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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  Author: ("Gale, Justus F., 1837-1863") remove term

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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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                  Title:   Justus F. Gale to Father

                  Creator:  Gale, Justus F., 1837-1863

                  Date:  1862-06-14

                  Resource type:   correspondence

                  Topics include the living conditions and food in New Orleans, continues with cooking duty, the good weather, soldiers bringing back to camp chickens, eggs, an account of the poor treatment of slaves, two slave boys being rescued from ill treatment from their masters, and the observance of Sabbath in camp, wishing to know more news of the war than he can get in the South.

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                    Title:   Justus F. Gale to Father

                    Creator:  Gale, Justus F., 1837-1863

                    Date:  1863-05-13

                    Resource type:   correspondence

                    Gale writes to his father a description of the land through which he is marching, as the Brigade travels up and down the Red River in pursuit of Confederate forces. He also gives a short description of the Battle of Fort Bisland, and then goes on to describe the fresh food available to the soldiers. He encloses with the letter a plate he used to eat lunch on that day, made of the bark of a Sweetgum tree, as most of his equipment had to be left at the camp at Brashear City.

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                      Title:   Justus F. Gale to Mother

                      Creator:  Gale, Justus F., 1837-1863

                      Date:  1862-04-06

                      Resource type:   correspondence

                      Two letters dated April 4th and 6th. Writing after arriving at Ship Island, Mississippi topics include observing the Sabbath,his devotion for the Bible, arriving on shore, digging and finding plenty of fresh water, being treated with food from the Mass. 30th, thinking war may be over before he gets a chance to fight and the expectation of capturing New Orleans.

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                        Title:   Justus F. Gale to Mother

                        Creator:  Gale, Justus F., 1837-1863

                        Date:  1863-07-01

                        Resource type:   correspondence

                        Gale writes that his company had been busy digging entrenchments in preparation for an assault on Port Hudson, and that rebels made a small raid to acquire some nearby guns but were repulsed. He also writes that deserters are coming in almost every day and report that rations are short in the fort. As well he writes that there is a rumor that the Rebels had invaded Brashear City and took or burned items left by the 8th Regiment, and the Colonel Thomas reacted strongly, saying “he wished he could get one clip at them with his brigade.”

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                          Title:   Justus F. Gale to Mother

                          Creator:  Gale, Justus F., 1837-1863

                          Date:  1863-08-21

                          Resource type:   correspondence

                          In this letter Gale writes to his mother from the Church Hospital in Baton Rouge that he has been ill but is getting better. He has been eating a little. He and his unit had been "beseigeing" Port Hudson just before he was taken ill. He also writes that he never really suffered while soldiering, and that he is sorry his brother, Lyman, has been drafted, since he doesn’t think he could stand army life. Some time after this, Gale was sent to the U.S. General Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee, where he died of chronic diarrhea on September 19, 1863.

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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:   Justus F. Gale to Sister

                              Creator:  Gale, Justus F., 1837-1863

                              Date:  1862-06-14

                              Resource type:   correspondence

                              Topics include the movement of the company from Algiers to Lafourche, a description of the living situation at Algiers, the good food at camp including fresh fruit berries, water quality not good.

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                                Title:   Justus F. Gale to Sister

                                Creator:  Gale, Justus F., 1837-1863

                                Date:  1862-07-18

                                Resource type:   correspondence

                                Topics include the good health of Justus Gale, the food available at Algiers including confiscated beef from the locals, standing guard for 12 hour shifts, killing alligators, writes of some of his comrades, the sickness of Sargent 2nd Class.Chas. C. Martin with inflammation of the bowels, the capture of Richmond and Vicksburg, mentions Confederate Gen. G. T. Beauregard, receiving a copy of the Green Mountain Freeman and refers to his religious faith.

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                                  Title:   Justus F. Gale to Sister

                                  Creator:  Gale, Justus F., 1837-1863

                                  Date:  1862-11-14

                                  Resource type:   correspondence

                                  Topics include the poor health of Justus Gale’s sister, having plenty to eat and confiscating anything while in the field including livestock from the rebels, receiving a box from home that was greatly appreciated though disappointed none of Mother's cheese, the expectation of returning to Algiers, and some family affairs including what to do with Charlie's clothes since his death, mentions still needing to get a photographer and have his photo taken, and the possibility of renting the farm.

