Valentine G. Barney to Maria Barney

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Yorktown Va. Sept 5th 1863Dear Maria

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When I last wrote you I was feeling rather poorly but I now feel well and in fact better than I did before I was sick I continue to take about 10 grains of quinine per day and think it has a good effect on me. The truth is this is a very unhealthy country and a person who can stand it through the summer and not get sick is as though as iron. About 130 of our Regt are on the sick list and although our sickness is extensive the deaths are very few we having lost but one man for a month past I expect we will remain here this winter but there is nothing certain as to that. I am glad Lt Jewett has called on you. he no doubt gave you an idea of how we are here much better than I have done on paper I had a letter from him to day. he did not say anything about having his wife come with him and I dont believe he thinks of it for this would be a poor place to bring a woman to and in fact the Army any

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where is rather a poor place for women I have thought sometimes of having you come to see me but there are so many things that would not be pleasant I have banished such thoughts from my mind hoping to be able to enjoy your society at home by winter. The time seems long that I have been away from you and I wish many times that it might be so that circumstances would never call me away from you again. I notice in some of your letters you seem to think there danger of my getting in a drinking way Let no such fears enter your mind or trouble you in the least for I assure you I shall be true to myself as well as to you and my dear little family I know there are many temtations in the army but I can and do withstand them I could not join with the class who drink as their dispositions are different from mine and my enjoyments can not be found in their society Our Regt at present is very free of drinking officers and we have none who are habitual drinkers. I am still in command of the Regt

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and Col Ripley is still at Ft Monroe examining incompetent officers but what the result of that examination will be remains yet to be known I presume many will be dismissed from the service This is a good warning to those who get commissions by unfair means and crowd themselves in where they have no business. I got a letter from you to day you had just got up your fine white curtains and getting ready to eat your apple pie and bread and milk I wish I could step in and take a bowl of milk with you. it would be a great treat. You must manage to have old blacky come in a little before I get home for I will be awful milk hungry I expect. I hope you will get a barn and things fixed in general so you can get along with less trouble and labor. I hope you all will get along finely and that the children will be good and learn fast so they can write me letters ere long Kiss them both for me Give my love to Mary and all our folks

Your Affectionate Husband V.G. Barney