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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: ("Religion") remove term

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Title:   Edward P. Stone to Family

Creator:  Stone, Edward P., 1830-1920

Date:  [1861-10-?]

Resource type:   correspondence

Topics include a service the regiment attended.

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    Title:   Edward P. Stone to John F. Stone

    Creator:  Stone, Edward P., 1830-1920

    Date:  1862-08-08

    Resource type:   correspondence

    From camp along the James River, Va. he writes of money sent to his father, box received from home, fashioning furnishings with items available, mentions his horse, men may be required to move, will regret having to leave the brick church being used for worship, church cushioned & carpeted & has an organ, perhaps a gift from Mrs. President Harrison, missing soldiers learned to be prisoners exchanged unharmed.

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      Title:   Francis C. Williams to Frederick Holbrook

      Creator:  Williams, Francis C.

      Date:  1862-04-25

      Resource type:   correspondence

      Topics include the regiment being situated at Camp on Ship Island, the establishment of (religious?) services on Tuesdays, and the intellectual capacity of the men of the Vermont regiments.

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        Title:   Joseph Rutherford to [Hannah Rutherford]

        Creator:  Rutherford, Joseph Chase, 1818-1902

        Date:  1864-11-23

        Resource type:   correspondence

        Philosophical reflections on the origins and meanings of Thanksgiving from Rutherford’s perspective, and a breakdown of their intended feast with an explanation of the reasons they have to be thankful.

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          Title:   Joseph Rutherford to [Hannah Rutherford]

          Creator:  Rutherford, Joseph Chase, 1818-1902

          Date:  1864-12-03

          Resource type:   correspondence

          Topics include the will and faith of soldiers and the enduring faith Rutherford has in meeting his deceased love ones in heaven, and the delayed march until the next morning.

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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:   Justus E. Gale to [Family]

              Creator:  Gale, Justus F., 1837-1863

              Date:  1862-08-23

              Resource type:   correspondence

              Topics include a poem titled “The Heavenly Home” and clearing up the rumor that Justus Gale is dead.

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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 Father

                  Creator:  Gale, Justus F., 1837-1863

                  Date:  1862-09-24

                  Resource type:   correspondence

                  Topics include his reference to his religious faith, the death of Justus Gale’s brother Charlie and of the death of Jester caused by the fever, the poor health of the rest of his family, the good health of himself and of sending on a photograph sent to him and of getting a photograph taken of him to send.

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                    Title:   Justus F. Gale to Mother

                    Creator:  Gale, Justus F., 1837-1863

                    Date:  1862-04-06

                    Resource type:   correspondence

                    Two letters dated April 4th and 6th. Writing after arriving at Ship Island, Mississippi topics include observing the Sabbath,his devotion for the Bible, arriving on shore, digging and finding plenty of fresh water, being treated with food from the Mass. 30th, thinking war may be over before he gets a chance to fight and the expectation of capturing New Orleans.

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                      Title:   Justus F. Gale to Sister

                      Creator:  Gale, Justus F., 1837-1863

                      Date:  1862-03-07

                      Resource type:   correspondence

                      Writing to his sister topics include the journey from Camp Holbrook to Ship Island through New York via train car, mentions 45 rebel officers being taken prisoner at Fort Donelson, hopes the war to be over soon, thinks of his family back home and puts his faith in God to rule over all.

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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

                          Creator:  Gale, Justus F., 1837-1863

                          Date:  1862-10-09

                          Resource type:   correspondence

                          Topics include the improved health of Justus Gale’s family, speaks of his religious faith, a discussion of deciding on Charley’s gravestone, and the separation of his Gale's parents.

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                            Title:   Justus F. Gale to Sister

                            Creator:  Gale, Justus F., 1837-1863

                            Date:  1863-02-22

                            Resource type:   correspondence

                            Topics include reminiscences about attending church in Elmore and musings on the power of God to preserve him, a list of all the temptations available to soldiers in New Orleans, including swearing, playing cards, and drinking whiskey, and that liquor is as common as water in the city, with both men and women getting drunk.

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                              Title:   Lyman S. Willams to Lois L. Williams

                              Creator:  Williams, Lyman S., 1839-1905

                              Date:  1862-07-27

                              Resource type:   correspondence

                              Topics include the quietness of camp near Harrisons Landing, a church service that Lyman Williams attended, and the food Lyman misses from home.

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                                Title:   Lyman S. Williams to Lois L. Williams

                                Creator:  Williams, Lyman S., 1839-1905

                                Date:  1865-02-19

                                Resource type:   correspondence

                                Topics include the health of the Essex boys, the size of the chapel built in camp, which can hold three hundred soldiers, the friendly banter between the pickets and the number of Confederate soldiers deserting to the Union side, his optimism about the end of the war coming soon, and how many fights he has been in.

