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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  Author: ("Rutherford, Joseph Chase, 1818-1902") remove term

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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 Daughter

    Creator:  Rutherford, Joseph Chase, 1818-1902

    Date:  1864-12-25

    Resource type:   correspondence

    Topics include organizing and preparing a Christmas dinner for the hospital, being awoken by the sounds of music, brother George’s defense of Rutherford to Governor Smith, and celebration of a big victory in battle, Rebel deserters coming into Union lines.

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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:  1862-10-07

        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:  1862-10-19

          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:  1864-04-21

                Resource type:   correspondence

                Writes of correspondence from home, the possibility that all letter writing may be banned by soldiers in the Army, of being restricted from the the battlefield & to stay at the hospital doing work there, and an explanation of the value of a surgeon’s service to the Army.

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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:  1864-10-12

                    Resource type:   correspondence

                    Topics include an account of a battle at Opequan Creek (3rd Winchester, Va battle, Sept 19th) lead by General Sheridan, an account of the battle at Fisher's Hill, and description of an included map of the battles.

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                      Title:   Joseph Rutherford to [Hannah Rutherford]

                      Creator:  Rutherford, Joseph Chase, 1818-1902

                      Date:  1864-11-04

                      Resource type:   correspondence

                      Writing from camp near Cedar Creek, Va, topics include the difficulty with sending letters given their location in the Valley, an offer given to him to transfer to a hospital in Washington, his taking offense with Governor Smith and feeling disrespect from the Gov. for not giving Rutherford a commission, again writes of Lucien wishing to have him know of Rutherford's good feelings towards him.

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                        Title:   Joseph Rutherford to [Hannah Rutherford]

                        Creator:  Rutherford, Joseph Chase, 1818-1902

                        Date:  1864-11-10

                        Resource type:   correspondence

                        Writes of being at the division hospital, of about to move again, having received two letters from Hannah, having just heard of receiving a commission for the Vt Cavalry.

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                          Title:   Joseph Rutherford to [Hannah Rutherford]

                          Creator:  Rutherford, Joseph Chase, 1818-1902

                          Date:  1864-11-14

                          Resource type:   correspondence

                          A brief letter from about 4 miles sought of Winchester, Va. about the difficulty of running the division hospital but the enjoyment it brings; had expected a big battle but it resulted in a skirmish, sick patients being sent out.

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                            Title:   Joseph Rutherford to [Hannah Rutherford]

                            Creator:  Rutherford, Joseph Chase, 1818-1902

                            Date:  1864-11-20

                            Resource type:   correspondence

                            Topics include the safe return home of their deceased child’s picture, Lucien's refusal of the hand of peace and friendship from Rutherford, discomforts of camp life but making do as best he can, eating well, description of Rutherford’s current labors in the Division Hospital, and his discontent for those soldiers pretending to be ill.

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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:  1864-12-22

                                Resource type:   correspondence

                                Rutherford's surgical skills performed on a soldier's wounded food, not expecting to be paid off until the following month, expressions of feeling deserving of a promotion and Rutherford's wish to spend Christmas with his family.

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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:   Joseph Rutherford to [Hannah Rutherford]

                                    Creator:  Rutherford, Joseph Chase, 1818-1902

                                    Date:  1865-02-10

                                    Resource type:   correspondence

                                    Topics include a meeting with Governor Smith to discuss the injustices Rutherford had been afforded previously, meeting with Mr. Baxter, escorting Ms. McDuffee to N.Y, and helping his brother with a printing press that he just got.

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                                      Title:   Joseph Rutherford to [Hannah Rutherford]

                                      Creator:  Rutherford, Joseph Chase, 1818-1902

                                      Date:  1865-02-13

                                      Resource type:   correspondence

                                      Topics include a long talk with Governor Smith, meeting and becoming acquainted with Major General Benjamin Henry Grierson (who lead Grierson's Raid ordered by Gen. Grant during the Vicksburg Campaign), and the entertaining manner in which they were introduced.

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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:  1865-03-12

                                          Resource type:   correspondence

                                          Topics include thoughts of the war ending soon, the effect the weather will have on General Lee’s progress, the decision not to sell his horse Lady Lightfoot, the possibility of a promotion to the 17th Regiment, philosophical reflections on living.

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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:  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:  1863-01-16

                                                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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