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Vermonters in the Civil War

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Collection Overview

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.

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Time Period Covered: January 1, 1861 - February 28, 1864 


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Browsing by:    Author: ("Rutherford, Joseph Chase, 1818-1902") remove term

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Title:   Joseph Rutherford to Daughter

Creator:  Rutherford, Joseph Chase, 1818-1902

Date:  1862-11-23

Resource type:   correspondence

Rutherford writes from his Maryland camp to his daughter, Helen, of military life, about the fact that there is no day of worship in the military, food preparations for Thanksgiving dinner, description of the dress parade, Typhoid fever in the camp, and the proper care that the Vermont regiment is receiving from their surgeons.

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    Title:   Joseph Rutherford to Daughter

    Creator:  Rutherford, Joseph Chase, 1818-1902

    Date:  1864-12-25

    Resource type:   correspondence

    Topics include organizing and preparing a Christmas dinner for the hospital, being awoken by the sounds of music, brother George’s defense of Rutherford to Governor Smith, and celebration of a big victory in battle, Rebel deserters coming into Union lines.

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      Title:   Joseph Rutherford to Jacob [Rutherford]

      Creator:  Rutherford, Joseph Chase, 1818-1902

      Date:  1862-09-?

      Resource type:   correspondence

      Dr. Rutherford writes to his young son, Jacob, about the military camp the Dr. is in. He writes of how the camp is much like a village with rows of white tents, how his tent is furnished, of a small black dog he has with him and of how much he likes his horse. He gives his opinion of the soldiers; many treat him well and some of the men he dislikes because they do not keep themselves clean.

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        Title:   Joseph Rutherford to Newport Express

        Creator:  Rutherford, Joseph Chase, 1818-1902

        Date:  1865-03-27

        Resource type:   correspondence

        Letter to the Newport Express newspaper that includes a description of a battle near Petersburg, Virginia (part of the Richmond - Petersburg Campaign) in which many were killed or captured ; number to casualties and prisoners captured stated.

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          Title:   Joseph Rutherford to Son

          Creator:  Rutherford, Joseph Chase, 1818-1902

          Date:  1865-03-08

          Resource type:   correspondence

          Topics include building an elaborate trip wire and abbetten to protect against the enemy, the planned execution of a deserter, and Rutherford’s son’s schooling and allowance.

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            Title:   Joseph Rutherford to Son

            Creator:  Rutherford, Joseph Chase, 1818-1902

            Date:  1863-05-26

            Resource type:   correspondence

            Topics include J.C. Rutherford writing to his sick son, reference to the boy's younger brother, Jacob ; sending flower buds to his sister Helen and a gold cord to the sick boy as trim for his cap.

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              Title:   Joseph Rutherford to [Hannah Rutherford]

              Creator:  Rutherford, Joseph Chase, 1818-1902

              Date:  1862-08-27

              Resource type:   correspondence

              The surgeon writes from Camp Washburn about being infected with dysentery, the regiment being mustered on Thursday, and a visit from the Governor and the Governor's son.

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                Title:   Joseph Rutherford to [Hannah Rutherford]

                Creator:  Rutherford, Joseph Chase, 1818-1902

                Date:  1862-08-30

                Resource type:   correspondence

                Dr. Rutherford writes a very brief letter from Brattleboro about his improving health and about his expected appearance in a grand inspection that morning by Governor Frederick Holbrook.

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                  Title:   Joseph Rutherford to [Hannah Rutherford]

                  Creator:  Rutherford, Joseph Chase, 1818-1902

                  Date:  1862-08-31

                  Resource type:   correspondence

                  Dr. Rutherford writes from Camp Washburn about his improved health from the dysentery from which he has suffered, medicine he took, his heavy responsibilities caring for sick soldiers, and anticipation of leaving for Virginia on Friday. He writes of missing home.

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                    Title:   Joseph Rutherford to [Hannah Rutherford]

                    Creator:  Rutherford, Joseph Chase, 1818-1902

                    Date:  1862-09-15

                    Resource type:   correspondence

                    Dr. Rutherford writes of camp life in the open air at "Camp Briggs" located along the Potomac River, of the proximity to the rebels and of being able to hear the firing of guns. He writes of being on the move, in the saddle all day, of having no tents to sleep in and being very happy with his situation.

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                      Title:   Joseph Rutherford to [Hannah Rutherford]

                      Creator:  Rutherford, Joseph Chase, 1818-1902

                      Date:  1862-09-28

                      Resource type:   correspondence

                      Rutherford writes of the illness of the his assistant surgeon, Dr. Clarke, of his own excellent health, and all he is enjoying at camp including a hive of bees. He writes of fresh meat, fowl and fruit available to eat, of a companion dog and of his horse he admires so much. He speaks of the difference in military medical care of the soldiers and notes how the care results in more or fewer sick soldiers and of deaths.

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                        Title:   Joseph Rutherford to [Hannah Rutherford]

                        Creator:  Rutherford, Joseph Chase, 1818-1902

                        Date:  1862-10-07

                        Resource type:   correspondence

                        Rutherford writes to his wife, Hannah, about life in camp along the Potomac River. Many soldiers have fevers, his assistant surgeon is ill but he continues to keep up with all the work needing to be done. He writes of a 17 year old male runaway slave named Moses, who takes care of him and his horse, Lady Lightfoot and complains of how slow the mail is.

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                          Title:   Joseph Rutherford to [Hannah Rutherford]

                          Creator:  Rutherford, Joseph Chase, 1818-1902

                          Date:  1862-10-19

                          Resource type:   correspondence

                          Rutherford writes to wife, Hannnah,about the regiment's movement to his camp at Seneca Creek in Maryland. Topics include what was involved in the moving of the troops at night, the baggage he carried on horseback, his pride for his mare, of feeling proud to serve his country in time of need, of him being put in charge of building of a hospital to be named after him and called the Rutherford Hospital.

