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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 discipline") remove term

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Title:   Daniel S. White to Maria E. Howe

Creator:  White, Daniel S., 1837-1912

Date:  1861-08-03

Resource type:   correspondence

Topics include the witnessing of a hanging execution of a man from the New Hampshire 2nd Regiment who had killed an innocent woman (wife of a rebel soldier), his reaction to the hanging, of military tactics to deter the rebels advance, of breakfast awaiting consisting of fried pork bread and coffee.

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    Title:   George W. Quimby to Emeline B. Masta

    Creator:  Quimby, George W., 1835-1862

    Date:  1862-02-10

    Resource type:   correspondence

    Topics include descriptions of George W. Quimby’s superior officers, plus an incident that led to the arrest of a commanding officer, who was later exonerated.

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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 Harrison Wilder to Mother

        Creator:  Wilder, Henry Harrison

        Date:  1861-10-20

        Resource type:   correspondence

        Henry Harrison Wilder writes to his mother about his sickness and the treatment he is receiving from Doctor Russel. Mentions Captain Stowell, also receiving a box of cheese and pickles, minor illness among the men, anticipated discipline (to be shot) for a soldier found asleep at his post.

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          Title:   Henry L. Terry to John W. Campbell

          Creator:  Terry, Henry L., 1820-1885

          Date:  1861-10-21

          Resource type:   correspondence

          Topics include encamping at Lee's Mill, twelve miles from Washington, close to the Rebels.

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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:  1863-09-18

              Resource type:   correspondence

              Topics include the regiment moving to Culpeper, Virginia on high ground along the Blue Ridge, skirmishing nearby, going with Dr. Childe and Col. Henry to see deserters shot but they were not shot, no military pay because the regiment moved, glad daughter Helen taking an interest in domestic duties, sadness over the desolate condition of the countryside and George moving to Washington permanently.

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                Title:   Joseph Rutherford to [Hannah Rutherford]

                Creator:  Rutherford, Joseph Chase, 1818-1902

                Date:  1862-11-27

                Resource type:   correspondence

                Topics include Rutherford’s hope to send money home to his wife Hannah, of anticipation of having a Thanksgiving dinner in camp, the good health of the entire family, of the Colonel praising Rutherford for his performance of medical duties and of the man Murk who wrote slanderous reports of the surgeons being put on trial.

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                  Title:   Joseph Rutherford to [Hannah Rutherford]

                  Creator:  Rutherford, Joseph Chase, 1818-1902

                  Date:  1863-04-11

                  Resource type:   correspondence

                  Two letters dated April 10 and 11 topics include the possibility of moving to Poolesville due to weather, reference back to the man named Pleasants sentenced to prison and hard labor for harboring the enemy, the arrest and conviction of the hospital steward for stealing from the dead, and the few number of men who are sick in the regiment compared to other regiments, sudden preparations for going into the field with possibility of engaging the enemy.

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                    Title:   Joseph Rutherford to [Hannah Rutherford]

                    Creator:  Rutherford, Joseph Chase, 1818-1902

                    Date:  1863-04-06

                    Resource type:   correspondence

                    Topics include having upset Hannah in an earlier letter regarding dangers Rutherford may face, his reassurance to her that a surgeon faces much less danger due to being a doctor, a terrible snow storm in camp, waiting for the weather to clear so the regiment can move to Poolesville, a maple sugar party given by Col. Henry, the anticipation of getting military pay (due $600 but will only get $400) and the return of Captain Steele to duty and his being reprimanded by Rutherford, Jewett and Henry.

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                      Title:   Joseph Spafford to Mary Jane Spafford

                      Creator:  Spafford, Joseph, 1837-1866

                      Date:  1861-09-20

                      Resource type:   correspondence

                      Writes of possible departure soon, of being told men to be mustered into service soon, of confrontation between the Colonel and men to be enlisted, of Guard House being full of men "who had run the Guard".

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                        Title:   Letter to Rufus and Sebra Towle

                        Creator:  Towle, Ransom W., d. 1864

                        Date:  1861-11-25

                        Resource type:   correspondence

                        From Camp Griffen, Va. Topics include the health of the regiment (measles, Typhoid fever), requests for food, tea, clothing and the cold weather.

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                          Title:   Letter to Rufus and Sebra Towle

                          Creator:  Towle, Ransom W., d. 1864

                          Date:  1861-12-07

                          Resource type:   correspondence

                          December 7, 1861. Topics include Ransom W. Towle's responsibilities in the regiment, discipline if duties not carried out, foraging for food, marching in preparation to join an attack, request for newspapers and the location of the camp.

