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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:    Genre: ("correspondence") remove term  Author: ("Farnham, Roswell, 1827-1903") remove term

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Title:   Roswell Farnham to Laura

Creator:  Farnham, Roswell, 1827-1903

Date:  1861-07-31

Resource type:   correspondence

July 31, 1861. Topics include a description of Fort Monroe at Old Point Comfort in reference to the letter head picture, of the Hygeia Hotel currently be used as a hospital, of the houses once occupied by Southerners now housing officers of the army, of a minor attack by the Rebels upon picket guard but none hit, a captain in the 1st N.Y. Regiment shooting one of his men believed to be drunk.

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    Title:   Roswell Farnham to Laura

    Creator:  Farnham, Roswell, 1827-1903

    Date:  1862-10-04

    Resource type:   correspondence

    Topics include the expectation of being mustered, having a review and inspection, and receiving their pay.

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      Title:   Roswell Farnham to Laura

      Creator:  Farnham, Roswell, 1827-1903

      Date:  1862-10-05

      Resource type:   correspondence

      Topics include Roswell Farnham being concerned about his sister Laura’s health.

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        Title:   Roswell Farnham to Laura

        Creator:  Farnham, Roswell, 1827-1903

        Date:  1862-10-13

        Resource type:   correspondence

        Topics include the accommodations in camp, Roswell Farnham’s health, and Roswell Farnham teaching the commissioned officers of the right wing.

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          Title:   Roswell Farnham to Laura

          Creator:  Farnham, Roswell, 1827-1903

          Date:  1862-11-07

          Resource type:   correspondence

          Topics include the regiments location relative to Alexandria, Virginia and Mount Vernon, a description of G. Mason ( a Southern secessionist), troops commandeering and occupation of Mason's property, the ruins of other mansions in the area, and the continued improvement of Laura’s health (Farnham's sister).

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            Title:   Roswell Farnham to Laura

            Creator:  Farnham, Roswell, 1827-1903

            Date:  1862-11-20

            Resource type:   correspondence

            Roswell Farnham warning is sister, Laura, about over eating, about his trip from Alexandria, Va. to Washington, D.C. and what he saw there, and the anticipation of his wife, Mary's starting her journey to camp.

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              Title:   Roswell Farnham to Laura

              Creator:  Farnham, Roswell, 1827-1903

              Date:  1862-12-02

              Resource type:   correspondence

              Writes to his sister, Laura, of his new house at Camp Vermont, describing it being built of logs, its rooms, mentions first brigade of his division having left and may have gone to Fredericksburg, his trip to Washington DC to the opening of Congress in the Capitol, and inquires of home.

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                Title:   Roswell Farnham to Mary Farnham

                Creator:  Farnham, Roswell, 1827-1903

                Date:  1863-07-09

                Resource type:   correspondence

                Telegraph message via the Vermont & Boston Telegraph Company to Mrs. Roswell (Mary) Farnham in Bradford, Vt. from Roswell Farnham that he is in Brattleboro and that she is to come down to meet him.

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                  Title:   Roswell Farnham to Mary [Farnham]

                  Creator:  Farnham, Roswell, 1827-1903

                  Date:  1861-05-24

                  Resource type:   correspondence

                  Topics include being quartered with the Northfield Company and how the troops were greeted at Bellows Falls. One company member, the fifer, had the measles.

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                    Title:   Roswell Farnham to Mary [Farnham]

                    Creator:  Farnham, Roswell, 1827-1903

                    Date:  1861-05-05

                    Resource type:   correspondence

                    Topics include camp life, food (lack of some items, abundance of others), daily routine, occasional discomforts. Farnham mentions rumors that the Regiment won't be sent to the South but more likely to New York, even though most of the men are looking forward to battle. Some discussion about postal service, i.e. how long a letter will take for sender and recipient. Col. Phelps is lauded as a good disciplinarian.

