Valentine G. Barney to Maria Barney

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Hygeia Hotel Camp Hamilton Near Ft. MonroeOct 27th 63 Dear Maria

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I know you will be surprised to see a letter dated at this place but here we are, and I will tell you how we came here Last Friday night our Regt embarked at Yorktown with the 99th New York Regt on the steam ship "John Rice" we arrived at Ft. Monroe about noon of Saturday, there being two Regts aboard and all the horses we were all so much crowded that Col Ripley got another steamer to take 8 Cos of our Regt off and I was left to command them. The steamer was the U. States and small not adapted to heavy sea. We left the Ft. Sunday morning early while the wind was blowing very hard and rolled and tumbled and struggled along till we passed Cape Henry. The Capt concluded that he could not go through so turned about and got back to the

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Ft. about 4 oc. P.M. I tell you we were all pleased to get back for nearly every man was seasick and where the men were stowed away so thickly the vomit was of a good thickness over the floor and all presented a sorry sight. I immediately went ahead and requested that the men be shifted on to some other boat or made more comfortable in some way so they concluded to send us a lot of straw and this was good as far as it went but still the men were wet and cold. We remained aboard till yesterday noon and then it was thought best to put us ashore so we landed and came out here. got some tents camp kettles &c &c and got very comfortably fixed by night and this morning the men are feeling quite fine Some of them are sick yet with the ague. we sent 11 to the Hospl and before this morning one of the number (Austin Kennedy) died he was one of my old boys and yesterday while on the boat he came to me with tears in his eyes and asked to be sent to the Hospital with the others. I called the Surgons attention

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to him and he did not consider him very sick but thought best to send him and this morning the poor little fellow is dead. I have not had any thing make me feel so bad for a long time for he was a young, nice little boy about 17 or 18 years old I dont know who his parents are or where they live. We had too another circumstance happen which was a sad afair. While we were lying at anchor Saturday night I was startled by the cry of "A Man Overboard" I got up as soon as possible an went out just in time to see one of our men sink for the last time. Ropes were thrown to him but he did not seem to notice them at all nor say a word. A boat was borrowed as soon as possible but to no avail, this was at about 10 oc at night and no one saw him when he fell or knew who it was. As the men were all asleep we did not have a roll call till morning to find who it was but in the morning found it was Vilas Smith of Co I one of our best men- I saw Lester a few minutes ago he is waiting for the "City of Richmond" to go with the sick to New York & Brattleboro. he would

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have gone a day or two ago were it not for the heavy wind that continues I think he will start in the morning. We expect to start again for Newbern tomorrow or next day on a sea going vessel I presume Col R- and the rest of them will be very anxious about us and perhaps think we are shipwrecked but instead we are here as cozy as can be and I am in the parlour of this grand establishment. I got a letter from you this morning the first for 9 days and I began to be quite anxious about you but the Letter explained all. You need never expect to see a Vt Regt sent to the State till the war ends for It is the hight of folly to expect it and it would be more so for the Govt to send us I am in hopes it will be so I can send for you this winter. I would like to go home but they limit us to so short a time it hardly pays If I send for you I shall expect you to stay 2 or 3 months but there is no telling what will happen- If we dont leave here tomorrow I will write again, for Carrie will have to ask if pa has come in vain when she wakes in the morning but happy will be the time when you can say yes to her inquiry

most affly V.G. Barney

Direct hereafter to Newbern- tell Father to send the box as soon as possible for the men are without overcoats