Valentine G. Barney to Maria Barney

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Newport BarracksN.C. Nov 30th 1863 Dear Maria

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I should have written you yesterday (Sunday) but as to day is your "birth day" I presume it will answer just as well even if it is one day later I would like well to see you this eve and see how my good wife looks at thirty- do you feel any older than you did yesterday? The fact is that I am getting to be an old man; every one takes me to be much older than I really am. The other day in guessing on ages I was set as high as 35 and none sent me under 30 so I expect where you and I ride again by Sarah Boyse she will not exclaim "How much younger he looks than Maria" but just to the contrary I dont feel any older as I know of than I did ten years ago but I have to dispense with my boyish capers, which is a great effort sometimes. Will M- the long looked for box has got along and to my great pleasure I got my shirts and the best of all a"Love letter" in one of the shirt pockets. You would have been glad to have seen me when I unfolded the pkg. you say. well I will assure you my countenance was somewhat shortened for my old shirts had got very small and badly worn and one towell only remained Had the braid on the [bosom] not pleased me I would not have taken

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it off for it was you who put it there and that would not allow me to rip it off, but it so happens that I was pleased with it and others admired your taste & think it neat To day our Regt has been paid and I will send you a check or money in a few days $200 I think. It has been some time since I sent money home but now I have commenced and I guess I will continue as my expenses are now not as heavy. I almost forgot to tell you that the shirts fit very nicely and I can button them around my neck without choking me as the old ones did They suit every way. The weather is quite cool this eve and I have just told Cooney to stir up the fire. I would not wonder if we had a frost tonight. The rumor here is that Charlestown has been burned and our troops are in possession of the place. we get it from the Rebs. we have got a Wilmington Paper of the 26th no news, of importance in it. In or on my last I told you to send me a bottle of Marshals Catarrh Snuff. I am troubled some with cold in my head and thought it would be good for me My Health is good and now as cold weather is coming on I expect to continue so Hope you will all continue in good health as I would. Accept my warmest love for yourself, & children and keep yourselves warm when you go out in the cold air.

Your Aff Hus Val GB