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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:    Recipient: ("Gale,Samantha A., 1832-1892") remove term

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Title:   John W. Merriam to Friend Samantha

Creator:  Merriam, John W., d. 1863

Date:  1862-09-04

Resource type:   correspondence

Writing from Algiers, La. topics include the false report of Justus's death and an attack by 1500 Rebels on a train leaving Desallemands and heading for Algiers that left 30 to 40 soldiers wounded or killed.

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    Title:   Justus E. Gale to Sister

    Creator:  Gale, Justus F., 1837-1863

    Date:  1862-11-29

    Resource type:   correspondence

    Topics include the movement of the regiment to Brashear City, of city purchases by Justus Gale of barrels of apples which he resold by the piece, of buying tobacco, postage stamps, writing supplies, local terms for cash money, of commanding officers of 3rd Louisiana colored regiment and the dry weather.

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      Title:   Justus F. Gale to Sister

      Creator:  Gale, Justus F., 1837-1863

      Date:  1862-03-07

      Resource type:   correspondence

      Writing to his sister topics include the journey from Camp Holbrook to Ship Island through New York via train car, mentions 45 rebel officers being taken prisoner at Fort Donelson, hopes the war to be over soon, thinks of his family back home and puts his faith in God to rule over all.

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        Title:   Justus F. Gale to Sister

        Creator:  Gale, Justus F., 1837-1863

        Date:  1862-06-14

        Resource type:   correspondence

        Topics include the movement of the company from Algiers to Lafourche, a description of the living situation at Algiers, the good food at camp including fresh fruit berries, water quality not good.

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          Title:   Justus F. Gale to Sister

          Creator:  Gale, Justus F., 1837-1863

          Date:  1862-04-21

          Resource type:   correspondence

          Topics include the improvement in Justus Gale's health, the cost of food items in camp, the death of three men in the regiment, the attempted suicide of a man in Company F, mentions "sugar place" back home in Elmore and writes about the lack of information in camp about the rest of the Union Army.

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            Title:   Justus F. Gale to Sister

            Creator:  Gale, Justus F., 1837-1863

            Date:  1863-01-25

            Resource type:   correspondence

            Topics include the sore on his hand and how it is healing, the summer-like weather and how the birds in Louisiana are different from the birds in Vermont, their campsite in Thibodeaux, Louisiana, and how much he dislikes southern cooking, which he calls “niger stoge” but has fresh fruit to eat. He also writes about how much money he has made in speculation and of sending home a ring made from a beef bone by their drummer Walter Barnes.

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              Title:   Justus F. Gale to Sister

              Creator:  Gale, Justus F., 1837-1863

              Date:  1863-05-01

              Resource type:   correspondence

              Gale writes a long description of his company’s role in the Battle of Fort Bisland on April 12th and 13th, and is pleased by General Banks’ praise of the performance of the 8th Vermont Regiment. He also writes of his pleasure at receiving a photograph of Emily Taft of Barre, and his wish that he could have photographs of all his family, though he would be unable to carry them all in his wallet. As well, he writes of picking up Confederate money from a house that was abandoned before the advance of the “damd yankees” and of seeing rich clothing that he wished he could send home.

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                Title:   Justus F. Gale to Sister

                Creator:  Gale, Justus F., 1837-1863

                Date:  1863-06-07

                Resource type:   correspondence

                Gale writes of receiving several letters from home, and describes the position of the Union army at Port Hudson. He writes of how the infantry is screening the artillery as they set up guns to bombard the fort, and of the number of deserters that are crossing their lines. He also writes of the fresh meat they are getting and how cayenne sent from home goes well with it. As well, he writes of how the army ignores Sundays, often marching long distances on those days, and that he wishes he were at the meeting house at home.

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