Valentine G. Barney to Maria Barney

Primary tabs

Page: of 6
Download: PDF (9.64 MiB)
Download: JP2 (220.1 KiB)
Newport NewsJune 19th 61Dear Maria

Page 1

I recd your letter last night which was dated at Grandville and it seems you had not then recd my letter giving an account of the Battle at Big Bethel. I am in hopes you will not borrow any trouble on my account but look on the bright side of things and then things will probably turn out more in accordance with your mind. When I last wrote you I had a little hopes of going home in two or three weeks but now the impression is we shall stay our time out which will not be very long. Nothing of interest has taken place Since I last wrote you so as far as giving you any news is concerned it will be but little Everything about the Camp is quiet and but little apprehension of a fight is felt for the present at any rate. for the last few days we have tended

Page 2

strictly to drilling and our regt Stands pretty high as far as that is Concerned but to day we were ordered to labor down on the river shore and make a breast work to prevent Cavalry from Entering on the Sand beach to the inside of our entrenchment but as I am obliged to always be at quarters unless on drill I get out of hard labor and Standing on guard Although I have done considerable work on the Breast work in front of our Camp but from my own Choice and not from obligation. As I have no news to write I will give you an account of what we do Evry day when not on labor. 1st The Reville is beat at four oc A.M. and in five minuets Evry man has to be in line between our tents and then the roll is called, and if any are absent they are reported to Capt by 1st Sergt 2nd Beat for Breakfast at 5 ½ oc 3rd Beat for 1st Sergts to report their Sick

Page 3

in Hospital and quarters with all new cases to the Surgeon at 6 oc. 4. Call for Company drill which lasts from 6 ½ to 8 oc. 5th Call for Guard Mounting at 810 oc This is also my duty to Select from the Company sometimes 5 men & a Corporal and Sometimes more and about once a week a Sargeant is called for, so you see by taking 6 men from Each Company and from Evry regt in all for our guard it takes about 300 men who are Stationed all around our Camp at about ½ mile distance and but abt 10 Rods apart and it is death to be found Sleeping on their post. and by this we can not be attacted without getting a notice of it in time to be ready. 6th Call at 9 oc for Battallion drill which lasts 1 ½ hours We are then dismissed until 6 oc P.M. on account of the afternoons being so warm We then have a battallion drill of 1 hour and immediately after a dress parade of ½ hour. previous to battallion drills

Page 4

and dress parade I have to Call the Roll and report at the Sergts Call at dress parade to the Colonel and in case any are absent without leave I have to take them to him the next morn at 8 ½ oc and as a punishment they are generally put to work or put on guard or in guard house according to their Excuse for being absent. (Our Call for dinner is at 11 ½ oc and Supper at 5 oc) After dress parade we are dismissed until Tatoo is beat at 9 oc Eve and I then Call the roll again and dismiss them to go their beds. in ten minutes the taps are beat and Evry light has to be Extinguished and all noise cease about the Camp. This is something near our programme but many other little things such as Cleaning up and [police] have to be done daily. At present we are living pretty well we have recd a lot of dried apples and Maple Sugar from New York and those with our Cheese make when added to our other Eatables quite a Comfortable Supply of delicacies

Page 5

Geo Blake recd a little box from home yesterday and in it Elisha sent me a lot of paper and Envelopes and Some 10 or 12 Stamps he also put in a lot of Sunday School Singing books and with the Diapason G.B. got we can have quite a variety of music. I got a letter from Lester and he sent me some Stamps also so in all I have now abt 25 and you will not be obliged to send any more I had a letter from Father and he writes that all are well and that our Garden looks finely and has been hoed over once How happy will we be to get back Even under the roof of an old rotten house which we thought almost to bad to live in but I think now I can live there Content if only I can be with my dear family who are now so far from me I am very glad that Carrie thinks and speaks of her Father so often for I would not have her forget me for nothing. The little darling how I would like to have

Page 6

Her on my Knee and give her a good [    ] and that big Freddy boy how good he looks to me as I see him in imagination [totteling] about the floor and I hope too that he will not Entirely forget me. At present I presume you are visiting in Poultney or at Uncle Wings and I hope you will Enjoy yourself well dont let my absence prohibit in the least degree your having a good visit for there is but little doubt but that I shall return to you in a few weeks You write of Uncle Simonds ill health and Speak as though his recovery is rather doubtful I tell you we cant Call a moment our own for death is among us and whether at home or abroad we are every moment Exposed to it hence the necessity of always being ready and I hope that I may be a better man than I have been heretofore and set a better Example before my children and Wife, but hoping will not accomplish the End I have got to go at work and reform and I think I have in some respects, and shall try and continue.

Kiss the Children and write to your aff –V.G. Barney