Valentine G. Barney to Maria Barney

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Fortress MonroeMay 24, 61Dear Wife

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I recd a letter from you this morning and exceedingly glad was I to hear from you and Know that the children were well and that you are in good spirits. I hope above all things that you will not be over anxious about me, but look on the bright side. A great many interesting things have transpired since I last wrote you although it is but a few days. The most so to us was our journey yesterday over to Hampton a village about two miles from here. At abt Three oc. P.M. we our Regt were called upon to start out into the Country. And evry man was ready in a moment we marched over the bridge and into the Enemys dominion. When

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we got within about a half mile of the village we were discovered by some men at work ploughing They at once unhitched their horses and mounted them and off they went as fast as possible to inform the villagers of our approach and in a few moments an officer of the Secession troops came to us at full speed and wanted to Know the intentions of the Colonel in marching to their village the Colonel told him to See what was going on over there and if there were any batteries there he should claim them. The Secessionist then told him there were none there and that he was in hopes we would not molest the inhabitants The Colonel told him that if they let us alone we would them. at this the officer rode smartly off

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to tell the people (as he said) that we would not commit any assault on the people there but instead of this he went and ordered the bridge burned which is just this Side Hampton and as we came in Sight they were just putting fire to a lot of Tar and Straw in the middle of the bridge The Col. then gave the advance guards the order double quick. (The advance guard was the first Plattoon of the Swanton Co and myself one of the number) We ran as fast as our legs could carry us and arrived there in time to extinguish the fire but not without a great effort. The Enemy had a Cannon or two planted on the bridge but on our approach they threw the Cannon over board and drew the Carriage off out of the way. When they saw we were bound to go over they said all was right but wished and beged us not to interfere

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with the people The Col. assured them that we would not if they behaved themselves Then our regiment marched into the village leaving one company to See to the bridge that they did not burn it and so render our return impossible. No violence was offered us by any citizen but I saw one man with a gun looking very sour in the face. We went as far as we wished and looked the vil. over and returned home, all being Satisfied with the afternoon trip. I presume you will see an acct. of this in the Vt Papers, but I thought I would write it and give you the truth of the thing for I was where I could hear all the Talk and and see all the movements. I have ocupied too much of this sheet in the acct and will try and write something of more interest to you. As you supposed Gen Wool is not here and will not probably be here at all

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but Gen Butler is here and has been here two or three days. It is not Known to anyone but some of the head officers what will be our movements but it is thought by some that we are to go over to Sewells Pt abt 5 miles from here (where the Enemy were Erecting a battery and had it blown down by a little Steamer which is now lying at the dock here) and see what is going on there and perhaps we will Encamp there but nothing is certain where we will go but we will probably have to leave here to give room to other troops which are expected here and Encamp somewhere out of the fortress I will write you as often as I can and if there is any moove with us I will let you Know at the first opportunity.

Yesterday was Election day in this State but we have not heard any thing

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in regard to it yet but probably She will go for secession by one hundred thousand majority, but I should not wonder if her tail feathers would drop before She gets fairly out of the Union. I see you felt a little jealous, hearing from Elisha that he had heard from me from New York and you only got a paper. I did not write to any one from N.Y. and if I had had a mind to to write to any one you would have been my Choice above all others. I tell you my dear Maria that you must not Cherish the thought that any one is thought of before you. My feelings are so intence towards you that I almost loose sight of Evry one else but the dear children under your care. dear ones how I long to have them in my arms once more, and a loving Wife by my side. And I earnestly

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don’t let any one see the latter part of this letter

hope that nothing will prevent us from again meeting never again to be separated even for a day. One month has now passed and soon the other two will be gone and then my term will be out and if all the other Companies and all the rest of our Company should Enlist for a longer period I will return to my dear little family ne’re again to leave them unless in an Extreme Case The reason of my writing the above is that I saw you were a little fearful of my being gone longer than the three months. I want you to write me often and all the news, and have Carrie make some pictures and and sent them to me for they would be a treat to me to look at some of her work. Kiss them for me often and give my love to all the friends.

Your Affectionate HusbandVal
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P.S. As the rout is now open between here and Baltomore you need not direct in Care of Fairbanks &c New York for I should get them much sooner the other way. All are well except young Spencer & C. Thomson of Highgate There has been one death here in our Regt within a few days it was a young man from the Bradford Co by the name of Underwood. You may direct in Care of Capt Clark of the 1st Co 1st Regt Vt. Vols and I will be sure and get your letter. The boys got dissatisfied with Bell for Cook and turned him out and Elected Gipson Brown to do the Cooking for the Company which I think is a pretty good change Bell is not liked very well as you perceive. I will again bid you good bye and with it you may imagine a good Kiss V.G.B.

I shall have to give this the name of scattered remarks instead of postscript