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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: ("Horses") 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:   Henry A. Smith to Family

    Creator:  Smith, Henry A., d. 1864

    Date:  1862-09-24

    Resource type:   correspondence

    Topics include Henry Smith losing his horse, camp punishment of John H. Willard for disobeying an order, and the numerous men who were wounded and killed.

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      Title:   Henry A. Smith to Family

      Creator:  Smith, Henry A., d. 1864

      Date:  1862-06-27

      Resource type:   correspondence

      Topics include the journey from Williamsport to Snickers Ferry on the Shenandoah River, mentions by name men missing from the Company, mentions horses in battle, of his horse having had very little to eat, the rumor that General Pope is going to take control of the army, Gen. Fremont resigning, Gen. Banks to be Assistant Sec. of War, and the Quarter Master Old Jones & Lieutenant Grover's waiter being taken prisoners.

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        Title:   Henry A. Smith to Family

        Creator:  Smith, Henry A., d. 1864

        Date:  1862-07-05

        Resource type:   correspondence

        From Snickers Ferry on the Shenandoah River topics include news from Richmond, rumor that Stonewall Jackson was killed, having enough to eat including local peaches & cherries found in Virginia, horses well fed, men on picket duty, newspaper report that General McClellan taken prisoner along with 40,000 of his men, and Henry Smith's homesickness.

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          Title:   Henry A. Smith to Family

          Creator:  Smith, Henry A., d. 1864

          Date:  1862-11-06

          Resource type:   correspondence

          Two letters dated Nov 6 and Nov 11.Topics include a skirmish at Thoroughfare Gap, Henry Smith out riding the rebels thus avoiding almost being captured, a number of Union soldiers captured, lots of honey and fowl to eat and the burning of Haymarket.

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            Title:   Henry A. Smith to Family

            Creator:  Smith, Henry A., d. 1864

            Date:  1862-11-28

            Resource type:   correspondence

            Topics include the arrival of the package from home that had includes apples and chicken but those were eaten by Jarvis Wentworth, pictures of relatives received, admiration of his new boots, Henry Smith's friend Fenney hoping to become his brother-in-law, and the death of a boy names Henry Holt of Hartland, gives advice on how to best care for a horse.

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              Title:   Henry A. Smith to Family

              Creator:  Smith, Henry A., d. 1864

              Date:  1862-09-02

              Resource type:   correspondence

              From Alexandria, Virginia topics include transporting the sick, injured and "used up horses", the expectation of new horses, the extensive fortifications between Alexandria and Centerville, the horrors of war, the restriction of letter writing until 10 days following a battle, reference to men having fought in a battle but does not say which one (Pope's Campaign??) and Henry Smith's wish to return home.

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                Title:   Henry A. Smith to Mother

                Creator:  Smith, Henry A., d. 1864

                Date:  1862-12-05

                Resource type:   correspondence

                Two letters one dated Dec 5th and one 6th. Topics include the snowy weather, Henry Smith's good health, and the difficult times the men who were drafted will face.

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                  Title:   Joseph Rutherford to [Hannah Rutherford]

                  Creator:  Rutherford, Joseph Chase, 1818-1902

                  Date:  1863-08-20

                  Resource type:   correspondence

                  Rutherford writes of his low opinion of Southerns, of their ignorance, their misguided values of who can own the most slaves and land, their intermarrying, of his applying discipline to those he feels deserve it in order to preserve order in his hospital, praise for his horse, Lady Lightfoot, who is still with him and his acquisition of another horse and mule.

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                    Title:   Joseph Rutherford to [Hannah Rutherford]

                    Creator:  Rutherford, Joseph Chase, 1818-1902

                    Date:  1863-02-22

                    Resource type:   correspondence

                    Topics include the refusal of a leave of absence, Col. Jewett praise of Rutherford, Col concern for well being of hospital care and sanitation, expresses his anger and indignation of the Copper Heads, his bond and deep affection for his horse Lady Lightfoot, the very snowy weather, religious services to be observed indoors, the hardships in camp that are worth the cause, and the great deal of singing among the officers including the song "There is music in the air."

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                      Title:   Justus E. Gale to Family

                      Creator:  Gale, Justus F., 1837-1863

                      Date:  1862-08-31

                      Resource type:   correspondence

                      Topics include a train crash, confiscating rebel property including horses, cattle, sheep and mules. Writes of having plenty of food on their travel back to camp including dining on lamb. Provided a meal at an old planters house. Mentions Negroes (slaves) and 1500 Blacks at camp, sending troops to Gen. Phelps, the expectation of getting paid, rebels killed in an encounter with the enemy.

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                        Title:   Mary E. Farnham to Henry

                        Creator:  Farnham, Mary E.

                        Date:  1863-03-19

                        Resource type:   correspondence

                        From Mary Farnham to Henry topics include letters received and responded to, military action among the men, pickets and taking of Rebel soldiers, fighting engagement at Kelly’s Ford, her thoughts on the unhealthy environment she is in, the varying degrees of health or illness of the men in camp, her horse ride even though the weather has been inclement, her comments on what the military trained horses will do, the ill health and death of some horses.

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                          Title:   Mary E. Farnham to Laura

                          Creator:  Farnham, Mary E.

                          Date:  1863-02-17

                          Resource type:   correspondence

                          From Mary Farnham to sister Laura with topics including a detailed description of Mary Farnham’s visit to camp, a visit to Washington visiting the Capitol & Senate buildings ; Farnham's horses sick with horse distemper, one of them being Burnie ; Mary's discomfort traveling in the ambulance ; her embarrassing slip and fall in the ambulance ; her horse ride back ; the good health of the regiment ; weight gain of Lt. Herrick ; her affection for horse Jenny.

