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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: ("Banks, Nathaniel Prentiss1816-1894") remove term

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Title:   Charles C. Canning to William Wirt Henry

Creator:  Canning, Charles C., b. 1828

Date:  1862-05-26

Resource type:   correspondence

Topics include the defeat of General Banks (Battle of Winchester, May 25) , the promotion of Lt. Col. Stannard, and the request to William Henry to raise a company so that Charles Canning may become a captain. Canning mentions orders from McClellan to prepare for "a bloody battle," but major fighting doesn't ensue until May 31st (Battle of Seven Pines, May 31), when Confederates take advantage of Union positions on the south side of the Chickahominy River.

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    Title:   Henry A. Smith to Family

    Creator:  Smith, Henry A., d. 1864

    Date:  1862-04-20

    Resource type:   correspondence

    Topics include the journey from Harpers Ferry to Newmarket, reference to General Banks division, detailed description of the suicide of Major Colins' Colonel, Michigan Calvary refusing to obey orders to charge the enemy, the Calvary rode away, mention of Lieut Col Kellogg and a Col Ashby, an encounter with the rebels that resulted in three rebel deaths and two rebel prisoners, getting pay.

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      Title:   Henry A. Smith to Family

      Creator:  Smith, Henry A., d. 1864

      Date:  1862-05-16

      Resource type:   correspondence

      Topics include General Banks' Division falling back to Strasburgh, the frequent skirmishes with Ashbys Cavalry, an account of a man in Company I who shot a rebel, Smith's hand wounded by a fellow soldier playing carelessly with a sabre, men eating well, mention of Oliver Cushman of Hartland who was promoted to second Lieutenant, reference to military pay.

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        Title:   John Lester Barstow to Laura

        Creator:  Barstow, John Lester, 1832-1913

        Date:  1862-12-14

        Resource type:   correspondence

        General Banks supersedes General Butler, the capture of one of the rebel officers, and the dishonorable discharge of Lieutenant Day.

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          Title:   John Lester Barstow to Laura

          Creator:  Barstow, John Lester, 1832-1913

          Date:  1863-03-26

          Resource type:   correspondence

          Topics include Barstow's sickness, of him sent to New Orleans for rest but ordered back to his regiment as Heitzel's Brigade was to retreat, a very hard rain that flooded the camp, Admiral David Farragut at the siege of Port Hudson (on March 14), the retreat of General Banks and his army to Baton Rouge, his feelings other southern cities will soon fall and he will be going home, burning of the steamer, BioBio and perhaps the burning and loss of the mail with it and requests for photographs.

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            Title:   John Lester Barstow to Laura

            Creator:  Barstow, John Lester, 1832-1913

            Date:  1864-02-21

            Resource type:   correspondence

            Topics include much activity in camp, the reenlisting of 361 men, news from Washington about enlistment dates, reorganizing of divisions 7 brigades, Col. Stephen Thomas in command of regiment but no longer in command of brigade, the death of two in New Orleans from illness, reference to Gen. Nathaniel Prentiss Banks.

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              Title:   John Lester Barstow to Laura

              Creator:  Barstow, John Lester, 1832-1913

              Date:  1864-05-19

              Resource type:   correspondence

              Topics include increasing numbers of sickly soldiers in camp, conditions of the hospital seized by Barstow for the injured, many wounded also homesick, projections for future marching orders.

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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:   Wheelock G. Veazey to Julia A. Veazey

                  Creator:  Veazey, Wheelock G., 1835-1898

                  Date:  1862-11-19

                  Resource type:   correspondence

                  Topics include orders for Veazey and Proctor to be ready to move to Harpers Ferry (W. Va.), the desire to go to Texas with General Banks, and the excitement of Veazey’s wife’s pregnancy.

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