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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:    Author: ("Henry, William Wirt, 1831-1915") remove term

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Title:   William Wirt Henry to Mary Jane Henry

Creator:  Henry, William Wirt, 1831-1915

Date:  1862-12-28

Resource type:   correspondence

Change of camp location to Monocacy, letters in the mail not catching up with him, getting a new servant named Johnny Cole of Walden, Vt., having Christmas dinner with a local citizen named Trundell a Southerner (perhaps same as Mr. Trundle that Joseph Rutherford helped heal) but who wishes good relations with Union so his chickens & loose property will not be stolen), a slave (contraband) coming into camp & taken as a servant to the Lieut, speculation on who will command the brigade, and that he is in good health.

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    Title:   William Wirt Henry to Mary Jane Henry

    Creator:  Henry, William Wirt, 1831-1915

    Date:  1862-12-31

    Resource type:   correspondence

    Writes about the health of his children and God's will, anxious when receiving dispatches that the enemy is near, alerting the picket guards to be more alert, hearing many prisoners taken by the Rebels at Fairfax, wishes for more letters from home, is concerned for guards standing in the dark with cold rain, reflects on when the war will end.

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      Title:   William Wirt Henry to Mary Jane Henry

      Creator:  Henry, William Wirt, 1831-1915

      Date:  1863-01-04

      Resource type:   correspondence

      Reflects on God's will regarding his children, Rebel cavalry movements, Union scouts were thought to be Rebels, a cow disturbing a picket guard and rousing the camp, the general despondency of the army and the worsening of the war if slaves enter the fighting turning on their masters. He also writes of his hopes of being promoted to colonel of the 10th Vermont.

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        Title:   William Wirt Henry to Mary Jane Henry

        Creator:  Henry, William Wirt, 1831-1915

        Date:  1863-01-10

        Resource type:   correspondence

        A brief letter stating that Henry is now in command of the 10th Vermont, that it is raining, and that he hopes the river at White Ford will rise to make it easier to guard.

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          Title:   William Wirt Henry to Mary Jane Henry

          Creator:  Henry, William Wirt, 1831-1915

          Date:  1863-01-11

          Resource type:   correspondence

          Letter discusses potential promotions for Col. Jewett and for himself, military pay, heavy expenses including owed to Sutler Geo Skiff, regiment to be at Poolsville, health of family and children as well as the potential for a visit from his wife. Appreciation for friends and family's help is also mentioned, as well as keeping the farm and taking care of elderly parents.

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            Title:   William Wirt Henry to Mary Jane Henry

            Creator:  Henry, William Wirt, 1831-1915

            Date:  1863-01-15

            Resource type:   correspondence

            A brief letter discusses the lack of letters received, money sent home via Sutler Geo Skiff, states various soldiers sick including Typhoid fever, some going home due to illness.

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              Title:   William Wirt Henry to Mary Jane Henry

              Creator:  Henry, William Wirt, 1831-1915

              Date:  1863-02-01

              Resource type:   correspondence

              Writes from headquarters at White Ford of the weather, the need to inspect the regiment "Conrad's Ferry", a good dinner put on by the officers of the “Left wing” of the Regiment, gifts given to Henry by Company H, news of Waterbury men in the Regiment, and his hopes in getting leave to return to Vermont.

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                Title:   William Wirt Henry to Mary Jane Henry

                Creator:  Henry, William Wirt, 1831-1915

                Date:  1863-02-19

                Resource type:   correspondence

                Brief letter expressing his hope for a leave of absence and anxiety that it might not be approved.

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                  Title:   William Wirt Henry to Mary Jane Henry

                  Creator:  Henry, William Wirt, 1831-1915

                  Date:  1863-03-08

                  Resource type:   correspondence

                  Letter discusses his visit home, his desire to stay, but that his duty to his country prevents him from doing so. He also writes of the possible promotion of Col Albert B.Jewett to Brigadier General, and his desire for his daughter to be taught to sing.

