Letter. Rufus A. Barrier, Camp 8th North Carolina Infantry, 5 miles from Petersburg, Virginia, to Mathias and Margaret Barrier, Mt. Pleasant, North Carolina
Barrier addresses his father and mother both in this letter. He begins by assuring them that all is quiet on the lines, despite their close proximity to the enemy: "Butler seems to be satisfied to lie quietly in his den near Bermuda Hundred." They've also received news that Johnston defeated Sherman's army in northern Georgia. The spirits and health of the regiment are generally good. Barrier himself writes that he has been in "delicate health" for two weeks, and in the field since early April, but his condition is improving. Unfortunately, his horse has died; he seeks his father's advice about buying another, and asks if he might borrow his father's sorrel horse in the interim. He requests that he be sent three or four gallons of molasses. "We are getting nothing to eat," he says, "but corn bread and bacon, and I cannot live on it if there is any other chance." He discusses his pay: "If I spend all I make I cannot help it. I have concluded that there is no use for a man to want in this short life." He continues: "We are having a pretty tough time of it. We cannot draw any money. I have three emonths wages due me and can't get it without taking the old currency and I concluded to do without it till I can get new issue. If you can send me the molasses and peas I can do without the money." He concludes his letter by asking if his father and mother have received any news regarding his deceased brother, William.