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John Lester Barstow Correspondence

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Collection Overview

John L. Barstow’s letters, most written to his wife Laura, describe camp life at Ship Island, New Orleans, and various locations in the Louisiana countryside, and include comments on the attitudes and conduct of white and black civilians, as well as the leadership of Generals Nathaniel P. Banks, Benjamin F. Butler, and William B. Franklin. Barstow served as brigadier general of Provisional Forces in St. Albans, Vermont, after he left the Eighth Vermont in June 1864. He was elected Governor of Vermont in 1882.

Time Period Covered: May 3, 1862 - October 25, 1863 

Parent Collections

Vermonters in the Civil War

Published:  May 12, 2011,  University of Vermont, Bailey/Howe Library, Center for Digital Initiatives

Rights:  Requests to reproduce this item should be sent to the UVM Libraries' Center for Digital Initiatives at cdi@uvm.edu. For more information, see http://cdi.uvm.edu/about/rights. More information.


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Title:   John Lester Barstow to ?

Creator:  Barstow, John Lester, 1832-1913

Date:  1862-05-18

Resource type:   correspondence

Topics include the comfortable lodgings of the regiment in New Orleans, the cost of food items, and the state of New Orleans when the Vermont Regiment arrived.

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    Title:   John Lester Barstow to Father

    Creator:  Barstow, John Lester, 1832-1913

    Date:  1862-12-28

    Resource type:   correspondence

    Topics include the fleeing of Rebels to Texas, the destruction and loss of property near New Orleans, and Barstow’s belief that the war must not end until the Union is restored.

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      Title:   John Lester Barstow to Laura

      Creator:  Barstow, John Lester, 1832-1913

      Date:  1863-03-26

      Resource type:   correspondence

      Topics include Barstow's sickness, of him sent to New Orleans for rest but ordered back to his regiment as Heitzel's Brigade was to retreat, a very hard rain that flooded the camp, Admiral David Farragut at the siege of Port Hudson (on March 14), the retreat of General Banks and his army to Baton Rouge, his feelings other southern cities will soon fall and he will be going home, burning of the steamer, BioBio and perhaps the burning and loss of the mail with it and requests for photographs.

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        Title:   John Lester Barstow to Laura

        Creator:  Barstow, John Lester, 1832-1913

        Date:  1863-04-22

        Resource type:   correspondence

        Writing laying on the ground from Opelousas La. topics include the regiment moving and having an exchange of fire with the rebels, at last receiving letters dated Feb 28th and Mar. 10th, he being a Captain must walk (not ride according to regulations), his feet now sore and blistered, the men who were wounded in this exchange, and the regiment's plan to go to the Red River to attack Port Hudson or Vicksburg, regrets the lack of writing paper and pen.

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          Title:   John Lester Barstow to Laura

          Creator:  Barstow, John Lester, 1832-1913

          Date:  1863-05-16

          Resource type:   correspondence

          Topics include moving up the Red River, on the march can not catch the Rebels on horseback, dealing with snakes, joining forces with General Grant and his campaign in regard to Port Hudson or Vicksburg, inquiries about the draft in Shelburne, wishing to be with family, the beauty of flower gardens at the residences, plenty of corn planted but folks in need of other goods, the murder of a soldier by another soldier (later confined as a lunatic), a surgeon administering medicine only to discover is was poisoned resulting in the death of five soldiers.

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            Title:   John Lester Barstow to Laura

            Creator:  Barstow, John Lester, 1832-1913

            Date:  1863-10-25

            Resource type:   correspondence

            Two letters dated Oct 25 and Oct 27 with topics including marching, waiting, more marching, more waiting, lack of food due to road conditions, unable to forage for food, hot days, cold nights, the importance of picket duty, the unpopularity of General William B. Franklin, and the army returning to New Iberia, fear that mail may be lost due to capture of wagons by Rebels and fear to send any money by mail.

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              Title:   John Lester Barstow to Laura

              Creator:  Barstow, John Lester, 1832-1913

              Date:  1862-11-23

              Resource type:   correspondence

              Topics include the idleness of the Regiment since its arrival on the banks of the Bayon and the help the Negroes are receiving from the government.

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                Title:   John Lester Barstow to Laura

                Creator:  Barstow, John Lester, 1832-1913

                Date:  1862-12-14

                Resource type:   correspondence

                Topics include General Banks superseding General Butler, the capture of one of the rebel officers, and the dishonorable discharge of Lieutenant Day.

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                  Title:   John Lester Barstow to Laura

                  Creator:  Barstow, John Lester, 1832-1913

                  Date:  1862-05-03

                  Resource type:   correspondence

                  Topics include an overview of the daily schedule in camp, firing on Fort Jackson and Fort St. Philips by General Butler, General Phelps, and about 10,000 men that lasted for three days, and orders for the rest of the regiment to head for New Orleans.

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                    Title:   John Lester Barstow to Laura

                    Creator:  Barstow, John Lester, 1832-1913

                    Date:  1862-05-11

                    Resource type:   correspondence

                    Topics include being aboard the ship “Jamis Hovey” on the Mississippi River on the way to New Orleans, the difficulty of the journey from Ship Island to New Orleans, and the initial observations upon the arrival in New Orleans.

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