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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:    Topic: ("Armies Medical and sanitary affairs") remove term

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Title:   Bradford Sparrow to Parents and Brothers

Creator:  Sparrow, Bradford

Date:  1865-05-12

Resource type:   correspondence

Writes of receiving good medical care with plenty of good food, alcohol to drink, health is improving, may be transported to Annapolis, Maryland ; hopes to be home soon ; mentions Gen. Grant may discharge all the hospital boys. Letter head U.S. Christian Commission stationery.

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    Title:   Erastus Fairbanks to John Wolcott Phelps and [Daniel] Roberts to Erastus Fairbanks

    Creator:  Fairbanks, Erastus

    Date:  1861-06-04

    Resource type:   correspondence

    First letter is from Governor Erastus Fairbanks writing from St Johnsbury, Vt. Topic includes scandalous reports of officers in the 1st Regiment regarding the neglect of sick soldiers by the surgeon and assistant surgeon in military hospital. Second letter to the Gov. from Danl. Roberts writes of the sources of the reports and that the matter requires investigation.

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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:  1862-11-27

        Resource type:   correspondence

        Topics include Rutherford’s hope to send money home to his wife Hannah, of anticipation of having a Thanksgiving dinner in camp, the good health of the entire family, of the Colonel praising Rutherford for his performance of medical duties and of the man Murk who wrote slanderous reports of the surgeons being put on trial.

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          Title:   Joseph Rutherford to [Hannah Rutherford]

          Creator:  Rutherford, Joseph Chase, 1818-1902

          Date:  1862-12-25

          Resource type:   correspondence

          Topics include the regiment guarding the Potomac River at Whitesford, the Rebels gathering on the hills opposite the camp, of anticipating Christmas dinner and a medical disaster at Washington requiring more personnel in the medical corps.

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            Title:   Joseph Rutherford to [Hannah Rutherford]

            Creator:  Rutherford, Joseph Chase, 1818-1902

            Date:  1863-05-21

            Resource type:   correspondence

            Two letters dated May 21st and 22nd topics include the sickness of J.C. Rutherford's son Jacob, sharpers (slang) insulting his wife and children, $25 sent home, regiment preparations for a raid from the Rebels from across the river, Rutherford being praised for having the best brigade hospital by the inspector and Dr. Childe, and a description of an ambulance drill for medical attendants and nurses.

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              Title:   Joseph Rutherford to [Hannah Rutherford]

              Creator:  Rutherford, Joseph Chase, 1818-1902

              Date:  1863-08-02

              Resource type:   correspondence

              Writing in the field in camp near Rappahannock Station, Warrenton and the Rappahannock River topics include thinking of his family, soldiers dealing with body lice and the hardships of camp life.

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                Title:   Joseph Rutherford to [Hannah Rutherford]

                Creator:  Rutherford, Joseph Chase, 1818-1902

                Date:  1863-08-27

                Resource type:   correspondence

                Writing from camp in the field near Sulphur Springs, Virginia topics include reference to postal service, the sickness of a couple of men, the good health of Rutherford in spite of the lack of food, his encounter with a swarm of wild bees, not suffering from his rheumatism as in the past, reference to lice as grey backs and the hope that he will receive the promotion.

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                  Title:   Joseph Rutherford to [Hannah Rutherford]

                  Creator:  Rutherford, Joseph Chase, 1818-1902

                  Date:  1863-09-27

                  Resource type:   correspondence

                  Topics include receiving postage stamp requested, criticism of a doctor named Patch for his incompetence, the expectation of a big battle but not having it yet, a social visit with Captain Bartlett, his concern for the large number of sick men in the other regiments stationed next to his while his regiment is healthier and of writing a report regarding this concern to the Surgeon in Chief of the Army.

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                    Title:   Joseph Rutherford to [Hannah Rutherford]

                    Creator:  Rutherford, Joseph Chase, 1818-1902

                    Date:  1863-11-17

                    Resource type:   correspondence

                    Topics include having a difficult march in the rain, being in charge of the Ambulance train, pursuing shelter for the sick men, taking possession of the "Wallack Mansion" for the men & having made it into a General Hospital, having to destroy his Indian blankets along with other goods last June when leaving Harpers Ferry, Dr. Smith (asst surgeon) resigned due to his wife's insistence that he return home, a guess as to when the war might be over, the pleasure of having greens to dine on and the good health of the children.

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                      Title:   Joseph Rutherford to [Hannah Rutherford]

                      Creator:  Rutherford, Joseph Chase, 1818-1902

                      Date:  1863-12-13

                      Resource type:   correspondence

                      Topics include a his experiences on November 27th in the Battle of Mine Run that took place near Locust Grove (Orange County, Virginia), meager food for Thanksgiving meal, marching to the forest known as the "Wilderness", the way in which the wounded were cared for, praise for Capt. Steele and the service all the men did for their country.

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                        Title:   Joseph Spafford to Mary Jane Spafford

                        Creator:  Spafford, Joseph, 1837-1866

                        Date:  1863-05-21

                        Resource type:   correspondence

                        Topics include a trip to Washington, D.C. to stock up on clothing and supplies, the high cost of staying in Washington, Ned getting badly wounded in the foot, music sent home "On the Shores of the Tennessee", complaint regarding mustering the men out as decided by the State officers.

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                          Title:   William C. Holbrook to Frank

                          Creator:  Holbrook, William Cune, 1842-1904

                          Date:  1862-05-01

                          Resource type:   correspondence

                          Writing from Ship Island to his brother Frank topics include the barbarian style of living, drills going well, good news about the Battle at Shiloh (April 6 & 7) and Yorktown (April 5 to May 4), gunboats and general good sanitary conditions of the Regiment.

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                            Title:   William C. Holbrook to Frederick Holbrook

                            Creator:  Holbrook, William Cune, 1842-1904

                            Date:  1862-07-23

                            Resource type:   correspondence

                            Writing to his father, Gov. Holbrook, topics include the need for medical aid because of the numerous men who are sick due to lack of sanitation, unhealthy environment (mentions miasma, vapor from swamp believed to cause disease) and lack of medicine because of some blunder, speaks of doctors doing what they can with what little they have to do with and praise for Dr. Blanchard; the rebel batteries firing upon a boat, and Adj. Parker going home on sick leave.

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                              Title:   William Wirt Henry to Mary Jane Henry

                              Creator:  Henry, William Wirt, 1831-1915

                              Date:  1864-06-25

                              Resource type:   correspondence

                              Henry writes that he is getting along well and that Captain Dillingham and Lieutenant Thompson are both at the Hospital with him. They are all staying with Assistant Surgeon Dr. Rutherford and the Chaplain, Edwin M. Haynes. As well, Henry writes that because of his experience in the Hospital, he now has a greater appreciation of the Sanitary Commission and the Christian Commission, and he asks his wife to give the Sanitary Commission a ten dollar donation.

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                                Title:   [Harry N.] Worthen to John Wolcott Phelps

                                Creator:  Worthen, Harry N.

                                Date:  1861-06-02

                                Resource type:   correspondence

                                Writes from Camp Butler, Newport News, Virginia. Topics include a report of the hospital and a list of names of the sick men and names of the steward and attendants. Mentions Fort Monroe, the unsanitary conditions of the hospital, how the sick men have been neglected by the steward and attendants.

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