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Charles F. Bancroft Correspondence

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Collection Overview

Charles F. Bancroft of Woodbury, the adopted son of Smiley Bancroft, enlisted in the 4th Vermont Regiment, Co. H, on August 28, 1861, as a Corporal. He died of disease on April 30, 1862.

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Time Period Covered: October 2, 1861 - June 26, 1862 

Parent Collections

Vermonters in the Civil War

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Charles F. Bancroft Civil War Letters

Published:  March 25, 2011,  University of Vermont, Bailey/Howe Library, Center for Digital Initiatives

Rights:  Requests to reproduce this item should be sent to Vermont Historical Society Library, vhs-library@state.vt.us. For more information, see http://cdi.uvm.edu/about/rights. More information.


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Title:   Charles F. Bancroft to Clarissa Bancroft

Creator:  Bancroft, Charles F., 1835-1862

Date:  1862-01-06

Resource type:   correspondence

Topics include the snowy weather and a brief description of George Blenkoe, the Confederate master of a "secesh (secessionist) negro," who had been recently brought into camp from Vienna, Va. Description of some Confederate money. Bancroft mentions his own modest weight gain, his need for pockets and other domestic items. One esp. moving line: "God only knows when we shall see each other again but let us hope for the best & that another year will bring us all to the family fireside again."

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    Title:   Charles F. Bancroft to Clarissa Bancroft

    Creator:  Bancroft, Charles F., 1835-1862

    Date:  1862-01-11

    Resource type:   correspondence

    Topics include the illness of Ephraim D. Dutton and the treatment he is getting from Bancroft, who is watching over Dutton. Bancroft thinks he'll recover when taken to a hospital. Fever, dysentery, lung ailments are compounded by homesickness, according to Bancroft. B. asks for sausage, cayenne pepper, and brandy from home. Mentions daguerreotype of "that little schoolmarm" and the problem of blue eyes. Final request: burn this letter after you read it! "Chain Bridge" refers to a site near Washington, D.C.

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      Title:   Charles F. Bancroft to Clarissa Bancroft

      Creator:  Bancroft, Charles F., 1835-1862

      Date:  1862-01-15

      Resource type:   correspondence

      Topics include drills, a prediction that the fighting will end by June, and inquiries about home. In addition to myriad details regarding weather, food, and correspondence, Bancroft inserts thoughtful questions, e.g.: "Clara do folks in our neighborhood manifest much interest in my being out here? do they seem to care a great deal about it?" He also refers to the lull in fighting--and resulting boredom-- that precedes Lincoln's general order of Jan. 27 for federal armies to advance.

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        Title:   Charles F. Bancroft to Family

        Creator:  Bancroft, Charles F., 1835-1862

        Date:  1861-10-06

        Resource type:   correspondence

        Topics include anticipation of a battle in Virginia and requests for some items from home.

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          Title:   Charles F. Bancroft to Family

          Creator:  Bancroft, Charles F., 1835-1862

          Date:  1861-11-16

          Resource type:   correspondence

          Topics include the number of men who have either died or are sick in the regiment, the success at Port Royal, and the arrest of the Confederate Ministers to Europe, Mason and Slidell.

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            Title:   Charles F. Bancroft to Family

            Creator:  Bancroft, Charles F., d. 1862

            Date:  1862-04-06

            Resource type:   correspondence

            Topics include taking possession of Shelman's Mill, the men killed and wounded by the Rebels, and an account of brief skirmishes. Bancroft describes abandoned Rebel fortifications and odd items left behind. Senses that greater fighting is about to begin, and indeed, the so-called siege of Yorktown, Va. dates from this period. In a lighter moment, Bancroft expresses his gratitude for the green tea he received from home: "there is nothing better for a soldier on a march than a cup of tea."

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              Title:   Charles F. Bancroft to Mary Bancroft

              Creator:  Bancroft, Charles F., 1835-1862

              Date:  1862-02-16

              Resource type:   correspondence

              Topics include Charles Bancroft's health, the food that is being cooked in camp, and the capture of Fort Donelson, Tenn. Bancroft wasn't involved in it, but the fall of Ft. Donelson reminds him that his tour of duty, if not the whole war, may be over by year's end. Bancroft sounds more confident as a soldier (enjoys picketing) and is certain he could serve another two years if asked.

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                Title:   Charles F. Bancroft to Parents

                Creator:  Bancroft, Charles F., 1835-1862

                Date:  1861-12-20

                Resource type:   correspondence

                Topics include items received from home and events surrounding a bottle of brandy that was stolen.

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                  Title:   Charles F. Bancroft to Parents

                  Creator:  Bancroft, Charles F., 1835-1862

                  Date:  1862-02-02

                  Resource type:   correspondence

                  Topics include reminiscences of church meetings in Vt., stimulated by his attendance of them at camp; how much he enjoys the supplies (footwear, clothing, food, brandy) from home; some medical treatment that was improved with brandy; his appreciation of family and home; a few words about postal delivery; and a map of the South he plans to give to his father. -- Because of winter, the war has slackened off a bit. Lincoln is still trying to force McClellan to act.

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                    Title:   Charles F. Bancroft to Smiley Bancroft

                    Creator:  Bancroft, Charles F., 1835-1862

                    Date:  1861-12-31

                    Resource type:   correspondence

                    Topics include picket guard, description of camp life, and a prediction of the future of the war.

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                      Title:   Charles F. Bancroft to [Family]

                      Creator:  Bancroft, Charles F., 1835-1862

                      Date:  1861-10-02

                      Resource type:   correspondence

                      Topics include setting up a choir at camp and organizing the sale of Vermont butter.

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                        Title:   George F. Davis to Smiley Bancroft

                        Creator:  Davis, George F., 1815-1901

                        Date:  1862-05-07

                        Resource type:   correspondence

                        Topics include the death of Charles Bancroft while on the "Propeller Richard Willing" and an account of his possessions. The quartermaster's tone is remarkably sympathetic even while addressing official business.

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                          Title:   George F. Davis to Smiley Bancroft

                          Creator:  Davis, George F., 1815-1901

                          Date:  1862-05-18

                          Resource type:   correspondence

                          Topics include plans to return Charles Bancroft's possessions to his father. One senses that the quartermaster is defending the military's hospital care in response to a complaint from Bancroft's father.

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                            Title:   Horatio P. Bruce to Smiley Bancroft

                            Creator:  Bruce, Horatio P.,

                            Date:  1862-06-26

                            Resource type:   correspondence

                            Topics include the death of Charles Bancroft from typhoid fever, the sickness of other men in the company, and that the fall of Richmond will bring the war to an end. Like many other writers, he refers to McClellan's reluctance to deploy his massive army.

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                              Title:   Warren E. Bliss to Smiley Bancroft

                              Creator:  Bliss, Warren E., 1840-1930

                              Date:  1862-06-19

                              Resource type:   correspondence

                              Topics include moving to camp near the Chickahominy, anticipation of a battle at Richmond, the capture of Fort Darling, a description of the Battle of Fair Oaks, and the death of Charles Bancroft. Topics include moving to camp near the Chickahominy, anticipation of a battle at Richmond, the capture of Fort Darling, a description of the Battle of Fair Oaks, and the death of Charles Bancroft. Use of hot air balloons in reconnaissance is mentioned, as is the observation that many plantations are deserted by their owners and run by slaves, Gen. McClellan threatened to turn every "White House" (plantation) into a hospital.

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