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Valentine G. Barney Correspondence

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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

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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:  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:  1862-08-03

      Resource type:   correspondence

      Writing from Camp Seigle near Winchester, Va. topics include having a good meal, postal service finally getting the mail on the road only to be handed off and the rider now missing, the burning of the city (Winchester?), being invited to take refreshments by city residents but declining as he did not want to risk being poisoned, Lieutenant Jewett on picket duty, attended worship service, misses his young children, and the hope that the 10th regiment will arrive in camp.

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        Title:   Valentine G. Barney to Maria Barney

        Creator:  Barney, Valentine G., 1834-1889

        Date:  1862-08-05

        Resource type:   correspondence

        From Camp Siegel topics include the mail from home being delivered after being misdirected, comments on family, digging in the ground creating storage spaces for items such as butter and milk, having fresh berries to eat, clearing up rumors revolving around the regiment, sun stroke suffered by one soldier due to the heat, cost of food.

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          Title:   Valentine G. Barney to Maria Barney

          Creator:  Barney, Valentine G., 1834-1889

          Date:  1862-08-09

          Resource type:   correspondence

          Topics include the progress made on the fort, the cutting down of many trees within a mile of the fort, of orchards and shade trees also cut down nearby buildings to the great dismay of local residents, an outbreak of dysentery, and the hope to be able to send some military pay home soon.

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            Title:   Valentine G. Barney to Maria Barney

            Creator:  Barney, Valentine G., 1834-1889

            Date:  1862-08-13

            Resource type:   correspondence

            Topics include the death of two men from the Burlington company, news of the Battle at Culpepper, Capt BeBee of Burlington ill and sent home, and the death of Captain Brooks by the Rebels, confiscating doors from a building inside one of Johnson's abandoned forts to be used a a floor in Barney's tent and a drawing of Barney's encampment.

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              Title:   Valentine G. Barney to Maria Barney

              Creator:  Barney, Valentine G., 1834-1889

              Date:  1862-08-15

              Resource type:   correspondence

              Topics include moving to a camp near the east corner of the fort, a description of the fort including how many guns and what types of guns, and the appointment of Eaton as the major of the 10th regiment.

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                Title:   Valentine G. Barney to Maria Barney

                Creator:  Barney, Valentine G., 1834-1889

                Date:  1862-08-20

                Resource type:   correspondence

                Topics include the duties of being the Officer of the Guard being in charge of overseeing men under watch, media misrepresentation of the regiments in the Northern newspapers, living conditions and costs in the South, death of Joseph La'Mondy (or Lamondy), the Battle of Baton Rouge, and the suicide of a man in Company I.

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                  Title:   Valentine G. Barney to Maria Barney

                  Creator:  Barney, Valentine G., 1834-1889

                  Date:  1862-08-24

                  Resource type:   correspondence

                  Topics include the arrival of a package from home that included much needed boots, hospital care by Southern women to southern soldiers far better than to the Union men hospitalized, the men of Virginia who are afraid to support the Union cause openly for fear it will fail, drunkenness among the soldiers, reference to Lamondy (or La'Mondy) death, the deaths in the regiment since leaving Clouds Mills, receives newspapers.

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                    Title:   Valentine G. Barney to Maria Barney

                    Creator:  Barney, Valentine G., 1834-1889

                    Date:  1862-08-28

                    Resource type:   correspondence

                    Topics include the capturing of some Rebels at Newtown who stated Rebels do not go hungry as long a Union troops are around from which to steal food, issues with the postal mail service, the difficulty of getting rest in camp, and the sickness of the regiment.

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                      Title:   Valentine G. Barney to Maria Barney

                      Creator:  Barney, Valentine G., 1834-1889

                      Date:  1862-09-06

                      Resource type:   correspondence

                      Topics include the regiment marching towards Harpers Ferry, the regiment disheartened to being ordered to retreat, loss of much equipment and people left behind in the hospital, the destruction of supplies left behind, their hard march to current location, the brief mention of a "heavy battles". (Maryland Campaign Sept 3-15, 1862). Reference to prisoners being paroled.

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                        Title:   Valentine G. Barney to Maria Barney

                        Creator:  Barney, Valentine G., 1834-1889

                        Date:  1862-09-10

                        Resource type:   correspondence

                        Writing from Bolivar Heights, West Virginia topics include not hearing from the men left at "W" (Winchester? or Washington?) and the regiment encamping with the 60th Ohio Regiment and the 126th New York Regiment, not hearing or having any word of what military actions are taking place unless troops hear the firing of guns, reference to prisoners being paroled, of soldier committing suicide and Barney encouraging troops to partake in evening singing to keep up morale. Maryland Campaign Sept 3-15, 1862.

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                          Title:   Valentine G. Barney to Maria Barney

                          Creator:  Barney, Valentine G., 1834-1889

                          Date:  1862-09-20

                          Resource type:   correspondence

                          Topics include Barney and other men being taken prisoner at Harpers Ferry while on picket guard duty, being paroled and walking towards Annapolis, sleeping with no gear or equipment, little to eat but hard bread and raw pork, and the promise to give a detailed account of the events when Barney has more time to write. Maryland Campaign Sept 3-15, 1862.

