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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.Vermont Infantry Regiment, 7th (1862-1866)") remove term  Genre: ("correspondence") remove term

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Title:   ? to Lorenzo Thomas

Date:  1862-08-30

Resource type:   correspondence

Topics include the request to inquire after statements made by the Major General, and a request for an investigation of the Battle of Baton Rouge by a court of inquiry.

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    Title:   E. V. N. Hitchcock to John Wolcott Phelps

    Creator:  Hitchcock, E. V. N.

    Date:  1863-03-14

    Resource type:   correspondence

    Hitchcock learns that Phelps is nominated to be a Major General. Concludes letter with another carefully worded appeal to Phelps for a better position, preferably under Phelps's command. (Hitchcock underlines the word "inactivity.") Details in between include mail that has arrived, including a Brattleboro newspaper (title unknown); a new "conscript act" (Conscription Act: passed by the Union in late February and signed by Lincoln in March, 1863); preparations for summer and the anticipation of a large shipment of ice; officers busy with a Court Martial; and the continued good health of the regiment.

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      Title:   Frederick Holbrook to John Wolcott Phelps

      Creator:  Holbrook, Frederick

      Date:  1862-08-08

      Resource type:   correspondence

      Topics include Mrs. Holbrook requesting General Phelps to forward her letters to her son and Frederick Holbrook inquiring after the sick men and the number of surgeons. Holbrook expresses frustration that the Vt. Regiments (7th & 8th) are still not under Phelps's command, per an agreement with Gen. Butler. Holbrook also mentions Phelps's "Dark Brigade," black troops that Phelps recruited in Louisiana without permission from the War Dept. (Phelps resigned in Aug., 1862.)

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        Title:   Frederick Holbrook to John Wolcott Phelps

        Creator:  Holbrook, Frederick

        Date:  1862-03-10

        Resource type:   correspondence

        Upbeat letter delivered to Gen. Phelps by the writer's son, William C. Holbrook, who apparently turned down an offer to join Phelps's staff. The writer, Gov. Holbrook, lavishes praise on Vermont officers and soldiers (including his son), and sends warm wishes for success to Phelps, sharing his conviction that "the Union Cause must triumph." Holbrook concludes with some reflections on the difficulty of being a wartime governor.

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          Title:   Frederick Holbrook to John Wolcott Phelps

          Creator:  Holbrook, Frederick

          Date:  1862-05-02

          Resource type:   correspondence

          Topics include the arrival of the 7th and 8th Vermont Regiments at Ship Island, off the coast of Miss., and arrangements with the War Department for wounded troops to be sent home. Holbrook mentions the Battle of Yorktown (April 5-May 4, 1862), esp. the "affair" on April 16 that left ca. 100 Vermont soldiers wounded. Holbrook is in charge of the U.S. Marine Hospital in Burlington, Vt.

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            Title:   Frederick Holbrook to John Wolcott Phelps

            Creator:  Holbrook, Frederick

            Date:  1862-07-27

            Resource type:   correspondence

            Topics include the President calling for 300,000 additional troops, the wish that the National Government will develop a decisive policy to "proclaim war to the knife," and a description of Frederick Holbrook's son Major Will. Holbrook continues to express his admiration for Phelps and offer him greater forces to command.

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              Title:   Frederick Holbrook to John Wolcott Phelps

              Creator:  Holbrook, Frederick

              Date:  1861-11-29

              Resource type:   correspondence

              Topics include Brig. Gen. John Wolcott Phelps' commanding Butler's New England Division and inviting Frederick Holbrook's son William to be his Aid-de-Camp. Mention of 7th Vermont Regiment (the old 1st reorganized) also being attached to Butler, of Lt. Roberts being given Colonelcy of the 7th, of Major Kimball of the New Jersey 9th for Lt. Col. of the 8th Regiment, reference to Thanksgiving Proclamation.

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                Title:   N. A. M. Dudley to William C. Holbrook John Wolcott Phelps to N. A. M. Dudley

                Creator:  Dudley, N. A. M.; Phelps, John Wolcott

                Date:  1862-08-30; 1862-09-02

                Resource type:   correspondence

                Two letters; one signed by N. A. M. Dudley and the other by W. C. Holbrook requesting a Court of Inquiry to investigate allegations against the 7th Regiment participation in the Battle of Baton Rouge by a Commanding General.

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                  Title:   Volney S. Fullam to B. F. Butler

                  Creator:  Fullam, Volney S.

                  Date:  1862-08-18

                  Resource type:   correspondence

                  Topics include vacancies in the regiment caused by the death and sickness of some officers, the resignation and guilt of misconduct by Lt. G. W. Sheldon, and the intention to send a list of promotions.

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                    Title:   W. C. Holbrook to John Wolcott Phelps

                    Creator:  Holbrook, W. C.

