Letter. Rufus A. Barrier, Camp 8th North Carolina Troops, near Petersburg, Virginia, to Mathias Barrier, Mt. Pleasant, North Carolina
The regiment has moved north and is now camped on the outskirts of Petersburg, Virginia, "near the old race track on the eastern side of the city." Barrier writes that his regiment is in good health and that all is quiet. The country reminds him of home. He has news about a recent proclamation made by Abraham Lincoln: "Old Abe seems to be a little more lenient to the rebels than he was a year ago. He proposed to pardon all the rebels under the rank of Colonel and proposes to receive the state back into the union provided one tenth will repent and take his accursed oath. He is just adding insult to injury and we should know nothing but the sword until he agrees to let us alone." Barrier estimates that there will be only about a year more of war. Then the letter turns toward the subject of the home front: "What are the sentiments of the people on the subject of the war? What are those mighty war men doing about Mt. Pleasant? Are they still drinking brandy and cutting up generally? We have the news in camp that they have been insulting respectable married ladies. Is it so or not?" Barrier tells his father that he himself has quit drinking. He decries the effect of alcohol on the behavior of his fellow soldiers and officers. He closes with a request for socks and some money to help him cover the cost of getting a suit made and altered in camp.