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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 hospitals") remove term

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Title:   Benjamin F. Parmenter to Brother

Creator:  Parmenter, Benjamin F., 1832-1896

Date:  1861-10-12

Resource type:   correspondence

Topics include Benjamin F. Parmenter's hospital stay and him enlisting his brother to take care of things at home.

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    Title:   Bradford Sparrow to Father, Mother, and Brothers

    Creator:  Sparrow, Bradford

    Date:  1865-05-04

    Resource type:   correspondence

    Writes from Parole Hospital in Jacksonville, Florida ; states he had been a prisoner at the Confederate prison camp Andersonville, Georgia ; health is not good as he is suffering from scurvy but is eating well now ; mentions the role of the Sanitary Commission ; hope to be home soon ; mentions the assassination of President Lincoln ; he under the care of Dr. Bundy

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      Title:   Bradford Sparrow to Friends

      Creator:  Sparrow, Bradford

      Date:  1863-10-31

      Resource type:   correspondence

      Writes of Bradford's sickness of "remitant fever", his stay and care in the regimental hospital, of other patients in the hospital having Typhoid fever, requests clothing with specific instructions on just how he wants them made, soap and green tea from home,

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        Title:   Bradford Sparrow to Parents and Brothers

        Creator:  Sparrow, Bradford

        Date:  1863-11-08

        Resource type:   correspondence

        Two letters; one dated Nov 8th and one dated Nov 10th ; writes of moving to a hospital near Rappahannock Station, his health is improving slowly, the news that Charleston is being shelled, of some domestic duties he is able to do, names some of his officers and updates about boys from home.

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          Title:   Bradford Sparrow to Parents and Brothers

          Creator:  Sparrow, Bradford

          Date:  1864-06-08

          Resource type:   correspondence

          States he is in the hospital getting the sore on his heel tended to, makes reference to the Battle of the Wilderness, of wounded and killed in his company the same day he writes this letter, inquires of folks and happenings at home, wishes more folks to write to him.

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            Title:   Bradford Sparrow to Parents and Brothers

            Creator:  Sparrow, Bradford

            Date:  1865-05-12

            Resource type:   correspondence

            Writes of receiving good medical care with plenty of good food, alcohol to drink, health is improving, may be transported to Annapolis, Maryland ; hopes to be home soon ; mentions Gen. Grant may discharge all the hospital boys. Letter head U.S. Christian Commission stationery.

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              Title:   Bradford Sparrow to Parents and Brothers

              Creator:  Sparrow, Bradford

              Date:  1865-05-22

              Resource type:   correspondence

              Writes from the General Hospital in South Carolina of his hopes to be discharged soon and be home by mid June, has a job in the dining room setting table, etc. & feels it is good for his health. Thinks of his parents and hopes they have not worried over his having been taken prisoner & mentions the other folks at home. Letter head United States Sanitary Commission, N. E. Women's Auxiliary Association.

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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:   Erastus Fairbanks to John Wolcott Phelps and [Daniel] Roberts to Erastus Fairbanks

                  Creator:  Fairbanks, Erastus

                  Date:  1861-06-04

                  Resource type:   correspondence

                  First letter is from Governor Erastus Fairbanks writing from St Johnsbury, Vt. Topic includes scandalous reports of officers in the 1st Regiment regarding the neglect of sick soldiers by the surgeon and assistant surgeon in military hospital. Second letter to the Gov. from Danl. Roberts writes of the sources of the reports and that the matter requires investigation.

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                    Title:   Frederick Holbrook to John Wolcott Phelps

                    Creator:  Holbrook, Frederick

                    Date:  1862-05-02

                    Resource type:   correspondence

                    Topics include the arrival of the 7th and 8th Vermont Regiments at Ship Island, off the coast of Miss., and arrangements with the War Department for wounded troops to be sent home. Holbrook mentions the Battle of Yorktown (April 5-May 4, 1862), esp. the "affair" on April 16 that left ca. 100 Vermont soldiers wounded. Holbrook is in charge of the U.S. Marine Hospital in Burlington, Vt.

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                      Title:   Henry A. Smith to Frances E. Smith

                      Creator:  Smith, Henry A., d. 1864

                      Date:  1864-02-28

                      Resource type:   correspondence

                      Short note written to tell his sister that he has been moved to the hospital in Richmond and that he is sick with dysentery. Henry died the next day.

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                        Title:   Henry W. Spafford to Clarissa A. Smith

                        Creator:  Spafford, Henry W., 1840-1911

                        Date:  1864-05-16

                        Resource type:   correspondence

                        Letter written by Spafford to Mrs. Clarissa A. Smith, the mother of Henry A. Smith regarding the death of her son, Hnery A. Smith in the hospital in Richmond, giving details of the conditions there, both about the physicians and how prisoners were buried. Spafford gives Mrs. Smith contact information in order to be in touch with the Ward Master Sergt Jacob Saftig Co. G 4th K.Y. Cav. in the hopes of him being able to give Mrs. Smith more information about Smith's final hours.

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                          Title:   John Lester Barstow to Laura

                          Creator:  Barstow, John Lester, 1832-1913

                          Date:  1864-05-19

                          Resource type:   correspondence

                          Topics include increasing numbers of sickly soldiers in camp, conditions of the hospital seized by Barstow for the injured, many wounded also homesick, projections for future marching orders.

