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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: ("Guerrilla warfare") remove term

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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:  1863-06-02

    Resource type:   correspondence

    Topics include his praise of the work being done at home on the farm by his brothers, a description of Mosby’s attack on the train at Catlett’s Station (May 31st), and his wish that his mother use his money to purchase more pasture land in Royalton.

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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:   Henry Harrison Wilder to Mother

        Creator:  Wilder, Henry Harrison

        Date:  1862-04-01

        Resource type:   correspondence

        Topics include the route the regiment marched to arrive at camp near Newport News and a skirmish with the rebels coming down the river, firing at the coast.

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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:   Joseph Spafford to Mary Jane Spafford

            Creator:  Spafford, Joseph, 1837-1866

            Date:  1863-05-15

            Resource type:   correspondence

            Topics include being on detail with 30 men guarding bridge at Kettle Run, the Confederate rebel John Singleton Mosby and his guerrilla squads in the vicinity, and a cavalryman coming into camp to warn of squad of greybacks chasing him.

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              Title:   Justus F. Gale to Sister & Friends

              Creator:  Gale, Justus F., 1837-1863

              Date:  1862-09-09

              Resource type:   correspondence

              Topics include the sickness of Justus Gale’s mother and brother Charley, mentions his dismay of men trying to skip military duty, the rebel prisoners taken by various Union regiments, mentions Gen. Butler may be taking care of the guerrilla fighters and the injuries sustained by the men in the train accident whereby many seemed to have avoided amputations.

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                Title:   Roswell Farnham to [Mary Farnham]

                Creator:  Farnham, Roswell, 1827-1903

                Date:  1863-05-24

                Resource type:   correspondence

                Topics include small disturbances by the rebels nightly, men is danger of guerrilla warfare by the Rebels, the ill health of the 13th regiment, a lot of inquiries about folks at home, a reference to Mr. Bond and the garden, him wanting the front yard at home spruced up before he gets back home, again encourages his wife to drink porter and get fat as she only weighs 104 pounds.

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                  Title:   Roswell Farnham to [Mary Farnham]

                  Creator:  Farnham, Roswell, 1827-1903

                  Date:  1863-05-26

                  Resource type:   correspondence

                  Topics include a pleasant ride at Manassas Junction, stopping by a deserted house and picking bouquets of flowers from the over grown garden there, the danger of rebel guerrilla warfare, his horse Burnie improving in health but still with a cough, the plan to return to Union Mills tomorrow, hoping to receive the newspapers sooner than before, and much preparations by the soldiers in expectation of rebels in Alexandria.

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                    Title:   Valentine G. Barney to Maria Barney

                    Creator:  Barney, Valentine G., 1834-1889

                    Date:  1861-05-24

                    Resource type:   correspondence

                    Topics include the journey from Fort Monroe, Virginia to Hampton, the Secessionists setting fire to a bridge that lead to the village, the Colonel being asked to not molest, assault or otherwise interfere with the citizens of Hampton, mentions Sewells Point where the enemy had built a battery, reference to the state election about secession from the union, speaks of his love for his family.

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                      Title:   Wheelock G. Veazey to Julia A. Veazey

                      Creator:  Veazey, Wheelock G., 1835-1898

                      Date:  1863-03-09

                      Resource type:   correspondence

                      Writes General (Edwin Henry Stoughton) was kidnapped (March 8th) at night out of his own bed (by Confederate Ranger J. S. Mosby & his men), Veazey writes of no troops near him, pickets "imperfect", Colonel Blunt put in command, and inquiries about folks at home, teases Julia about her and her "twin" meaning the baby and mentions Election Day in New Hampshire.

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                        Title:   William Wirt Henry to Mary Jane Henry

                        Creator:  Henry, William Wirt, 1831-1915

                        Date:  1863-06-12

                        Resource type:   correspondence

                        Letter describes an attack on the 6th Michigan Cavalry, the response of the 10th Vermont, and the arrival of reinforcements. Henry uses the verb "skedaddled" in its original context: Union soldiers describing the fleeing of Confederate soldiers. He also expresses some of the typical bravado, how the men were "fighting mad" and ready to fight so as to earn a good report.

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                          Title:  

                          Creator:  Barney, Valentine G., 1834-1889

                          Date:  1863-10-08

                          Resource type:   correspondence

                          Barney writes of having only 83 men on duty due to sickness, and that he is currently in command of the fort, though General Wistar would be returning soon after a raid on guerillas. He also comments on the lack of experience of the colored regiment. The rest of the letter contains comments and questions about life at home in Swanton.

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