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                    Title:   William Wirt Henry to Mary Jane Henry

                    Creator:  Henry, William Wirt, 1831-1915

                    Date:  1863-04-05

                    Resource type:   correspondence

                    Letter discusses snow in camp and delays in moving, diarrhea cures, the Surgeon’s remedy, and those who have been sick. His desire for a box of goods is also mentioned, as well as what to put in it (including food), especially newspapers and magazines for the men in the Hospital. He also discusses his desire that the family stay healthy this year, as opposed to the last.

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                      Title:   William Wirt Henry to Mary Jane Henry

                      Creator:  Henry, William Wirt, 1831-1915

                      Date:  1863-04-12

                      Resource type:   correspondence

                      Discusses the possibility of moving towards the front, and encourages his wife to seek comfort in her religious beliefs. Lack of pay from the Army, as well as the need for money for the family as well as himself is mentioned. The feelings that the troops have towards the inhabitants of the town where they are staying, and the feelings of the town towards the troops, are also discussed. Mentions Mr. Trundle (correct spelling?)not expected to live. (The Trundel family befriended the Union officers despite being southern sympathizers. Mr. Trundel was given medical care by Dr. Joseph Chase Rutherford).

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                        Title:   William Wirt Henry to Mary Jane Henry

                        Creator:  Henry, William Wirt, 1831-1915

                        Date:  1863-04-23

                        Resource type:   correspondence

                        Letter discusses the challenges that his wife is having at home, and his advice regarding how she should deal with it. He also mentions the movement of some of the troops, as well as where he has positioned 10th Vt. companies. The death of a secesh (southern sympathizer) friend, Hezekiah W. Trundle (i.e. Trundel?), the funeral attended by Henry, Rutherford and a Capt. Frost at the invitation of the family, as well as his desire to receive the box of food.

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                          Title:   William Wirt Henry to Mary Jane Henry

                          Creator:  Henry, William Wirt, 1831-1915

                          Date:  1863-05-17

                          Resource type:   correspondence

                          Letter discusses a false story in the newspapers about a rebel attack, and he reminds his wife to not worry needlessly. As well, he describes a trip to the theater in Washington with his cousin, Martha Henry Young. Watching for Lee's army, feels that more Union troops are needed in the area. Reference to Capt. Dillingham, Col. Jewett and to photographs other officers of the regiment being sent home. He also mentions money and gifts that he sent home.

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                            Title:   William Wirt Henry to Mary Jane Henry

                            Creator:  Henry, William Wirt, 1831-1915

                            Date:  1863-05-31

                            Resource type:   correspondence

                            Letter discusses the health of his son, Ferdie, and the impending death of the wife of Sergeant Davis, who is at the camp. He also writes of the limits of their forces which are stretched along a 25 mile area, reference to Capt. Dillingham, Col. Jewett, of watching for Lee's army, possible promotions and photographs he is sending home of fellow officers.

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                              Title:   William Wirt Henry to Mary Jane Henry

                              Creator:  Henry, William Wirt, 1831-1915

                              Date:  1863-06-02

                              Resource type:   correspondence

                              Letter discusses the returned health of their son, possible plans for his family to come and stay with him in camp, and his uncertainty over what he might do when the war is over.

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                                Title:   William Wirt Henry to Mary Jane Henry

                                Creator:  Henry, William Wirt, 1831-1915

                                Date:  1863-06-07

                                Resource type:   correspondence

                                Topics include the health of his son and wife, sending hundreds of dollars home & always wants to know that it is safely received, confiscating goods from Rebel sympathizers, turning the goods over to the government, the arrest of the landowner for harboring Confederate officers. Henry writes that things are going well --"no change"-- and that the men are healthy (even though the weather is dry) ; upcoming courts martial.