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                            Title:   Joseph Rutherford to [Hannah Rutherford]

                            Creator:  Rutherford, Joseph Chase, 1818-1902

                            Date:  1862-11-05

                            Resource type:   correspondence

                            Dr. Rutherford writes of a battle near Leesburgh some 14 miles from the camp near Seneca Creek (Maryland?) the outcome of which is not known, of the filthy condition of some of the soldiers, of an epidemic of Typhoid fever with the loss of over a dozen men to the illness. He writes of his winter living accommodations of which he is very happy and mentions "Mose the Moor", the runaway black slave boy who tends to him. Also writes of a review from the Brigadier General, and the health of Rutherford’s family.

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                              Title:   Joseph Rutherford to [Hannah Rutherford]

                              Creator:  Rutherford, Joseph Chase, 1818-1902

                              Date:  1862-11-15

                              Resource type:   correspondence

                              Rutherford writes of the regiment's movement to Camp Grove Offults Cup, Maryland. Also of his contempt for soldiers who want to shirk their military duties, of how well the truly sick soldiers are cared for in the hospital, and a slanderous report written about the Surgeon which Rutherford firmly denies, gives his side of the story including military discipline and an account of who a man named Murk who is responsible for the false report.

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                                Title:   Joseph Rutherford to [Hannah Rutherford]

                                Creator:  Rutherford, Joseph Chase, 1818-1902

                                Date:  1864-03-29

                                Resource type:   correspondence

                                A down beat letter that includes the sickness of his children, reference to a newspaper article Rutherford wrote about an officer, rainy weather making him feel homesick and the death of Major Bartlett.

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                                  Title:   Joseph Rutherford to [Hannah Rutherford]

                                  Creator:  Rutherford, Joseph Chase, 1818-1902

                                  Date:  1864-04-05

                                  Resource type:   correspondence

                                  Topics include relief that the children are well, Hannah attending a Sugar party, discussion about military pay, gift of a maple cake from a sick soldier he attended, of a news article written by Rutherford entitled "Relation between Citizen and Soldier.

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                                    Title:   Joseph Rutherford to [Hannah Rutherford]

                                    Creator:  Rutherford, Joseph Chase, 1818-1902

                                    Date:  1864-04-10

                                    Resource type:   correspondence

                                    Camping in the field near Culpeper, Va. topics include writing articles for home newspapers, disliking the idea of being labeled a "newspaper correspondent", becomes poetic and philosophical reflecting on the current day's beautiful weather, of his deep feelings for receiving letters from home, of his daughter Helen’s progress with writing composition, and Baker and Cuttings visit to camp.

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                                      Title:   Joseph Rutherford to [Hannah Rutherford]

                                      Creator:  Rutherford, Joseph Chase, 1818-1902

                                      Date:  1864-04-14

                                      Resource type:   correspondence

                                      Expresses concern about Hannah's health, the political scandal over General Butler not searching baggage of Mrs. (Martha) Todd White [Mary Todd Lincoln's half sister], not seeking higher military pay, receiving sugar from home, prediction about Lincoln and the future election, asking his daughter, Helen, to not attend school but help teach her younger siblings to read and write.

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                                        Title:   Joseph Rutherford to [Hannah Rutherford]

                                        Creator:  Rutherford, Joseph Chase, 1818-1902

                                        Date:  1864-04-16

                                        Resource type:   correspondence

                                        Very brief letter stating having been paid a day prior and inclusion of $20 with this letter with more to follow in the days to come.

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                                          Title:   Joseph Rutherford to [Hannah Rutherford]

                                          Creator:  Rutherford, Joseph Chase, 1818-1902

                                          Date:  1864-04-19

                                          Resource type:   correspondence

                                          Topics include additional sending more pay home to Hannah, an imminent march, enduring low spirits, sending a photograph of Lt. Tabor, instructions on where to send letters, of the sudden death of a fellow soldier's horse, and other stories of soldiers in the war.

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                                            Title:   Joseph Rutherford to [Hannah Rutherford]

                                            Creator:  Rutherford, Joseph Chase, 1818-1902

                                            Date:  1864-04-21

                                            Resource type:   correspondence

                                            Writes of correspondence from home, the possibility that all letter writing may be banned by soldiers in the Army, of being restricted from the the battlefield & to stay at the hospital doing work there, and an explanation of the value of a surgeon’s service to the Army.

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                                              Title:   Joseph Rutherford to [Hannah Rutherford]

                                              Creator:  Rutherford, Joseph Chase, 1818-1902

                                              Date:  1864-04-22

                                              Resource type:   correspondence

                                              Writes giving advice to medicate his ailing wife and sympathizing with her over her work raising the children and taking care of the home.

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                                                Title:   Joseph Rutherford to [Hannah Rutherford]

                                                Creator:  Rutherford, Joseph Chase, 1818-1902

                                                Date:  1864-04-24

                                                Resource type:   correspondence

                                                Writes of the saddened tone among the soldiers in camp as people suspect an advance to the front lines of battle; honors received by General Grant, and discussion of a newspaper's editor on predictions of the next presidential candidate.

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                                                  Title:   Joseph Rutherford to [Hannah Rutherford]

                                                  Creator:  Rutherford, Joseph Chase, 1818-1902

                                                  Date:  1864-04-25

                                                  Resource type:   correspondence

                                                  Rutherford is wax poetic in his writing of Spring weather in Virginia, discusses Hannah's previous letter disclosing her political opinions, offers up his him political views, states the resignation of Col. Jewett (Albert B. Jewett?) due to poor health, and the changes that come with new leadership.

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