Valentine G. Barney to Maria Barney

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Camp Douglas Jany 26, 63My Dear Maria

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Yesterday was Sunday but as I made Mrs. Snow a visit I did not find time to write you but I will commence one early this morning so it may go out just as soon as through I write yesterday Well Maria things look as though we had got to remain here for the remainder of this winter as the Prisoners taken at Arkansas Post are coming here and we expect 1500 of them this morning and the remainder in a day or two Lieut Sherman is now up at Head Quarters with 15 men after guns for my company and the 65th are posting a strong guard around the entire encampment. We will have a pleanty of work to do now as the men will be obliged to stand guard every other day and attend very strictly to their duty I am very sorry that it has turned out just as it has for I would a thousand time s rather be face to face with the enemy and where I could be of some service to my country than away here in this

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mud hole guarding Rebel Prisoners but as long as I am in the Army I must submit to military authority, without saying a word I dont believe that Col. Stannard will be very well pleased and I think he will do his utmost to get us out of this scrape and back East in to the Vermont Brigade and I would be happy could it be brought about. The weather here is very warm and for a number of days the rain has decended without interruption and our parade ground is one grand mud puddle I would like to be at home for a short time,while you are having such nice sleighing and enjoy a good sleigh ride with you would it not be nice - - - - It is now afternoon and I have just had a fine dinner of Buckwheats and feel very comfortable. I would give you an invitation to dine with us but as we have none but Tin dishes I presume you would refuse so we are deprived of your company. I thought that before the time Those Rebels would be here but they dont seem to get along but I presume they will be here before night and I expect to see a rough looking set

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Lieut Sherman & Jewett are here in the room and say I act silly writing so much to my wife I tell them I think it better to be silly in that than in some other things and that time spent in writing is better than spent doing nothing or talking nonsense. Jewett writes to his wife abt once a week Shermans Brother has resigned he was a Lieut in Co. C. the reason was because he was soon to be jumped and so to avoid it he resigned and probably was there a capt to be made in this Co. our Sherman would be served in the same manner as they both stand about the same. I think Carrie does quite well making letters and I hope she will continue to improve but I would not keep her a great while at a time studying but I hope to find her a little Lady when I get home again Kiss her and Fred often for me and tell them that Papa thinks of them every day and hopes they will be good children so that he will be glad to see them when he gets back. Continue to write often and I dont care how long the letters are or how little thinks you write about for what interests you I am sure does me.

Truly your affectionate Val G. Barney