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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:    Place: "United StatesHistoryCivil War, 1861-1865Songs and music" remove term

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Title:   Joseph Rutherford to [Hannah Rutherford]

Creator:  Rutherford, Joseph Chase, 1818-1902

Date:  1863-02-22

Resource type:   correspondence

Topics include the refusal of a leave of absence, Col. Jewett praise of Rutherford, Col concern for well being of hospital care and sanitation, expresses his anger and indignation of the Copper Heads, his bond and deep affection for his horse Lady Lightfoot, the very snowy weather, religious services to be observed indoors, the hardships in camp that are worth the cause, and the great deal of singing among the officers including the song "There is music in the air."

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    Title:   Joseph Spafford to Mary Jane Spafford

    Creator:  Spafford, Joseph, 1837-1866

    Date:  1863-01-08

    Resource type:   correspondence

    Letter head with color illustration of a camp scene written in the field. Topics include several diary entries detailing Joseph’s experiences from November 25th, 1862 to January 8th, 1863 that include camp life, soldiers marching music, viewing the Chantilly battlefield, desecration of the dead, discovery of coffin of Confederate officer in barn of area family, firing at Rebels with death of a horse resulting, burned and empty buildings in the area, activities of local people including assisting a southern woman regain her father who had been taken prisoner.

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      Title:   Joseph Spafford to Mary Jane Spafford

      Creator:  Spafford, Joseph, 1837-1866

      Date:  1863-04-03

      Resource type:   correspondence

      Topics include several promotions in the regiment, a trip to Washington, to the theater to see performances (Werner, Still Waters Run Deep, My Aunt), book of poems to send home, music to send home (I'm sitting on the Stile Mary & The Vacant chair), the cold weather, and the expectation to be paid soon.

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        Title:   Joseph Spafford to Mary Jane Spafford

        Creator:  Spafford, Joseph, 1837-1866

        Date:  1863-04-12

        Resource type:   correspondence

        Topics include preparations to take the field for up to seven days, reflections on what living conditions might be light, what items are being taken, sending music home (Sitting on the Style & Dear Mother, I’ll come home again)

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          Title:   Joseph Spafford to Mary Jane Spafford

          Creator:  Spafford, Joseph, 1837-1866

          Date:  1863-04-24

          Resource type:   correspondence

          Topics include Companies E and K going to Bristol Station with General Stannard, receiving military pay for the past four months, liking the song "Sitting on the Style, Mary".

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            Title:   Justus F. Gale to [Family]

            Creator:  Gale, Justus F., 1837-1863

            Date:  [1862-04]

            Resource type:   correspondence

            Topics include lyrics to a song that is sung while marching.

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              Title:   Roswell Farnham to [Mary Farnham]

              Creator:  Farnham, Roswell, 1827-1903

              Date:  1863-05-11

              Resource type:   correspondence

              Topics include money being sent home, references to Gen. Stoneman and Col. Mann, mentions hearing a piano being played by the daughter of Mr. Bowen playing a tune "Run, Yankees, Run or Jackson Will Catch You," rebel cavalry on the other side of the river, a scout by Colonel Mann and two companies, and the improvement in Nelson’s health, advises wife to dress well, look pretty, drink porter & get fat.

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                Title:  

                Creator:  Barney, Valentine G., 1834-1889

                Date:  1863-10-29

                Resource type:   correspondence

                Barney writes while on board the steamer “Maple Leaf” and describes the trip, including a singalong with Captain Seligson and his guitar. Officers' wives aboard but seasick, confined to their rooms thus he deprived "the pleasure of looking at a white woman." He also writes of wishing his father had sent a box with winter clothing that he had requested earlier, since the men need winter clothing.

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