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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: ("United StatesArmy Military life") remove term  Author: ("Spafford, Joseph, 1837-1866") remove term

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Title:   Joseph Spafford to Mary Jane Spafford

Creator:  Spafford, Joseph, 1837-1866

Date:  [1862]-10-24

Resource type:   correspondence

Writing from Brattleboro topics include George deciding to joint the regiment, Joseph Spafford receiving his payment, and the mustering of the regiment.

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    Title:   Joseph Spafford to Mary Jane Spafford

    Creator:  Spafford, Joseph, 1837-1866

    Date:  1862-10-26

    Resource type:   correspondence

    Writing en route, topics include a description of the journey to Washington on the “Elm City” train, his deep desire for letters from home and an undercurrent of his willingness to accept how things are.

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      Title:   Joseph Spafford to Mary Jane Spafford

      Creator:  Spafford, Joseph, 1837-1866

      Date:  1862-11-01

      Resource type:   correspondence

      Topics include setting up camp on Capitol Hill, the uncertainty of when the regiment will march, homeless orphan white boys asking and being allowed to go along with the soldiers, one of the boys going with Spafford and Spafford’s good health.

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        Title:   Joseph Spafford to Mary Jane Spafford

        Creator:  Spafford, Joseph, 1837-1866

        Date:  1862-11-06

        Resource type:   correspondence

        Topics include the arrival of George, the movement of the regiment to Camp Vermont near Alexandria, Virginia, having only two dollars in pocket and hoping pay comes soon.

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          Title:   Joseph Spafford to Mary Jane Spafford

          Creator:  Spafford, Joseph, 1837-1866

          Date:  1862-11-09

          Resource type:   correspondence

          Writing from Camp Seward near Alexandria, Virginia, topics include a copy of Joseph Spafford’s accounts of camp life from October 24th until November 9th, 1862 with a note that he burns the letters he receives. Writes about tents, gunfire heard from a battle a distance away, on leave to visit Washington, D.C., liking his boy Daniel McAuliffe age 13 and wanting to take him with him to Vermont when the 9 months are up.

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            Title:   Joseph Spafford to Mary Jane Spafford

            Creator:  Spafford, Joseph, 1837-1866

            Date:  [1862]-11-19

            Resource type:   correspondence

            Topics include rumors that the 15th and 16th regiments may move to New York and go with the Texas Expedition, the health of the regiment and the matter of shipping a tub of butter to Spafford.

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              Title:   Joseph Spafford to Mary Jane Spafford

              Creator:  Spafford, Joseph, 1837-1866

              Date:  1862-12-09

              Resource type:   correspondence

              Topics include the 13th, 14th, and 15th regiments moving near Bull Run battlefield, Stoughton arriving in camp, his comfortable living quarters, plenty to eat and inquiries about home.

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                Title:   Joseph Spafford to Mary Jane Spafford

                Creator:  Spafford, Joseph, 1837-1866

                Date:  1862-12-23

                Resource type:   correspondence

                Topics include a hard battle and defeat at Fredericksburg, the death of S. E. Connor from pneumonia, his opinion of how the war is conducted, the illness of two of the officers, of having the Commissary Sergeant among them with the result living conditions are good.

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                  Title:   Joseph Spafford to Mary Jane Spafford

                  Creator:  Spafford, Joseph, 1837-1866

                  Date:  1862-12-28

                  Resource type:   correspondence

                  Writing from Camp New Fairfax topics include the sickness of two officers at camp, giving permission of sell his horse Jo back home, the 15th regiment out on Bull Run battlefield, the resignation of several officers including the Captain of K that has not yet been accepted but expected to be, living conditions better now that Commissary Sergeant is with them.

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                    Title:   Joseph Spafford to Mary Jane Spafford

                    Creator:  Spafford, Joseph, 1837-1866

                    Date:  1863-01-08

                    Resource type:   correspondence

                    Letter head with color illustration of a camp scene written in the field. Topics include several diary entries detailing Joseph’s experiences from November 25th, 1862 to January 8th, 1863 that include camp life, soldiers marching music, viewing the Chantilly battlefield, desecration of the dead, discovery of coffin of Confederate officer in barn of area family, firing at Rebels with death of a horse resulting, burned and empty buildings in the area, activities of local people including assisting a southern woman regain her father who had been taken prisoner.

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                      Title:   Joseph Spafford to Mary Jane Spafford

                      Creator:  Spafford, Joseph, 1837-1866

                      Date:  1863-03-13

                      Resource type:   correspondence

                      Time doing battalion drills, the capture of Stoughts, Rebels capturing Brig. Gen without a gunshot, digging pits, inquiries about a letter that perhaps was inappropriate with questions about who wrote it & how disgruntled privates can give misconceptions, and a few officers in Company E becoming intoxicated.

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                        Title:   Joseph Spafford to Mary Jane Spafford

                        Creator:  Spafford, Joseph, 1837-1866

                        Date:  1863-03-29

                        Resource type:   correspondence

                        Topics include a description of the good tent living conditions, the picket line from Union Mills to Blackburns Ford along Bull Run, the return of Lieutenant Williams to camp with recovered health and plans for when back home by April 1864.

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                          Title:   Joseph Spafford to Mary Jane Spafford

                          Creator:  Spafford, Joseph, 1837-1866

                          Date:  1863-04-12

                          Resource type:   correspondence

                          Topics include preparations to take the field for up to seven days, reflections on what living conditions might be light, what items are being taken, sending music home (Sitting on the Style & Dear Mother, I’ll come home again)

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