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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  Topic: ("Food") remove term  Format: ("text") remove term

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Title:   Joseph Rutherford to [Hannah Rutherford]

Creator:  Rutherford, Joseph Chase, 1818-1902

Date:  1863-07-27

Resource type:   correspondence

Writing a very brief letter from Warrenton, Virginia topics include the continuous marching, lack of food, the hardships the men are currently facing met with cheerfulness, moving on to Culpeper, then to Gordonsville and hopefully on to Richmond.

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    Title:   Joseph Rutherford to [Hannah Rutherford]

    Creator:  Rutherford, Joseph Chase, 1818-1902

    Date:  1863-08-08

    Resource type:   correspondence

    Writing in the field near White Sulphur Springs, Virginia topics include the one year anniversary of joining the army, reflections on life, war and family, Col. Jewett and Capt Frost recruiting the drafted men, no food in the wasted countryside, and men endure their hardships.

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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:  1863-11-19

        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:  1863-06-07

          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:  1863-04-10

            Resource type:   correspondence

            Topics include the progress being made on the house, military pay slow in being received, the children's bad reactions to a vaccination with suggestion for treatment, follow up visits to Mr. Trundle with his erysipelas, a big dinner in camp with the officers including Col. Jewett, the men practice shooting a new rifle received in camp with targets being cattle grazing across the river owned by the Secessionists and a flock to ducks.

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              Title:   Joseph Rutherford to [Hannah Rutherford]

              Creator:  Rutherford, Joseph Chase, 1818-1902

              Date:  1863-01-02

              Resource type:   correspondence

              Writing from camp at White's Ford (over the Potomac River) two letters dated Jan 2 and Jan 6 include topics of a description of the night of the expected fight, of having enough food to eat that he is gaining weight, of the camp's glee club singing, of being homesick and wanting a leave but may be on the eve of "some great event", a description of the camp ground, promotions within the camp including himself as Acting Surgeon and the possibility of a brigade hospital being created with himself most likely being put in charge of it.

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                Title:   Joseph Spafford to Mary Jane Spafford

                Creator:  Spafford, Joseph, 1837-1866

                Date:  1863-05-16

                Resource type:   correspondence

                Writing a illustrated letter head stationery in an abandoned home, Spafford writes of guarding the Kettle Run Bridge in Virginia, a brief description of the deserted and burned homes between Manassas Junction and Warrenton Junction, using an old wind mill as a look out tower, the building of block houses for the men allowing them to shoot in all directions, being able to get milk and eggs, having stray dogs stealing fresh beef from the soldiers, inquiries about the draft in Vermont and talk among the men due to be released from the army.

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                  Title:   Joseph Spafford to Mary Jane Spafford

                  Creator:  Spafford, Joseph, 1837-1866

                  Date:  1863-07-16

                  Resource type:   correspondence

                  Unit has marched to Berlin, Maryland near Harper's Ferry, military duty ends July 23rd, most likely not see any more action before leaving the army, returning to Brattleboro by the 1st of August, asks about those pants he requested made, expresses his opinion on the New York City draft riot (July 13 - 16, 1863), mentions a eating warm biscuit & blackberry pie for dinner.

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                    Title:   Justus E. Gale to Father

                    Creator:  Gale, Justus F., 1837-1863

                    Date:  1862-03-28

                    Resource type:   correspondence

                    Two letters one dated March 28th and one April 6th.Topics include a description of the journey to Ship Island, Mississippi, being seasick, about the food and hard bread, poor quality water and little of it, writes of his faith in God and his sighting of the island.

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                      Title:   Justus E. Gale to Father

                      Creator:  Gale, Justus F., 1837-1863

                      Date:  1862-12-13

                      Resource type:   correspondence

                      Topics include the health of Justus Gale, the mistaken attack (friendly fire) by the Indiana regiment, the process of making sugar done by the slaves, and the daily drilling in camp.

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                        Title:   Justus E. Gale to Sister

                        Creator:  Gale, Justus F., 1837-1863

                        Date:  1862-11-29

                        Resource type:   correspondence

                        Topics include the movement of the regiment to Brashear City, of city purchases by Justus Gale of barrels of apples which he resold by the piece, of buying tobacco, postage stamps, writing supplies, local terms for cash money, of commanding officers of 3rd Louisiana colored regiment and the dry weather.

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                          Title:   Justus F. Gale to Brother

                          Creator:  Gale, Justus F., 1837-1863

                          Date:  1862-01-24

                          Resource type:   correspondence

                          Two letters in one dated Jan 24th and Jan 26th. Topics include the expectation that the war will end in a couple of months, waiting for military pay, anxious to hear from home, Sergeant U. A. Woodbury drilling the company, the stormy weather at camp, the bad food being served except for good bread from a local bakery, the good health of Gale and of him sending a picture in this letter.

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                            Title:   Justus F. Gale to Brother

                            Creator:  Gale, Justus F., 1837-1863

                            Date:  1862-02-07

                            Resource type:   correspondence

                            Writing from Brattleboro, Vermont, topics include news of bombardment of Fort Henry on the Tennessee River (February 6, 1862) by Commodore Andrew Hull Foote (officer of the U.S. Navy) and General Ulysses S. Grant, a skirmish that resulted in finding a barrel of rum, food sometimes good but not the hash made in camp and the vaccination of the company for pox.

