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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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Title:   George W. Quimby to Sister

Creator:  Quimby, George W.

Date:  1861-10-26

Resource type:   correspondence

Writes from Camp Griffin, Va, Smith's Division of camp life in general, of good food, of having been in several military advances since he last wrote, marching from Chain Bridge towards Lewinsville, "Sesesh" soldiers brought in with one having been said to have preached teh funeral service of Jackson and worth a lot of money, Picket Guard, Brigade Guard and sister's husband's health.

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    Title:   Henry Harrison Wilder to Mother

    Creator:  Wilder, Henry Harrison

    Date:  1861-10-22

    Resource type:   correspondence

    Henry writes of having his military pay make interest, of a fight that had taken place and General Johnston was taken prisoner, of his health being better, of a soldier's discharge due to fever sore on his leg, of a woman named Marion and of a lot of letter writing being done by the soldiers.

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      Title:   Ira A. Marshall to William Wirt Henry

      Creator:  Marshall, Ira A., d. 1893

      Date:  1862-06-08

      Resource type:   correspondence

      Topics include camping at Harrison's Landing, Virginia on the James River, makes reference to regiments and companies losing men, the names of men wounded and their injuries in Company D, makes reference to a battle (maybe Battle of Seven Pines [Fair Oaks]??), several officers resigning, the high cost of food, and the slight sickness of Ira Marshall.

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        Title:   Justus F. Gale to Father

        Creator:  Gale, Justus F., 1837-1863

        Date:  1862-07-10

        Resource type:   correspondence

        Topics include the medicating himself after seeing the doctor twice to rid his diarrhea, taking of Richmond and rebel prisoners, the weather in Algiers, high price of provisions, inquires about family and the plan to go visit friends 4 miles away.

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          Title:   Justus F. Gale to Mother

          Creator:  Gale, Justus F., 1837-1863

          Date:  1863-04-11

          Resource type:   correspondence

          Topics include getting ready to march with the 19th Corps against Fort Bisland and Colonel Thomas’ confidence in the 8th Vermont. He also writes that the regiment marched over 100 miles and captured 2,200 prisoners in an addendum to his letter, dated April 21.

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            Title:   Lyman Barton to Hiram Barton

            Creator:  Barton, Lyman, 1839-1936

            Date:  1863-06-28

            Resource type:   correspondence

            Lyman Barton describes a turntable built for a Confederate railway gun which was captured before it was operational. He also writes of an attack of the 11th Pennsylvania Cavalry led by Colonel Spear near Hanover Court House, during which General William Henry Fitzhugh Lee was captured.

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              Title:   Mary E. Farnham to Henry

              Creator:  Farnham, Mary E.

              Date:  1862-12-24

              Resource type:   correspondence

              Mary Farnham writes from near Fairfax Court House in Virginia to her brother, Henry, of soldiers being taken prisoners, of the wounded, of casualties, of checking rabbit traps for food. She mentions the weather, of her tour of camp, of sickness among the troops, of her excellent dinner at camp with Mrs. Blunt, Mrs. Stearns and others, and writes of family back home.

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                Title:   Roswell Farnham to Laura

                Creator:  Farnham, Roswell, 1827-1903

                Date:  1861-06-29

                Resource type:   correspondence

                Topics include two Louisiana Zouaves who were brought in by Col. Hawkins, accounts of their desertion and capture, rumors of an advancing Confederate force, and the anticipation of an enemy attack that never occurs. .

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                  Title:   Valentine G. Barney to Maria Barney

                  Creator:  Barney, Valentine G., 1834-1889

                  Date:  1861-06-30

                  Resource type:   correspondence

                  Writes from Newport, Va. of his improving health after a bout of illness, of about 6000 Rebels in the area which the company is out scouting, the capture of two prisoners from a Regiment of Zouaves from Louisiana who voluntarily surrendered as they thought their company had moved out without them, of Barney's weight loss, death of a man from the Middlebury Co. and his funeral.

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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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