Large Civil War archive of letters from Corporal Hiram C. Barney of the New York Cavalry, 21st Regiment, Company H, F. Hiram Barney of Rochester, NY enlisted in September 1863 and was mustered out in Colorado Territory, 1866 (died 1908). Approximately 20 letters, 77 pages, and two envelopes. Includes encounters and accounts with Confederates Morgan and Mosby. Locations of letters and campaigns include Camp Stoneman – Washington D.C., Camp Sullivan – Halltown, VA, Camp Graham – Martinsville, VA, Winchester VA, Fort Collins, Colorado, and Platte River, Colorado Territory. Brief excerpts include (a more complete summary is available): October of 1863 includes the arrests of deserters and comments of “the enemy is retreating”. December of 1863 letter describes moral condition of Regt and modes of punishment inflicted on offenders. January of 1864 statement Saw any number of big, fat, greasy and lazy negros around the stables for cavalry horses. Hiram goes on to describe three hundred men from his regiment going out on picket, 150 mounted. February of 1864 letter states “There are nothing but guerilllas around here and sometimes they are very unceremoniously brought within our lines. The boys like to hunt them. Further writings The company were out this foremorn with their horses for target practice with carbines and revolvers. We had a good time. Hiram also goes on to write about a contest where soldiers would climb a greased pole. He also writes that he will never write his brother, Andrew (possibly Major Andrew Barney of the New York 24th). He then goes on to discuss how Morgan captured men from Hirams regiment. Morgan and one of his men disguised themselves in Union uniforms and when three Union men from Hirams regiment came over to the two, Morgan captured the soldiers. May 1864 letter – The regiment was sent out with 125 men to the neighborhood of Berryville and Winchester on a scouting expedition. Several men from the regiment went some two miles from camp to get supper at a farm house. While waiting for supper, they were surprised to to see the parlor door open and several revolvers suddenly ponted at them behind each pair of which was either Col. Mosby a Rebel Capt or a Liet all rather determined men with shots in their eyes who demanded the immediate surrender of the Yankees.…Col Mosby was highly elated by the big haul he had made and required his prisoner to follow him to headquarters at Paris. Mosby taunts the captured men with phrases like, Were they with Maj. Sullivan fo the 1st Vets when his men ran away and left him.. July 1864 letter – tired after falling back for 200 miles...I think the rebs are getting desperate and this will constitute their last desperate act. October 1864 letter – Hiram thinks they are going to join Sheridan in the Valley, Sheridan the ablest of generals. February 1865 letter -Charleston and Columbia are ours. Hiram gives a detailed account of the capture of Johnnies by the 14th PA and 21st NY. It also discusses the narrow escape of Mosby. Hiram also discusses Union spying tactics, Lieut D can get all the men he wants when he goes out as a scout but seldom takes a large party, preferring to take but a few and to go over by paths through his woods. As you will understand he and his men are all dressed in rebel uniform and whenever they come up on a larger force than they can manage, he says to them – have seen any yankies around here? On this he accumulates a vast amount of information of the military movements of the enemy about here. December 1865 Fort Collins letter – Discusses his fellow soldiers of questionable character. His experience tells himself to treat them like a venomous reptile. Hiram goes on to actually describe a huge rattlesnake that was found and killed in the orderlies tent. April 4th, 1866 Fort Collins letter – No Buffalo are to be seen here now, they having fled from the unerring rifle of the white man to more congenial quarters. I have a strong desire to see one of these animals of the prairie. Condition: All letters in overall very good, readable condition. Some fading, stains, minor tears.
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