepless for some as it was very rough off Hatteras Inlet. Yet we arrived safe in sight of Newbern where we ran aground and was taken off by a ferry boat and sent ashore where we started for our new camp which is about a mile from the city which is quite a pleasant city of about 10 thousand inhabitants.

We have not received our pay yet not I do not know when we will get it. Therefore, if you have one or two dollars to spare, you may send it to me when you write again. I am well and hope you are the same [and] looking as well as you did when I left.

My love to yourself. Also to William & family. Likewise Mr. & Mrs. Mand.

— William Freeland, 132 Regt. N.Y.I.V., Newbern, North Carolina

Care of Capt. Goodwin

6 February 1863

Newbern [North Carolina]
February 6th 1863

My dear wife,

I write you these few lines hoping that they will find you and Sarah Jane and William in as good health as this leaves me at present. I received your truly welcome letter of the 27th which gave me a great deal of pleasure to hear that you were all well.

We expect to get paid off every day and as soon as we do, I will send you some. I received the money that you sent me in the last letter.

There has not one of our men died since we left New York. All the men and officers are in good health.

For the last week we have had very bad weather. It has snowed two days and it has been raining the last two and I was on guard through the rain last night.

William mustn’t think that we are all Republicans because we are soldiers. As Jackson says — the Union must and shall be preserved.

Write as soon as you receive this letter. No more at present.

I remain your affectionate husband, — William Freeland

2 May 1863

Camp near New Bern
May 2nd 1863

Mrs. Freeland,

I received your last on the 27th which found me well as usual though I was with my company out on picket and have just returned having been out ten days. We have been on two expeditions in the last month. The first was towards Little Washington, a distance of 30 miles to relieve Gen. Foster which you may have seen an account of in the city papers giving more particulars than I could write. We did not participate in what little fighting there was on that occasion.

And the next expedition was in the direction of Kingston — about 15 miles — where there was some fighting but we did not take a hand in but we was about as near as I ever wish to be.

Monday, 4th

As the mail leaves here tomorrow, I finish my letter. Our regiment received 4 months pay today and I have sent you fifty dollars by Express which I wish to hear from you as soon as it arrives there which I wish you to use to make yourself comfortable as we do not know how long we shall want to use money.

I wish to know how Mr. Works & Wilson gets along. We have very fine weather here though it is very warm and it is generally healthy. We cannot judge much about the prospects of the war here.

My love to William, Sarah Jane, and all inquiring friends.

From your husband, — William Freeland

S. A. S.

27 May 1863

Newbern, North Carolina
May 27th 1863

Dear Wife,

I received your letter on the 27th today. You sent me word that you received the money. I want to know if you got fifty dollars. You said that William went to Mr. Work. [You did not] say how he got along but I did not want him to go and ask him.

Your letter found me in good health. We had a march the other day and it was not very comfortable going. It was very hot and very dusty.

Corporal [Sherman A.] Smith went home and he said he was going to stop there. Just let me know if he did. You spoke [of] me getting my likeness taken. I have got no time for that but I may get it taken before I would like it.

We had some pretty hard work on forts which we put up around our old camp. We have move[d] [our] camp up about nine miles from town on the Rebel’s lines to do our picket duty. I was on picket last night. This is a very healthy place for it is nothing but woods.

You wanted to know if I had got the papers. I have received them all. You need not send Mercenary any more for there is nothing in it — only about surprise parties. I wonder where the police are that they don’t stop these balls in engine houses.

I would like to know if you get the relief money yet. If you don’t, just let me know. Give my respects to all my friends who enquire after me. No more at present.

From your dear husband, — William Freeland

Please to write if William is to work. Direct your letter the same as before.

9 July 1863

Camp 132 Regt. N. Y. V.
Batchelder’s Creek
July 9, 1863

Mrs. Freeland,

I received your last the 3rd of July which found me well as usual. I was somewhat disappointed that I did not receive those things I sent for. I wish you to send them by Express as you did not get them in time to send them by Smith as I am in want of boots.

We have a great deal of duty to perform about one half of the time on picket about 2 or 3 miles from camp — 48 hours off & 48 hours on duty. The weather is very warm here and rains near every day. We have plenty blackberries.

Our camp is about 8 miles from Newbern surrounded by woods and swamp. The water is very poor and occasionally one of the boys croak.

Be particular and send the things just as I ordered — the boots with two seams up the center as that is very essential to prevent them ripping. No more at present. My compliments to all.

From your ever loving husband, — William Freeland

I think there is soft soap enough to fetch the boots. When you write again, send me some post stamps.

7 August 1863

Newbern, North Carolina
August 7th 1863

Mrs. Freeland,

I received the box yesterday and I am sadly disappointed with it. There is nothing in it that I wanted. The boots are squared toed. They are not stitched up the side as I told and they are no use to me at all. The cheese you sent was all spoiled. The sugar you sent I did not want for we have plenty here. I told you to send a couple bottles of whiskey but there was none. The fact is there was not one thing in it that I wanted. The segars — you did not get them the same place I told you. They are not worth anything. If you got them at Chichester’s, you got taken in. I think it is best for everyone to attend to their own business and I will be home in a year or so and then I can get what I want.

When you write, give me a list of things you sent in the box. No more at present.

From your husband, — William Freeland