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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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Title:   Bradford Sparrow to Parents and Brothers

Creator:  Sparrow, Bradford

Date:  1864-02-12

Resource type:   correspondence

Writes his health is good, there was a battle on the Rapidan on the 5th, orders given to move out, he on picket duty to remain, could hear the muskets firing, reads in the newspaper Rebels panic stricken in Richmond by Butler's approach, hears talk of moving Confederate capital to Columbia, South Carolina, paymaster in camp, will send money home, has played cards on picket duty to pass the time, thinks folks at home have gotten his picture (photo), expresses appreciation for berries sent.

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    Title:   Henry A. Smith to Family

    Creator:  Smith, Henry A., d. 1864

    Date:  1862-03-30

    Resource type:   correspondence

    Topics include the journey from Annapolis to Harpers Ferry, Henry Smith's good health, liking the hand made shirt he received from home very much, keeps his brandy with him, burning of the post office by the Confederates, requests more postage stamps.

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      Title:   Henry A. Smith to Family

      Creator:  Smith, Henry A., d. 1864

      Date:  1862-05-27

      Resource type:   correspondence

      From Williams Post, Maryland Smith writes 2 letters one dated May 27 and one May 28. (First Battle of Winchester, May 25, 1862). Topics include a terrible battle in and near Winchester in which he escaped injury, of many men from the regiment being lost but many returning to camp the next day, rebels suffering great losses, mentions General Shields, General Fremont and General Banks, cautions given to his siblings at home regarding being in and near the water.

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        Title:   Henry A. Smith to Family

        Creator:  Smith, Henry A., d. 1864

        Date:  1862-06-07

        Resource type:   correspondence

        Topics include the defeat and retreat of the regiment to Williamsport (Battle of Harrisonburg?? June 6), telling of southern woman firing upon union soldiers, of the shooting death of a drummer boy by a southern woman, description of a rebel regiment's clothing recognized as the Louisiana Tigers, transporting the sick and wounded by wagon to hospitals, a summary of the men who were lost or wounded.

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          Title:   Henry A. Smith to Family

          Creator:  Smith, Henry A., d. 1864

          Date:  1862-07-05

          Resource type:   correspondence

          From Snickers Ferry on the Shenandoah River topics include news from Richmond, rumor that Stonewall Jackson was killed, having enough to eat including local peaches & cherries found in Virginia, horses well fed, men on picket duty, newspaper report that General McClellan taken prisoner along with 40,000 of his men, and Henry Smith's homesickness.

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            Title:   Henry A. Smith to Family

            Creator:  Smith, Henry A., d. 1864

            Date:  1862-08-14

            Resource type:   correspondence

            Six miles south of Culpeper (Virginia) two letters included dated Aug 15 and Aug 15. Topics include an exchange of fire near the Orange Court House, the numerous rebel deaths, injuries, and prisoners, and another terrible battle at Culpeper with references to Jackson, Banks and John Pope.

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              Title:   Henry A. Smith to Family

              Creator:  Smith, Henry A., d. 1864

              Date:  1862-09-24

              Resource type:   correspondence

              Topics include Henry Smith losing his horse, camp punishment of John H. Willard for disobeying an order, and the numerous men who were wounded and killed.

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                Title:   Justus F. Gale to Sister

                Creator:  Gale, Justus F., 1837-1863

                Date:  1862-07-18

                Resource type:   correspondence

                Topics include the good health of Justus Gale, the food available at Algiers including confiscated beef from the locals, standing guard for 12 hour shifts, killing alligators, writes of some of his comrades, the sickness of Sargent 2nd Class.Chas. C. Martin with inflammation of the bowels, the capture of Richmond and Vicksburg, mentions Confederate Gen. G. T. Beauregard, receiving a copy of the Green Mountain Freeman and refers to his religious faith.

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