Valentine G. Barney to Maria Barney

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Newport Barracks N.C Nov 8th 1863 Dear Maria,

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I will continue to write to you as often as heretofore though I have heard nothing from you since my arrival here which is now 9 days and the time seems long I assure you. perhaps you have not directed right but that cant be possible I think if you direct to Newbern merely letters will come most direct. The box of clothing has not arrived yet but I am expecting it every day. I presume long ere this reaches you, you will have seen Lester and learned from him many things of interest to you, but of all the dull times we have ever seen it was the dullest while he was with us so he will have but little exciting news to communicate to you. As we are here things are not very lively but more so than at Yorktown. Day before yesterday Col. Ripley sent out a scouting party of Cavalry and Infantry but little was accomplished. The object was to capture a Rebel Schooner out near Swansboro, but it was a failure. Three days ago I went with Dr. C- up to Newbern and stoped there two nights- not being able to do all our business the night we got there and start back in the morning train and as there is but one train per day we were obliged

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to stop over till the next morning but we managed to spend the day very pleasantly I got a horse and buggy of the Qr. Master and we rode out to the fortifications and saw some of our acquaintances in the 99th N.Y. We also rode around the city and find it to be one of the prettyest little places I ever was in Every street has large shade trees on each side. I should think it must have contained about 10,000 inhabitants in old times. While there I bought a Coat $18.00 Stove pipe $3.00 Candle sticks $2.00 [Straps] $4.00 Pants 14.00 Collars 1.00 which with my Hotel bill 5.00 and a present of a Gold Pin 2.75 I made Dr C- and other little things made me feel pretty poor on getting back- My expenses were also very heavy while coming from Yorktown, here paying all the while from 50 to 100 for a meal of victuals and 100 for a bed, but such things have to be paid and it is not best to be backward or small. We expect to be paid in about 3 weeks and I shall surely send you $200.00 or over and as much as that every two mos after for I have got pretty well rigged out now with exception of an over coat and some Boots - I suppose they will both cost me $30 or $40- Every thing is so awful high here it seems as though it is almost like robbery for a man to ask such exorbetant prices

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Yesterday Dr. C- and I hitched up his two horses on a grand carriage we have here (which was captured from the secesh a few days ago) and made a visit to all our picket posts Three of which are where our Companies are stationed the rest are Cavalry who are relieved daily. We had a splendid ride and when we got around to "Bogue Sound" where Capt Sam Kelley is stationed we had a fine Dinner composed of Crackers and good sweet milk. We were both pretty tired and hungry and the Dinner relished better than any we have had for a long time We got home about 4 o.c. P.M. after having gone some 20 miles or more. To day has been rather a dull day and but little has taken place worth mentioning but as it is Sunday we had morning inspection and this P.M. Chaplain Dickenson favored us with a short but interesting sermon. Speaking of the sermon makes me think of the question you asked me some time ago in one of your letters about religion- I cant say as my views have changed any as to those matters and you know pretty well what they were. I try and live so as to be justified in the sight of God and man, but I am very liable to err and do so very many times. One thing will go to prove that I am and have not been very wild since I came into the Regt and that is that many of the officers have always thought me to be a church member till they accidently found I was not by

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conversation with me. I am glad you are so frank to ask me questions and at any time I hope you will say just what you think for bear in mind we are as it were one and the same person. And if I am thankful for one thing more than an other in this world it is that I have a wife who I can place such unbounded confidence in and always feel as though every thing left in her charge is secure from all harm and that though many months have passed since being together her love is just as strong and unwavering as ever. I tell you Maria these thoughts while away from you so long are consoling. It seems sometimes as though this long separation was not right that we should enjoy together these (our best) days but as things have taken this turn and we must look at them it as for the best & hope for a good long and happy life yet to come- Monday Eve- Well Maria you see I have stoped awhile. last eve I had company and could not write very well then so will finish now. To day I have been putting up my stove and now feel as cozy as you please by my comfortable fire I am alone in my tent but have plenty of compy so dont get lonesome. I have written quite a lengthy letter but it dont seem to contain much. The prospect for having you come here this winter is not very favorable but perhaps all will come around al right yet We are going to build some Officers Qrs soon. We had it freeze 1/2 inch here last night Kiss Cad & Fred & remember me

your Aff Val