Valentine G. Barney to Maria Barney

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Newport N.C. Jany 15th 1864 My Dear Maria

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I fear you wont think me so good when you see that there has four or five days passed between letters but when I tell you that I have not had a letter from you since the three came together you wont think me very bad- Frank Bellrose has got back to the Regt he was at Swanton but did not see you. he came up and saw me and told me many things of interest about S- How does Sergt Megis get along I hope he has not got the consumption- since I last wrote I have been up to Newbern and stayed over night bought me a pair of Shoulder straps- Cap & Bugle & a few other things. I went out to Gales Creek also where Jewett is and saw the crowd who come in there & trade from outside our lines every 4 days

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They bring in Turpentine & Cotton & exchange for Goods- and quite a large business is done. Deserters from the Rebel Army continue to come in here and as often as every other day I think since we came here there has 50 of them come to our station- Negroes come in daily and bring their whole families. yesterday a family came in 6 children with an old woman the youngest was two ½ years old and they had all walked some 60 miles to get here through the mud & rain. the day before they came in, they walked 17 miles, were bare headed & bare footed with only a light dress to cover them. I really felt some pity for the little girl who was covered with mud and thought how little Carrie at that age would have felt to have been used in that inhuman way They all seemed to enjoy themselves well and seemed very glad to get inside our lines for they were obliged skulk and hide all the way here- The other day a young man came in from Richmond

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who is a Vermonter and now has a wife there in the east part of the state. he went south for his health but saw he would die any way, so ran away to get home to spend his few days among his friends he was very weak and Dr – says will not live three months north-

The weather today is splendid I have my door open and am very comfortable without fire. I can hardly realize it is Jany- it is so different from what I ever saw before, have seen no snow yet- but the inhabitants say we have generally one snow storm during the winter- which remains on two or three days- We are expecting about 100 men for our Regt in a very few days from Vermont and I hope we will get more- have little Carrie write often and I will answer her letters-

Maria remember me as
your best earthly friend
and affectionate
Husband V. G. B-