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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:  1862-09-20

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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                            Title:   Valentine G. Barney to Maria Barney

                            Creator:  Barney, Valentine G., 1834-1889

                            Date:  1862-11-09

                            Resource type:   correspondence

                            Topics include the continued improvement of Barney’s health from jaundice though his legs tire quickly, the need for money from home, thoughts of a furlough and the sickness and deaths in the regiment.

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                              Title:   Valentine G. Barney to Maria Barney

                              Creator:  Barney, Valentine G., 1834-1889

                              Date:  1862-11-11

                              Resource type:   correspondence

                              Topics include the weather in Chicago, the desire to return home, and the improvement in Barney’s health.

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                                Title:   Valentine G. Barney to Maria Barney

                                Creator:  Barney, Valentine G., 1834-1889

                                Date:  1862-12-02

                                Resource type:   correspondence

                                Topics include arriving at Camp Douglas in Chicago, Lt. Erastus W. Jewett expects military pay to come through, and the good condition of the company.

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                                  Title:   Valentine G. Barney to Maria Barney

                                  Creator:  Barney, Valentine G., 1834-1889

                                  Date:  1862-12-07

                                  Resource type:   correspondence

                                  From Camp Douglas topics include good food for his dinner, the high standard of living while visiting Danby and Syracuse, living conditions at the camp, having coal stoves, rats and lice plentiful, the death of one of his men Alfred Burrows from diphtheria, paying Mrs. Snow owed, giving comment on theater ("love sick stuff"), having no word of a prisoner exchange and the hope to be able to send $500 home soon.

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                                    Title:   Valentine G. Barney to Maria Barney

                                    Creator:  Barney, Valentine G., 1834-1889

                                    Date:  1862-12-10

                                    Resource type:   correspondence

                                    From Camp Douglas topics include the continued improvement of Barney’s health, being busy with issues with the company including low morale and discipline, the good weather in Chicago and having received a photo of Maria.

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                                      Title:   Valentine G. Barney to Maria Barney

                                      Creator:  Barney, Valentine G., 1834-1889

                                      Date:  1862-12-14

                                      Resource type:   correspondence

                                      From Camp Douglas topics include Barney receiving military pay (back from Nov 1 of $580), how Maria is to distribute it to pay off money owed by Barney, reaffirms his devotion to Maria, his ability to not be tempted to stray and his delight in receiving letters from his young children Carrie and Fred (even if not quite intelligible).

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                                        Title:   Valentine G. Barney to Maria Barney

                                        Creator:  Barney, Valentine G., 1834-1889

                                        Date:  1862-12-16

                                        Resource type:   correspondence

                                        From Camp Douglas topics include sending military pay of $480 home, request for needed items from home including boots, fur collar, pillow. etc., having a pleasant evening dinner and singing at Mrs. Snow's and arranging to have his photograph taken.

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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:  1862-12-21

                                            Resource type:   correspondence

                                            From Camp Douglas topics include Barney having had 48 small photographs of himself made, of sending photographs home to his family, of several of his men, of trying to get a furlough for one of them, of expecting to stay where he is for a while longer, fixing up his living quarters, Colonel Andrus to arrive in camp to replace Stannard who may go home to recover his health, newspapers reporting Reg. to be sent back East, and the invitation to spend Christmas at Mrs. Snow’s.

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                                              Title:   Valentine G. Barney to Maria Barney

                                              Creator:  Barney, Valentine G., 1834-1889

                                              Date:  1862-12-24

                                              Resource type:   correspondence

                                              From Camp Douglas on Christmas Eve Day topics include the misplacement of $120 and trying to track it down, of sending photographs of Halbert and Jewett, instructions to Maria to help solve missing money.

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                                                Title:   Valentine G. Barney to Maria Barney

                                                Creator:  Barney, Valentine G., 1834-1889

                                                Date:  1862-12-26

                                                Resource type:   correspondence

                                                From Camp Douglas the day after Christmas topics include the disappearance of other soldiers’ military pay as well his own from an earlier date, the hope to track the money down, the receiving of gifts from the men of the company out of love and respect for Barney as their officer, the damaging of his winter coat beyond repair, a description of Christmas at Mrs. Snow’s including giving his photograph to Sarah.

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                                                  Title:   Valentine G. Barney to Maria Barney

                                                  Creator:  Barney, Valentine G., 1834-1889

                                                  Date:  1862-12-29

                                                  Resource type:   correspondence

                                                  Topics include an affidavit to try and help find the missing money, Barney having to be in court for a court martial trial, checking on the sick in the hospital, anticipation of getting a box from home and the plan to be mustered tomorrow for pay to get in 2 or 3 weeks.

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