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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 pay") remove term  Genre: ("correspondence") remove term

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Title:   Edward P. Stone to Family

Creator:  Stone, Edward P., 1830-1920

Date:  1862-12-28

Resource type:   correspondence

Two letters dated Dec 28 and New Year's Day [1863] ; relates procedure and process by which allowed pass to travel to Washington with a soldier’s body, travel to Washington on the steamer Zepher, receiving parcels from home ; asking if $400 received.

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    Title:   Edward P. Stone to John F. Stone

    Creator:  Stone, Edward P., 1830-1920

    Date:  1862-12-09

    Resource type:   correspondence

    Stone writes he encloses $400 ; just paid for four months service ; the regiment to march towards Fredericksburg, Va. ; he thinks this may mean a battle (a battle was fought Dec. 13, 1862 at Fredericksburg) ; he will stay behind unless the regiment moves ; address for John given.

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      Title:   Henry A. Smith to Clarissa A. Smith

      Creator:  Smith, Henry A., d. 1864

      Date:  1863-01-09

      Resource type:   correspondence

      Topics include rebel raids on the pickets, how comfortable their camp is, what he wants in a box his family will be sending him, including a baked chicken and maple sugar. He also mentions his views about the war and whether France will come in on the Confederate side. Mentions CSA Gen. Jeb Stuart and his cavalry raids.

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        Title:   Henry A. Smith to Clarissa A. Smith

        Creator:  Smith, Henry A., d. 1864

        Date:  1863-02-06

        Resource type:   correspondence

        A short letter thanking his mother for the box she sent. Although generally satisfied with the food, he wishes the requested socks had arrived as well. He adds a brief correction: "We do not belong to Burnsides Army but belong to the defences of Washington." Weather in February has been bad, and March will probably be just as bad.

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          Title:   Henry A. Smith to Family

          Creator:  Smith, Henry A., d. 1864

          Date:  1862-04-20

          Resource type:   correspondence

          Topics include the journey from Harpers Ferry to Newmarket, reference to General Banks division, detailed description of the suicide of Major Colins' Colonel, Michigan Calvary refusing to obey orders to charge the enemy, the Calvary rode away, mention of Lieut Col Kellogg and a Col Ashby, an encounter with the rebels that resulted in three rebel deaths and two rebel prisoners, getting pay.

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            Title:   Henry A. Smith to Family

            Creator:  Smith, Henry A., d. 1864

            Date:  1862-05-16

            Resource type:   correspondence

            Topics include General Banks' Division falling back to Strasburgh, the frequent skirmishes with Ashbys Cavalry, an account of a man in Company I who shot a rebel, Smith's hand wounded by a fellow soldier playing carelessly with a sabre, men eating well, mention of Oliver Cushman of Hartland who was promoted to second Lieutenant, reference to military pay.

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              Title:   Henry A. Smith to Mother

              Creator:  Smith, Henry A., d. 1864

              Date:  1862-09-14

              Resource type:   correspondence

              A very brief letter from near Alexandria, Va. Topics include Henry Smith getting paid, the resignation of Colonel Tompki, General Blake returning home, a fellow soldier awaits court-martial.

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                Title:   John M. Stone to Family

                Creator:  Stone, John M., 1835-1915

                Date:  1862-08-28

                Resource type:   correspondence

                Two letters dated Aug 28 & Aug 30 ; grateful for letters from home writing, pride in Vermont for providing soldiers, loading wagons onto the boats in Hampton (Va.?), pleased with the work done by black men, sending money home and news from home.

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                  Title:   Joseph Rutherford to [Hannah Rutherford]

                  Creator:  Rutherford, Joseph Chase, 1818-1902

                  Date:  1863-08-07

                  Resource type:   correspondence

                  Writing in the field near White Sulphur Springs, Virginia topics include military pay received, sending $200 home, little going on, waiting for conscripts, diarrhea among the regiment, the desolation of the countryside, the commanders and the identifying symbols, badges, insignia for each regiment.

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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:  1863-11-11

                      Resource type:   correspondence

                      A brief letter with topics including references to two battles with no casualties of the troops, encamping on J. Minor Botts’ farm, hardships camping in the field with cold weather, military pay expected and Rutherford’s good health.

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                        Title:   Joseph Rutherford to [Hannah Rutherford]

                        Creator:  Rutherford, Joseph Chase, 1818-1902

                        Date:  1863-11-19

                        Resource type:   correspondence

                        Topics include sending military pay home, of high cost of food, the lack of food, wishing to hear more often from home and Colonel Henry taking a leave due to sickness.

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                          Title:   Joseph Rutherford to [Hannah Rutherford]

                          Creator:  Rutherford, Joseph Chase, 1818-1902

                          Date:  1863-12-25

                          Resource type:   correspondence

                          Very brief letter about arriving in Washington, D. C. to get military pay, expectation of getting home and wishing the family a Merry Christmas.

