Valentine G. Barney to Maria Barney

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Chicago IllOct 1st 62Dear Wife

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I will now attempt to write you a few lines and inform you of our safe arrival at this place I would have written before and have commenced once before but other duties and the want of a suitable place to do it I have let it go till now. We got here Sunday night and went into camp bivouac about 2 miles from the City we were all very much tired and worn out and things looked as if we were a going to have a good nights rest but we had hardly got to sleep when it commenced raining and there was no more rest for us that night as we were obliged to keep

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walking about to keep warm and from that time to this it has kept up a steady raining and the mud is almost knee deep and as half of our men are nearly barefoot and naked it makes it rather unpleasant. The next morning we mooved over here on the fare ground and our men occupy the sheds where they keep the horses and cattle this fall at the Worlds fare. We have not yet been furnished yet with cooking utensels and the boys have to eat the Pork raw or cook it on the end of a stick over the fire. we have been furnished with soft bread once and fresh Beef once in a month. The boys find a good deal of fault and about ½ of the Regt

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are away all the time stoping down town and at private houses about and many refuse to even stand guard around our own camp. This is rather a bad State of affairs but I dont know as I should blame the men much if they all left though I do my best to keep them all right and try and have them think that all is for the best. Nearly all the officers board at a Hotel near by and I dont know but I would if I had any money but I am des- titute and so have to depend on the Co. for my rations and lodging. Since I wrote the above I have been at work with some of the men fixing up our quarters and we have got fixed much more comfortable We tore up the

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plank walk and made a floor to our shed and some are at work now fixing up Bunks and we are getting in a fair way to live we just got some camp kettles and mess pans and things look a little more reviving as the sun is now beginning to Shine and there will be a chance to dry our blankets. Sartwell and Meigs are still well as am I. though I have been troubled with a cold & sore throat for a day or two but feel pretty well I will now stop and eat my dinner which I can do with a good heart after the vigorous exercise I have had and as I have got a canteen full of milk I will fare pretty well this time

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Well I feel pretty well now after making way with nearly a quart of milk with bread & Sugar & sweet apples and I will try and finish this letter as I know you are impatient to get hold of it. Well Maria I dont know what government is a going to do with us but I hope we will be exchanged soon so we can be of some use. I know I should feel better than to remain here idle and I think it would be better for the men also. There is much talk of sending us to Minesota but I hardly think we will be sent there, but if we are ordered I fear there will be a mutiny in the Reg. and I should not wonder if part

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of the officers would resign, but I will never resign as long as I have my health if they do send us there or any where else. I would like much to see you all and I think of you a great deal and hope the time will soon arrive when we will again be happily living together in our nice little house with our dear little ones about us - but no one knows when this war will end. I want you to get 5 or 10 Dollars of Father and send it to me right off as I need it much. and I hope to be paid off soon as to pay all my little debts if Father has not got it let it go and I will try and borrow here a little longer I hope to hear from you soon and all the news Kiss Cad & Fred

Your Affectionate HusbandV.G. Barney