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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.


Time Period Covered: January 1, 1861 - February 28, 1864 

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Title:   Joseph Rutherford to [Hannah Rutherford]

Creator:  Rutherford, Joseph Chase, 1818-1902

Date:  1862-10-19

Resource type:   correspondence

Rutherford writes to wife, Hannnah,about the regiment's movement to his camp at Seneca Creek in Maryland. Topics include what was involved in the moving of the troops at night, the baggage he carried on horseback, his pride for his mare, of feeling proud to serve his country in time of need, of him being put in charge of building of a hospital to be named after him and called the Rutherford Hospital.

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    Title:   Joseph Spafford to Mary Jane Spafford

    Creator:  Spafford, Joseph, 1837-1866

    Date:  1862-03-15

    Resource type:   correspondence

    Topics include being unable to march with the Regiment when orders came down to move out, of his dislike of how the hospital was run in Camp Griffin and him leaving that hospital, of living in tent with soldier who also had not moved out with the earlier call to march, being sent by ambulance to the Mansion House Hospital in Alexandria, being diagnosed with pleurisy and a detailed description of hospital life and medical care at the Mansion.

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      Title:   William Wirt Henry to Mary Jane Henry

      Creator:  Henry, William Wirt, 1831-1915

      Date:  1864-06-24

      Resource type:   correspondence

      Henry writes that he has had to return to the hospital because he tore up the wound on his hand during a grand charge made by the 10th Vermont the day before. He complains that he and everyone else are very tired because of all the marching and charging they have had to do in such hot weather. He also writes that the 10th Vermont has been given a good position on the left side of the line and hasn’t seen as much hard fighting as the other regiments.

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