Valentine G. Barney to Maria Barney

Primary tabs

Page: of 4
Download: PDF (15.34 MiB)
Camp Tyler Chicago IllOct 12th Dear Maria,

Page 1

I received a letter from you night before last also one from Father last night. I was glad to get your letter as well as the $10 which it contained and it will go far with me as the most I will need at present is things to live on and I dont get very expensive articles for that. I eat a great deal of Bread & Milk as nothing suits me better. Tomatos and Apples are very pleanty here and I make way with them pretty freely and with this living I am doing finely and getting fat. when I was at Winchester I weighed only 135 lbs I now weigh 153 lbs making a gain of 18 lbs after all being banged about nearly all the time and living mostly on Hard Bread and Pork. A good many of the Boys are troubled with the jaundice but what causes it I dont know I have so far been free from it and I drink pretty freely of Langleys Bitters which I think has been a great help to me and perhaps prevented me from sickness. since I came here I

Page 2

have not drank a swallow of water only that in Tea and Coffee I think the water was bad for me when I was west before and this time I am going to look out for it I drink very freely of Coffee and think it does me good and have Tea only for breakfast

You inquire as to my clothing. As far as that is concerned I have got along well I have worn the same as the men the most of the time I got a pair of cheap shoulder straps and put them into a privates Blouse and that has done me nearly all the time and my Dress Coat is nearly as good as new but is getting rather tight for me. The old Christmas Slippers I lost on the way from H’s Ferry to Annapolis and Yesterday I Bought a new pair of Cheap ones and are very comfortably off. The men are feeling in pretty good spirits since they have been furnished with new clothes and the mud dried up and they are under my controll as far as can be expected much more so than some other Companys on in the line and when we go out for drill on parade I have the most men out and have been complimented for it as well as for keeping so good order in my Co. while some others were so bad. Since we came here I have lost two of my men and what has become of

Page 3

them is not known one is Chas Walker of S- and the other John Morits of Highgate and is the husband of that nice talking woman we saw when we took that last ride I have reported them at Head Quarters as deserters but I should not wonder if they were on their way home and would turn up there before long. Since I wrote the above I got another letter from you dated the 8th also one from Lieut Jewett and he is gong home so he says and will call on you no doubt he is doing well. also Sherman is gaining fast They are both at Annapolis. You spoke of the nice times I anticipated before enlisting. Well the fact is I did not expect to have nice times at all and I dont know as I have seen any harder times than I really expected I smoothed things over to you and made things appear as fine as possible also that you would be more willing and better satisfied with my going into the Army again and although I perhaps used some deception I think I was justified for I was bound to go and the pleasanter I made it for you the better I felt. I recd a letter from you a day or two since which was written in August and it contained one from Carrie in answer to mine and I think there are others that are still

Page 4

behind as the first I heard of Hatties being with you was by Fathers letter and I knew nothing of Mercies being there till you spoke of enjoying your visit with her much and I think you never got my long letter giving a history of the fighting at H’s Ferry I would have been pleased to have seen and visited with Joseph and Mercy also Elisha and if ever this war ends and I live till that time we will have a time visiting our friends. Those paper reports were to a great degree false. Only 10 men from each Company were sent under Capt Jarvis over to Camp D- to get guns to do guard duty with on their arrival then the Ohio boys gathered around them and as they had refused to do guard duty they put the same spirit into our men. though 4 from my Company took them. Capt J- sent for Col Stannard and on his arriving there they all took the guns willingly and we have done our own guard duty ever since. the Ill. Reg were not called out to charge on our men at all. we drill 2 hours evry day and have a dress parade evry evening and our Regt an in a much better state of discipline than any in Camp Douglas. I recd a call from Levi Bullard (brother to Saml Bullard) a day or two since he resides here in town and is an old acquantaince, I have written a long letter and would write more but must save some of my knowledge till another time. I hope you will be contented as Hat. is now with you.

Your affectionate Husband V.G. Barney