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

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Title:   Joseph Rutherford to [Hannah Rutherford]

Creator:  Rutherford, Joseph Chase, 1818-1902

Date:  1863-10-03

Resource type:   correspondence

In camp near Culpeper, Virginia topics include an explanation of a drawing or sketch of views from camp beginning with the furthest object the Blue Ridge Mountains, the rolling plain, the shelter tents used in the field, a cherry tree in front of his tent and a reference to the thousands of troops camped in the area.

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    Title:   Joseph Rutherford to [Hannah Rutherford]

    Creator:  Rutherford, Joseph Chase, 1818-1902

    Date:  1863-10-05

    Resource type:   correspondence

    Topics include a reference to Rutherford’s birthday earlier in the month, reflections on his children, Joseph, Jacob & Kittie & their individual personalities & attention needed, needing flannel shirts, grateful knitted socks are being made for him, and acknowledging money sent finally arriving home.

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      Title:   Joseph Rutherford to [Hannah Rutherford]

      Creator:  Rutherford, Joseph Chase, 1818-1902

      Date:  1863-10-09

      Resource type:   correspondence

      Topics include the railroad (Iron horse) in Rutherford’s hometown (Newport, Vt.?), cautioning keeping the children away from the railroad cars, daughter Helen and a Mrs. Bachelder are sick, pleasantly surprised over the low cost of the water well dug at home, the importance of receiving letters from home often, of a grand review of the troops and the prospect of a fight as the Confederate officer J.E.B. Stuart is to the rear & a part of the division has been sent to stop his advance.

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        Title:   Joseph Rutherford to [Hannah Rutherford]

        Creator:  Rutherford, Joseph Chase, 1818-1902

        Date:  1863-10-11

        Resource type:   correspondence

        Writing a very brief letter from in the field near the Confederate Army topics include the anticipation of an attack, the high morale of the troops even in the face of danger and the proximity to the enemy.

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          Title:   Joseph Rutherford to [Hannah Rutherford]

          Creator:  Rutherford, Joseph Chase, 1818-1902

          Date:  1863-10-13

          Resource type:   correspondence

          In the field writing on a drum in the hot sun, topics include having completed a long march to his position near Washington, the proximity to the enemy, the expectation of a battle, the men prepared and eager seemingly having become desensitized to danger and death as they chat with one another and even sleep.

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            Title:   Joseph Rutherford to [Hannah Rutherford]

            Creator:  Rutherford, Joseph Chase, 1818-1902

            Date:  1863-10-22

            Resource type:   correspondence

            From Catlett's Station, Virginia on the Orange & Alexandria Rail Road, Virginia topics include a description of a battle with Stuart's men near the Bull Run location in which the Union was victorious, many killed, wounded, artillery captured, wrote the newspapers were mistaken as to the outcome of the battle, his cost of living, high cost of food, glad for the comfort of Rutherford’s family at home, and marching to continue.

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              Title:   Joseph Rutherford to [Hannah Rutherford]

              Creator:  Rutherford, Joseph Chase, 1818-1902

              Date:  1863-10-31

              Resource type:   correspondence

              From mud soaked camp near Warrenton Junction topics include repairing a railroad, dismay at the laying waste such beautiful countryside, his strong views on slavery, on the white men who partake in slavery, on the Southern values of trying to keep property in the family resulting in intermarriage, the results of that and his philosophy of why the war is so hard to put down due to the Southerners' mind set and the basis of what the Union is fighting for.

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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:  1863-11-05

                  Resource type:   correspondence

                  Still under marching orders topics include a request for some winter shirts, the possibility of letting (renting) the land at home, and a description of the type of man who would not fight for his country.

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                    Title:   Joseph Rutherford to [Hannah Rutherford]

                    Creator:  Rutherford, Joseph Chase, 1818-1902

                    Date:  1863-11-11

                    Resource type:   correspondence

                    A brief letter with topics including references to two battles with no casualties of the troops, encamping on J. Minor Botts’ farm, hardships camping in the field with cold weather, military pay expected and Rutherford’s good health.

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                      Title:   Joseph Rutherford to [Hannah Rutherford]

                      Creator:  Rutherford, Joseph Chase, 1818-1902

                      Date:  1863-11-17

                      Resource type:   correspondence

                      Topics include having a difficult march in the rain, being in charge of the Ambulance train, pursuing shelter for the sick men, taking possession of the "Wallack Mansion" for the men & having made it into a General Hospital, having to destroy his Indian blankets along with other goods last June when leaving Harpers Ferry, Dr. Smith (asst surgeon) resigned due to his wife's insistence that he return home, a guess as to when the war might be over, the pleasure of having greens to dine on and the good health of the children.

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                        Title:   Joseph Rutherford to [Hannah Rutherford]

                        Creator:  Rutherford, Joseph Chase, 1818-1902

                        Date:  1863-11-19

                        Resource type:   correspondence

                        Topics include sending military pay home, of high cost of food, the lack of food, wishing to hear more often from home and Colonel Henry taking a leave due to sickness.

