Valentine G. Barney to Maria Barney

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ChicagoNov 7th 1862Dear Maria

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I have just got through eating my Breakfast of milk Toast and will now attempt to write you a few lines on the strength of it. I am gaining in strength gradually and my yellowness is fading away slowly. I keep as cool as circumstances will permit of and am pretty well contented in my situation Last night I let the man who has been taking care of me go back to camp as I am able to take care of myself now and I did not feel like keeping him here ad paying the expense of his board for little or nothing

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I am not going to be very fast about getting out and on duty again, but of the Two play off a little for a while. I hardly think it will be possible for me to get a furlough to go home but as soon as I get a little better I am going to send in an application for one. but as so many are refused I have not much hopes of getting one The weather is getting to be pretty cold and the boys in camp are suffering considerably from it as the sheds are merely boarded up at the sides without having the cracks battened at all and these prarie winds find those openings pretty readily and but one stove to a company and a small one at that is wholly insufficient to keep them comfortable, so they shiver about from morning till night.

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I dont know how long the gov- ernment will keep us in this condition but it is an outrageous shame and no mistake. Though I would not say a word to dis- hearten the boys in the least but rather give them to understand that it is all for the best. I received a letter from Father last eve and one from you day before yesterday and I expect an- other from you to day and I hope it will be one written after you began getting letters written by myself. I dont know but I will be obliged to call on some one for more money yet as $15- of the $25- is already paid out and wholly for my board and I dont see any signs of being paid of yet. The thing of it is it takes the Government Wheels a great while to roll over once,

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and a man of common means would starve to death before they would get around. One thing is sure there is no use for me to get a furlough without money to go home with, Has that knole in front of Dormans ever been scraped off? if it has not it should be at once, for if it is not your cellar will surly be filled with water again this winter or in the Spring - just speak to Father about it and if it is not done have him do it fo it is but a small job. I hope your health continues good also the Children. Kiss them for me often and you may give Hat one also and accept one for yourself from your

Affectionate HusbandV.G. Barney

Commissary Sgt. Petty is stopping here with me which makes it more pleasant

The house I am stopping at is ¾ of a mile from camp (south) and 4 miles from the City We had about 2 inches of show last eve.