Letter. Rufus A. Barrier, Headquarters 8th North Carolina Regiment, near Petersburg, Virginia, to Mathias Barrier, Mt. Pleasant, North Carolina
Barrier writes in reply to his father's letter of 21 July. He confirms his receipt of the shirt and socks he'd been requesting and hopes too that his father will be able to send along a new horse, as Barrier believes the regiment will soon be on the move again. He writes that he's thinking of sending his slave home to procure vegetables and "other good things to eat" in about two weeks, which he hopes to later sell in the camps: "A good box of good things will be worth five hundred dollars in this market." He then turns to a discussion of North Carolina politics, saying that he hopes that the people of his home county will help elect Zebulon Vance governor, though he is "at a loss" as to who he'd prefer in the race for state senate: "I think the candidates are poor chances and I think the people ought to make better selections." He is still in Petersburg, doing "comparatively nothing." "We are daily strengthening our lines," he writes, "and so are the enemy. They seem to be acting on the defensive as well as we are." Just the previous day Barrier finally received his commission as major (dated 1 February 1864): "It was a long time coming but it is all right now." Because the regiment's colonel (Whitson) is "permanently disabled" and the lieutenant colonel (Murchison) is feared dead, Barrier expects to remain in command of the 8th for the foreseeable future. He adds, "I never want to be a Colonel of a regiment. I am as high in the line of promotion as I ever wish to go." His health is not as good as he would like, given the high cost of vegetables in camp. He provides instructions to his father in case his father is able to procure a serviceable horse.