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                          Title:   Joseph Rutherford to [Hannah Rutherford]

                          Creator:  Rutherford, Joseph Chase, 1818-1902

                          Date:  1863-12-?

                          Resource type:   correspondence

                          From Brandy Station, Virginia topics include Rutherford contracting a condition through a cut in his thumb by dressing a man's arm who had Erycipelas (an infectious disease evidenced by a deep red inflammation of the skin). Rutherford acknowledges his carelessness and was aware of how germs and bacteria can spread from person to person, of his near misses of being wounded in battle, of standing ready to march and of receiving letters from daughter Helen.

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                            Title:   Joseph Rutherford to [Hannah Rutherford]

                            Creator:  Rutherford, Joseph Chase, 1818-1902

                            Date:  1863-12-12

                            Resource type:   correspondence

                            From Brandy Station, Virginia Rutherford writes of his swollen left hand due to infection resulting in his whole body having tremors and shooting pains, taking a dose of morphine, the rainy weather, winter quarters being built, of Chaplain offering to help erect Rutherford's cabin, his dedication to duty for the wounded and the approaching of Christmas.

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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:  1863-06-07

                                  Resource type:   correspondence

                                  Topics include Hannah not yet in the new house and Rutherford anxious for her comfort, having a very pleasant officer's life visiting with Dr. Childe, his wife and other officers, Mrs. Childe to entertain by singing, mentions they being stationed at the extreme outpost for the defense of Washington, D.C., description of a medical account to Mr. Coburn by Rutherford for neutering Coburn's cat, fresh beef and berries in the area for eating, and the health of the children.

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                                    Title:   Joseph Rutherford to [Hannah Rutherford]

                                    Creator:  Rutherford, Joseph Chase, 1818-1902

                                    Date:  1863-05-30

                                    Resource type:   correspondence

                                    Topics include not receiving any letters from home, wishing to know if the $25 sent has been received, dealing with the camp cooks drinking too much whiskey and getting drunk, needing to confront the Quartermaster for interfering with his teams and ambulances again, Colonel Jewett's wife visiting which makes four wives in camp which relieves coarseness among the men and relieves monotony in camp.

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                                      Title:   Joseph Rutherford to [Hannah Rutherford]

                                      Creator:  Rutherford, Joseph Chase, 1818-1902

                                      Date:  1863-05-31

                                      Resource type:   correspondence

                                      Topics include the improved health of J.C. Rutherford's son, wishing for photographs of the new house and of his wife, the visit from a mounted band from Washington played for the brigade, compliments paid to Rutherford and other officers, a soldier who ran the line and did not halt when ordered by the pickets was shot through the leg by friendly fire.

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                                        Title:   Joseph Rutherford to [Hannah Rutherford]

                                        Creator:  Rutherford, Joseph Chase, 1818-1902

                                        Date:  1863-06-27

                                        Resource type:   correspondence

                                        Writing in the field at Maryland Heights Rutherford writes of being surrounded by thousands of troops, writing his letter on a box looking down on Harpers Ferry, W. Va. and the view of the Shenandoah Valley and being in anticipation of some great event about to happen (perhaps part of the Maryland Campaign), mentions the damage to area houses and the ground laid waste.

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                                          Title:   Joseph Rutherford to [Hannah Rutherford]

                                          Creator:  Rutherford, Joseph Chase, 1818-1902

                                          Date:  1863-07-05

                                          Resource type:   correspondence

                                          Topics include marching to South Pass, Middleton, Maryland, now defending only place the Confederates can cross the Potomac into Va., capturing, killing and wounding Rebels, brief mention of some desertions from the army, and the increased dangers of war for him and the troops.

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                                            Title:   Joseph Rutherford to [Hannah Rutherford]

                                            Creator:  Rutherford, Joseph Chase, 1818-1902

                                            Date:  1863-06-20

                                            Resource type:   correspondence

                                            Topics include J.C. Rutherford reassuring his wife that he is still alive, the men are on alert, he nervous at the prospect of a fight, sending her $20 and advising his wife to be economical with it as he does not know when he will be paid next.

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                                              Title:   Joseph Rutherford to [Hannah Rutherford]

                                              Creator:  Rutherford, Joseph Chase, 1818-1902

                                              Date:  1863-06-21

                                              Resource type:   correspondence

                                              Two letters dated June 21st and 23rd with topics including a description of hearing an exchange of fire where the Union army was engaged in battle with the Confederates and the Union beating the Rebels, a visit to Campbell Hospital in Washington, D.C., meeting and chatting with Mrs. Jane Grey Cannon Swisshelm (American journalist, publisher, abolitionist, women's rights advocate who during the war devoted her time to nursing the wounded and was called Mother by the men), his praise of her, and how to deal with Mr. Coburn at home who has not paid his debt.

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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:  1863-04-22

                                                  Resource type:   correspondence

                                                  Topics include a violent confrontation with a very drunken soldier resulting in kicks exchanged, a storm, the expectation for the regiment not to march as originally thought, his favorable impression of Dr. Childe's wife, Rutherford's longing to be with his family, and the expectation of going to Washington the next day to hopefully receive pay.

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