Valentine G. Barney to Maria Barney

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Camp DouglasChicago IllDec 18th 62My Dear Maria

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I have a little time to spare and will write you a few lines and enclose you a photograph of Fifer Bushnell and Corpl Cleveland who are two very nice boys also one of myself which I had taken yesterday I dont exactly like it but it is better than first I had taken and will suit me if it does you I shall send one to Aunt Sophie and to Sister Martha and if you want any more of them I will send them I can get them taken for 12 ½ c each and the size of Fifer B-‘s for 48 for $1.00 I will send you some of that size in a day or two, To Day Lieut Sherman arrived

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and is now with us to my extreme sorrow but I am going to have a room by myself and will not be so much troubled with his grannifid notions. nothing has transpired of interest since I last wrote so my letter will be short. I took command of the Regt. last night for the first time on Dress parade but the Reg. is getting pretty small as from Ea. Company about a Doz have deserted ½ Doz Discharged & 10 Enlisted in the Regular Army and with this take out our sick and it leaves the Company very small I get out about 25 men for drill and that is more than an average Co F. got out for parade last night 4 men and one Corpl but they report 17 men for duty I report 40 at present Lieut Sherman thinks that

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there is no hope of our Reg, getting exchanged this winter as there are some 10 or 12 thousand parolled prisoners at Annapolis and and many other places. We got the news to night that Burnside’s army lost 13,000 men in the late battles I think this is awful I hope are friends are safe write me as soon as you hear from Elisha. I hope ere this you have got the package I sent you and have got things settled up I have not had a letter from you for nearly a week but expect one this eve and it is nearly time for it to come I would like much to spend the Hollidays with you but submit to my fate as I think it for the best. Kiss the dear little ones often for me and fill their stockings well Christmas Eve

Truly your Aff Husband V.G.B