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                                  Title:   Valentine G. Barney to Maria Barney

                                  Creator:  Barney, Valentine G., 1834-1889

                                  Date:  1863-01-04

                                  Resource type:   correspondence

                                  From Camp Douglas in Chicago topics include going to the Baptist Church where he heard Elder Knapp a revivalist, sightseeing which included visiting grave to Stephen Douglas, seeing buffalo and oxen, requesting the return of the opened envelope in which money is missing, of eating well these days, of when the Regiment will be exchanged, gifts for officers including Col. Stannard, Col Andross, Major Stowell and the enclosure of "two small likenesses."

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                                    Title:   Valentine G. Barney to Maria Barney

                                    Creator:  Barney, Valentine G., 1834-1889

                                    Date:  1863-03-09

                                    Resource type:   correspondence

                                    Barney writes of how soldiers incarcerated in the guard house organize life while there, mimicking the rules of a regiment, including a “Colonel” (the Bully) who gets his position by fighting other soldiers, of extortion committed, of brutal beatings with one soldier not expected to live. He also describes how a soldier from his company (the 9th) deposed the "Colonel" and himself rose to the rank of “Major General” before escaping from camp, of Barney going to church worship, of Gen. Hooker granting furloughs and writes of family members.

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                                      Title:   William Wirt Henry to Mary Jane Henry

                                      Creator:  Henry, William Wirt, 1831-1915

                                      Date:  1862-10-05

                                      Resource type:   correspondence

                                      Topics include being at camp at Seneca Locks, Md., sorrow over the death of his sister, how he likes being the major of the regiment, guarding a supply depot on the Potomac canal, and a religious service by the regimental chaplain.

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                                        Title:   William Wirt Henry to Mary Jane Henry

                                        Creator:  Henry, William Wirt, 1831-1915

                                        Date:  1862-12-31

                                        Resource type:   correspondence

                                        Writes about the health of his children and God's will, anxious when receiving dispatches that the enemy is near, alerting the picket guards to be more alert, hearing many prisoners taken by the Rebels at Fairfax, wishes for more letters from home, is concerned for guards standing in the dark with cold rain, reflects on when the war will end.

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                                          Title:   William Wirt Henry to Mary Jane Henry

                                          Creator:  Henry, William Wirt, 1831-1915

                                          Date:  1863-01-04

                                          Resource type:   correspondence

                                          Reflects on God's will regarding his children, Rebel cavalry movements, Union scouts were thought to be Rebels, a cow disturbing a picket guard and rousing the camp, the general despondency of the army and the worsening of the war if slaves enter the fighting turning on their masters. He also writes of his hopes of being promoted to colonel of the 10th Vermont.

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                                            Title:   William Wirt Henry to Mary Jane Henry

                                            Creator:  Henry, William Wirt, 1831-1915

                                            Date:  1863-04-12

                                            Resource type:   correspondence

                                            Discusses the possibility of moving towards the front, and encourages his wife to seek comfort in her religious beliefs. Lack of pay from the Army, as well as the need for money for the family as well as himself is mentioned. The feelings that the troops have towards the inhabitants of the town where they are staying, and the feelings of the town towards the troops, are also discussed. Mentions Mr. Trundle (correct spelling?)not expected to live. (The Trundel family befriended the Union officers despite being southern sympathizers. Mr. Trundel was given medical care by Dr. Joseph Chase Rutherford).

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                                              Title:   [Frankie?] to Mother

                                              Date:  ?-?-?

                                              Resource type:   correspondence

                                              A poem, "Death of H. H. Wilder," written by Frankie, presumably Wilder's nephew.

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                                                Title:  

                                                Creator:  Barney, Valentine G., 1834-1889

                                                Date:  1863-06-02

                                                Resource type:   correspondence

                                                Barney writes of receiving a letter from his wife, confirming the arrival of the box he sent, of photographs, of the uncertainty in military life, confessing that he doesn’t read the Bible as often as he should, of being able to set up the wall tents and the difference this will make in his comfort. Encourages his wife to remain happy and how his happiest times were spent with her and the children.

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                                                  Creator:  Barney, Valentine G., 1834-1889

                                                  Date:  1863-11-08

                                                  Resource type:   correspondence

                                                  Barney writes of visiting New Bern with Dr. Carpenter, and lists his purchases with the prices. He also writes of visiting all the pickets using a large carriage captured from a Secessionist. As well he responds to a question from his wife about his religious views.

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