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                                    Title:   Justus F. Gale to Sister

                                    Creator:  Gale, Justus F., 1837-1863

                                    Date:  1862-04-21

                                    Resource type:   correspondence

                                    Topics include the improvement in Justus Gale's health, the cost of food items in camp, the death of three men in the regiment, the attempted suicide of a man in Company F, mentions "sugar place" back home in Elmore and writes about the lack of information in camp about the rest of the Union Army.

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                                      Title:   Justus F. Gale to Sister

                                      Creator:  Gale, Justus F., 1837-1863

                                      Date:  1863-01-01

                                      Resource type:   correspondence

                                      Writing from Brashear City (Morgan City), Louisiana topics include wishing his sister a happy New Year and ruminating on his life as a soldier so far. He also writes about his health, the food he is eating, his mail, newspapers, what he wants put in a box his family is sending to him and regards to family members and friends.

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                                        Title:   Justus F. Gale to Sister

                                        Creator:  Gale, Justus F., 1837-1863

                                        Date:  1863-01-25

                                        Resource type:   correspondence

                                        Topics include the sore on his hand and how it is healing, the summer-like weather and how the birds in Louisiana are different from the birds in Vermont, their campsite in Thibodeaux, Louisiana, and how much he dislikes southern cooking, which he calls “niger stoge” but has fresh fruit to eat. He also writes about how much money he has made in speculation and of sending home a ring made from a beef bone by their drummer Walter Barnes.

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                                          Title:   Justus F. Gale to Sister

                                          Creator:  Gale, Justus F., 1837-1863

                                          Date:  1863-02-08

                                          Resource type:   correspondence

                                          Topics include the news that Gale has been sent to the General Hospital in New Orleans because of the sore on his hand, as he is unable endure a long march. He also writes that the hospital is quiet on the Sabboth and that the rooms are clean and the food is good, and includes a description what he sees in the hospital. As well he writes of the difference in New Orleans from the previous year and tries to express to his sister what a big city is like.

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                                            Title:   Justus F. Gale to Sister

                                            Creator:  Gale, Justus F., 1837-1863

                                            Date:  1863-02-10

                                            Resource type:   correspondence

                                            Topics include a description of sightseeing in New Orleans and the difference in the city from a year earlier. He also mentions eating a custard pie and getting his watch cleaned.

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                                              Title:   Justus F. Gale to Sister

                                              Creator:  Gale, Justus F., 1837-1863

                                              Date:  1863-02-21

                                              Resource type:   correspondence

                                              Topics include news about his father’s recent remarriage, dinner at the home of a Massachusetts family that had been driven off a plantation they owned north of New Orleans, the money owed him by the government, and his speculation in watches.

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                                                Title:   Justus F. Gale to Sister

                                                Creator:  Gale, Justus F., 1837-1863

                                                Date:  1863-03-17

                                                Resource type:   correspondence

                                                Topics include the spring-like weather in New Orleans, his hospital work, particularly carrying “grub” up to 34 soldiers, and Rear Admiral David G. Farragut’s engagement with the rebel batteries at Port Hudson on March 14th. He also writes of how he would like to be home in Vermont eating maple sugar and drinking milk that hasn’t been adulterated with chalk and water.

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                                                  Title:   Justus F. Gale to Sister

                                                  Creator:  Gale, Justus F., 1837-1863

                                                  Date:  1863-05-29

                                                  Resource type:   correspondence

                                                  Gale begins his letter with a humorous poem. He then writes that the 8th Vermont is now with the Corps laying siege to Port Hudson, which is strongly fortified and describes a skirmish that resulted in two killed and three wounded from his Company. He also writes that there is constant cannonading and that his company is behind one hill, while the rebels are behind another nearby, and that one day he shot 100 cartridges. He tells his sister he has plenty to eat and that he is safe, even when in action, since he only has to show his head enough to fire.

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