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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: ("Phelps, John Wolcott") remove term  Topic: ("United StatesArmy.Vermont Infantry Regiment, 7th (1862-1866).Company C") remove term

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Title:   E. V. N. Hitchcock to John Wolcott Phelps

Creator:  Hitchcock, E. V. N.

Date:  1863-03-14

Resource type:   correspondence

Hitchcock learns that Phelps is nominated to be a Major General. Concludes letter with another carefully worded appeal to Phelps for a better position, preferably under Phelps's command. (Hitchcock underlines the word "inactivity.") Details in between include mail that has arrived, including a Brattleboro newspaper (title unknown); a new "conscript act" (Conscription Act: passed by the Union in late February and signed by Lincoln in March, 1863); preparations for summer and the anticipation of a large shipment of ice; officers busy with a Court Martial; and the continued good health of the regiment.

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    Title:   Frederick Holbrook to John Wolcott Phelps

    Creator:  Holbrook, Frederick

    Date:  1862-08-08

    Resource type:   correspondence

    Topics include Mrs. Holbrook requesting General Phelps to forward her letters to her son and Frederick Holbrook inquiring after the sick men and the number of surgeons. Holbrook expresses frustration that the Vt. Regiments (7th & 8th) are still not under Phelps's command, per an agreement with Gen. Butler. Holbrook also mentions Phelps's "Dark Brigade," black troops that Phelps recruited in Louisiana without permission from the War Dept. (Phelps resigned in Aug., 1862.)

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      Title:   Frederick Holbrook to John Wolcott Phelps

      Creator:  Holbrook, Frederick

      Date:  1862-03-10

      Resource type:   correspondence

      Upbeat letter delivered to Gen. Phelps by the writer's son, William C. Holbrook, who apparently turned down an offer to join Phelps's staff. The writer, Gov. Holbrook, lavishes praise on Vermont officers and soldiers (including his son), and sends warm wishes for success to Phelps, sharing his conviction that "the Union Cause must triumph." Holbrook concludes with some reflections on the difficulty of being a wartime governor.

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        Title:   Frederick Holbrook to John Wolcott Phelps

        Creator:  Holbrook, Frederick

        Date:  1862-05-02

        Resource type:   correspondence

        Topics include the arrival of the 7th and 8th Vermont Regiments at Ship Island, off the coast of Miss., and arrangements with the War Department for wounded troops to be sent home. Holbrook mentions the Battle of Yorktown (April 5-May 4, 1862), esp. the "affair" on April 16 that left ca. 100 Vermont soldiers wounded. Holbrook is in charge of the U.S. Marine Hospital in Burlington, Vt.

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          Title:   Frederick Holbrook to John Wolcott Phelps

          Creator:  Holbrook, Frederick

          Date:  1862-07-27

          Resource type:   correspondence

          Topics include the President calling for 300,000 additional troops, the wish that the National Government will develop a decisive policy to "proclaim war to the knife," and a description of Frederick Holbrook's son Major Will. Holbrook continues to express his admiration for Phelps and offer him greater forces to command.

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            Title:   W. C. Holbrook to John Wolcott Phelps

            Creator:  Holbrook, W. C.

            Date:  1863-04-18

            Resource type:   correspondence

            Topics include investigation of the 7th Vermont Regiment's role in the Battle of Baton Rouge, and the suggestion to bring charges against General Butler. The writer, Col. Holbrook, apologizes for not representing the regiment as well as he could have, were he more experienced in the Courts of Inquiry. Holbrook mentions "a good deal of marching and counter marching" in the Baton Rouge area.

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