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Valentine G. Barney Correspondence

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Valentine G. Barney of Swanton, Vt., was commissioned sergeant on May 2, 1861 in Co. A of the 1st Vermont Regiment. He was mustered out August 15, 1861. He was then commissioned captain of the 9th Vermont Regiment, Co. A, June 14, 1862; and lieutenant colonel of the 9th Vermont Regiment, on May 24, 1863. He was mustered out June 13, 1865.

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Time Period Covered: May 8, 1861 - December 27, 1863 

Parent Collections

Vermonters in the Civil War

Related Archival Collection(s)

Valentine G. Barney Letters

Published:  March 22, 2011,  University of Vermont, Bailey/Howe Library, Center for Digital Initiatives

Rights:  Requests to reproduce this item should be sent to Vermont Historical Society Library, vhs-library@state.vt.us. For more information, see http://cdi.uvm.edu/about/rights. More information.


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Title:   Valentine G. Barney to Maria Barney

Creator:  Barney, Valentine G., 1834-1889

Date:  1862-12-14

Resource type:   correspondence

From Camp Douglas topics include Barney receiving military pay (back from Nov 1 of $580), how Maria is to distribute it to pay off money owed by Barney, reaffirms his devotion to Maria, his ability to not be tempted to stray and his delight in receiving letters from his young children Carrie and Fred (even if not quite intelligible).

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    Title:   Valentine G. Barney to Maria Barney

    Creator:  Barney, Valentine G., 1834-1889

    Date:  1862-12-16

    Resource type:   correspondence

    From Camp Douglas topics include sending military pay of $480 home, request for needed items from home including boots, fur collar, pillow. etc., having a pleasant evening dinner and singing at Mrs. Snow's and arranging to have his photograph taken.

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      Title:   Valentine G. Barney to Maria Barney

      Creator:  Barney, Valentine G., 1834-1889

      Date:  1862-12-18

      Resource type:   correspondence

      From Camp Douglas topics include an update on the state of the regiment including men deserting, sick, discharged or joining the regular army, of sending photographs of Bushnell, Cleveland and of himself home to Maria, of Lt Sherman in camp, the loss of 13,000 Union men from Burnside’s army in recent battles, of thousands of paroled prisoners in Annapolis thus Barney needing to stay at camp through the holidays.

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        Title:   Valentine G. Barney to Maria Barney

        Creator:  Barney, Valentine G., 1834-1889

        Date:  1862-12-21

        Resource type:   correspondence

        From Camp Douglas topics include Barney having had 48 small photographs of himself made, of sending photographs home to his family, of several of his men, of trying to get a furlough for one of them, of expecting to stay where he is for a while longer, fixing up his living quarters, Colonel Andrus to arrive in camp to replace Stannard who may go home to recover his health, newspapers reporting Reg. to be sent back East, and the invitation to spend Christmas at Mrs. Snow’s.

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          Title:   Valentine G. Barney to Maria Barney

          Creator:  Barney, Valentine G., 1834-1889

          Date:  1862-12-24

          Resource type:   correspondence

          From Camp Douglas on Christmas Eve Day topics include the misplacement of $120 and trying to track it down, of sending photographs of Halbert and Jewett, instructions to Maria to help solve missing money.

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            Title:   Valentine G. Barney to Maria Barney

            Creator:  Barney, Valentine G., 1834-1889

            Date:  1862-12-26

            Resource type:   correspondence

            From Camp Douglas the day after Christmas topics include the disappearance of other soldiers’ military pay as well his own from an earlier date, the hope to track the money down, the receiving of gifts from the men of the company out of love and respect for Barney as their officer, the damaging of his winter coat beyond repair, a description of Christmas at Mrs. Snow’s including giving his photograph to Sarah.

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              Title:   Valentine G. Barney to Maria Barney

              Creator:  Barney, Valentine G., 1834-1889

              Date:  1862-12-29

              Resource type:   correspondence

              Topics include an affidavit to try and help find the missing money, Barney having to be in court for a court martial trial, checking on the sick in the hospital, anticipation of getting a box from home and the plan to be mustered tomorrow for pay to get in 2 or 3 weeks.

