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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: ("Families of military personnel") remove term

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Title:   Charles F. Bancroft to Clarissa Bancroft

Creator:  Bancroft, Charles F., 1835-1862

Date:  1862-01-15

Resource type:   correspondence

Topics include drills, a prediction that the fighting will end by June, and inquiries about home. In addition to myriad details regarding weather, food, and correspondence, Bancroft inserts thoughtful questions, e.g.: "Clara do folks in our neighborhood manifest much interest in my being out here? do they seem to care a great deal about it?" He also refers to the lull in fighting--and resulting boredom-- that precedes Lincoln's general order of Jan. 27 for federal armies to advance.

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    Title:   Charles F. Bancroft to Parents

    Creator:  Bancroft, Charles F., 1835-1862

    Date:  1862-02-02

    Resource type:   correspondence

    Topics include reminiscences of church meetings in Vt., stimulated by his attendance of them at camp; how much he enjoys the supplies (footwear, clothing, food, brandy) from home; some medical treatment that was improved with brandy; his appreciation of family and home; a few words about postal delivery; and a map of the South he plans to give to his father. -- Because of winter, the war has slackened off a bit. Lincoln is still trying to force McClellan to act.

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      Title:   E. P. Mason to [Asa P.] Blunt

      Creator:  Mason, E. P.

      Resource type:   correspondence

      Topics include E. P. Mason asking Roswell Farnham for his help in protecting his sick family.

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        Title:   Edward P. Stone to John F. Stone

        Creator:  Stone, Edward P., 1830-1920

        Date:  1862-08-08

        Resource type:   correspondence

        From camp along the James River, Va. he writes of money sent to his father, box received from home, fashioning furnishings with items available, mentions his horse, men may be required to move, will regret having to leave the brick church being used for worship, church cushioned & carpeted & has an organ, perhaps a gift from Mrs. President Harrison, missing soldiers learned to be prisoners exchanged unharmed.

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          Title:   George F. Davis to Smiley Bancroft

          Creator:  Davis, George F., 1815-1901

          Date:  1862-05-18

          Resource type:   correspondence

          Topics include plans to return Charles Bancroft's possessions to his father. One senses that the quartermaster is defending the military's hospital care in response to a complaint from Bancroft's father.

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            Title:   George W. Quimby to Emeline B. Masta

            Creator:  Quimby, George W., 1835-1862

            Date:  1862-01-26

            Resource type:   correspondence

            Topics include a "miniature" (porttrait?) that Quimby wants to send home; instructions for his sister to collect on a debt owed by Captain Tucker; and expectation of the Regiment advancing. The order to advance would come from Lincoln himself on Jan. 27, 1862, and would be his first General War Order.

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              Title:   Henry A. Smith to Clarissa A. Smith

              Creator:  Smith, Henry A., d. 1864

              Date:  1863-02-06

              Resource type:   correspondence

              A short letter thanking his mother for the box she sent. Although generally satisfied with the food, he wishes the requested socks had arrived as well. He adds a brief correction: "We do not belong to Burnsides Army but belong to the defences of Washington." Weather in February has been bad, and March will probably be just as bad.

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                Title:   Henry A. Smith to Clarissa A. Smith

                Creator:  Smith, Henry A., d. 1864

                Date:  1863-03-16

                Resource type:   correspondence

                Topics include resuming encampment after living indoors for a while. An early March skirmish in Aldie, Va. is mentioned, as is the capture of General E.H. Stoughton in bed, in a daring raid by CSA Capt. John S. Mosby at Fairfax County Court House. Mosby managed to capture dozens of union soldiers, learn the "Countersign," or password, and go wherever he wanted. (The embarrassment ended Stoughton's military career.) Smith mentions his wish for a photograph of his siblings, and his wish for news from home.

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                  Title:   Henry A. Smith to Clarissa A. Smith

                  Creator:  Smith, Henry A., d. 1864

                  Date:  1863-11-20

                  Resource type:   correspondence

                  Topics include receiving a letter from home, his hope to be released and return home, and news about others from his regiment who were killed or wounded at Hagerstown on July 6.

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                    Title:   Henry A. Smith to Mother

                    Creator:  Smith, Henry A., d. 1864

                    Date:  1862-11-20

                    Resource type:   correspondence

                    Writing from Chantilla, Virginia topics include the anticipation of receiving a package from home. Box directed to the camp at Alexandria for a few items were sent on to his current location.Mentions his good health and that he often feels better out scouting than when he stays in camp. States fellow Vermonter taken prisoner. Inquires about folks and activities at home.

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                      Title:   Henry Harrison Wilder to ?

                      Creator:  Wilder, Henry Harrison

                      Date:  ?-?-?

                      Resource type:   correspondence

                      Topics include Wilder's uncertainties regarding if he shall ever see his family again and if the regiment is going to advance, as well as sending items home.

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                        Title:   Henry Harrison Wilder to Mother

                        Creator:  Wilder, Henry Harrison

                        Date:  1862-01-17

                        Resource type:   correspondence

                        Topics include a request for Wilder's mother to send him papers, envelopes, butter, cheese, sausage, and any other essential items.

