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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

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Title:   Bradford Sparrow to Parents and Brothers

Creator:  Sparrow, Bradford

Date:  1863-09-09

Resource type:   correspondence

Topics include the surprising outcome of an election at home, the hardships faced in camp, and Philip being accepted into the army.

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    Title:   Bradford Sparrow to Parents and Brothers

    Creator:  Sparrow, Bradford

    Date:  1863-09-23

    Resource type:   correspondence

    Topics include the journey to Fortress Monroe, the fruit in the wharf, and the health of Bradford, Ira and Swift.

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      Title:   Bradford Sparrow to Parents and Brothers

      Creator:  Sparrow, Bradford

      Date:  1863-11-21

      Resource type:   correspondence

      Writes of Ira, of himself having a light case of typhoid, his own health improving, will be entering Virginia winter quarters in a month, mentions the draft & how the process might be different and Bradford sending a list home of things he needs that include food and clothing.

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        Title:   Bradford Sparrow to Parents and Brothers

        Creator:  Sparrow, Bradford

        Date:  1863-12-18

        Resource type:   correspondence

        A long letter started on Dec 18th and begun again Dec 25th. Topics include Bradford recovering from sickness, receiving goods from home, boots and shirts, Mr. Bishop eating up some of the eatable food meant for Sparrow due to going so long without food, making strawberry preserves, requesting several hundred pounds of butter and cheese, various utilitarian items including a spider frying pan, a list of items Ira wants, mentions by name other men he has seen and talked to, acknowledges that a letter went missing and recaps what was written in that letter.

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          Title:   Bradford Sparrow to Parents and Brothers

          Creator:  Sparrow, Bradford

          Date:  1864-03-27

          Resource type:   correspondence

          Snowball fights, reference to the bounty vote, mention of a shoemaker in Company E, of his boots, of wanting a pound of sugar sent and remarks on folks at home.

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            Title:   Bradford Sparrow to Parents and Brothers

            Creator:  Sparrow, Bradford

            Date:  1865-05-12

            Resource type:   correspondence

            Writes of receiving good medical care with plenty of good food, alcohol to drink, health is improving, may be transported to Annapolis, Maryland ; hopes to be home soon ; mentions Gen. Grant may discharge all the hospital boys. Letter head U.S. Christian Commission stationery.

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              Title:   Daniel S. White to Maria E. Howe

              Creator:  White, Daniel S., 1837-1912

              Date:  1864-03-31

              Resource type:   correspondence

              He writes of the return to Vermont of his wife’s brother, Oramel G. Howe, of sending her a can of milk, as well as other items, going to Brandy Station on business, having drill practice and of witnessing a horse race in which $1000 was the prize.

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                Title:   Edward P. Stone to Family

                Creator:  Stone, Edward P., 1830-1920

                Date:  1862-07-30

                Resource type:   correspondence

                Inquires about ladies in the family, requesting letters from them, states there is good water contrary to what the newspapers report, vegetables to eat, building brick ovens, prayer meetings being held in brick church, death of son of Judge Swift of Middlebury.

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                  Title:   Edward P. Stone to Family

                  Creator:  Stone, Edward P., 1830-1920

                  Date:  [1862]-09-[23]

                  Resource type:   correspondence

                  A very brief letter stating he was in Burkittsville with the wounded (casualties from the Battle of Burkittsville or called the Battle of Crampton's Gap, Maryland, September 14, 1862), then set out to find the regiment but was unsuccessful so he stopped at Pleasant Valley and stayed with a family there ; preached at United Bretheren ; mentions fruits of all kinds available.

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                    Title:   Henry A. Smith to Clarissa A. Smith

                    Creator:  Smith, Henry A., d. 1864

                    Date:  1863-02-06

                    Resource type:   correspondence

                    A short letter thanking his mother for the box she sent. Although generally satisfied with the food, he wishes the requested socks had arrived as well. He adds a brief correction: "We do not belong to Burnsides Army but belong to the defences of Washington." Weather in February has been bad, and March will probably be just as bad.

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                      Title:   Henry A. Smith to Family

                      Creator:  Smith, Henry A., d. 1864

                      Date:  1864-01-10

                      Resource type:   correspondence

                      Smith remains a prisoner at Belle Island, Virginia, the only one left of his company that has not been exchanged; he requests a box of goods from home to contain many food items and some clothing items and gives a specific address to which to send it.

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                        Title:   John Lester Barstow to ?