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                            Title:   Joseph Rutherford to [Hannah Rutherford]

                            Creator:  Rutherford, Joseph Chase, 1818-1902

                            Date:  1862-09-28

                            Resource type:   correspondence

                            Rutherford writes of the illness of the his assistant surgeon, Dr. Clarke, of his own excellent health, and all he is enjoying at camp including a hive of bees. He writes of fresh meat, fowl and fruit available to eat, of a companion dog and of his horse he admires so much. He speaks of the difference in military medical care of the soldiers and notes how the care results in more or fewer sick soldiers and of deaths.

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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 Rutherford to [Hannah Rutherford]

                                Creator:  Rutherford, Joseph Chase, 1818-1902

                                Date:  1862-11-15

                                Resource type:   correspondence

                                Rutherford writes of the regiment's movement to Camp Grove Offults Cup, Maryland. Also of his contempt for soldiers who want to shirk their military duties, of how well the truly sick soldiers are cared for in the hospital, and a slanderous report written about the Surgeon which Rutherford firmly denies, gives his side of the story including military discipline and an account of who a man named Murk who is responsible for the false report.

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                                  Title:   Joseph Rutherford to [Hannah Rutherford]

                                  Creator:  Rutherford, Joseph Chase, 1818-1902

                                  Date:  1864-09-03

                                  Resource type:   correspondence

                                  Topics include grieving over the loss of their son, expressing the importance of parents being there for their children to give them guidance, update on the status of his own health, of being in the hospital and receiving special kindness from the medical director of his regiment.

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                                    Title:   Joseph Rutherford to [Hannah Rutherford]

                                    Creator:  Rutherford, Joseph Chase, 1818-1902

                                    Date:  1864-11-10

                                    Resource type:   correspondence

                                    Writes of being at the division hospital, of about to move again, having received two letters from Hannah, having just heard of receiving a commission for the Vt Cavalry.

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                                      Title:   Joseph Rutherford to [Hannah Rutherford]

                                      Creator:  Rutherford, Joseph Chase, 1818-1902

                                      Date:  1864-11-20

                                      Resource type:   correspondence

                                      Topics include the safe return home of their deceased child’s picture, Lucien's refusal of the hand of peace and friendship from Rutherford, discomforts of camp life but making do as best he can, eating well, description of Rutherford’s current labors in the Division Hospital, and his discontent for those soldiers pretending to be ill.

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                                        Title:   Joseph Rutherford to [Hannah Rutherford]

                                        Creator:  Rutherford, Joseph Chase, 1818-1902

                                        Date:  1865-01-01

                                        Resource type:   correspondence

                                        Topics include a retrospective review of the past year of service, the luck Rutherford feels for escaping the dangers of war, the unique recognition he is afforded by being a surgeon, attending a sermon preached in the hospital and watching a patient be baptized in the hospital.

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                                          Title:   Joseph Rutherford to [Hannah Rutherford]

                                          Creator:  Rutherford, Joseph Chase, 1818-1902

                                          Date:  1863-01-16

                                          Resource type:   correspondence

                                          Topics include being in Baltimore, assisting with errands in the city for fellow officers, guarding the river for 20 miles, not receiving an appointment because some men provided bad accounts of Rutherford to the Governor, taking charge of hospital, references to Col. Jewett and Dr. Willard Augustus Childe (surgeon), inquiring after his children and his premonitions regarding their welfare.

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                                            Title:   Joseph Rutherford to [Hannah Rutherford]

                                            Creator:  Rutherford, Joseph Chase, 1818-1902

                                            Date:  1863-02-03

                                            Resource type:   correspondence

                                            From White's Ford, MD topics include Rutherford in charge of hospital while Dr. Willard Augustus Childe returns home to get married, sickness among the men less than in other regiments, a visit from the Inspector General with excellent reports on how he runs his department, expresses his anger and outrage at the complaining of people back home about having to pay taxes because of the war.

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                                              Title:   Joseph Rutherford to [Hannah Rutherford]

                                              Creator:  Rutherford, Joseph Chase, 1818-1902

                                              Date:  1863-04-20

                                              Resource type:   correspondence

                                              Writing from a different camp, Heintzelman some 2 miles from Poolesville, topics include being put upon and over burdened with duties that put him in a bad mood that he had an unpleasant interaction with the Quartermaster, being put in charge of the Brigade Hospital, and recommended treatment for scarlet fever requested by his wife in case the children come down with the disease.

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                                                Title:   Joseph Rutherford to [Hannah Rutherford]

                                                Creator:  Rutherford, Joseph Chase, 1818-1902

                                                Date:  1863-05-13

                                                Resource type:   correspondence

                                                Topics include the rainy weather, traveling to Washington to help at the Campbell Hospital, attending the many wounded, their fortitude in their suffering, their injuries and the mens' gratitude for medical attention, having Surgeon's duties but not necessarily the pay to go with it, the honor associated with any position in the army to make up the difference, and instructions to his wife to secure housing for herself and the children above all else.

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                                                  Title:   Joseph Rutherford to [Hannah Rutherford]

                                                  Creator:  Rutherford, Joseph Chase, 1818-1902

                                                  Date:  1863-05-21

                                                  Resource type:   correspondence

                                                  Two letters dated May 21st and 22nd topics include the sickness of J.C. Rutherford's son Jacob, sharpers (slang) insulting his wife and children, $25 sent home, regiment preparations for a raid from the Rebels from across the river, Rutherford being praised for having the best brigade hospital by the inspector and Dr. Childe, and a description of an ambulance drill for medical attendants and nurses.

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