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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: ("Military discharge") remove term

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Title:   Bradford Sparrow to Parents and Brothers

Creator:  Sparrow, Bradford

Date:  1865-06-06

Resource type:   correspondence

Writes of his current location in another hospital, this one in New York, hopes his military discharge will come soon, his need for money sent to him as he will not be paid until his discharge come through, requests the Vermont newspaper the Repository as he wants to know what is going on back home.

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    Title:   Edward P. Stone to Family

    Creator:  Stone, Edward P., 1830-1920

    Date:  1863-03-19

    Resource type:   correspondence

    Topics include visiting ministers, Colonel Tuttle resigning, Col. Barney in command, petition written up endorsing the Administration, Stone feeling better about his usefulness.

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      Title:   John Lester Barstow to Laura

      Creator:  Barstow, John Lester, 1832-1913

      Date:  1862-12-14

      Resource type:   correspondence

      General Banks supersedes General Butler, the capture of one of the rebel officers, and the dishonorable discharge of Lieutenant Day.

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        Title:   Joseph Spafford to Homer White

        Creator:  Spafford, Joseph, 1837-1866

        Date:  1862-04-29

        Resource type:   correspondence

        Now in Carver Hospital in Washington, D.C. topics include military discharge, plans to meet Homer White in New York City and the wounding of Captain Atherton.

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          Title:   Joseph Spafford to Homer White

          Creator:  Spafford, Joseph, 1837-1866

          Date:  1863-07-17

          Resource type:   correspondence

          Brief letter to friend Homer White (of New York City) informing him of Spafford's soon discharge from the army, heading to New York, the heavy losses at Gettysburg with those killed & wounded, opinions of newspaper editors.

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            Title:   Joseph Spafford to Mary Jane Spafford

            Creator:  Spafford, Joseph, 1837-1866

            Date:  1862-04-27

            Resource type:   correspondence

            Writing from Carver Hospital in Washington, D.C. topics include the probability of a military discharge, hospital nurses, unhealthiness of hospitals, liking his living situation in the barracks, and fiddle playing and dancing heard coming from a nearby house.

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              Title:   Joseph Spafford to Mary Jane Spafford

              Creator:  Spafford, Joseph, 1837-1866

              Date:  1863-05-21

              Resource type:   correspondence

              Topics include a trip to Washington, D.C. to stock up on clothing and supplies, the high cost of staying in Washington, Ned getting badly wounded in the foot, music sent home "On the Shores of the Tennessee", complaint regarding mustering the men out as decided by the State officers.

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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:   Joseph Spafford to Mary Jane Spafford

                  Creator:  Spafford, Joseph, 1837-1866

                  Date:  1863-07-23

                  Resource type:   correspondence

                  Writing from Brattleboro, a brief letter about when he may be arriving home, officers' duties need to be done first, instructions on how he may get his new pants and boiled shirts.

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                    Title:   Justus F. Gale to Sister & Friends

                    Creator:  Gale, Justus F., 1837-1863

                    Date:  1862-09-24

                    Resource type:   correspondence

                    From Algiers, La topics include ill health of his mother and sister, the death of his brother Charley, how difficult it is to get a military discharge, Justus Gale’s negative opinion of the Blacks, his hope slavery is ended, and his hope that his sister and mother will become healthy again.

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                      Title:   Lyman S. Williams to Lois L. Williams

                      Creator:  Williams, Lyman S., 1839-1905

                      Date:  1864-07-17

                      Resource type:   correspondence

                      Topics include a detailed description of the Battle of Fort Stevens [July 11-12, 1864], specifically the movements of the 6th Corps. Williams also writes of the mustering out of some of the 6th Regiment, as their time had expired.

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                        Title:   Lyman S. Williams to Lois L. Williams

                        Creator:  Williams, Lyman S., 1839-1905

                        Date:  1865-06-16

                        Resource type:   correspondence

                        Writes of going & coming back from Washington, D.C. via horseback to purchase clothes and other articles needed, mustering out the men whose time is up in October, and his decision to remain in the Army for the extra money, since he feels everyone will be mustered out in August.

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                          Title:   Roswell Farnham to [Mary Farnham]

                          Creator:  Farnham, Roswell, 1827-1903

                          Date:  1863-06-17

                          Resource type:   correspondence

                          Topics include the old Vermont Brigade being at Fairfax Station, 3rd Corps train with 400 wagons, the Army of the Potomac moving in response to Gen. Robert E. Lee as Lee is on the move to Pennsylvania (Gettysburg Campaign), and Farnham's lament on men being discharged just as they are in best fighting condition.