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                      Title:   Roswell Farnham to Mary [Farnham]

                      Creator:  Farnham, Roswell, 1827-1903

                      Date:  1861-05-08

                      Resource type:   correspondence

                      Topics include acting as Adjutant of the Regiment at Camp Fairbanks, Rutland, and considering a commission in the army with the rank of captain. Farnham mentions his high regard for his superiors, especially Ge. Baxter, and how much the soldiers look forward to arriving at Fort Monroe and eventually training for battle.

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                        Title:   Roswell Farnham to Mary [Farnham]

                        Creator:  Farnham, Roswell, 1827-1903

                        Date:  1861-05-09

                        Resource type:   correspondence

                        Topics include anticipated journey to New York en route to Ft. Monroe, Va. Farnham describes oath-taking ceremony upon leaving Camp Fairbanks (Judge Smalley) and soldiers passing muster by Col. Rains. US Army has provided them with good clothing and food. Villages cheer when they pass through. Farnham is confident that Gen. Scott will be pleased with the Vt. soldiers soon to arrive at Ft. Monroe.

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                          Title:   Roswell Farnham to Mary [Farnham]

                          Creator:  Farnham, Roswell, 1827-1903

                          Date:  1861-05-10

                          Resource type:   correspondence

                          Farnham relates the impression the 1st Regiment made on citizens of Troy, NY and finally New Yorkers, both in public and in the press. Apparently, it was "the biggest and toughest looking regiment" seen in New York. Concludes letter with a few domestic concerns. Mentions daughter Laura's letter "in the Times" (probably Burlington Times).

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                            Title:   Roswell Farnham to Mary [Farnham]

                            Creator:  Farnham, Roswell, 1827-1903

                            Date:  1861-05-15

                            Resource type:   correspondence

                            Topics include description of Fort Monroe, including "the big gun" and other armaments; overnight guard duty; being outside the fortress walls; staying in local hotel; good weather, food; low anxiety. Names: John Stearns, John Prichard, David Johnson; Laura, Ezekiel. Ships: Alabama.

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                              Title:   Roswell Farnham to Mary [Farnham]

                              Creator:  Farnham, Roswell, 1827-1903

                              Date:  1861-08-14

                              Resource type:   correspondence

                              Farnham writes from Camp Phelps, in Brattleboro, to wife, Mary, and responses to her complaint about his letters being "cold", also of wet rainy conditions in camp.

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                                Title:   Roswell Farnham to Mary [Farnham]

                                Creator:  Farnham, Roswell, 1827-1903

                                Date:  1861-05-18

                                Resource type:   correspondence

                                Topics include the safety of the fort; definition of "columbiad" (delivers 10-inch cannonball); living arrangements (Willard Hotel); officers' food versus soldiers' food; daily drill and men's complaints; several lines about health concerns, children's health, not getting mail, and correct mailing address. Names: Pickett, John Prichard, Andross, Stearns, Charlie Peters, Mr. Batchelder, Woodstock Company.

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                                  Title:   Roswell Farnham to Mary [Farnham]

                                  Creator:  Farnham, Roswell, 1827-1903

                                  Date:  1863-01-21

                                  Resource type:   correspondence

                                  Topics include camping near Wolf Creek, Virginia, bunking with a fellow officer, no tents yet delivered, shelter not water tight, horses out unprotected, the terrible roads due to rain and mud, Paymaster Holway expected soon with military pay for the Vermont troops, advice to wife Mary, who is planning on visiting to bring only one trunk with only essentials and to wear her boots as there is a lot of mud, brief reference to Kinepox (which is another name for small pox vaccine).

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                                    Title:   Roswell Farnham to Mary [Farnham]

                                    Creator:  Farnham, Roswell, 1827-1903

                                    Date:  1863-01-25

                                    Resource type:   correspondence

                                    From near Wolf Run Shoals, Virginia topics include instructions to wife, Mary, about what to bring with to her camp, how much to pay Mr. Whiley for room and board, Captain Ormsbee leaving camp and not for her to forget to bring her washing.

