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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 Surgeons") remove term

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Title:   Erastus Fairbanks to John Wolcott Phelps and [Daniel] Roberts to Erastus Fairbanks

Creator:  Fairbanks, Erastus

Date:  1861-06-04

Resource type:   correspondence

First letter is from Governor Erastus Fairbanks writing from St Johnsbury, Vt. Topic includes scandalous reports of officers in the 1st Regiment regarding the neglect of sick soldiers by the surgeon and assistant surgeon in military hospital. Second letter to the Gov. from Danl. Roberts writes of the sources of the reports and that the matter requires investigation.

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    Title:   John Lester Barstow to Laura

    Creator:  Barstow, John Lester, 1832-1913

    Date:  1863-05-16

    Resource type:   correspondence

    Topics include moving up the Red River, on the march can not catch the Rebels on horseback, dealing with snakes, joining forces with General Grant and his campaign in regard to Port Hudson or Vicksburg, inquiries about the draft in Shelburne, wishing to be with family, the beauty of flower gardens at the residences, plenty of corn planted but folks in need of other goods, the murder of a soldier by another soldier (later confined as a lunatic), a surgeon administering medicine only to discover is was poisoned resulting in the death of five soldiers.

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      Title:   Joseph Rutherford to Daughter

      Creator:  Rutherford, Joseph Chase, 1818-1902

      Date:  1862-11-23

      Resource type:   correspondence

      Rutherford writes from his Maryland camp to his daughter, Helen, of military life, about the fact that there is no day of worship in the military, food preparations for Thanksgiving dinner, description of the dress parade, Typhoid fever in the camp, and the proper care that the Vermont regiment is receiving from their surgeons.

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        Title:   Joseph Rutherford to [Hannah Rutherford]

        Creator:  Rutherford, Joseph Chase, 1818-1902

        Date:  1863-09-27

        Resource type:   correspondence

        Topics include receiving postage stamp requested, criticism of a doctor named Patch for his incompetence, the expectation of a big battle but not having it yet, a social visit with Captain Bartlett, his concern for the large number of sick men in the other regiments stationed next to his while his regiment is healthier and of writing a report regarding this concern to the Surgeon in Chief of the Army.

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          Title:   Joseph Rutherford to [Hannah Rutherford]

          Creator:  Rutherford, Joseph Chase, 1818-1902

          Date:  1863-09-28

          Resource type:   correspondence

          Topics include reflections upon the beauty of the Blue Ridge countryside, the line of defense maintained, surgeons going to a sheltered area away from gunfire during a battle, preparing a place to treat the wounded, a reference to new born babies, his opinion on another couple's marriage issues, his sons Jovis and Jacob and the hope that the war will end so Rutherford can return to his family.

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            Title:   Joseph Rutherford to [Hannah Rutherford]

            Creator:  Rutherford, Joseph Chase, 1818-1902

            Date:  1863-11-03

            Resource type:   correspondence

            Topics include references to folks at home and their improved health, of not minding having his letters read to others, brief reference to a battle at Briston Station (Manassas plains), Dr. Childe's sister has a book for Rutherford's daughter Helen, a brief description of a battle and how the wounded men were treated including Rutherford's decisions to not amputate limbs and the recovered heath of those soldiers who were spared the surgery.

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              Title:   Joseph Rutherford to [Hannah Rutherford]

              Creator:  Rutherford, Joseph Chase, 1818-1902

              Date:  1863-12-13

              Resource type:   correspondence

              Topics include a his experiences on November 27th in the Battle of Mine Run that took place near Locust Grove (Orange County, Virginia), meager food for Thanksgiving meal, marching to the forest known as the "Wilderness", the way in which the wounded were cared for, praise for Capt. Steele and the service all the men did for their country.

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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:  1863-07-04

                  Resource type:   correspondence

                  A brief letter from Frederick Junction, Maryland stating he has received a picture of his wife, that he and the troops are preparing to march, and he has been assigned to be the acting surgeon of the Regiment and Medical Director of the Brigade.

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                    Title:   Joseph Rutherford to [Hannah Rutherford]

                    Creator:  Rutherford, Joseph Chase, 1818-1902

                    Date:  1863-05-21

                    Resource type:   correspondence

                    Two letters dated May 21st and 22nd topics include the sickness of J.C. Rutherford's son Jacob, sharpers (slang) insulting his wife and children, $25 sent home, regiment preparations for a raid from the Rebels from across the river, Rutherford being praised for having the best brigade hospital by the inspector and Dr. Childe, and a description of an ambulance drill for medical attendants and nurses.

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                      Title:   Joseph Rutherford to [Hannah Rutherford]

                      Creator:  Rutherford, Joseph Chase, 1818-1902

                      Date:  1862-08-31

                      Resource type:   correspondence

                      Dr. Rutherford writes from Camp Washburn about his improved health from the dysentery from which he has suffered, medicine he took, his heavy responsibilities caring for sick soldiers, and anticipation of leaving for Virginia on Friday. He writes of missing home.

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                        Title:   Joseph Rutherford to [Hannah Rutherford]

                        Creator:  Rutherford, Joseph Chase, 1818-1902

                        Date:  1862-10-19

                        Resource type:   correspondence

                        Rutherford writes to wife, Hannnah,about the regiment's movement to his camp at Seneca Creek in Maryland. Topics include what was involved in the moving of the troops at night, the baggage he carried on horseback, his pride for his mare, of feeling proud to serve his country in time of need, of him being put in charge of building of a hospital to be named after him and called the Rutherford Hospital.

