Valentine G. Barney to Maria Barney

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Newport NewsJune 3rdDear Maria

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I just recd a letter from you and am glad that you still continue in good health and that the Children are well also. And when you write you are at Marys I almost wish I could be there to enjoy the visit with you but there is no use of wishing for I am [pinned] for Two months to Come We are yet in the Same place as when I wrote you last and nothing of much interest has happened since that time. We have been busy at work fixing up our trench and breast work and the engineer thinks it will now Stand against heavy artilery and with our 2500 men we think that Four times the number could not take us without some difficulty

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We very often get an alarm from our picket guard and sometimes in the night only night before last we were Called out by the firing of a gun and on looking into the matter we found that one of the guard saw something Coming towards him which he Supposed to be a man and after Chalenging him Three times fired his gun at him The Mule as it proved to be then kicked up his heels and run off without being hit. This discharge was sufficient to arouse 2500 men and have them in line of battle in Three minutes of time. At first these alarms were quite Startling and some of the boys were rather Excited but now it has got to be an old Story and when Called out all is Calm and some are really vexed because they

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cant have the Chance to Shoot their guns at the Secessionists. I find that the longer we are out and as there is so much Sameness that all are in greater or less degree longing for a fight and I suppose this spirit will continue to increase as the time rools away We are at present living rather better than heretofore and this noon we had a good bean Soup which relished very much. At home this would not be considered an extra dish but it was here thought as much of as pot pie at home although it was a little burned The box from Swanton has not yet arrived and we begin to think we Shall never see it at all but I would like the most of one thing the Cap Covers which are in it to protect our necks from the Sun as it is very warm here now.

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Almost Every day some Company goes out Scouting around the Country and almost in Every Case some Slaves follow them into Camp and now there are some 25 or 30 Slaves inside the trench The duch regt are famous for bringing in horses Mules and dogs with them and last night they brought in Five cart loads of Corn. they Claim that they buy them so they are not Complained of. As there is not much to make up a letter on I will not write more this time but will give you a little plan of our Camp Dont forget to send some Stamps and if you have room in your letters send me an envelope occasionly as such things are very scarce here Give my love to all the friends and Kiss the Children and dont forget to write often to your loving