Valentine G. Barney to Maria Barney

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Camp Douglas March 12th 63Mrs. Maria L. BarneySwanton VtDear Wife

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How do you do this bright morning. I hope you are well and how are Carrie and Fred. I imagine I see you about this time standing at the sink washing your breakfast dishes and Carrie at the end standing in a chair wiping them for you and her tongue running at a great rate asking all sorts of questions, as in my imagination I dont see Fred he is probably in the closet cutting dresses to pieces. I would be extremely happy to be with you at present and enjoy with you the pleasures of home and of each others society with those darling little ones around us and dear Maria I think when I once more am permitted to live with you I will know better than hereto- fore how to appreciate the comforts of a pleasant home. This war has taught many a sad lesson but withall it has taught some very usefull things one is we will all be content with many less useless things around us and with a coarser but better quality of food. we will also learn to respect higher authority and not be quite as apt to express disloyal sentiments towards the President or our Superiors Also as I said before we will know how to prize a good home and female society

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and I think if all the Copperheads at the north had been obliged to serve in the army as privates a few months they would be a very different set and probably have more respect for those appointed to rule over us, and I really hope every black hearted southern simpathiser will yet be obliged to shoulder his musket and fight for the union. I think it would do them good as well as our cause. I see by this mornings paper the Presidents proclamation in regard to the return of deserters and I think it will operate well I hope some who have deserted from my Company will now return as they can do so without punishment any time before the 1st of April. The men are not really so much to blame as they would be under other circumstances. The fact is there are thousands of Secesh persons in the City of Chicago and they are anxious to have our men desert and are ready at any time to furnish them with citizens cloths to make their escape in Only a few days ago Sergt Meigs was asked by a man in the strech if he would not like to change his military shirt for Citizens, his answer was pretty short as you may imagine and the gentleman will not likely to ask him the question again by these means no doubt many of our soldiers have been influenced to desert and therefore it was very unlucky for us that we ever came to this place

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We are at present favored with very nice weather and were it not for the cold damp winds I could not wish for pleasanter weather our camp is now dry and we can walk around with some comfort now. I have been out of camp once since I last wrote. That was to see Frank Adams who sent for me, his new wife was with him and is a very pretty little woman before coming back I went and saw Orderly Whitmore at the marine Hospital. he will probably get his discharge in a few days and I presume he will go East. I am sorry to loose him for he is one of the best fellows I ever got acquainted with and a fast friend of mine but as his lungs are affected he had better be out of the army at once. Lt Jewett has recovered somewhat from his hoarseness but coughs pretty bad. I dont think his lungs are bad but that complaint is general here and one can hear coughing at any time of night or day. he has just gone on guard and Lt Sherman has just come off. probably my turn will come tomorrow or next day I am real well and weight 170 lbs but I presume warm weather will take off 20 or 30 lbs pretty sudden Was Fred mad on receiving his picture I hope he will not try and imitate it. Kiss him for me and Cad also and accept one from me. I expect a letter from you to day as it is Thursday Continue to write often and be me your

Affectionate HusbandV.G. Barney
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probably we will be kept close if the recommendations of the doctors of the City are followed as you see by the paper

Dear Maria

I had this sealed up once and ready to mail but Sgt came in with a letter from you dated Saturday March 7th I am really sorry I wrote you any thing about that expression in your letters and could I have got it (the letter I wrote) an hour after it was mailed you would not have know how I felt. for I know you did not mean any thing by it and in fact I was cruel in writing as I did and give you so much trouble and bad feeling I hope you will forget it and I will not write any thing again to pain you for I know your heart and that it is right let the language be as it may in writing, but we will drop it here I think you had better visit Danby in the Spring if you want to and your folks want you to go. And no doubt they would be glad to see you and the children so if you feel as though you want to go I should go by all means. I presume we will be paid soon so you will not lack for funds. I would like to visit them with you but No but at the close of the war we will have a good long one

From Your Aff Husband V.G.Barney