Valentine G. Barney to Maria Barney

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City Point Va April 4th 1863

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We arrived at this place last eve about 5 oclock on the river Steamer “Long Island” with our prisoners in charge but as they had no place to keep them over night on shore we were obliged to keep them on board and are now waiting for their cars to arrive and then we will go in to the wharf and unload that will be about 10:00 we will go down the river immediately and will get to Fortress Monroe at abt 6 oc this eve. This place presents a woebegone appearance and what buildings are left are pierced with canon balls. here is where Gen Sumner gave them a slight bombardment and burned the rail road buildings and wharves &c. Col Stowell has been ashore and seen the rebel officers and exchanged papers with them & I have just been reading the Richmond Dispatch and according to that the people of the north are suffering terribly There is a secesh flag flying on the bank and the prisoners manifest their delight on seeing it They have behaved themselves well and we have had no trouble yet with them – since writing the above we have been searching the rebels to see if they were trying to smuggle any thing by and we found quite a number of our canteens, haver sacks, knapsacks, &c, which we took away from them. One of them had a satchel full of Yankey notions so we took that. I have got sick of the filthy set and will be glad when we finally get clear of them. Yesterday while on our way up the river we took parolled them as none of our men were ready for exchange

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we however met a load of them going down as we were coming up. The most of the Rebs wrote their names I think about 3/4ths and a sorry looking sight of lot of hands were stuck out to take hold of the pen, it was impossible to tell whether they were white men or negros by their hands and their faces were but little better. (2 oc P.M) We have unloaded and delivered the [Swats] over to Rebel guard and they are loaded on to cars and we are now on our way down the river and have just passed Harrisons landing. I had the Col. point [out to] me where the Vt Brigade used to camp. This has been quite an interesting trip to me and quite a pleasure to see old Newport news and Fortress Monroe as well as to go up in the Secesh country a ways. The Old Minesota lay at N.P News also one of the mew monitors I don’t know her name. The Galena was there also but it did not look as I expected at all. (Sunday Morning) We have just arrived at F Monroe and find two men of our company here with prisoners and they will probably go up the river soon we did not get here last night as I expected as there was a heavy snow storm come up and we were obliged to lay over at Hog island all night. we will probably go back to Baltimore but where from there I cant say Col. Stowell has gone ashore with Jewett & Capt Brooks and we will know what is our destiny soon The weather is quite cold here and I have seen but few days at Chicago the past winter more tedious than it has been for a few days past I will write again in a few days. Love to all and kiss the children

Your Aff Hus V.G. Barney