Vermont soldiers in the Civil War wrote an enormous quantity of letters and diaries, of which many thousands have survived in libraries, historical societies, and in private hands. This collection represents a selection of letters and diaries from...
Vermont soldiers in the Civil War wrote an enormous quantity of letters and diaries, of which many thousands have survived in libraries, historical societies, and in private hands. This collection represents a selection of letters and diaries from the University of Vermont and the Vermont Historical Society.
The collection includes materials dating from 1861-1865. Materials were selected for digitization to provide a variety of perspectives on events and issues. The voices represented in the collection include private soldiers and officers, as well as a few civilians. All of the extant Civil War-era letters or diaries of each of the selected individuals (at least, all that are to be found in the participating institutions’ collections) are included; each adds a certain experience and point of view to the whole.
Officers in the photo above are (from left to right): Lieutenant Colonel Charles B. Stoughton, Colonel Edwin H. Stoughton, Major Harry N. Worthen. All are from the Fourth Vermont Infantry Regiment.
Heaton writes that he is sending money home ($20), and that he needs $1 in postage stamps sent to him (the rest can go toward Lucy's board at school during the winter). His camp site, Belle Plains, Va., lies just east of Fredericksburg, the site of a major battle (Dec. 11-15, 1862) that began... more
An account of the journey from Camp Baxter to Camp Lyon near Washington, D. C. with people along the way cheering and giving an enthusiastic reception to the soldiers ; food provided ; blessings of God speed given ; mentions Major General McClellan in command ; high morale
A brief letter from Camp Griffin, 3rd Vt. Co. D part of Smith's Division stating cold weather ; not much to do but some picket duty ; requests warm clothing be sent to him ; expecting to be paid soon ; reflects on how the camp glows at night with all the camp fires lighting the area like a... more
As Heaton indicates, the Army of the Potomac crossed the river into Virginia at the time this letter was written (Gen. George McClellan would soon be removed, however, and succeeded by Gen. Ambrose Burnside). There is no record of a "very hard fight" at Gordonsville, Va. Gen. Wm. Buel... more
Writing a brief letter to his father, Solomon G. Heaton’s states his dislike for General Mead of the Army of the Potomac, mention of Gen. McClellan and requests several clothing items to be sent from home including boots, gloves and food such as tea, cheese, bread, maple sugar.
Writes of pleasant, comfortable winter quarters with 16 men to a tent and government supplied stoves ; tells of what food is available and what he had to eat while on picket duty ; very basic food for Thanksgiving ; no usual drill schedule due to it being Christmas Day ; mentions Charley and Lucy... more
With Heaton's words, "the great Army of the Potomac has at last started," we get a sense of impatience, on the soldier's part, with Gen. George McClellan's well-known reluctance to send men into battle. The date of this letter coincides within the beginning of the Peninsula... more