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                            Title:   Valentine G. Barney to Maria Barney

                            Creator:  Barney, Valentine G., 1834-1889

                            Date:  1862-09-22

                            Resource type:   correspondence

                            Writing from Camp Parole topics include a hard march to the camp near Annapolis, being paroled and possibly being sent out West to fight the Indians or sent to home state and a detailed description of an engagement at Harpers Ferry (West Virginia) that included heavy fire, skirmishing Rebels, Union soldiers abandoning their posts, troops falling back, white flag raised by the Union soldiers, men discarding their revolvers and swords, mingling of the Confederates with the Union men as comrades in arms.

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                              Title:   Valentine G. Barney to Maria Barney

                              Creator:  Barney, Valentine G., 1834-1889

                              Date:  1862-09-27

                              Resource type:   correspondence

                              While in transport Barney writes of heading for Chicago along with others as prisoners, states he had a good breakfast that included much relished butter, speculates they are being moved West as it is cheaper than keeping them East, thinks they will not be exchanged any time soon, feels humiliated to be sold but proud of having done his duty. States the arrest of all the officers in the brigade except Colonel Stannard who has taken command. Mentions photographs he is sending home.

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                                Title:   Valentine G. Barney to Maria Barney

                                Creator:  Barney, Valentine G., 1834-1889

                                Date:  1862-10-01

                                Resource type:   correspondence

                                Writing from Chicago topics include the journey to an area 2 miles from Chicago, a description of the living quarters that include a good dinner, fixing up the sheds they are living in which are on the fairgrounds (the site of a Sanitary Fair to benefit soldier relief funds, Oct. 27, 1863), the morale of the men, food of pork, bread, beef, talk of being relocated to Minnesota, and the disparate need for money.

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                                  Title:   Valentine G. Barney to Maria Barney

                                  Creator:  Barney, Valentine G., 1834-1889

                                  Date:  1862-10-05

                                  Resource type:   correspondence

                                  Topics include the conditions at Camp Tyler, the observation of the Sabbath not to his liking as the duty of dispensing clothing to the men, etc. took up much of it, recounts the past 3 weeks, of seeing Vermont marble on the floors of some buildings on his visit to the city of Chicago, the Chicago marble business using Vermont marble and of there being a lot of Vermonters in the area.

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                                    Title:   Valentine G. Barney to Maria Barney

                                    Creator:  Barney, Valentine G., 1834-1889

                                    Date:  [1862]-10-12

                                    Resource type:   correspondence

                                    Topics include receiving $10 from his father, the food supplies at camp, the health of the regiment which includes many men with jaundice, morale of the men, mentions telling his wife army life would be better than he knew it would be in order for her to feel better about letting him be in the military, reporting 2 of his men as deserters to Head Quarters, the false reports written in the papers and mentions prisoner of war camp Camp Douglas.

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                                      Title:   Valentine G. Barney to Maria Barney

                                      Creator:  Whitmore, Orange S., 1836-1908

                                      Date:  1862-10-23

                                      Resource type:   correspondence

                                      A letter to Maria Barney telling her of Valentine Barney's illness (Bilious Fever) written by 1st Sgt. Whitmore. He writes of the probability the regiment will not be paid soon thus Barney asking for $25 be sent, that Barney is receiving the best medical care by a widow (Mrs. Snow) in a private home and a Corporal has been assigned to stay with him.

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                                        Title:   Valentine G. Barney to Maria Barney

                                        Creator:  Whitmore, Orange S., 1836-1908

                                        Date:  1862-10-25

                                        Resource type:   correspondence

                                        Brief letter from 1st Sgt. Whitmore to Barney's wife on the improvement of Barney’s health with Bilious fever (a name used that may refer to a number of illnesses that include jaundice) and the excellent care he is receiving from widow, Mrs. Snow in her private home.

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                                          Title:   Valentine G. Barney to Maria Barney

                                          Creator:  Whitmore, Orange S., 1836-1908

                                          Date:  1862-10-29

                                          Resource type:   correspondence

                                          Whitmore writes to Maria Barney of the improvement of Barney’s health, of Barney advising Maria to keep the cow and the possibility of returning to Vermont in the near future.

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                                            Title:   Valentine G. Barney to Maria Barney

                                            Creator:  Barney, Valentine G., 1834-1889

                                            Date:  [1862]-10-30

                                            Resource type:   correspondence

                                            Topics include the improvement of Barney’s health, the care he is receiving, and a description of the bilious fever with which he was afflicted (i.e. jaundice).

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                                              Title:   Valentine G. Barney to Maria Barney

                                              Creator:  Barney, Valentine G., 1834-1889

                                              Date:  1862-11-03

                                              Resource type:   correspondence

                                              Topics include the continued improvement of Barney’s health from jaundice though his appetite is low and his skin itches, of foods he regularly eats, the sickness of Sergeant Whitmore with typhoid fever, and the deaths in the regiment including Chas Crook.

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                                                Title:   Valentine G. Barney to Maria Barney

                                                Creator:  Barney, Valentine G., 1834-1889

                                                Date:  1862-11-05

                                                Resource type:   correspondence

                                                Topics include the continued improvement of Barney’s health, his taking of jaundice bitters as treatment, his paying Mrs. Snow $10 for his and his attendant's room and board in her home and of sending his attendant back to camp.

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                                                  Title:   Valentine G. Barney to Maria Barney

                                                  Creator:  Barney, Valentine G., 1834-1889

                                                  Date:  1862-11-07

                                                  Resource type:   correspondence

                                                  Topics include the continued improvement of Barney’s health, having his attendant return to camp, his thinking of applying for a furlough to return home when he feels stronger, his outrage at the government for the continued poor living conditions for the men at camp in the sheds, his asking for more money from home and the lack of military pay the soldiers have received.

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