Hiram H. Barton to Melissa Barton

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Newbern N.C. Feb. 22d, 1863.Dear sister

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I recd your letter this last week I was glad to hear from home I had been looking for a letter a long time and it seemed to be just the thing it had all the news that I could expect you need not be alarmed because I am in the hospital for I am better off here than in camp on the ground I was sick when I came here but I feel very well can walk out as much as I please I’m not very stout and get tired very quick I dont know but I am as well as I have been since july but I kept along with the rest and done my duty the same as the rest marching and working I came here the 20 Jan I shall have to stay till the Dr gives me a discharge from the hospital you think the 9 months men dont get pay regular what do you think of the 3 years men that have done all the fighting and marching and choping and diging and got to do it 2 years longer and been without pay 7 months and 10 days and only got 4 months pay then at the end of this month there will be 4 months due Wessells old brigade

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I am glad you mentioned that Nelson sent that money but am sory that I never got it I have wrote to him and sent $25 but dared not mention it for I had not heard any thing about it I thought if my letter was lost I would not say any more about it or if he had not sent it I certainly would not I needed some money but got along without by letting writing go and after all I dont feel as bad about it as if he had not sent it after getting my letter it is my loss and not his the act was good it ought to come around if it was properly directed I dont know when we shall draw pay again but I hope I shall not get out of money again I forgot to tell him in my last that I had got my watch that he sent but the one that Jim sent I have not It comes some like the letters to through out it seems as if they never would get through till they went themselves if the Postmasters are blind I will fix it so they can feel it I hope we shall get into some healthyer place than this the land is so near on a level with the ocean and a great deal of swamp I know it must be unhealthy This city is between

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two rivers the News [Neuse] on the north the Trent on the South and West it is a very old city the most of the houses are small and very old there is a great many large shade trees it looks as much like a city in the woods as it does like any thing else every thing has the war stamp on it old and dirty There is but few Southern people here Northern men have come here to speculate out of the soldiers there is any quantity of stores and groceries and they sell at the highest prices butter 40 to 50 cts smallest apples 1 ct largest 5 ct cider 10 cts a glass poor kind there is a set of men that follow up the army to fill their pockets I wish such could be marked so they would allways be known as long as they live And there seems to two other kinds one is jealous and the other treacherous treachery and jealousy defeated both McClelan and Burnside the jealous ones are afraid that some one is getting more popular than they The traitors are more in favor of rebelion than the Union so they both get a position one for honor and money and the other for mischief and money

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Feb 23d They are having a sort of a celebration yesterday and today in honor of Washingtons birth day I think if he was alive and and could see the Generalship that is carried on he would not thank them for it They fired canon yesterday and are drawing the fire engines around the streets and the band is playing I guess he would rather see them celebrate on the battlefield to a little better advantage and then they would be fit to celebrate one like him There has been a great deal of rain lately the trees are begining to leaf out the flowers are blowed out and the frogs are peeping warm nights. There is a great many getting their discharge and going home I am a gon to have my discharge it is being made out now one year if it is done and it will be ready in two years more so you may look for me 2 years from next June or July n I think by that time my papers will be completed but the talk is now that the war is stoped 130 days and I believe it for the mud makes the bargain but we are bound to have peace if we have to fight for it I dont know when the mail will go out it only goes once in about a week or 10 days I guess you dont want to hear any more nonsense in this sheet from

H H Barton