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                            Title:   Joseph Rutherford to [Hannah Rutherford]

                            Creator:  Rutherford, Joseph Chase, 1818-1902

                            Date:  1863-06-20

                            Resource type:   correspondence

                            Topics include J.C. Rutherford reassuring his wife that he is still alive, the men are on alert, he nervous at the prospect of a fight, sending her $20 and advising his wife to be economical with it as he does not know when he will be paid next.

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                              Title:   Joseph Rutherford to [Hannah Rutherford]

                              Creator:  Rutherford, Joseph Chase, 1818-1902

                              Date:  1863-04-22

                              Resource type:   correspondence

                              Topics include a violent confrontation with a very drunken soldier resulting in kicks exchanged, a storm, the expectation for the regiment not to march as originally thought, his favorable impression of Dr. Childe's wife, Rutherford's longing to be with his family, and the expectation of going to Washington the next day to hopefully receive pay.

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                                Title:   Joseph Rutherford to [Hannah Rutherford]

                                Creator:  Rutherford, Joseph Chase, 1818-1902

                                Date:  1863-05-04

                                Resource type:   correspondence

                                Topics include getting paid so as to make payment on their new house, $500 sent home, wishing to have a photograph of the finished house sent to him, having a pleasant lifestyle in camp with visits with other officers, a trip to Washington to purchase medicine, how fat J. C. Rutherford has grown, suggestions for his wife to have a garden, and war news conflicting but evidence of a lot of fighting because of the number wounded arriving at City Hospitals .

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                                  Title:   Joseph Rutherford to [Hannah Rutherford]

                                  Creator:  Rutherford, Joseph Chase, 1818-1902

                                  Date:  1863-01-25

                                  Resource type:   correspondence

                                  Writing from White's Ford, Maryland two letters of Jan 23 (or 25?) and 27 topics include photographs, military pay, of ambulance drill to teach hospital attendants medical practices, warm weather, men singing, being made the Surgeon if Dr. Willard Augustus Childe is promoted, moving to Poolesville, Maryland, Col. A. B. Jewett in command of the Brigade, the disgrace of two officers by getting drunk, the potential for a man from his Vermont county to receive a dishonorable discharge and of him being in good health.

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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 Rutherford to [Hannah Rutherford]

                                      Creator:  Rutherford, Joseph Chase, 1818-1902

                                      Date:  1863-04-28

                                      Resource type:   correspondence

                                      Writing from camp 2 miles from Poolesville, Maryland topics include Rutherford reassuring Hannah that his life style is comfortable while in camp, the rebels are building fortifications across the river that the regiment plans to break down with cannon fire, finally receiving the pay, sending $400 home and sorting out house payments.

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                                        Title:   Joseph Spafford to Marianne Spafford

                                        Creator:  Spafford, Joseph, 1837-1866

                                        Date:  1863-04-26

                                        Resource type:   correspondence

                                        Very brief letter about military pay in "scripts" being sent home to sister Mary Jane.

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                                          Title:   Joseph Spafford to Marianne Spafford

                                          Creator:  Spafford, Joseph, 1837-1866

                                          Date:  1863-04-27

                                          Resource type:   correspondence

                                          Topics include sending $350 home after being paid $426, a trip into Washington to purchase needed clothing, release date July 23rd, the distribution of the regiment, military pay in "scripts" and the pleasant weather.

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                                            Title:   Joseph Spafford to Mary Jane Spafford

                                            Creator:  Spafford, Joseph, 1837-1866

                                            Date:  1863-01-19

                                            Resource type:   correspondence

                                            Topics include the 16th Vermont Regiment and whole Brigade moving to Occoquan and Wolf Run, the measles going around the regiment, looking forward to marching as the weather is good, states many soldiers have deserted, the government not paying the soldiers, officers having to buy their own outfits, writes again about whether or not to have a box of goods sent to him.

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                                              Title:   Joseph Spafford to Mary Jane Spafford

                                              Creator:  Spafford, Joseph, 1837-1866

                                              Date:  1863-04-03

                                              Resource type:   correspondence

                                              Topics include several promotions in the regiment, a trip to Washington, to the theater to see performances (Werner, Still Waters Run Deep, My Aunt), book of poems to send home, music to send home (I'm sitting on the Stile Mary & The Vacant chair), the cold weather, and the expectation to be paid soon.

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                                                Title:   Joseph Spafford to Mary Jane Spafford

                                                Creator:  Spafford, Joseph, 1837-1866

                                                Date:  1863-04-24

                                                Resource type:   correspondence

                                                Topics include Companies E and K going to Bristol Station with General Stannard, receiving military pay for the past four months, liking the song "Sitting on the Style, Mary".

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                                                  Title:   Joseph Spafford to Mary Jane Spafford

                                                  Creator:  Spafford, Joseph, 1837-1866

                                                  Date:  1863-06-13

                                                  Resource type:   correspondence

                                                  Topics include the hot weather, the anticipation of the rebels attacking again at Bull Run, receiving $214 in pay and sending $175 home, amount of money saved, the plan to go to Washington and hoping to get to Brattleboro and have Mary Jane and Ellen join him there.

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