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                            Title:   Roswell Farnham to Mary [Farnham]

                            Creator:  Farnham, Roswell, 1827-1903

                            Date:  1861-05-05

                            Resource type:   correspondence

                            Topics include camp life, food (lack of some items, abundance of others), daily routine, occasional discomforts. Farnham mentions rumors that the Regiment won't be sent to the South but more likely to New York, even though most of the men are looking forward to battle. Some discussion about postal service, i.e. how long a letter will take for sender and recipient. Col. Phelps is lauded as a good disciplinarian.

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                              Title:   Roswell Farnham to [Mary Farnham]

                              Creator:  Farnham, Roswell, 1827-1903

                              Date:  1861-06-13

                              Resource type:   correspondence

                              Topics include the battle the previous Monday and the death of George Lougee from Vershire, Vermont. Farnham concerned that some of his letters may be misinterpreted and printed (presumably in the local press). Mentions Col. Phelps's anxiety, imminent court-martial of Mass. general, and some of the hardships of the campaign.

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                                Title:   Solomon G. Heaton to Father

                                Creator:  Heaton, Solomon G.

                                Date:  1863-11-24

                                Resource type:   correspondence

                                Topics include the anticipated move of the army, the branding and branding of two soldiers, disapproves of this action by the army, requests food and clothing from home.

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                                  Title:   Valentine G. Barney to Maria Barney

                                  Creator:  Barney, Valentine G., 1834-1889

                                  Date:  1863-01-18

                                  Resource type:   correspondence

                                  Topics include receiving family photographs, his displeasure with General Order 145, which allowed enlistment by volunteer soldiers in the regular army, how it affected discipline, Col. Andross resigning his office because of it, 65th waiting for their arms to be manufactured so they can move out.

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                                    Title:   Valentine G. Barney to Maria Barney

                                    Creator:  Barney, Valentine G., 1834-1889

                                    Date:  [1861]-07-23

                                    Resource type:   correspondence

                                    Topics include the plan for the journey home, the death of Whitney of the Woodstock Co. by the hands of forty or fifty rebels, the capture of two rebels, and of only a few men ill in the hospital.

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                                      Title:   Wheelock G. Veazey to Albin Beard, Albin Beard to Wheelock G. Veazey

                                      Creator:  Veazey, Wheelock G., 1835-1898; Beard, Albin

                                      Date:  [1861]-09-08

                                      Resource type:   correspondence

                                      Topics include the assignment of Wheelock G. Veazey’s regiment to the post of honor within their division of the army.

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                                        Title:   Wheelock G. Veazey to Julia A. Veazey

                                        Creator:  Veazey, Wheelock G., 1835-1898

                                        Date:  [1861]-07-19

                                        Resource type:   correspondence

                                        Topics include orders to march to Baltimore under General Banks on Tuesday.

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                                          Title:   Wheelock G. Veazey to Julia A. Veazey

                                          Creator:  Veazey, Wheelock G., 1835-1898

                                          Date:  1861-07-21

                                          Resource type:   correspondence

                                          Topics include a description of a riot Wheelock G. Veazey was in charge of dissipating because of the absence of Colonel Hyde.

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                                            Title:   Wheelock G. Veazey to Julia A. Veazey

                                            Creator:  Veazey, Wheelock G., 1835-1898

                                            Date:  [1861]-09-14

                                            Resource type:   correspondence

                                            Topics include Wheelock G. Veazey’s position as field officer of the day, the lack of sleep the soldiers are experiencing, and the ease with which the Rebels could attack the Regiment.

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                                              Title:   Wheelock G. Veazey to Julia A. Veazey

                                              Creator:  Veazey, Wheelock G., 1835-1898

                                              Date:  [1861]-10-04

                                              Resource type:   correspondence

                                              Topics include General Hancock being in command of the 1st Brigade.

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                                                Title:   Wheelock G. Veazey to Julia A. Veazey

                                                Creator:  Veazey, Wheelock G., 1835-1898

                                                Date:  1861-08-27

                                                Resource type:   correspondence

                                                Topics include the promotion of Lt. Col. Hyde to Col., Wheelock G. Veazey to Lt. Col., and Seaver to Major.

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                                                  Title:   Wheelock G. Veazey to Julia A. Veazey

                                                  Creator:  Veazey, Wheelock G., 1835-1898

                                                  Date:  [1861]-11-14

                                                  Resource type:   correspondence

                                                  Topics include a few items Wheelock G. Veazey would like his wife Julia to send him and concern that his horse will die.

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