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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: ("Food") remove term

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Title:   ? to Father

Date:  1863-02-26

Resource type:   correspondence

Unsigned letter to his father with topics including Col Farnham's horses being sick but getting better ; the variable weather, how people can make do with few conveniences, Mr. Peach the cook, the food that is available in camp ; the dark looks the southerners give the soldiers, his negative opinion of the white southerners, mentioning writing to Henry, Laura and hoping to see Zeke.

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    Title:   Edward P. Stone to Family

    Creator:  Stone, Edward P., 1830-1920

    Date:  1862-07-30

    Resource type:   correspondence

    Inquires about ladies in the family, requesting letters from them, states there is good water contrary to what the newspapers report, vegetables to eat, building brick ovens, prayer meetings being held in brick church, death of son of Judge Swift of Middlebury.

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      Title:   Edward P. Stone to Family

      Creator:  Stone, Edward P., 1830-1920

      Date:  [1862]-09-[23]

      Resource type:   correspondence

      A very brief letter stating he was in Burkittsville with the wounded (casualties from the Battle of Burkittsville or called the Battle of Crampton's Gap, Maryland, September 14, 1862), then set out to find the regiment but was unsuccessful so he stopped at Pleasant Valley and stayed with a family there ; preached at United Bretheren ; mentions fruits of all kinds available.

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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:   John Lester Barstow to Laura

          Creator:  Barstow, John Lester, 1832-1913

          Date:  1863-10-25

          Resource type:   correspondence

          Two letters dated Oct 25 and Oct 27 with topics including marching, waiting, more marching, more waiting, lack of food due to road conditions, unable to forage for food, hot days, cold nights, the importance of picket duty, the unpopularity of General William B. Franklin, and the army returning to New Iberia, fear that mail may be lost due to capture of wagons by Rebels and fear to send any money by mail.

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            Title:   John W. Merriam to Friend Samantha

            Creator:  Merriam, John W., d. 1863

            Date:  1862-09-04

            Resource type:   correspondence

            Writing from Algiers, La. topics include the false report of Justus's death and an attack by 1500 Rebels on a train leaving Desallemands and heading for Algiers that left 30 to 40 soldiers wounded or killed.

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              Title:   Joseph Rutherford to [Hannah Rutherford]

              Creator:  Rutherford, Joseph Chase, 1818-1902

              Date:  1863-07-07

              Resource type:   correspondence

              Writing two letters dated July 7th and 8th from South Mountain Pass, Maryland topics include the deplorable state of Rebel prisoners captured, the kindness of the Vermont Regiment towards the prisoners by giving the Confederates their rations, prisoners marching to Washington, D. C., his reflections on the battle at South Mountain that took place September 1862, Union destruction of Rebel pontoon bridges, one time the troops rejoice at the heavy rain as it keeps the river high and having potatoes and fresh berries to eat.

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                Title:   Joseph Rutherford to [Hannah Rutherford]

                Creator:  Rutherford, Joseph Chase, 1818-1902

                Date:  1863-07-19

                Resource type:   correspondence

                Writing from in the field up in the mountains near Snickers Gap, Virginia topics include marching to catch Gen. Robert E. Lee, pillage of livestock for food by some of the soldiers that include chickens and hogs from nearby farms as well as having fresh blackberries, sleeping on the wet ground, spending time looking at photographs of loved ones and poking fun at themselves in harsh living conditions.

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                  Title:   Joseph Rutherford to [Hannah Rutherford]

                  Creator:  Rutherford, Joseph Chase, 1818-1902

                  Date:  1863-07-27

                  Resource type:   correspondence

                  Writing a very brief letter from Warrenton, Virginia topics include the continuous marching, lack of food, the hardships the men are currently facing met with cheerfulness, moving on to Culpeper, then to Gordonsville and hopefully on to Richmond.

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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:  1863-10-22

                      Resource type:   correspondence

                      From Catlett's Station, Virginia on the Orange & Alexandria Rail Road, Virginia topics include a description of a battle with Stuart's men near the Bull Run location in which the Union was victorious, many killed, wounded, artillery captured, wrote the newspapers were mistaken as to the outcome of the battle, his cost of living, high cost of food, glad for the comfort of Rutherford’s family at home, and marching to continue.

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                        Title:   Joseph Rutherford to [Hannah Rutherford]

                        Creator:  Rutherford, Joseph Chase, 1818-1902

                        Date:  1863-11-19

                        Resource type:   correspondence

                        Topics include sending military pay home, of high cost of food, the lack of food, wishing to hear more often from home and Colonel Henry taking a leave due to sickness.

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                          Title:   Joseph Rutherford to [Hannah Rutherford]

                          Creator:  Rutherford, Joseph Chase, 1818-1902

                          Date:  1863-06-07

                          Resource type:   correspondence

                          Topics include Hannah not yet in the new house and Rutherford anxious for her comfort, having a very pleasant officer's life visiting with Dr. Childe, his wife and other officers, Mrs. Childe to entertain by singing, mentions they being stationed at the extreme outpost for the defense of Washington, D.C., description of a medical account to Mr. Coburn by Rutherford for neutering Coburn's cat, fresh beef and berries in the area for eating, and the health of the children.