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                Title:   Valentine G. Barney to Maria Barney

                Creator:  Barney, Valentine G., 1834-1889

                Date:  1863-02-22

                Resource type:   correspondence

                His medicinal use of alcohol, the bitter weather, a practical joke he played on Lieutenant Erastus W. Jewett and the uses of humor, singing (Brave Boys are they) and other entertainments, his conversation with a Rebel prisoner about allegiance to the U.S., his worries about the news of small pox back home in Swanton.

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                  Title:   Valentine G. Barney to Maria Barney

                  Creator:  Barney, Valentine G., 1834-1889

                  Date:  1863-02-18

                  Resource type:   correspondence

                  Topics include being on guard duty, of the many court martial cases to be tried, his passion for collecting photographs of all the officers in the Regiment for his album, the resignation of officers, sending Meigs to pursue a deserter with no luck in arresting him, of hearing about a military draft in Vermont & the need for men to serve

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                    Title:   Valentine G. Barney to Maria Barney

                    Creator:  Barney, Valentine G., 1834-1889

                    Date:  1863-03-02

                    Resource type:   correspondence

                    Topics include attending a spiritualist lecture by Cora L. V. Hatch, of the importance of getting letters from Maria, his distress at receiving a letter from his wife in which she appears to doubt his love for her, and the shooting of a rebel prisoner by a member of the 65th.

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                      Title:   Valentine G. Barney to Maria Barney

                      Creator:  Barney, Valentine G., 1834-1889

                      Date:  1863-02-25

                      Resource type:   correspondence

                      Topics include the execution of many deserters via orders of Gen Hooker, small pox at Camp Douglas with Barney taking the vaccine against the disease, celebrating George Washington’s birthday, rebels taking the oath of allegiance, the passage of the draft bill with an expectation that many will leave for Canada.

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                        Title:   Valentine G. Barney to Maria Barney

                        Creator:  Barney, Valentine G., 1834-1889

                        Date:  1863-02-05

                        Resource type:   correspondence

                        Topics include Thomas Cunliffe reported as a deserter, dental work done, $80 draft sent to Maria, getting help for her during the winter including getting milking done by Alfred or Has, surprised by the number of babies being born in Swanton during war time, and the antics of a Rebel prisoner.

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                          Title:   Valentine G. Barney to Maria Barney

                          Creator:  Barney, Valentine G., 1834-1889

                          Date:  1863-01-31

                          Resource type:   correspondence

                          Written on Sherman House stationery topics include getting reimbursed for $120 stolen from an Express package, the condition of the more Rebel prisoners arriving, camp now having 4000 Confederate prisoners, attending a temperance lecture given by John B. Gough, and staying at the Sherman House, whose marble floor in the lobby was manufactured by Barney’s father.

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                            Title:   Valentine G. Barney to Maria Barney

                            Creator:  Barney, Valentine G., 1834-1889

                            Date:  1863-02-15

                            Resource type:   correspondence

                            Topics include his desire to return home to play with his children, his worry about hearing that the family home was nearly lost in a fire, and how visiting with acquaintances helps him keep from being homesick.

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                              Title:   Valentine G. Barney to Maria Barney

                              Creator:  Barney, Valentine G., 1834-1889

                              Date:  1863-02-10

                              Resource type:   correspondence

                              Topics include trying to get a pass into camp so a friend can see the Rebel prisoners, promotions in the Regiment, including the promotion of Colonel Stannard to Brigadier General, and a riot by the 65th Illinois Infantry Regiment against the sutlers.

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                                Title:   Valentine G. Barney to Maria Barney

                                Creator:  Barney, Valentine G., 1834-1889

                                Date:  1863-03-22

                                Resource type:   correspondence

                                Topics include the rainy weather and the monotony of camp life, comfortable living, the shortage of men in the regiment, of hopes of conscription act will fill the ranks and plans for home improvements including building a barn and cistern.

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                                  Title:   Valentine G. Barney to Maria Barney

                                  Creator:  Barney, Valentine G., 1834-1889

                                  Date:  1863-03-20

                                  Resource type:   correspondence

                                  Writes of his feelings about being passed over for promotion in favor of Captain Edward H. Ripley being promoted to Major, since Ripley is friends with Major Stowell and is wealthy. Barney has seniority, is reassured he is well liked, respected and has the support of most of the line officers. He also writes of collecting photographs for his album.

