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Valentine G. Barney Correspondence

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Collection Overview

Valentine G. Barney of Swanton, Vt., was commissioned sergeant on May 2, 1861 in Co. A of the 1st Vermont Regiment. He was mustered out August 15, 1861. He was then commissioned captain of the 9th Vermont Regiment, Co. A, June 14, 1862; and lieutenant colonel of the 9th Vermont Regiment, on May 24, 1863. He was mustered out June 13, 1865.

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Time Period Covered: May 8, 1861 - December 27, 1863 

Parent Collections

Vermonters in the Civil War

Related Archival Collection(s)

Valentine G. Barney Letters

Published:  March 22, 2011,  University of Vermont, Bailey/Howe Library, Center for Digital Initiatives

Rights:  Requests to reproduce this item should be sent to Vermont Historical Society Library, vhs-library@state.vt.us. For more information, see http://cdi.uvm.edu/about/rights. More information.


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Title:   Valentine G. Barney to Maria Barney

Creator:  Barney, Valentine G., 1834-1889

Date:  1861-05-19

Resource type:   correspondence

Topics include the regiment occupying the large Hygeia Hotel located outside the Fort Monroe on Old Point Comfort, the rules and costs of the hotel, Rebels firing on a steamer, 18 or 20 of the enemy killed, mentions vessels occupied by secessionists being captured and General Butler coming with either eight or ten thousand men to form an army.

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    Title:   Valentine G. Barney to Maria Barney

    Creator:  Barney, Valentine G., 1834-1889

    Date:  1861-05-26

    Resource type:   correspondence

    Topics include the arrival of the Troy Regiment and the New York Zouaves, runaway slaves, a false alarm set off by the Troy Regiment, Mass 4th Regiment being arrested for pillage and plundering, requests for postage stamps and photographs of his family

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      Title:   Valentine G. Barney to Maria Barney

      Creator:  Barney, Valentine G., 1834-1889

      Date:  [1861]-06-03

      Resource type:   correspondence

      Barney writes from Newport News, Virginia on the construction of a trench and accounts of alarms from the picket guard including a mule causing one of the alarms. Writes of the 2500 men, their disappointment at not being able to fire upon the Secessionists, fears the box from Swanton will not arrive at all, of the presence of 25 or 30 slaves, of horses, mules, dogs being brought in to camp, requests postage stamps and envelopes.

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        Title:   Valentine G. Barney to Maria Barney

        Creator:  Barney, Valentine G., 1834-1889

        Date:  [1861]-06-09

        Resource type:   correspondence

        Barney writes of camp equipment inspection, Sunday services held by Chaplain Stone, of being one of the singers during the service singing "Sweet Home", of receiving letters from home, of there being 4000 men, two men with the measles, of the arrival of the New York 4th Regiment and Hawkins Zouaves, of camp duties.

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          Title:   Valentine G. Barney to Maria Barney

          Creator:  Barney, Valentine G., 1834-1889

          Date:  1861-06-16

          Resource type:   correspondence

          June 16, 1861. Barney writes from Newport News, Virginia an account of the Battle of Big Bethel including battle casualties, men sent out to look for cattle, illness among the men, soldiers tired to camp life, the arrival of food sent from home some of which was in good condition such as cheese, dried apples and maple sugar with some not.

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            Title:   Valentine G. Barney to Maria Barney

            Creator:  Barney, Valentine G., 1834-1889

            Date:  1861-06-19

            Resource type:   correspondence

            Topics include an account of a day of camp life when the regiment is "not on labor", the receipt of a box from home with envelopes, postage stamps, Sunday School singing books, of the family.

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              Title:   Valentine G. Barney to Maria Barney

              Creator:  Barney, Valentine G., 1834-1889

              Date:  1861-06-23

              Resource type:   correspondence

              Topics include an account of what was seen during a scouting expedition, of orders to bring back lumber, of the men coming upon deserted homes still completely furnished, of the men ordered not to disturb anything (which some did anyway), of his observation and opinion of the negro slaves encountered.

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                Title:   Valentine G. Barney to Maria Barney

                Creator:  Barney, Valentine G., 1834-1889

                Date:  1861-06-30

                Resource type:   correspondence

                Writes from Newport, Va. of his improving health after a bout of illness, of about 6000 Rebels in the area which the company is out scouting, the capture of two prisoners from a Regiment of Zouaves from Louisiana who voluntarily surrendered as they thought their company had moved out without them, of Barney's weight loss, death of a man from the Middlebury Co. and his funeral.

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                  Title:   Valentine G. Barney to Maria Barney

                  Creator:  Barney, Valentine G., 1834-1889

                  Date:  [1861]-07-04

                  Resource type:   correspondence

                  Writes from Newport News, Va of an account of the 4th of July celebrations among the troops, of the burning of the Steamer Cataline that was the company's mail boat, hopes of Congress being able to settle the war, his opinion of the war and of his improved health.

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                    Title:   Valentine G. Barney to Maria Barney

                    Creator:  Barney, Valentine G., 1834-1889

                    Date:  1861-07-07

                    Resource type:   correspondence

                    Writes of his uncertainty of when he will head home, of the men being anxious to be out of the army and away from camp life, a visit from Sect. Cameron, of the family

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                      Title:   Valentine G. Barney to Maria Barney

                      Creator:  Barney, Valentine G., 1834-1889

                      Date:  [1861]-07-18

                      Resource type:   correspondence

                      Topics include Valentine G. Barney's improving health, of his wishing to hear news from Swanton, of his newly acquired taste for the plentiful tomatoes that are in the area, of the men wanting to go home.

