Letter. Rufus A. Barrier, Camp Washington near Kinston, North Carolina, to Mathias Barrier, Mt. Pleasant, North Carolina
Barrier writes in response to a letter from his father, which he has just received after returning to camp the day previous from a "long and tedious march" toward New Bern: "I have marched about 200 miles within the last ten days." He saw some light combat with enemy forces. He believes that soon they will be ordered to march to Wilmington, North Carolina. Many among his regiment, says Barrier, are without shoes or proper clothing, but they are all committed to the war effort and complain not at all: "They say they will fight the yankeys till they conquer a peace. Then they swear by their souls they intend to fight the speculators and extortioners until the last one of them is driven out of the land." Barrier continues: "My God how mortifying tis to me to hear the cry for bread and shoes coming up from the lips of the poor soldiers wives and babes while he is defending his country and getting the poor pittance of eleven dollars a month protecting the infernal speculator who is keeping the bread out of his children's mouth." Barrier expresses his great concern and anguish at the poor state of his men and asks his father's advice on how best to get a hundred pairs of shoes made quickly and inexpensively and asks as well that his father have a pair of shoes made and sent to him. In a postscript he also asks that "some responsible man" be sent to him bearing his watch.