Valentine G. Barney to Maria Barney

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Suffolk, VaMay 29th 63 My Dear Wife,

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I will try and write you a few lines as I have a little leisure hoping they will find you in the enjoyment of health. I presume ere this you are at home and busily engaged with your garden and I presume as Mary is quite a lover of flowers she will assist you with that part of the gardening, How do the young trees look this spring and how does the old cow get along I would like to be there and look around for myself but as it is you will have to use the pen instead. Our Regt is now under marching orders and the men have to keep their Haver sacks filled

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with rations and we our trunks packed to be ready to move at any time. Where we are going I dont know but it is rumored that the whole place is to be evacuated soon but no knowing what is to be done, and as far as I am concerned I am resigned to do any thing we get orders to do, whether it is to go or stay but I would not wonder if we did not move at all. Since I last wrote you I have reduced my Orderly to 5th Sergt on account of absenting himself without leave while we were out on picket. he is smart and acapable of filling any position but there are some things about him that I could not be reconciled to such as putting himself forward and out of his place. At first I thought of reducing him to

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the ranks but thought perhaps the punishment would be to severe and I think what I have now down will be of great benefit to him and I hope he will so conduct himself as to be worthy of promotion I have made Sergt Cleveland my Orderly. he was formerly a Corpl. and is deserving of the place and I am not at all concerned but that he will perform his duty faithfully We are soon to have some changes in our regiment as there are quite a number of vacancies to fill. I have no idea of a promotion as our present Lt. Col. Ripley does not feel towards me as well as he does some others who are nearer his style but I can stand any thing. I will enclose some rings for the children and presume they will not object to them. They are not very nice but as good

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as can be made without tools to work with except jack knives. I presume the box I sent has got to you ere this and you have had the satisfaction of looking over its contents. did you get the letters I sent last with Photos in it you said nothing about it. have you said any thing about the barn to Father I want one built and will send a plan soon of it. I want to cistern also finished. We are at present getting strawberries in abundance at 25c per quart, and fresh fish every day so we are in a fair way to live you see Wishing you a continued mind and good health I will close and write again soon,

Affectionately YoursV.G. Barney