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                            Title:   Moses W. Sawyer to William Wirt Henry

                            Creator:  Sawyer, Moses W., 1831-1916

                            Date:  1863-05-19

                            Resource type:   correspondence

                            Receipts for the purchase of two horses.

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                              Title:   Roswell Farnham to Asa P. Blunt

                              Creator:  Farnham, Roswell, 1827-1903

                              Date:  1863-03-03

                              Resource type:   correspondence

                              Report to Col Asa P. Blunt regarding an inspection of several items including saddles, horses and bugles in the Second Connecticut Battery stationed at Wolf Run Shoals, Virginia stating the unfitness of some horses for duty and the disrepair of two bugles.

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                                Title:   Roswell Farnham to Laura

                                Creator:  Farnham, Roswell, 1827-1903

                                Date:  1863-03-01

                                Resource type:   correspondence

                                Mentions an artist is taking some pictures of camp life (photos? or drawings?) promises to send sketches he has made of camp home, the sick in camp including Mary, William Wallace and his best horse, has purchased another horse and will fatten him up,marching orders having been given, Rebels at Leesburgh, Drainsville, Centreville & at Union Mills, brief references to Copperheads at home.

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                                  Title:   Roswell Farnham to Laura

                                  Creator:  Farnham, Roswell, 1827-1903

                                  Date:  1863-05-22

                                  Resource type:   correspondence

                                  Topics include small disturbances by the rebels nightly, the discussion of discharges, the death of Jenny (a horse?), the very hot weather, mentioning of Mr. Batchelder giving money as needed, horses Burnie and White Face improving in health, reference to Mr. Chamberlin living at the house & the desire to have him leave if he is willing before Farnham returns home.

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                                    Title:   Roswell Farnham to Mary [Farnham]

                                    Creator:  Farnham, Roswell, 1827-1903

                                    Date:  1863-05-06

                                    Resource type:   correspondence

                                    Topics include him wishing to hear from his wife Mary and missing her, having Mr. Peach to cook for the soldiers, Mrs. Peach coming to visit, the probable move to the Rappahannock River in Va., the rainy weather, his horse Burnie is at Mills Union in a stable there and his horse White Face doing well.

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                                      Title:   Roswell Farnham to Mary [Farnham]

                                      Creator:  Farnham, Roswell, 1827-1903

                                      Date:  1863-06-15

                                      Resource type:   correspondence

                                      Topics include telling of an incident with his horse, White Face, at Pope's Run on the railroad tracks with companion Nelson's horse falling resulting in Nelson landing in a stream below. Great excitement as a lot of troop movement reported. A train heading towards Centreville with forage and army wagons, the movement of Hooker’s army at Wolf Run & at Occoquan, Gen. Robert E. Lee moving to Shenandoah Valley (part of Gettysburg Campaign) & being outmaneuvered by Hooker and a brief description of sights seen at Bull Run battlefield with remains of dead soldiers still visible.

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                                        Title:   Roswell Farnham to Mary [Farnham]

                                        Creator:  Farnham, Roswell, 1827-1903

                                        Date:  1863-06-19

                                        Resource type:   correspondence

                                        Topics include the location of some of the corps, seeing many men of the 6th Army Corps and listing their names, Vt Calvary has met Rebels, telling of Captain of Rhode Island regiment with heavy losses including the captain & his horse being wounded, the anticipation of some fighting, the possibility of moving to Wolf Run Shoals, two wives in camp (Mrs. Sherman & Mrs. Halley) & they not wanting to leave their soldier husbands, and the very hot weather.

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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:   Roswell Farnham to [Mary Farnham]

                                            Creator:  Farnham, Roswell, 1827-1903

                                            Date:  1863-06-25

                                            Resource type:   correspondence

                                            Two letters dated the 25th and 27th of June telling of marching to Centreville, camping beyond there, sharing a tent with the Chaplain, heavy rain, the brigade now reporting to General Reynolds of the 1st Army Corps, his horse Burnie sick again and knows the horse must go along or be put down. In the letter of the 27th tells of moving to Poolesville, Maryland, of his horse, Burnie, feeling better & may do fine and the soldiers being kept in the field until very end of their military service.

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                                              Title:   Roswell Farnham to [Mary Farnham]

                                              Creator:  Farnham, Roswell, 1827-1903

                                              Date:  1863-06-28

                                              Resource type:   correspondence

                                              Four days of marching have left the men foot sore and exhausted & he writes of the hardships and consequences of men not being able to keep up. Tells of a mishap with an officer and his horse, of the men picking up stray horses, of the men cooking for themselves, of butchered cattle for fresh beef, mention of Mrs. Capt. Williams and Mrs. Damon, moving towards Hagarstown and no expectation for a fight.

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                                                Title:   Roswell Farnham to [Mary Farnham]

                                                Creator:  Farnham, Roswell, 1827-1903

                                                Date:  1863-07-03

                                                Resource type:   correspondence

                                                From camp at Westminster, MD topics include a description of the Battle of Gettysburg, the 12th ordered to guard the trains, supplies needed by the men in the field as they have none, the men of the 12th carrying out their duty and suffering much even though not engaged in the fighting, the determination of the men to continue marching despite severe hardship, horses giving out but coming to camp the next morning, men may be needed to stay on duty even though their military duties are up.

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                                                  Title:   Valentine G. Barney to Maria Barney

                                                  Creator:  Barney, Valentine G., 1834-1889

                                                  Date:  1863-03-16

                                                  Resource type:   correspondence

                                                  Topics include his confidence in her childrearing abilities, Colonel Stannard’s promotion, the gifts the Regiment wishes to give him including a horse, saddle and other equestrian equipment, his hope that the Regiment will be under his command in one of the Vermont Brigades. He also writes of giving photographs of Tom Thumb and his wife as gifts to his children.

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