Valentine G. Barney to Maria Barney

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Camp Douglas March 26thDear Wife

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I have just got relieved from guard and will now write you a short letter that you may know I am still well and have not forgotten my friends This is a lovely day much unlike what we have had for a number of days past and I presume different from the weather you are having in Vermont I am looking for a letter from you to day and expect to hear you making ready to go to Danby, but I fear you will not see much of their sugaring this year it is getting so late but perhaps you will enjoy a visit full as well later after the mud gets dried up so you can get around better I am afraid we will not get paid off soon enough so I can furnish you with funds to go with but you can speak to N. A. Lasell and see if he is willing to let you have 25 or $40 if so you will not be obliged to wait for my pay. There is some talk of our leaving here before

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long but I have heard nothing reliable yet and as Col Andross says the 4th of July may see us still here and we may be ordered away in three days and all there is for us to do is to go and come as we are ordered I think we will get paid before we leave at any rate and probably for 4 months, A day or two ago we had quite a number of promotions in our Reg, Lt Col, Andross is now Col. and the Major is now Lt. Co., and Capt Ripley, Major beside quite a number of promotions in the line officers. there are but two Cos. that remain the same as when we left the state A & E and Co. H. has non of its old Officers, and Co C. but one.. I hope something will soon turn up to fill up our regt for so few men as we have it seems like boys play but I suppose there are many old Regts in the field that are not larger than ours. I hear that two or three of my men who are deserters are soon to be here and I had a letter from one who was very penitent and sorry he had ever left me and was anxious

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to get back. I have heard nothing from Wm Cooney lately, and as Col Andross did not go East I will not see him at all till we go East ourselves. I have two or three recruits there at Alexandria also, I have not got those photographs yet but will try and send you a couple in my next letter. I will send you a ring which one of my boys made and gave me (from a button) it is too small for me so I will make you a present of it. Afternoon- I have just received a letter from you dated last Sunday I expected one so waited I was sorry to hear of Bro Elishas loss and it will be felt by him no doubt for his expenses must be pretty heavy and being obliged to buy 2 Horses would make it more so, it seems he is very unfortunate in some things. it however is not much wonder that he got robbed in Washington D.C. as it is the most degraded place in all our land and a nest for blacklegs I should be almost afraid to walk its streets even in day time You say you have no idea of how we are situated here so I will write you a slight description of how we are-

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and as I have drawn a rude map of our main square will enclose it to you so you can form a vague idea of us. you see my room is divided in two and we use the back part as a cook room. we have a stove which we bought and a small amount of crockery and we mess together and Sartwell does our cooking we do not live in a very stylish manner but I dont know but about as well as any one at home I presume it will come rather tough when we go again into the field at first but we will soon get used to it. It costs about $3 per week to live as every thing is so high and as you think I am about run ashore for money my other expenses being so great I have borrowed a little already and think I can get along till we are paid. I really hope mother will find help soon and be permanantly cared I would like much to see her. I suppose Em is now at home so will be quite a relief to Louisa and a blessing to Mother I will close and get ready for dress parade. so good afternoon and accept a kiss for all

Truly your Aff Hus V.G. Barney