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                              Title:   Justus F. Gale to Brother

                              Creator:  Gale, Justus F., 1837-1863

                              Date:  1862-04-24

                              Resource type:   correspondence

                              Two letters dated April 24th and 25th. Topics include the capture of Fort Jackson(?) ; fort south of the city of New Orleans, Louisiana, [battle April 18-28], the food at camp good except greasy pork meat, and the schedule for the day including battalion drills and dress parade.

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                                Title:   Justus F. Gale to Brother

                                Creator:  Gale, Justus F., 1837-1863

                                Date:  1862-05-25

                                Resource type:   correspondence

                                Topics include the process of choosing new officers and police in New Orleans, Gen. Butler's orders to the N.O. police being refused, illness among some of the soldiers, fruit berries available, other provisions few and expensive, summary of all the letters that have been received by Justus Gale, and how welcome the Vermont regiment is in New Orleans.

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                                  Title:   Justus F. Gale to Father

                                  Creator:  Gale, Justus F., 1837-1863

                                  Date:  1862-06-06

                                  Resource type:   correspondence

                                  Topics include the good living conditions in New Orleans, the Indiana regiment taking meat from the rebels, been on cooking duty, good meals, fresh beef, waiting for military pay and the possibility of leaving soon.

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                                    Title:   Justus F. Gale to Father

                                    Creator:  Gale, Justus F., 1837-1863

                                    Date:  1862-06-14

                                    Resource type:   correspondence

                                    Topics include the living conditions and food in New Orleans, continues with cooking duty, the good weather, soldiers bringing back to camp chickens, eggs, an account of the poor treatment of slaves, two slave boys being rescued from ill treatment from their masters, and the observance of Sabbath in camp, wishing to know more news of the war than he can get in the South.

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                                      Title:   Justus F. Gale to Mother

                                      Creator:  Gale, Justus F., 1837-1863

                                      Date:  1862-04-06

                                      Resource type:   correspondence

                                      Two letters dated April 4th and 6th. Writing after arriving at Ship Island, Mississippi topics include observing the Sabbath,his devotion for the Bible, arriving on shore, digging and finding plenty of fresh water, being treated with food from the Mass. 30th, thinking war may be over before he gets a chance to fight and the expectation of capturing New Orleans.

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                                        Title:   Justus F. Gale to Sister

                                        Creator:  Gale, Justus F., 1837-1863

                                        Date:  1862-05-15

                                        Resource type:   correspondence

                                        Topics include leaving Ship Island, being towed back up the Mississippi River to camp in New Orleans, the poor conditions of Fort Jackson and Philips, traveling into the city, the positive attitude of the natives of New Orleans toward Gale and companion now that it is occupied by the Union, General Butler redistributing provisions to the poor of the city that were captured from the rebels

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                                          Title:   Justus F. Gale to Sister

                                          Creator:  Gale, Justus F., 1837-1863

                                          Date:  1862-06-14

                                          Resource type:   correspondence

                                          Topics include the movement of the company from Algiers to Lafourche, a description of the living situation at Algiers, the good food at camp including fresh fruit berries, water quality not good.

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                                            Title:   Justus F. Gale to Sister

                                            Creator:  Gale, Justus F., 1837-1863

                                            Date:  1862-11-14

                                            Resource type:   correspondence

                                            Topics include the poor health of Justus Gale’s sister, having plenty to eat and confiscating anything while in the field including livestock from the rebels, receiving a box from home that was greatly appreciated though disappointed none of Mother's cheese, the expectation of returning to Algiers, and some family affairs including what to do with Charlie's clothes since his death, mentions still needing to get a photographer and have his photo taken, and the possibility of renting the farm.

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                                              Title:   Justus F. Gale to Sister

                                              Creator:  Gale, Justus F., 1837-1863

                                              Date:  1862-04-21

                                              Resource type:   correspondence

                                              Topics include the improvement in Justus Gale's health, the cost of food items in camp, the death of three men in the regiment, the attempted suicide of a man in Company F, mentions "sugar place" back home in Elmore and writes about the lack of information in camp about the rest of the Union Army.

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                                                Title:   Justus F. Gale to Sister

                                                Creator:  Gale, Justus F., 1837-1863

                                                Date:  1862-07-18

                                                Resource type:   correspondence

                                                Topics include the good health of Justus Gale, the food available at Algiers including confiscated beef from the locals, standing guard for 12 hour shifts, killing alligators, writes of some of his comrades, the sickness of Sargent 2nd Class.Chas. C. Martin with inflammation of the bowels, the capture of Richmond and Vicksburg, mentions Confederate Gen. G. T. Beauregard, receiving a copy of the Green Mountain Freeman and refers to his religious faith.

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                                                  Title:   Justus F. Gale to Sister Almeda

                                                  Creator:  Gale, Justus F., 1837-1863

                                                  Date:  1862-08-16

                                                  Resource type:   correspondence

                                                  Topics include guard duty, being able to pick some sweet potatoes, having fresh fruit melons, a trip into the city, a description of a plantation, mentions how much work it is for owners to look after their slaves, states care must be taken of their dress suits and boots in spite of whatever their living conditions may be and the improved health of some of the men in the regiment.

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