Valentine G. Barney to Maria Barney

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Camp Douglas Chicago IllFeby 10th 63Dear Maria,

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“I now take my pen in hand to let you know that I am well and hope these few lines will find you in the enjoyment of the same great blessing” It is now Tuesday and I should have written to you last Sunday but as Mr. E.B. Rounds arrived here on his way from Wis- to Vert. I went down to the City and attended Church with him & wife After Church we went back to his nephews and had dinner and Mr. Rounds came up to camp with me but I could not succeed in get him passed in to see the Rebels but he got a sight at them through the cracks in the fence. he intended to start for Vt that night and perhaps he will call and see you when he gets home He was some what disappointed in not getting inside but the rule are very strict and no Citizen is allowed inside except in case of sickness. To day is a very pleasant day and the sun shines out brightly. we have had a very hard rain storm for a few days past and it seems good to once more see the sky unclouded. I am now in command of the Company again for a few days as we have adjourned for one week and I have made some alterations to day I have reduced one Corporal on account of bad conduct and appointed one in his stead I have also confined one boy for trying to get others to desert

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with him and I am afraid he will see hard times before he gets through with it We expect Col. Stannard here every day also Maj Stowell. the report is that Col is promoted to Brig. Gen. I hope it is not so for I dont want to loose him from our Regt but perhaps I should not be selfish. if he has been promoted I presume Col Andruss will be made Col & Maj Stowell Lt Col and Capt Ripley made major as he is a particular friend of the Majors and has worked in many ways to secure a place in case there was a vacancy and there is not much doubt but that he will get it. We are having pleanty to do now days guarding the rebels it takes a whole Reg. every day so we come out every three days but if they die off as fast as they have since they first arrived for a month or two there will be none left to guard. about 10 have died per day and last night 33 died and it keeps the undertakers full of business. Night before last the 65th Ill Regt got offended at their Sutler and tore down his store and robbed him of every thing he had and they thinking it so much fun commenced on ours but they had hardly got the window broken in when Lieut Bascom of Burlington Co shot his revolver amongst them twice and they scattered like sheep. they got together again and were getting ready to make another desent on the Store when the guard were ordered our and made a charge on them and dispersed them. They declare they will tear

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every Sutlers store in camp if they are not allowed to trade with an old lady who lives close to the fence that she would cut holes through and sell stuff to the boys but the hole is stoped and we expect a row every night. If the Officers of that Regt would stay with their men I think there would not be trouble but they are all away almost every night and the men do as they please. it is a wonder all the blame was not laid on the 9th Vt but for once the papers dont mention us but speak of the 65th as brave boys and say if they only charge on the Enemy as they do on Sutlers stores they will risk them any where. We all continue in very good health and my Co I think are the healthyest of of any in the Regt. I succeeded in getting back four of those men who enlisted in the Regulars and have sent on a list of the names of all deserters to have them arrested if they can be found. I had a letter from Elisha a few days since he was well. Well Maria I will close this by wishing that this war may soon come to a close and I permitted to again return to my little family, I look forward to that time with pleasure and may God speed the time when it will so be Kiss the Children and always bear in mind that I am your devoted husband and that you have the warmest affections of my heart- I will try and write a more interesting letter next time.

Good Bye Val GB