                    Date:  1863-04-18

                    Resource type:   correspondence

                    Topics include investigation of the 7th Vermont Regiment's role in the Battle of Baton Rouge, and the suggestion to bring charges against General Butler. The writer, Col. Holbrook, apologizes for not representing the regiment as well as he could have, were he more experienced in the Courts of Inquiry. Holbrook mentions "a good deal of marching and counter marching" in the Baton Rouge area.

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                      Title:   William C. Holbrook to Frank

                      Creator:  Holbrook, William Cune, 1842-1904

                      Date:  1862-11-21

                      Resource type:   correspondence

                      To his brother Frank, William writes of the findings of the Court of Inquiry that was held by General Butler regarding the conduct of the 7th Vt. Infantry Regiment during the Battle of Baton Rouge in August; his decided opinion of a soldier's unreliable word; his expectation of having comfortable living quarters in Pensacola as his regiment has moved there (to which he adds he well deserves as he has lived in "bush houses long enough"); mentions the steamer Cumbria and of his having a fever for the past several days.

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                        Title:   William C. Holbrook to Frederick Holbrook

                        Creator:  Holbrook, William Cune, 1842-1904

                        Date:  1862-05-09

                        Resource type:   correspondence

                        Topics include working with the naval forces to occupy Fort Pike, La. which fell April 27, 1862. Holbrook describes the fort, the artillery left behind, and the process for allowing vessels to pass by this strategic entrance to Lake Pontchartrain, at New Orleans.

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                          Title:   William C. Holbrook to Frederick Holbrook

                          Creator:  Holbrook, William Cune, 1842-1904

                          Date:  1862-05-27

                          Resource type:   correspondence

                          Topics include the Union gaining control of New Orleans, General Shepley becoming Military Commandant of the city, and the news that the Vermont Brigade has been gaining control on the Potomac. Evaluations of Generals Butler and Shepley. Also mentions the "contrabands" or slaves coming within Union lines. (Butler would later start recruiting African Americans to be Union soldiers.)

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                            Title:   William C. Holbrook to Frederick Holbrook

                            Creator:  Holbrook, William Cune, 1842-1904

                            Date:  1862-08-08

                            Resource type:   correspondence

                            Topics include a description of the battle at Baton Rouge on August 5th, expresses his thoughts that the Rebels received misinformation about the strength of the Union forces thus suffering great losses, blowing up of a Rebel boat that was part of a CSA plan to attack Union gunboats, mentions "ram On Ransom", the death of Colonel George T. Roberts and General Williams.

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                              Title:   William C. Holbrook to Frederick Holbrook

                              Creator:  Holbrook, William Cune, 1842-1904

                              Date:  1862-11-25

                              Resource type:   correspondence

                              From New Orleans to his father Gov. Holbrook, William writes of the arrival of Dr. Langdon and Dr. Foster with Chaplain Hopkins on the steamer McClellan; of news that they bring regarding the government adhering to its bargain; his praise of these men; the regiment residing at Pensacola, his recommendation of distinguishing between the assistant surgeons just in case the positions are ever vacant (thus leaving him in a delicate position at some point) and the expectation to receive orders to head North.

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                                Title:   William C. Holbrook to Frederick Holbrook

                                Creator:  Holbrook, William Cune, 1842-1904

                                Date:  1862-12-09

                                Resource type:   correspondence

                                To his father topics include the sickness of the regiment (mentions miasma, vapors from swamp believed to cause disease), mentions scorbutic appearance of the sick (relating to scurvy), a description of Pensacola Harbor, and very high praise for the Chaplain for all he has done for the men.

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                                  Title:   William C. Holbrook to Mother

                                  Creator:  Holbrook, William Cune, 1842-1904

                                  Date:  1862-08-14

                                  Resource type:   correspondence

                                  Topics include the number of men that were killed and wounded at the battle of Baton Rouge August 5th, lost of his "boy Jack" [does he refer to a Black man in his service or to a child?], the loss of Col. Roberts, the unpopularity of the current officer Col. Faillam, the men's request that Holbrook replace Faillam, Holbrook’s desire to go into a regiment located in Virginia, Gen. Phelps and his opinions on the slave question, Gen. Butler's compliments to the regiment for its brave conduct in the Baton Rouge battle, sending home of the Secessionist's flag retrieved from Fort Pike, desire for newspapers from Vt.

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                                    Title:   [Frederick Holbrook] to [F. F. Holbrook]

                                    Creator:  Holbrook, Frederick

                                    Date:  1862-10-7

                                    Resource type:   correspondence

                                    Topics include a summary of Frederick Holbrook's requests for General Phelps to go to Washington to discuss the 7th Vermont Regiment. Reference to Senator Foote is probably Solomon Foot, senator from Vermont (1851-1866).

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