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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: ("Pillage") remove term

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Title:   Henry Harrison Wilder to Mother

Creator:  Wilder, Henry Harrison

Date:  1861-12-07

Resource type:   correspondence

Henry writes from Camp Griffin, Va. of a scouting and foraging expedition of 30,000 men whereby corn, hay and wood were obtained, of the death of Fenton on November 29th, of few meetings held by the Chaplain who is not very well thought of and of visiting the sick in the hospital.

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    Title:   Joseph Rutherford to [Hannah Rutherford]

    Creator:  Rutherford, Joseph Chase, 1818-1902

    Date:  1863-07-19

    Resource type:   correspondence

    Writing from in the field up in the mountains near Snickers Gap, Virginia topics include marching to catch Gen. Robert E. Lee, pillage of livestock for food by some of the soldiers that include chickens and hogs from nearby farms as well as having fresh blackberries, sleeping on the wet ground, spending time looking at photographs of loved ones and poking fun at themselves in harsh living conditions.

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      Title:   Justus E. Gale to Family

      Creator:  Gale, Justus F., 1837-1863

      Date:  1862-08-31

      Resource type:   correspondence

      Topics include a train crash, confiscating rebel property including horses, cattle, sheep and mules. Writes of having plenty of food on their travel back to camp including dining on lamb. Provided a meal at an old planters house. Mentions Negroes (slaves) and 1500 Blacks at camp, sending troops to Gen. Phelps, the expectation of getting paid, rebels killed in an encounter with the enemy.

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        Title:   Justus F. Gale to Father

        Creator:  Gale, Justus F., 1837-1863

        Date:  1862-06-14

        Resource type:   correspondence

        Topics include the living conditions and food in New Orleans, continues with cooking duty, the good weather, soldiers bringing back to camp chickens, eggs, an account of the poor treatment of slaves, two slave boys being rescued from ill treatment from their masters, and the observance of Sabbath in camp, wishing to know more news of the war than he can get in the South.

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          Title:   Justus F. Gale to Sister

          Creator:  Gale, Justus F., 1837-1863

          Date:  1862-07-18

          Resource type:   correspondence

          Topics include the good health of Justus Gale, the food available at Algiers including confiscated beef from the locals, standing guard for 12 hour shifts, killing alligators, writes of some of his comrades, the sickness of Sargent 2nd Class.Chas. C. Martin with inflammation of the bowels, the capture of Richmond and Vicksburg, mentions Confederate Gen. G. T. Beauregard, receiving a copy of the Green Mountain Freeman and refers to his religious faith.

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            Title:   Justus F. Gale to Sister Almeda

            Creator:  Gale, Justus F., 1837-1863

            Date:  1862-08-16

            Resource type:   correspondence

            Topics include guard duty, being able to pick some sweet potatoes, having fresh fruit melons, a trip into the city, a description of a plantation, mentions how much work it is for owners to look after their slaves, states care must be taken of their dress suits and boots in spite of whatever their living conditions may be and the improved health of some of the men in the regiment.

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              Title:   Ransom W. Towle to Family and Friends

              Creator:  Towle, Ransom W., d. 1864

              Date:  1862-01-29

              Resource type:   correspondence

              Towle writes to parents and friends from Camp Griffin in Virginia about foraging for wood by tearing down fences, desolation of the countryside due to the war, Southerners pretending Union sympathies so as to not be driven from their homes, of the mud, and of making a pipe for smoking from the root of a Laurel tree.

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                Title:   Report of property found in the several companies of the 1st Vermont Regiment…

                Creator:  Farnham, Roswell, 1827-1903

                Date:  1861-06-24

                Resource type:   correspondence

                List compiled by Farnham of items found or stolen from citizens by soldiers during a campaign.

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                  Title:   Roswell Farnham to Laura

                  Creator:  Farnham, Roswell, 1827-1903

                  Date:  1862-11-07

                  Resource type:   correspondence

                  Topics include the regiments location relative to Alexandria, Virginia and Mount Vernon, a description of G. Mason ( a Southern secessionist), troops commandeering and occupation of Mason's property, the ruins of other mansions in the area, and the continued improvement of Laura’s health (Farnham's sister).

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                    Title:   Valentine G. Barney to Maria Barney

                    Creator:  Barney, Valentine G., 1834-1889

                    Date:  [1861]-06-03

                    Resource type:   correspondence

                    Barney writes from Newport News, Virginia on the construction of a trench and accounts of alarms from the picket guard including a mule causing one of the alarms. Writes of the 2500 men, their disappointment at not being able to fire upon the Secessionists, fears the box from Swanton will not arrive at all, of the presence of 25 or 30 slaves, of horses, mules, dogs being brought in to camp, requests postage stamps and envelopes.

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                      Title:   Valentine G. Barney to Maria Barney

                      Creator:  Barney, Valentine G., 1834-1889

                      Date:  1861-05-26

                      Resource type:   correspondence

                      Topics include the arrival of the Troy Regiment and the New York Zouaves, runaway slaves, a false alarm set off by the Troy Regiment, Mass 4th Regiment being arrested for pillage and plundering, requests for postage stamps and photographs of his family

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                        Title:   Valentine G. Barney to Maria Barney

                        Creator:  Barney, Valentine G., 1834-1889

                        Date:  1861-06-23

                        Resource type:   correspondence

                        Topics include an account of what was seen during a scouting expedition, of orders to bring back lumber, of the men coming upon deserted homes still completely furnished, of the men ordered not to disturb anything (which some did anyway), of his observation and opinion of the negro slaves encountered.

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                          Title:   Valentine G. Barney to Maria Barney

                          Creator:  Barney, Valentine G., 1834-1889

                          Date:  1862-08-13

                          Resource type:   correspondence

                          Topics include the death of two men from the Burlington company, news of the Battle at Culpepper, Capt BeBee of Burlington ill and sent home, and the death of Captain Brooks by the Rebels, confiscating doors from a building inside one of Johnson's abandoned forts to be used a a floor in Barney's tent and a drawing of Barney's encampment.

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                            Title:   William Wirt Henry to Mary Jane Henry

                            Creator:  Henry, William Wirt, 1831-1915

                            Date:  1861-09-27

                            Resource type:   correspondence

                            September 9, 1861 from Camp Advance near Chain Bridge. Writes of the men being sent out to steal food near Lewinsville, Leesburgh road, casualties, picket duty.

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                              Title:   William Wirt Henry to Mary Jane Henry

                              Creator:  Henry, William Wirt, 1831-1915

                              Date:  1861-10-16

                              Resource type:   correspondence

                              Writes of feeling better from eating to many chestnuts, took Hibbards Pills, rustling cattle, pickets meeting up with Rebels with some, mentions friends and family life, misses his wife and young daughter Mollie.

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                                Title:   [Henry Harrison Wilder] to Mother

                                Creator:  Wilder, Henry Harrison

                                Date:  1861-12-11

                                Resource type:   correspondence

                                Henry writes from Camp Griffin, Va of the regiment's scouting expedition, of Capt. Stowell's company, of obtaining two hogs from a pen, of the fact that the captain is not very liked and that Lt. Hamilton is well liked by the company. Cautions his mother against being bothered about hear say.

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                                  Title:  

                                  Creator:  Barney, Valentine G., 1834-1889

                                  Date:  1863-07-27

                                  Resource type:   correspondence

                                  A description of the regiment's difficult expedition to commandeer & capture guerrilla fighters, horses & weapons. Negroes pressed into service as guides. Mentions can't get horses so must confiscate them. Women cried when horses taken. Took a trip to a local ten acre peach orchard, eating many & taking some to camp. Requests white handkerchiefs.

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