Valentine G. Barney to Maria Barney

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Camp Douglas Chicago IllJany 8th 62 Dear Maria

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Although nothing has tran -spired of interest since I last wrote I must continue to let you hear from me although the news is very limited I am still attending to Court Marshall and I find it very tedious to sit and listen to witnesses all day and for a week upon a stretch This afternoon it hapened very lucky for us as there could be no witnesses processed We are now trying a Captain of the 65 Ill for Cowardice and a number of other charges are prefered against him and his case has occupied Four days already and it looks as if it would take Four weeks to get through with it. I presume you have heard all about the late heavy battles at Murfreesboro and Vixburgh It seems that Rosecrans is a splendid General by the way he handled his men I wish such a victory could be won in Virginia. Then hope would begin to revive and things look a little brighter, but now I can see nothing that looks very encouraging or that looks like a Cessation of Hostilities. We are in hopes to be exchanged the 10th of this month are looking forward with some anxiety to that time for we all have got sick of this kind of a life and in fact I have never liked it.

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and it would be a great relief to me to hear of our exchange. if we are not exchanged at that time I presume that Sartwell & Meigs will both go to Vermont and I presume on that account they are wishing that we remain here as we are for a while. if they do not go soon I will send my Album home by mail I have got a few of the officers Photographs in it and want to get more before it goes but only a few of them have got them taken yet I had mine taken in another Stile a few days since and I will enclose one to you They cost $4- per Doz. I have done nothing about the money since I last wrote for without the Envelope I can do nothing and I hope to get it soon. I spent the evening a day or two ago at a Mr. Wilsons down in the City who I became acquainted with through Orderly W- and found them very pleasant people They wish me to call at any time and said they would give me a standing invitation to come and take tea with them at any time I have not been up to Mrs Snows since Christmas but she sent word to me that she would give me a scolding if I did not go there oftener and wished me to go next Sunday so I must I suppose. Every thing goes as usual. The health if the Reg is improving I am well and hearty and hope to so continue Hoping this will find you and the children well and in good spirits. I remain your aff Husband

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M- This is a rough sketch of the main square in Camp Douglas, and you can see how I am situated. There are two other smaller squares to the west of this and the barracks all occupied by rebels, to the south of us are all the hospitals commissary buildings sutlers stores &c. &c. and this square composes not more than one fifth of the whole camp, in fact this is quite a village and has nearly double the inhabitants of Swanton and there is a continued passing and repassing by my window at all times of the day. It takes about 300 men per day to do guard duty as it is about one mile around camp and they have to be posted near to gether in and so to prevent the escape of the prisoners.