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                                      Title:   Roswell Farnham to Mary [Farnham]

                                      Creator:  Farnham, Roswell, 1827-1903

                                      Date:  1861-05-25

                                      Resource type:   correspondence

                                      Topics include the rebels burning Hampton Bridge, the funeral of Benjamin Underwood, the food the Massachusetts Regiment is receiving from home, and false alarms of rebels. Hampton population, whites and blacks. Fortress Monroe now has close to 4,000 soldiers encamped; news that Vt. Regiment is about to be shipped out, destination unknown. Names mentioned: Gen. Butler, Col. Washburn, Maj. Worthen, Lt. Pickett, Col. Phelps, Capt. Clark, Andross, Judge Underwood, John Prichard, Mr. May, Mr. Batchelder, Ed. Wilcox, John Richards, Dr. Hartley, Daniel Johnson.

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                                        Title:   Roswell Farnham to Mary [Farnham]

                                        Creator:  Farnham, Roswell, 1827-1903

                                        Date:  1863-04-13

                                        Resource type:   correspondence

                                        A brief letter from Farnham who writes of the unit moving out but not knowing where they are going, of being sad with wife gone but hopes she reached Scott House in Washington safely and is well ; urges her to write every day and he will also.

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                                          Title:   Roswell Farnham to Mary [Farnham]

                                          Creator:  Farnham, Roswell, 1827-1903

                                          Date:  1863-04-14

                                          Resource type:   correspondence

                                          Farnham writes of the unit preparing to leave Wolf Run Shoals, expresses his wishes to see his wife, Mary, again, feeling sad with his wife absent from camp but glad she is safe, sends a photo by way of Capt. Ormsbee that Mary is to take care of photo, Mr. Peach is ill, letter from Henry and his clothing business.

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                                            Title:   Roswell Farnham to Mary [Farnham]

                                            Creator:  Farnham, Roswell, 1827-1903

                                            Date:  1863-04-15

                                            Resource type:   correspondence

                                            Topics include receiving his wife's letter via the Adjutant, the rainy weather, Roswell Farnham trying to go to Washington, and the loneliness in camp without the women even though Mrs. Wallace remains in camp, requests for heavy coat and other clothing, the taking of photographs that he will send.

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                                              Title:   Roswell Farnham to Mary [Farnham]

                                              Creator:  Farnham, Roswell, 1827-1903

                                              Date:  1861-05-27

                                              Resource type:   correspondence

                                              Topics include the movement from Hampton to Newport News, Virginia, the beginning of the first entrenchment at Camp Butler, some details about camp dentistry, and the appointment of John Wolcott Phelps as Brigadier General. Mentions Vt. military units: Northfield Co., Bradford Guards, Vt. Regiment ; a Virginia unit: Old Dominion Dragoons (ODD) ; ships: Catalina, Monticello ; and a newspaper (Vt.?): "the Telegraph."

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                                                Title:   Roswell Farnham to Mary [Farnham]

                                                Creator:  Farnham, Roswell, 1827-1903

                                                Date:  1863-04-20

                                                Resource type:   correspondence

                                                Topics include dropping a note to Mary Farnham to figure out logistics of her visit.

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                                                  Title:   Roswell Farnham to Mary [Farnham]

                                                  Creator:  Farnham, Roswell, 1827-1903

                                                  Date:  1863-05-05

                                                  Resource type:   correspondence

                                                  A brief letter stating again his unit's move to Warrenton Junction, the continued sickness of Nelson, Contrabands coming in and telling of victories by Gen. Joseph Hooker (nicknamed Fighting Joe) and the hearing of cannonade during the Second Battle of Fredericksburg (also known as the Second Battle of Marye's Heights May 3, 1863, part of the Chancellorsville Campaign).

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