Valentine G. Barney to Maria Barney

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Camp DouglasMarch 9th 1863My dear wife

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Again I seat myself to write you a few lines but I have no idea what I am going to fill out a letter with but will write as the ideas come to me. I have had no letter from you since I wrote my last, but I had a good long one from sister [Mercie] last eve so I felt pretty well used, but she was not very prompt and this was in answer to one I write her about two months ago. I had a letter from Bro George also but a few days ago, so you see I have got a goodly number of corispondants. I dont know why I dont hear from sister Lu- I wrote her shortly after I got back from home. I suppose Fred is anxiously waiting for the letter I promised him but so I have not been down to the City since on a week day I have not got that pretty picture I promised him and it would not do for me to write him without sending one, for he would think it small, potatoes. Things about camp are going on in the same old way and about all the excitement is in hearing of how many rebels have died in the last 24 hours or of some one who has been arrested for misconduct or of some boy who has been put in the guard house. there are about 50 men in now and they have their rules the same as we do in a regiment as soon as a man is put in he has to pay to the Col (who is the bully of the lot) 25 cents admittance but if he has not got it and cant procure the amount they give him a sound trashing and

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if the one who is put in gets off without broken bones he does well, a short time ago a man was sent there from Co I of our regiment and he on refusing to pay the required sum was so badly beaten that he was not expected to live for 3 or 4 days and he is still in the hospital with his jaw all broken to pieces. it could not be acertained who was the one that done it so there could nothing be done Their Col’s name was Jones till I put one of my men in a short time ago when he and the Col had a fight and the Col got very severely whiped. the prisoners immediately reduced the Col to the ranks and gave my man the position of Major Gen., which I understand he held till he escaped and got out of camp and has gone. probably I will not see him very soon again. of the 50 who are there but 4 are from the 9th so you see we are not the worst reg. out. Yesterday (Sunday) inspection being over which was at 8 oc A.M. I went down to Church and for the first time since we have been here I attended the M.E.C and I was not sorry I went there for the preaching was grand and from the text “I am not ashamed of the Gospel &c” I hear as good a sermon as I have ever heard the music too was excelent I wish you could have heard it, as it is nearly time for the mail I will not write more till after that comes and perhaps there will be a letter from you in it. (1 oc P.M.) Just as I expected I have got the letter which was dated March 4th and it seems you are having winter weather there yet and snow in abundance. which is much unlike what

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we are having here. To day is one of the pleasantest days I ever saw and our parade ground is getting to be quite dry I never before passed a winter and suffered so little from cold weather as I have this, in fact it has been one continual spring.. I understand that it is more unhealthy about here than ever before probably on account of the wet and changeable weather. I see that Gen Hooker is granting furloughs pretty freely and men from his Army are visiting their friends all over the country I think it a good plan if they punish all severely and immediately who do not get back on time. I dont suppose there is any use thinking of getting a furlough yet a while being so short a time since I was away but perhaps if we are sent under Hooker it will not be so hard to get away. Lt Jewett has just retd from the City and brought a picture for Fred so I will enclose it with a line to him. I would like to see him when you get that suit of blue on to him, it appears you are just as equinomical as ever working up old clothes &c. I hope Elisha will not be so much taken with his new wife, as to forget to go and see hi mother occasionally but new married people will act out nature you know You say Carrie is as much of a chatterbox as ever it would do me good to hear her a while, Hoping you will get along well and be as healthy as you have been I will close so Good bye

Your Affectionate HusbandV. G. Barney