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                            Title:   Roswell Farnham to [Mary Farnham]

                            Creator:  Farnham, Roswell, 1827-1903

                            Date:  1863-06-20

                            Resource type:   correspondence

                            Topics include the need for the men to stay in the army even though they will be discharged within the week, the destruction of the Rappahannock Bridge by the union soldiers preventing the Rebels from using the Orange & Alexa. railroad, and the sixth corps going to Manassas (Bull Run), freshly butchered chicken for breakfast from Mr. Peach.

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                              Title:   Volney S. Fullam to B. F. Butler

                              Creator:  Fullam, Volney S.

                              Date:  1862-08-18

                              Resource type:   correspondence

                              Topics include vacancies in the regiment caused by the death and sickness of some officers, the resignation and guilt of misconduct by Lt. G. W. Sheldon, and the intention to send a list of promotions.

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                                Title:   Wheelock G. Veazey to Julia A. Veazey

                                Creator:  Veazey, Wheelock G., 1835-1898

                                Date:  1862-12-04

                                Resource type:   correspondence

                                From Camp Vermont, Virginia topics include needing to report to the Secretary of War in regards to a discharge and arrangements for Wheelock Veazey’s wife to visit him.

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                                  Title:   Wheelock G. Veazey to Julia A. Veazey

                                  Creator:  Veazey, Wheelock G., 1835-1898

                                  Date:  1863-01-09

                                  Resource type:   correspondence

                                  Writing from near Fairfax Court House, is in good health, drills practiced, men lost from the 15th and 16th regiments, a reference to a battle in Tennessee (maybe the Union win at the Battle of Stones River, Dec 31, 1862-Jan. 3, 1863), reflects on how the army will deal with the discharge of the soldiers signed up for only 9 months, mentions officers' wives in camp.

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                                    Title:   William Wirt Henry to Mary Jane Henry

                                    Creator:  Henry, William Wirt, 1831-1915

                                    Date:  1862-02-16

                                    Resource type:   correspondence

                                    Still at Camp Griffin, Va. topics include a love letter to William Henry's wife, the expected discharge of Ned Wells, of himself heading for home even if Wells is not discharged.

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                                      Title:   William Wirt Henry to Mary Jane Henry

                                      Creator:  Henry, William Wirt, 1831-1915

                                      Date:  1863-07-05

                                      Resource type:   correspondence

                                      Letter written on his knee in an open field it discusses movement of the Brigade to South Mountain and the anticipation of the arrival of more troops. The lack of letters received from family members is also discussed.

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                                        Title:   William Wirt Henry to Mary Jane Henry

                                        Creator:  Henry, William Wirt, 1831-1915

                                        Date:  1864-11-30

                                        Resource type:   correspondence

                                        Henry has put in his resignation under a surgeon’s certificate and that it has passed Division Head Quarters, and he is sure it will pass the Corps Head Quarters. He has preferred charges against Lieutenant Colonel Charles G. Chandler, as that was a condition of his officers before they would let him resign. The rest of the letter contains details of arrangements Henry is making to meet his wife at Astor House in New York City.

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                                          Title:   William Wirt Henry to Mary Jane Henry

                                          Creator:  Henry, William Wirt, 1831-1915

                                          Date:  1864-12-04

                                          Resource type:   correspondence

                                          On board steamboat, Matilda, writes that he has had to move with the Sixth Corps but does not know destination, did not get his papers in quickly enough and the Sixth Corps surgeon wanted to examine his personally, but he hopes to have his discharge soon.

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                                            Title:   William Wirt Henry to Mary Jane Henry

                                            Creator:  Henry, William Wirt, 1831-1915

                                            Date:  1864-12-06

                                            Resource type:   correspondence

                                            Henry writes that the Sixth Corps has returned to Petersburg, and the 10th Vermont is camped near General Meade’s Head Quarters and they recently glimpsed General Grant leaving after a meeting. He has not yet been examined by Dr. Hollman, surgeon of the Sixth Corps, but when he is, he will know his fate. He plans on visiting his brother, J. Edwin Henry, who is a 2nd Lieutenant in the 17th Vermont Infantry, is hearing rumors but no official word.

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                                              Title:   William Wirt Henry to Mary Jane Henry

                                              Creator:  Henry, William Wirt, 1831-1915

                                              Date:  1864-12-13

                                              Resource type:   correspondence

                                              Henry writes briefly that his papers have not yet come, though General Seymour thinks they will come soon, and that the regiment is now guarding Fort Durham that is near Petersburg, Va..

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                                                Title:   William Wirt Henry to Mary Jane Henry

                                                Creator:  Henry, William Wirt, 1831-1915

                                                Date:  1864-12-14

                                                Resource type:   correspondence

                                                Henry writes that he has finally been examined by Dr. Hollman, Sixth Corps surgeon, and that he has approved Henry’s medical discharge, so he will be selling his horses and will probably leave for Washington the next day. He writes that his wife should follow the instructions to meet him in New York which he sent in an earlier letter.

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