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                        Title:   Valentine G. Barney to Maria Barney

                        Creator:  Barney, Valentine G., 1834-1889

                        Date:  [1861]-07-28

                        Resource type:   correspondence

                        Topics include the updated plan of departure for home and the defeat at Manassas.

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                          Title:   Valentine G. Barney to Maria Barney

                          Creator:  Barney, Valentine G., 1834-1889

                          Date:  [1861]-08-02

                          Resource type:   correspondence

                          Topics include the updated plan of departure and of a visit by General Baxter.

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                            Title:   Valentine G. Barney to Maria Barney

                            Creator:  Barney, Valentine G., 1834-1889

                            Date:  1862-07-06

                            Resource type:   correspondence

                            Topics include the Regiment is full and the expectation that the regiment will be mustererd (process of accounting for members in a military unit), mentions he is officer of the day and has many duties to attend to with recruits being new to army life.

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                              Title:   Valentine G. Barney to Maria Barney

                              Creator:  Barney, Valentine G., 1834-1889

                              Date:  1862-07-27

                              Resource type:   correspondence

                              Writing from Camp Siegle, Virginia, topics include the journey to camp, their train cars running off the track with no injuries to the men, other men camping in the area being demoralized. He is in Gen. Piatts Brigade and Pope's division. Writes the hill being fortified with hard labor by the men, food in camp being good but not so good when on the move. Mentions the boys from Swanton being well. Six rebel scouts captured, one believed to pretend to be crazy but a grave ordered to be dug for the prisoner in hopes of getting him to confess his pretense.

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                                Title:   Valentine G. Barney to Maria Barney

                                Creator:  Barney, Valentine G., 1834-1889

                                Date:  1862-07-31

                                Resource type:   correspondence

                                Topics include order from General Pope that force the regiment to find their own meat which they do by confiscating cattle from the countryside, Union troops being flung insults from the Southern women, pickets firing at the rebels, a careless discharge of a revolver caused a fifer to have two injured fingers on his right hand amputated by Surgeon Hall, and the capture of the Lady Rebel Spy Belle Boyd.

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                                  Title:   Valentine G. Barney to Maria Barney

                                  Creator:  Barney, Valentine G., 1834-1889

                                  Date:  1862-12-18

                                  Resource type:   correspondence

                                  From Camp Douglas topics include an update on the state of the regiment including men deserting, sick, discharged or joining the regular army, of sending photographs of Bushnell, Cleveland and of himself home to Maria, of Lt Sherman in camp, the loss of 13,000 Union men from Burnside’s army in recent battles, of thousands of paroled prisoners in Annapolis thus Barney needing to stay at camp through the holidays.

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                                    Title:   Valentine G. Barney to Maria Barney

                                    Creator:  Barney, Valentine G., 1834-1889

                                    Date:  1863-03-29

                                    Resource type:   correspondence

                                    Topics include orders received to go to Baltimore in the next day or two, will take only 36 men with him, and packs only what he will carry with him in the field having sold unneeded items.

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                                      Title:  

                                      Creator:  Barney, Valentine G., 1834-1889

                                      Date:  1863-06-08

                                      Resource type:   correspondence

                                      Barney writes of the routine of camp life, drilling the men, and of the creation of the “Awkward Squad,” a group of men that needs extra drilling. He also writes of his relief that the money he sent has been received, and of his wish that his wife hire help for her work in the garden. As well, he states he hasn’t drunk ale in 3 months.

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                                        Creator:  Barney, Valentine G., 1834-1889

                                        Date:  1864-01-10

                                        Resource type:   correspondence

                                        Letter inquiring into the behavior of the children and giving suggestions on how to deal with telling lies. He also writes of the difference between work in the regiment and work at home, and comments on how going home to Vermont in the winter can cause a soldier to get sick.

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                                          Creator:  Barney, Valentine G., 1834-1889

                                          Date:  1864-01-20

                                          Resource type:   correspondence

                                          Barney worries over his children’s sickness and his hope that they will soon recover, of good food for supper, of sending money to Vt to have a horse bought there, of his anticipation of receiving new troops for his regiment, along with the hope that the veterans can show these new men what soldiering is all about and not allow them to feel as though they will have it easy.

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                                            Creator:  Barney, Valentine G., 1834-1889

                                            Date:  1864-01-24

                                            Resource type:   correspondence

                                            Letter discusses his hope of receiving new recruits soon, complaints by citizens against the government, and being president on a committee formed to deal with the complaints. He also discusses the improved health of his children, as well as his desire to receive his new horse, and supplies like currant wine, sausages, boots, and socks.

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                                              Creator:  Barney, Valentine G., 1834-1889

                                              Date:  1864-01-31

                                              Resource type:   correspondence

                                              Letter discusses the arrival of new recruits to his regiment, his amusement at the actions of the new recruits, a raid against Rebels, of wanting his horse from Vermont and of visiting a local woman who had small pox. There is also an amusing account of being thrown from a horse.

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                                                Creator:  Barney, Valentine G., 1834-1889

                                                Date:  1863-04-10

                                                Resource type:   correspondence

                                                Letter head contains a red emblem with star and shield. Topics include arriving at Camp Hamilton, other regiments and companies in the area, getting used to sleeping outside again, getting tents set up, food less available but oysters plentiful, hopes he will begin receiving letters from his wife, since the Regiment has settled into camp.

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                                                  Creator:  Barney, Valentine G., 1834-1889

                                                  Date:  1863-04-19

                                                  Resource type:   correspondence

                                                  Writes of moving camp again to along the Nansemond River (tributary of the James River), lack of sleep due to being on picket duty, coming under fire by enemy sharpshooters. He continues the letter by describing coming into the new camp after picket duty and being roused from sleep to prepare for another march because the enemy has crossed the river.

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