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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: ("Butler, (Benjamin Franklin)Mr1818-1893") remove term

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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:   John Lester Barstow to ?

      Creator:  Barstow, John Lester, 1832-1913

      Date:  1862-05-18

      Resource type:   correspondence

      Topics include the comfortable lodgings of the regiment in New Orleans, the cost of food items, and the state of New Orleans when the Vermont Regiment arrived.

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        Title:   John Lester Barstow to Laura

        Creator:  Barstow, John Lester, 1832-1913

        Date:  1862-12-14

        Resource type:   correspondence

        Topics include General Banks superseding 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:  1862-05-03

          Resource type:   correspondence

          Topics include an overview of the daily schedule in camp, firing on Fort Jackson and Fort St. Philips by General Butler, General Phelps, and about 10,000 men that lasted for three days, and orders for the rest of the regiment to head for New Orleans.

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            Title:   Justus F. Gale to Brother

            Creator:  Gale, Justus F., 1837-1863

            Date:  1862-05-25

            Resource type:   correspondence

            Topics include the process of choosing new officers and police in New Orleans, Gen. Butler's orders to the N.O. police being refused, illness among some of the soldiers, fruit berries available, other provisions few and expensive, summary of all the letters that have been received by Justus Gale, and how welcome the Vermont regiment is in New Orleans.

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              Title:   Justus F. Gale to Sister

              Creator:  Gale, Justus F., 1837-1863

              Date:  1862-05-15

              Resource type:   correspondence

              Topics include leaving Ship Island, being towed back up the Mississippi River to camp in New Orleans, the poor conditions of Fort Jackson and Philips, traveling into the city, the positive attitude of the natives of New Orleans toward Gale and companion now that it is occupied by the Union, General Butler redistributing provisions to the poor of the city that were captured from the rebels

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                Title:   Volney S. Fullam to B. F. Butler

                Creator:  Fullam, Volney S.

                Date:  1862-08-18

                Resource type:   correspondence

                Topics include vacancies in the regiment caused by the death and sickness of some officers, the resignation and guilt of misconduct by Lt. G. W. Sheldon, and the intention to send a list of promotions.

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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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                    Title:   William C. Holbrook to Frank

                    Creator:  Holbrook, William Cune, 1842-1904

                    Date:  1862-11-21

                    Resource type:   correspondence

                    To his brother Frank, William writes of the findings of the Court of Inquiry that was held by General Butler regarding the conduct of the 7th Vt. Infantry Regiment during the Battle of Baton Rouge in August; his decided opinion of a soldier's unreliable word; his expectation of having comfortable living quarters in Pensacola as his regiment has moved there (to which he adds he well deserves as he has lived in "bush houses long enough"); mentions the steamer Cumbria and of his having a fever for the past several days.

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                      Title:   William C. Holbrook to Frederick Holbrook

                      Creator:  Holbrook, William Cune, 1842-1904

                      Date:  1862-05-27

                      Resource type:   correspondence

                      Topics include the Union gaining control of New Orleans, General Shepley becoming Military Commandant of the city, and the news that the Vermont Brigade has been gaining control on the Potomac. Evaluations of Generals Butler and Shepley. Also mentions the "contrabands" or slaves coming within Union lines. (Butler would later start recruiting African Americans to be Union soldiers.)

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                        Title:   William C. Holbrook to Frederick Holbrook

                        Creator:  Holbrook, William Cune, 1842-1904

                        Date:  1862-11-05

                        Resource type:   correspondence

                        Topics include a description of the Court of Inquiry that was held by General Butler, his disdain for Gen. Butler; sending men to Vt to recruit for the regiment, the wish to establish recruiting stations by the Canadian border, praise for the French Canadians as soldiers and recommending the Quartermaster Morse for a promotion.

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                          Title:   William C. Holbrook to Mother

                          Creator:  Holbrook, William Cune, 1842-1904

                          Date:  1862-08-14

                          Resource type:   correspondence

                          Topics include the number of men that were killed and wounded at the battle of Baton Rouge August 5th, lost of his "boy Jack" [does he refer to a Black man in his service or to a child?], the loss of Col. Roberts, the unpopularity of the current officer Col. Faillam, the men's request that Holbrook replace Faillam, Holbrook’s desire to go into a regiment located in Virginia, Gen. Phelps and his opinions on the slave question, Gen. Butler's compliments to the regiment for its brave conduct in the Baton Rouge battle, sending home of the Secessionist's flag retrieved from Fort Pike, desire for newspapers from Vt.

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                            Title:  

                            Creator:  Barney, Valentine G., 1834-1889

                            Date:  1863-11-26

                            Resource type:   correspondence

                            Barney writes of his love for his wife, and comments on news from home. He gives his wife information on mail regulations and the cost of sending letters and other items. As well, he describes what the officers will be eating for Thanksgiving and comments that General Butler has aged since he last saw him.

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