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                                    Title:   Valentine G. Barney to Maria Barney

                                    Creator:  Barney, Valentine G., 1834-1889

                                    Date:  1863-03-29

                                    Resource type:   correspondence

                                    Topics include orders received to go to Baltimore in the next day or two, will take only 36 men with him, and packs only what he will carry with him in the field having sold unneeded items.

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                                      Title:   Valentine G. Barney to Maria Barney

                                      Creator:  Barney, Valentine G., 1834-1889

                                      Date:  1863-03-26

                                      Resource type:   correspondence

                                      Topics include discussing her trip to Danby, promotions in the Regiment, deserters returning to his Company, his brother Elisha being robbed in Washington, D.C., and a description of his rooms.

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                                        Title:   Valentine G. Barney to Maria Barney

                                        Creator:  Barney, Valentine G., 1834-1889

                                        Date:  1863-03-09

                                        Resource type:   correspondence

                                        Barney writes of how soldiers incarcerated in the guard house organize life while there, mimicking the rules of a regiment, including a “Colonel” (the Bully) who gets his position by fighting other soldiers, of extortion committed, of brutal beatings with one soldier not expected to live. He also describes how a soldier from his company (the 9th) deposed the "Colonel" and himself rose to the rank of “Major General” before escaping from camp, of Barney going to church worship, of Gen. Hooker granting furloughs and writes of family members.

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                                          Title:   Valentine G. Barney to Maria Barney

                                          Creator:  Barney, Valentine G., 1834-1889

                                          Date:  1863-03-06

                                          Resource type:   correspondence

                                          Camp guard house cleaned and fixed up so that the guards can rest when off the relief, how his company is eager to learn bayonet drill, what effect the draft will have on filling up his company, information on members of his company, inquiries about family, sending another photograph and speaks of letters to his daughter Carrie and son Fred.

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                                            Title:   Valentine G. Barney to Maria Barney

                                            Creator:  Barney, Valentine G., 1834-1889

                                            Date:  1863-03-16

                                            Resource type:   correspondence

                                            Topics include his confidence in her childrearing abilities, Colonel Stannard’s promotion, the gifts the Regiment wishes to give him including a horse, saddle and other equestrian equipment, his hope that the Regiment will be under his command in one of the Vermont Brigades. He also writes of giving photographs of Tom Thumb and his wife as gifts to his children.

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                                              Title:   Valentine G. Barney to Maria Barney

                                              Creator:  Barney, Valentine G., 1834-1889

                                              Date:  1863-03-12

                                              Resource type:   correspondence

                                              Writes of visualizing home and the children, his disgust with Copperheads, and his approval of Lincoln’s proclamation regarding deserters, as he feels that soldiers are enticed into deserting by Southern sympathizers. He also apologizes for his response to Maria’s letter dated February 23rd.

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                                                Title:   Valentine G. Barney to Maria Barney

                                                Creator:  Barney, Valentine G., 1834-1889

                                                Date:  1863-01-29

                                                Resource type:   correspondence

                                                Topics include a deplorable condition of the Rebel prisoners on their arrival from the Murfreesboro battle after spending 27 days in transport, Rebels lack of descent clothing or food to eat, Barney's attendance at a Temperance meeting, and still writing about the lost money but has hope of being able to be repaid as the Chaplain had a similar loss and was repaid.

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                                                  Title:   Valentine G. Barney to Maria Barney

                                                  Creator:  Barney, Valentine G., 1834-1889

                                                  Date:  1863-01-08

                                                  Resource type:   correspondence

                                                  Topics include sitting on a court martial board for a Capt of the 65th Illinois for cowardice, reference to Union officer Maj. Gen William S. Rosecran's battle at Murfreesboro, Tenn. (Stones River Campaign, December 1862 against Confederate Gen. Braxton Bragg) and the battle at Vicksburg (Dec 1862), having photographs taken, visiting acquaintances in Chicago, and a description of Camp Douglas, including a map.

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