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                          Title:   Henry Harrison Wilder to Mother

                          Creator:  Wilder, Henry Harrison

                          Date:  1862-01-26

                          Resource type:   correspondence

                          Topics include marching orders, the cold weather, and the way the regiment sets up their guns so they are always ready. The order to march probably refers to Lincoln's General War Order No. 1, an attempt to prod his generals to act. By "Chatilerz" Wilder may have meant "chattelers," or those assigned the duty of moving war materiel.

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                            Title:   Henry Harrison Wilder to Mother

                            Creator:  Wilder, Henry Harrison

                            Date:  1862-06-11

                            Resource type:   correspondence

                            Topics include clarifying things that were written home about Merrill, what Wilder will do once he leaves the army alive, and a man named Damon Hunter returning home after having his leg amputated. One Civil War chronology notes on this date "little or no action on the main front in Virginia along the Chickahominy."

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                              Title:   Henry Harrison Wilder to Mother

                              Creator:  Wilder, Henry Harrison

                              Date:  1862-01-30

                              Resource type:   correspondence

                              Topics include Wilder asking his mother to send the items he requested as soon as possible.

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                                Title:   Henry Harrison Wilder to Mother

                                Creator:  Wilder, Henry Harrison

                                Date:  1862-02-11

                                Resource type:   correspondence

                                Topics include the regiment remaining at Camp Griffin and Wilder asking his mother's opinion on him and Merrion entering the regular scouts for five years.

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                                  Title:   Henry Harrison Wilder to Mother

                                  Creator:  Wilder, Henry Harrison

                                  Date:  1862-03-?

                                  Resource type:   correspondence

                                  Topics include the preparations to march and then the order was countermanded. Mentions "the box" of supplies from home.

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                                    Title:   Henry Harrison Wilder to Mother

                                    Creator:  Wilder, Henry Harrison

                                    Date:  1862-04-28

                                    Resource type:   correspondence

                                    Topics include two officers from the New York regiment joining the rebel army and a description of a rebel attack. Wilder is writing at the time of the Siege of Yorktown, Va.

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                                      Title:   Henry Harrison Wilder to Mother

                                      Creator:  Wilder, Henry Harrison

                                      Date:  1862-06-25

                                      Resource type:   correspondence

                                      Topics include Captain E. S. Stowell heading for Vermont to become a Major in the 9th Regiment, the death of Wilder's Aunt, and Wilder receiving his pay the next day. June 25 marks the beginning of the failed campaign against Richmond known as The Seven Days.

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                                        Title:   John M. Stone to Family

                                        Creator:  Stone, John M., 1835-1915

                                        Date:  1862-08-28

                                        Resource type:   correspondence

                                        Two letters dated Aug 28 & Aug 30 ; grateful for letters from home writing, pride in Vermont for providing soldiers, loading wagons onto the boats in Hampton (Va.?), pleased with the work done by black men, sending money home and news from home.

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                                          Title:   Joseph Rutherford to Son

                                          Creator:  Rutherford, Joseph Chase, 1818-1902

                                          Date:  1863-05-26

                                          Resource type:   correspondence

                                          Topics include J.C. Rutherford writing to his sick son, reference to the boy's younger brother, Jacob ; sending flower buds to his sister Helen and a gold cord to the sick boy as trim for his cap.

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                                            Title:   Joseph Rutherford to [Hannah Rutherford]

                                            Creator:  Rutherford, Joseph Chase, 1818-1902

                                            Date:  1863-07-29

                                            Resource type:   correspondence

                                            Writing in the field near Warrenton, Virginia topics include the importance of receiving letters from home, morale kept up by sharing bits of news from home with each other in spite of the hardships in camp, reference to several commanding officers including French, Elliot, Morris, General George Meade, his hearsay knowledge of the drunkenness of Gen. Joseph Hooker, of receiving a home newspaper with one of his letters printed in it.

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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:  1863-08-08

                                                Resource type:   correspondence

                                                Writing in the field near White Sulphur Springs, Virginia topics include the one year anniversary of joining the army, reflections on life, war and family, Col. Jewett and Capt Frost recruiting the drafted men, no food in the wasted countryside, and men endure their hardships.

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                                                  Title:   Joseph Rutherford to [Hannah Rutherford]

                                                  Creator:  Rutherford, Joseph Chase, 1818-1902

                                                  Date:  1863-09-14

                                                  Resource type:   correspondence

                                                  Topics include Rutherford trying to reassure and relieve his wife's fears for the welfare of Vermont troops, reference to the 10th Regiment as the "lucky 10th", his good health, opinions on the war, his willingness to suffer hardships for the benefit of having a good home in the future, his daughter Helen and son Jacob's welfare, a small fight that occurred in the area near camp, orders given to be ready to move at a moment's notice, expecting military pay, needing to buy new clothes, will send some money home, request for local newspaper, Newport News.

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