Valentine G. Barney to Maria Barney

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Camp 9th Vt. Suffolk Va.June 11th 1863Dear Maria,

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I have to begin with the same old story of "nothing new". The fact is it is awful dull here and I am getting tired of the monotany, but perhaps ere long we will have something to do more exciting than drill. We dont seem as though we would be allowed to remain here idle all summer with no enemy any where near us, there are some 20 thousand men her and I cant see why so many are kept here Isee by the papers that the Vermont 1st Brigade are on the so. side of the river again and not without some loss in getting there. I dont hardly think Hooker intends advancing yet but perhaps is making a feint only. I got your letter yesterday written Sunday it was only 2 1/2 days on the road. do mine go through as quick. We expect here every day to have some promotions in our Regt but no one knows who are to be the lucky ones. As I wrote before I dont have any idea of getting a promotion

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I know the line officers are (almost without an exception) in my favor of my having a place but their say dont go very far. I would not wonder if one of our junior Capts got promoted to Major as Capt Brooks is a Constant Companion of Col Ripley and of the same stamp. My Co are doing finely in Drill and quite a number of Officers have told me I have got the best drilled Co. in the Regt. I have scarcely got any sickness and the men are looking finely, I hope the roguish children wont get immanagable and I think you will manage them about as well as though I were there to assist you I dont know in whose hands they could be better than in yours. Teach them to respect you and never allow them to use a saucy word to you I have learned in military life that men are more easy governed by teaching them to respect me and keeping them at a distance than any other way and the same rule will hold good with children. We are having very warm weather here and now but it looks like rain and we will be pleased to see it come to cool the air Kiss the children and tell them that Father wants them to always be good Give my love to Mary and be of good cheer.

Affly YoursV.G. Barney