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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: ("United StatesArmy Military life") remove term  Recipient: ("Barney,Maria, 1833-1884") remove term

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Title:   Valentine G. Barney to Maria Barney

Creator:  Barney, Valentine G., 1834-1889

Date:  1862-07-06

Resource type:   correspondence

Topics include the Regiment is full and the expectation that the regiment will be mustererd (process of accounting for members in a military unit), mentions he is officer of the day and has many duties to attend to with recruits being new to army life.

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    Title:   Valentine G. Barney to Maria Barney

    Creator:  Barney, Valentine G., 1834-1889

    Date:  1862-07-27

    Resource type:   correspondence

    Writing from Camp Siegle, Virginia, topics include the journey to camp, their train cars running off the track with no injuries to the men, other men camping in the area being demoralized. He is in Gen. Piatts Brigade and Pope's division. Writes the hill being fortified with hard labor by the men, food in camp being good but not so good when on the move. Mentions the boys from Swanton being well. Six rebel scouts captured, one believed to pretend to be crazy but a grave ordered to be dug for the prisoner in hopes of getting him to confess his pretense.

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      Title:   Valentine G. Barney to Maria Barney

      Creator:  Barney, Valentine G., 1834-1889

      Date:  1862-07-31

      Resource type:   correspondence

      Topics include order from General Pope that force the regiment to find their own meat which they do by confiscating cattle from the countryside, Union troops being flung insults from the Southern women, pickets firing at the rebels, a careless discharge of a revolver caused a fifer to have two injured fingers on his right hand amputated by Surgeon Hall, and the capture of the Lady Rebel Spy Belle Boyd.

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        Title:   Valentine G. Barney to Maria Barney

        Creator:  Barney, Valentine G., 1834-1889

        Date:  1862-12-18

        Resource type:   correspondence

        From Camp Douglas topics include an update on the state of the regiment including men deserting, sick, discharged or joining the regular army, of sending photographs of Bushnell, Cleveland and of himself home to Maria, of Lt Sherman in camp, the loss of 13,000 Union men from Burnside’s army in recent battles, of thousands of paroled prisoners in Annapolis thus Barney needing to stay at camp through the holidays.

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          Title:   Valentine G. Barney to Maria Barney

          Creator:  Barney, Valentine G., 1834-1889

          Date:  1863-03-29

          Resource type:   correspondence

          Topics include orders received to go to Baltimore in the next day or two, will take only 36 men with him, and packs only what he will carry with him in the field having sold unneeded items.

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            Title:  

            Creator:  Barney, Valentine G., 1834-1889

            Date:  1863-06-08

            Resource type:   correspondence

            Barney writes of the routine of camp life, drilling the men, and of the creation of the “Awkward Squad,” a group of men that needs extra drilling. He also writes of his relief that the money he sent has been received, and of his wish that his wife hire help for her work in the garden. As well, he states he hasn’t drunk ale in 3 months.

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              Title:  

              Creator:  Barney, Valentine G., 1834-1889

              Date:  1864-01-10

              Resource type:   correspondence

              Letter inquiring into the behavior of the children and giving suggestions on how to deal with telling lies. He also writes of the difference between work in the regiment and work at home, and comments on how going home to Vermont in the winter can cause a soldier to get sick.

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                Title:  

                Creator:  Barney, Valentine G., 1834-1889

                Date:  1864-01-20

                Resource type:   correspondence

                Barney worries over his children’s sickness and his hope that they will soon recover, of good food for supper, of sending money to Vt to have a horse bought there, of his anticipation of receiving new troops for his regiment, along with the hope that the veterans can show these new men what soldiering is all about and not allow them to feel as though they will have it easy.

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                  Title:  

                  Creator:  Barney, Valentine G., 1834-1889

                  Date:  1864-01-24

                  Resource type:   correspondence

                  Letter discusses his hope of receiving new recruits soon, complaints by citizens against the government, and being president on a committee formed to deal with the complaints. He also discusses the improved health of his children, as well as his desire to receive his new horse, and supplies like currant wine, sausages, boots, and socks.

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                    Title:  

                    Creator:  Barney, Valentine G., 1834-1889

                    Date:  1864-01-31

                    Resource type:   correspondence

                    Letter discusses the arrival of new recruits to his regiment, his amusement at the actions of the new recruits, a raid against Rebels, of wanting his horse from Vermont and of visiting a local woman who had small pox. There is also an amusing account of being thrown from a horse.

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                      Title:  

                      Creator:  Barney, Valentine G., 1834-1889

                      Date:  1863-04-10

                      Resource type:   correspondence

                      Letter head contains a red emblem with star and shield. Topics include arriving at Camp Hamilton, other regiments and companies in the area, getting used to sleeping outside again, getting tents set up, food less available but oysters plentiful, hopes he will begin receiving letters from his wife, since the Regiment has settled into camp.

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                        Title:  

                        Creator:  Barney, Valentine G., 1834-1889

                        Date:  1863-04-19

                        Resource type:   correspondence

                        Writes of moving camp again to along the Nansemond River (tributary of the James River), lack of sleep due to being on picket duty, coming under fire by enemy sharpshooters. He continues the letter by describing coming into the new camp after picket duty and being roused from sleep to prepare for another march because the enemy has crossed the river.

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                          Title:  

                          Creator:  Barney, Valentine G., 1834-1889

                          Date:  1863-04-22

                          Resource type:   correspondence

                          Topics include the constant fire of gunboats, batteries, and sharpshooters, being in command of 5 companies while on picket duty, orders to be ready to march at a minutes notice and the food he is able to purchase. He also expresses his opinion that the Rebels will not be willing to engage the Union troops because of their numbers (30,000).

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