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                            Title:   Joseph Rutherford to [Hannah Rutherford]

                            Creator:  Rutherford, Joseph Chase, 1818-1902

                            Date:  1863-04-10

                            Resource type:   correspondence

                            Topics include the progress being made on the house, military pay slow in being received, the children's bad reactions to a vaccination with suggestion for treatment, follow up visits to Mr. Trundle with his erysipelas, a big dinner in camp with the officers including Col. Jewett, the men practice shooting a new rifle received in camp with targets being cattle grazing across the river owned by the Secessionists and a flock to ducks.

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                              Title:   Joseph Rutherford to [Hannah Rutherford]

                              Creator:  Rutherford, Joseph Chase, 1818-1902

                              Date:  1863-01-02

                              Resource type:   correspondence

                              Writing from camp at White's Ford (over the Potomac River) two letters dated Jan 2 and Jan 6 include topics of a description of the night of the expected fight, of having enough food to eat that he is gaining weight, of the camp's glee club singing, of being homesick and wanting a leave but may be on the eve of "some great event", a description of the camp ground, promotions within the camp including himself as Acting Surgeon and the possibility of a brigade hospital being created with himself most likely being put in charge of it.

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                                Title:   Joseph Spafford to Mary Jane Spafford

                                Creator:  Spafford, Joseph, 1837-1866

                                Date:  1863-05-16

                                Resource type:   correspondence

                                Writing a illustrated letter head stationery in an abandoned home, Spafford writes of guarding the Kettle Run Bridge in Virginia, a brief description of the deserted and burned homes between Manassas Junction and Warrenton Junction, using an old wind mill as a look out tower, the building of block houses for the men allowing them to shoot in all directions, being able to get milk and eggs, having stray dogs stealing fresh beef from the soldiers, inquiries about the draft in Vermont and talk among the men due to be released from the army.

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                                  Title:   Joseph Spafford to Mary Jane Spafford

                                  Creator:  Spafford, Joseph, 1837-1866

                                  Date:  1863-07-16

                                  Resource type:   correspondence

                                  Unit has marched to Berlin, Maryland near Harper's Ferry, military duty ends July 23rd, most likely not see any more action before leaving the army, returning to Brattleboro by the 1st of August, asks about those pants he requested made, expresses his opinion on the New York City draft riot (July 13 - 16, 1863), mentions a eating warm biscuit & blackberry pie for dinner.

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                                    Title:   Justus E. Gale to Father

                                    Creator:  Gale, Justus F., 1837-1863

                                    Date:  1862-03-28

                                    Resource type:   correspondence

                                    Two letters one dated March 28th and one April 6th.Topics include a description of the journey to Ship Island, Mississippi, being seasick, about the food and hard bread, poor quality water and little of it, writes of his faith in God and his sighting of the island.

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                                      Title:   Justus E. Gale to Father

                                      Creator:  Gale, Justus F., 1837-1863

                                      Date:  1862-12-13

                                      Resource type:   correspondence

                                      Topics include the health of Justus Gale, the mistaken attack (friendly fire) by the Indiana regiment, the process of making sugar done by the slaves, and the daily drilling in camp.

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                                        Title:   Justus E. Gale to Sister

                                        Creator:  Gale, Justus F., 1837-1863

                                        Date:  1862-11-29

                                        Resource type:   correspondence

                                        Topics include the movement of the regiment to Brashear City, of city purchases by Justus Gale of barrels of apples which he resold by the piece, of buying tobacco, postage stamps, writing supplies, local terms for cash money, of commanding officers of 3rd Louisiana colored regiment and the dry weather.

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                                          Title:   Justus F. Gale to Brother

                                          Creator:  Gale, Justus F., 1837-1863

                                          Date:  1862-01-24

                                          Resource type:   correspondence

                                          Two letters in one dated Jan 24th and Jan 26th. Topics include the expectation that the war will end in a couple of months, waiting for military pay, anxious to hear from home, Sergeant U. A. Woodbury drilling the company, the stormy weather at camp, the bad food being served except for good bread from a local bakery, the good health of Gale and of him sending a picture in this letter.

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                                            Title:   Justus F. Gale to Brother

                                            Creator:  Gale, Justus F., 1837-1863

                                            Date:  1862-02-07

                                            Resource type:   correspondence

                                            Writing from Brattleboro, Vermont, topics include news of bombardment of Fort Henry on the Tennessee River (February 6, 1862) by Commodore Andrew Hull Foote (officer of the U.S. Navy) and General Ulysses S. Grant, a skirmish that resulted in finding a barrel of rum, food sometimes good but not the hash made in camp and the vaccination of the company for pox.

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                                              Title:   Justus F. Gale to Brother

                                              Creator:  Gale, Justus F., 1837-1863

                                              Date:  1862-04-24

                                              Resource type:   correspondence

                                              Two letters dated April 24th and 25th. Topics include the capture of Fort Jackson(?) ; fort south of the city of New Orleans, Louisiana, [battle April 18-28], the food at camp good except greasy pork meat, and the schedule for the day including battalion drills and dress parade.

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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 Father

                                                  Creator:  Gale, Justus F., 1837-1863

                                                  Date:  1862-06-06

                                                  Resource type:   correspondence

                                                  Topics include the good living conditions in New Orleans, the Indiana regiment taking meat from the rebels, been on cooking duty, good meals, fresh beef, waiting for military pay and the possibility of leaving soon.

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