Valentine G. Barney to Maria Barney

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Fort Yorktown Va.Aug 9th 1863Dear Maria

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It is Sunday night and as every thing is quiet and I am alone in my “cottage by the sea" I will scribble a little. This has been a very warm day the warmest of the summer I think and the persperation has flown very freely all day. I wrote to Silas this forenoon but it was such warm work I thought I would not attempt your till night, and now it is not cool and the mosquitoes are very troublesome so I did not gain much after all. Nothing new has transpired since I last wrote you and I hardly know what to make up a letter of but if I could see you I could find much to talk about I presume but the nonsense I would talk would not look well on paper. I got a letter from you last night and one a day or two before. You had quite a time on your fishing excursion and no doubt had what men would call

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"bully time" I am glad you get out once in a while and enjoy yourselves I can imagine about how you all looked around your camp fire. (Monday Morning) I was obliged to quit writing last night on account of company coming in. Capt Reynolds of Gen Wistars Staff came over to sing a little so I had to visit with him he is a very fine fellow and a splendid officer Qr Master Sawyer starts for Vermont this morning to be gone 15 days he will go to St. Albans to see Gen Stanard I shall try and have him go and see you. he is one of the best men in the world, but perhaps his business will prevent him from going to S- I got a letter from brother George yesterday he is hard at work haying now days In your letters you are very particular to tell how many letters Martha gets from her husband. well Elisha is a model man and I never expect to be equal to him not even in letter writing and if he writes 4 or 5 times every week I dont know as I shall make an attempt. Why dont you speak of some of the those women who dont get letter oftener than once a month and point me to them for an example

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I hope though I will not go to extremes either way but independently write when my own judgement dictates, but should my letters be short and a long time pass between them dont forget that my love for you is just as strong as it ever was and ever will be and that I am your best friend in this world and I hope "when this war is over" to be able to make you more happy than I have heretofore I am sure my absense from you so long has taught me some very useful lessons and one is I shall know how to prize a pleasant home and the society of my dear little family better than before I presume I will be more addicted to lazy habits and want some one to wait on me a great deal but Carrie and Fred will be grown large enough or perhaps I will take a contraband home with me. would you like one? about 12 or 15 years old. do you think elisha will resign this fall. I dont believe he will. his time will be out in 9 or 10 mos. and it would not pay for him to resign As soon as convenient get Carries & Freds Photos and send them to me I am anxious to get them have Mary send hers also.

Affly Yours. V.G. Barney