Valentine G. Barney to Maria Barney

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Camp of the "Reserve Brigade"Near Suffolk VaMay 10th 1863My Dear Maria

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To day is Sunday and it is almost too warm to write or do any thing but I will write you a few lines. Lieut Sherman has gone over to church and Lt Jewett is stretched over here on the ground beside me studying tactics. We have just got through inspection and my Co. got compliments for their good looks and appearance. We got orders yesterday to be ready to march with three days rations immediately. we got ready but have as yet got no further orders. There is a move being made out to the Blackwater R. and probably this was the direction we were to go in but I presume we will not go now I got a letter from you yesterday but it was an old one and written the 7th you spoke of getting the check I presume you will get the other soon for $240- and you can get them both cashed at the same time. After paying my debts here in the Regt. I had on hand abt. $100- I have bought me some shirts cost $8.00 a Hat $6.50

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collars &c, it costs us pretty high to live now things are so high Butter 50c. Cheese 25- Potatoes 1.40, Tea 2.00.& other things in proportion Last night Chas Camel formerly of Swanton & brother to Henry came here from the 118th N.Y. & was pleased to find his aquantances here I think his folks suppose him to be dead We are at present in the command of Gen Wistar he was a Lt Col. in Bakers California Regt and was wounded at Balls Bluff and now has the use of but one arm. We have not got a nice camp and we have taken pains to fix up things and have things comfortable Linus & myself have put our tents together and made one out of the three which is quite large comparatively, say 8 by 8, and it does quite well with a quilt hung up at each end when it does not rain very hard. Then we have to put our Rubber blankets on the roof and in this way we are enjoying life better perhaps than you would expect in such a flimsy cottage. I see by the papers that Elisha done a nice thing at F- I also saw his official report sent to the Gov of Vt. I have written him and expect to hear from him soon His Regiment must be pretty well reduced after loosing so many and I am thankful he is spared through another battle and with so much honor.

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Monday Morning
Dr. Maria

I did not finish my letter yesterday so will do so this pleasant morning before the mail goes out We had a sermon last eve at “dress parade” and it was good and the first we have had for some time as our Chaplain is sick. We are not yet released from the order to be ready for a march and we expect soon to get orders to “fall in”. I have got my haver sack packed with Boston Crackers, a Barrel of Butter, a Box of Tea a Box of Sugar, & a Chunk of Pork, and intend to live well when we do move I find it much pleasanter on marches to have a Darky to carry my things for me and cook my victuals I will enclose two more Photos which are the last I have. I hope you will find the Box I sent you when you get to S-. I suppose you will go about a week from to day so I will send my next letter to S. Give my best respects to all my friends in D- and write all the particulars of the 20th Kiss the children and tell them they must not think so much of George & Silas as to forget their Father.

Your Affectionate HusbandV. G. Barney