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                          Title:   Joseph Rutherford to [Hannah Rutherford]

                          Creator:  Rutherford, Joseph Chase, 1818-1902

                          Date:  1862-11-05

                          Resource type:   correspondence

                          Dr. Rutherford writes of a battle near Leesburgh some 14 miles from the camp near Seneca Creek (Maryland?) the outcome of which is not known, of the filthy condition of some of the soldiers, of an epidemic of Typhoid fever with the loss of over a dozen men to the illness. He writes of his winter living accommodations of which he is very happy and mentions "Mose the Moor", the runaway black slave boy who tends to him. Also writes of a review from the Brigadier General, and the health of Rutherford’s family.

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                            Title:   Joseph Rutherford to [Hannah Rutherford]

                            Creator:  Rutherford, Joseph Chase, 1818-1902

                            Date:  1862-11-15

                            Resource type:   correspondence

                            Rutherford writes of the regiment's movement to Camp Grove Offults Cup, Maryland. Also of his contempt for soldiers who want to shirk their military duties, of how well the truly sick soldiers are cared for in the hospital, and a slanderous report written about the Surgeon which Rutherford firmly denies, gives his side of the story including military discipline and an account of who a man named Murk who is responsible for the false report.

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                              Title:   Joseph Rutherford to [Hannah Rutherford]

                              Creator:  Rutherford, Joseph Chase, 1818-1902

                              Date:  1862-10-07

                              Resource type:   correspondence

                              Rutherford writes to his wife, Hannah, about life in camp along the Potomac River. Many soldiers have fevers, his assistant surgeon is ill but he continues to keep up with all the work needing to be done. He writes of a 17 year old male runaway slave named Moses, who takes care of him and his horse, Lady Lightfoot and complains of how slow the mail is.

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                                Title:   Joseph Rutherford to [Hannah Rutherford]

                                Creator:  Rutherford, Joseph Chase, 1818-1902

                                Date:  1862-12-06

                                Resource type:   correspondence

                                Rutherford writes a description of Thanksgiving dinner in camp prepared with the help of the officers' wives, a reference to John Piper his "orderly", of soldiers plans to steal a gun from a neighboring farmer in order to get some turkeys and chickens for the holiday meal, of their arrest, the unpleasant weather, of Rutherford being jaundice and of his black boy Moses being sick and likely to die.

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                                  Title:   Joseph Rutherford to [Hannah Rutherford]

                                  Creator:  Rutherford, Joseph Chase, 1818-1902

                                  Date:  1862-12-29

                                  Resource type:   correspondence

                                  Topics include Christmas at Camp Jewett, southern hospitality, the enemy crossing the river to Harrisons Island, and the holding of a council of war.

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                                    Title:   Joseph Rutherford to [Hannah Rutherford]

                                    Creator:  Rutherford, Joseph Chase, 1818-1902

                                    Date:  1862-11-25

                                    Resource type:   correspondence

                                    Topics include the possibility of action, ammunition and the mini ball, of high morale among the soldiers, of John Piper being described as the best marksman and now being Rutherford's body guard, an order from the War Department for Surgeons to remove themselves from action as much as possible, a case of Typhoid and the improbability of Rutherford taking a leave of absence at this time.

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                                      Title:   Joseph Rutherford to [Hannah Rutherford]

                                      Creator:  Rutherford, Joseph Chase, 1818-1902

                                      Date:  1862-11-27

                                      Resource type:   correspondence

                                      Topics include Rutherford’s hope to send money home to his wife Hannah, of anticipation of having a Thanksgiving dinner in camp, the good health of the entire family, of the Colonel praising Rutherford for his performance of medical duties and of the man Murk who wrote slanderous reports of the surgeons being put on trial.

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                                        Title:   Joseph Rutherford to [Hannah Rutherford]

                                        Creator:  Rutherford, Joseph Chase, 1818-1902

                                        Date:  1863-01-16

                                        Resource type:   correspondence

                                        Topics include being in Baltimore, assisting with errands in the city for fellow officers, guarding the river for 20 miles, not receiving an appointment because some men provided bad accounts of Rutherford to the Governor, taking charge of hospital, references to Col. Jewett and Dr. Willard Augustus Childe (surgeon), inquiring after his children and his premonitions regarding their welfare.

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                                          Title:   Joseph Rutherford to [Hannah Rutherford]

                                          Creator:  Rutherford, Joseph Chase, 1818-1902

                                          Date:  1863-01-20

                                          Resource type:   correspondence

                                          Writes of medical treatment for diphtheria if his children ever come down with the illness, a possible leave of absence for Dr. Willard Augustus Childe as he has been in service for 20 months without one, expresses his anger at criticism from folks back home about what the military ought to be doing and states the need for the Union to conquer the South.

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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:  1863-02-03

                                              Resource type:   correspondence

                                              From White's Ford, MD topics include Rutherford in charge of hospital while Dr. Willard Augustus Childe returns home to get married, sickness among the men less than in other regiments, a visit from the Inspector General with excellent reports on how he runs his department, expresses his anger and outrage at the complaining of people back home about having to pay taxes because of the war.

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                                                Title:   Joseph Rutherford to [Hannah Rutherford]

                                                Creator:  Rutherford, Joseph Chase, 1818-1902

                                                Date:  1863-01-13

                                                Resource type:   correspondence

                                                Writing from camp in Maryland topics include an accident that happened to Rutherford's daughter Kittie, an attempt for a leave of absense, of sending some military pay home via express and Rutherford's role of Acting Surgeon.

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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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