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                                  Title:   William Wirt Henry to Mary Jane Henry

                                  Creator:  Henry, William Wirt, 1831-1915

                                  Date:  1863-06-12

                                  Resource type:   correspondence

                                  Letter describes an attack on the 6th Michigan Cavalry, the response of the 10th Vermont, and the arrival of reinforcements. Henry uses the verb "skedaddled" in its original context: Union soldiers describing the fleeing of Confederate soldiers. He also expresses some of the typical bravado, how the men were "fighting mad" and ready to fight so as to earn a good report.

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                                    Title:   William Wirt Henry to Mary Jane Henry

                                    Creator:  Henry, William Wirt, 1831-1915

                                    Date:  1863-06-14

                                    Resource type:   correspondence

                                    Writes of rumors & the possibility of raids by the Rebels, a wedding between a corporal in the 10th Vermont and a Maryland woman, General Milroy’s retreat from Winchester by Ewell, the massing of Confederate troops across the river ; Mosby mentioned to have 500 men with him, challenges the accuracy of newspaper reporting compared to his account of military action.

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                                      Title:   William Wirt Henry to Mary Jane Henry

                                      Creator:  Henry, William Wirt, 1831-1915

                                      Date:  1863-06-18

                                      Resource type:   correspondence

                                      Short letter written in the early morning hours describing being surrounded by the Rebels, a raid on the railroad with tracks being torn up, the arrival of reinforcements from Washington, D.C., feels he will sleep well tonight.

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                                        Title:   William Wirt Henry to Mary Jane Henry

                                        Creator:  Henry, William Wirt, 1831-1915

                                        Date:  1863-06-28

                                        Resource type:   correspondence

                                        Topics include the regiment’s move to Harpers Ferry, his sorrow at leaving the friends he had made while stationed near Poolsville, a description of the terrain around Harpers Ferry, how it reminds him of Vermont, and his feeling of security because of the 100 pound cannons which would allow him to make a good fight.

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                                          Title:   William Wirt Henry to Mary Jane Henry

                                          Creator:  Henry, William Wirt, 1831-1915

                                          Date:  1863-07-01

                                          Resource type:   correspondence

                                          Topics include receiving orders to abandon Harpers Ferry, the accidental explosion of a magazine while the 6th Maryland Regiment was trying to destroy it which resulted in 100 casualties, the movement of several Army Corps, and the replacement of General Hooker by General Meade.

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                                            Title:   William Wirt Henry to Mary Jane Henry

                                            Creator:  Henry, William Wirt, 1831-1915

                                            Date:  1863-07-03

                                            Resource type:   correspondence

                                            Letter discusses guarding a railroad bridge, while the Second Brigade is heading for a big battle (the Battle of Gettysburg July 1-3 part of the Gettysburg Campaign). He also mentions that all the officers’ wives were returning home to Vermont.

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                                              Title:   William Wirt Henry to Mary Jane Henry

                                              Creator:  Henry, William Wirt, 1831-1915

                                              Date:  1863-07-05

                                              Resource type:   correspondence

                                              Letter written on his knee in an open field it discusses movement of the Brigade to South Mountain and the anticipation of the arrival of more troops. The lack of letters received from family members is also discussed.

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                                                Title:   William Wirt Henry to Mary Jane Henry

                                                Creator:  Henry, William Wirt, 1831-1915

                                                Date:  1863-07-06

                                                Resource type:   correspondence

                                                Letter discusses the Regiment’s position guarding the pass on South Mountain from the retreating Confederate army. As well he mentions the signs left by the battle that occurred there in 1862. Gettysburg is also mentioned, as well as hope that the war will end soon. Union general William Henry French mentioned a few times.

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                                                  Title:   William Wirt Henry to Mary Jane Henry

                                                  Creator:  Henry, William Wirt, 1831-1915

                                                  Date:  1863-07-07

                                                  Resource type:   correspondence

                                                  Written in camp in the field, letter discusses local politics back home, warning that they shouldn’t nominate any Democrats. Reports of a fight involving the First Vermont Cavalry Regiment near Williamsport, casualties, as well as the death of fellow Vermonters. He mentions that Major Wells fought like a “tiger”, men is good spirits, reflects on Gen. Lee is being defeated.

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