                        Creator:  Barstow, John Lester, 1832-1913

                        Date:  1862-05-18

                        Resource type:   correspondence

                        Comfortable lodgings of the regiment in New Orleans, the cost of food items, and the ruined state of New Orleans when the Vermont Regiment arrived, interaction with the Negroes.

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                          Title:   John Lester Barstow to Laura

                          Creator:  Barstow, John Lester, 1832-1913

                          Date:  1862-11-23

                          Resource type:   correspondence

                          Written in the field he writes of idleness of the Regiment since its arrival on the banks of the Bayon and the help the Negroes are receiving from the government, the lack of coffee, poor quality flour, no salt, spoiled meat causing disease, exorbitant prices for food.

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                            Title:   John Lester Barstow to Laura

                            Creator:  Barstow, John Lester, 1832-1913

                            Date:  1863-10-25

                            Resource type:   correspondence

                            Two letters dated Oct 25 and Oct 27 with topics including marching, waiting, more marching, more waiting, lack of food due to road conditions, unable to forage for food, hot days, cold nights, the importance of picket duty, the unpopularity of General William B. Franklin, and the army returning to New Iberia, fear that mail may be lost due to capture of wagons by Rebels and fear to send any money by mail.

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                              Title:   John W. Merriam to Friend Samantha

                              Creator:  Merriam, John W., d. 1863

                              Date:  1862-09-04

                              Resource type:   correspondence

                              Writing from Algiers, La. topics include the false report of Justus's death and an attack by 1500 Rebels on a train leaving Desallemands and heading for Algiers that left 30 to 40 soldiers wounded or killed.

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                                Title:   Joseph Rutherford to [Hannah Rutherford]

                                Creator:  Rutherford, Joseph Chase, 1818-1902

                                Date:  1864-04-14

                                Resource type:   correspondence

                                Expresses concern about Hannah's health, the political scandal over General Butler not searching baggage of Mrs. (Martha) Todd White [Mary Todd Lincoln's half sister], not seeking higher military pay, receiving sugar from home, prediction about Lincoln and the future election, asking his daughter, Helen, to not attend school but help teach her younger siblings to read and write.

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                                  Title:   Joseph Rutherford to [Hannah Rutherford]

                                  Creator:  Rutherford, Joseph Chase, 1818-1902

                                  Date:  1864-11-20

                                  Resource type:   correspondence

                                  Topics include the safe return home of their deceased child’s picture, Lucien's refusal of the hand of peace and friendship from Rutherford, discomforts of camp life but making do as best he can, eating well, description of Rutherford’s current labors in the Division Hospital, and his discontent for those soldiers pretending to be ill.

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                                    Title:   Joseph Rutherford to [Hannah Rutherford]

                                    Creator:  Rutherford, Joseph Chase, 1818-1902

                                    Date:  1864-11-23

                                    Resource type:   correspondence

                                    Philosophical reflections on the origins and meanings of Thanksgiving from Rutherford’s perspective, and a breakdown of their intended feast with an explanation of the reasons they have to be thankful.

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                                      Title:   Joseph Rutherford to [Hannah Rutherford]

                                      Creator:  Rutherford, Joseph Chase, 1818-1902

                                      Date:  1864-11-29

                                      Resource type:   correspondence

                                      Topics include description of the masses of food consumed over Thanksgiving dinner and the nature of the festivity,news that they will be on the march yet again, not being able to be home for Christmas.

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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 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:  1863-06-07

                                            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:  1863-07-07

                                              Resource type:   correspondence

                                              Writing two letters dated July 7th and 8th from South Mountain Pass, Maryland topics include the deplorable state of Rebel prisoners captured, the kindness of the Vermont Regiment towards the prisoners by giving the Confederates their rations, prisoners marching to Washington, D. C., his reflections on the battle at South Mountain that took place September 1862, Union destruction of Rebel pontoon bridges, one time the troops rejoice at the heavy rain as it keeps the river high and having potatoes and fresh berries to eat.

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                                                Title:   Joseph Rutherford to [Hannah Rutherford]

                                                Creator:  Rutherford, Joseph Chase, 1818-1902

                                                Date:  1863-07-19

                                                Resource type:   correspondence

                                                Writing from in the field up in the mountains near Snickers Gap, Virginia topics include marching to catch Gen. Robert E. Lee, pillage of livestock for food by some of the soldiers that include chickens and hogs from nearby farms as well as having fresh blackberries, sleeping on the wet ground, spending time looking at photographs of loved ones and poking fun at themselves in harsh living conditions.

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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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