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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

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Title:   Charles Dillingham to William Wirt Henry

Creator:  Dillingham, Charles, b. 1837

Date:  1861-08-16

Resource type:   correspondence

Writes of wishing to be sent food such as dried beef, cheese, pickles, maple sugar, crackers. Mentions Bush Hill, camping in rainy weather with everything they had being wet, brigade review by General Smith, discontent among the officers. In need of recruits.

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    Title:   Charles Dillingham to William Wirt Henry

    Creator:  Dillingham, Charles, b. 1837

    Date:  1861-11-?

    Resource type:   correspondence

    Writes of Brigade drill under General Smith, picket duty, prospect of detachment from brigade to go south, much illness among the men including a case of small pox, upcoming promotion of Lt. Crossman, cold weather, upcoming grand review by General McClellan.

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      Title:   Charles Dillingham to William Wirt Henry

      Creator:  Dillingham, Charles, b. 1837

      Date:  1861-08-26

      Resource type:   correspondence

      August 26, 1861 from Great Falls Maryland. Writes of furloughs and discharges not being granted without good cause, illness among the men including measles, duty guarding the river, good fishing, having acquired a horse, quarters in an old hotel with creature comforts.

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        Title:   Charles Dillingham to William Wirt Henry

        Creator:  Dillingham, Charles, b. 1837

        Date:  1861-08-28

        Resource type:   correspondence

        Writes of authority to enlist 40 men, Lt. Hoyt to go to Vermont to recruit instead of Charles Dillingham, need for good men, will try to discharge from the record those men who have died, were ordered to be in light marching order. May be to attack rebel camp across the river at Falls Church, some illness among the men.

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          Title:   Charles F. Bancroft to Clarissa Bancroft

          Creator:  Bancroft, Charles F., 1835-1862

          Date:  1862-01-06

          Resource type:   correspondence

          Topics include the snowy weather and a brief description of George Blenkoe, the Confederate master of a "secesh (secessionist) negro," who had been recently brought into camp from Vienna, Va. Description of some Confederate money. Bancroft mentions his own modest weight gain, his need for pockets and other domestic items. One esp. moving line: "God only knows when we shall see each other again but let us hope for the best & that another year will bring us all to the family fireside again."

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            Title:   Charles F. Bancroft to Clarissa Bancroft

            Creator:  Bancroft, Charles F., 1835-1862

            Date:  1862-01-11

            Resource type:   correspondence

            Topics include the illness of Ephraim D. Dutton and the treatment he is getting from Bancroft, who is watching over Dutton. Bancroft thinks he'll recover when taken to a hospital. Fever, dysentery, lung ailments are compounded by homesickness, according to Bancroft. B. asks for sausage, cayenne pepper, and brandy from home. Mentions daguerreotype of "that little schoolmarm" and the problem of blue eyes. Final request: burn this letter after you read it! "Chain Bridge" refers to a site near Washington, D.C.

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              Title:   Charles F. Bancroft to Clarissa Bancroft

              Creator:  Bancroft, Charles F., 1835-1862

              Date:  1862-01-15

              Resource type:   correspondence

              Topics include drills, a prediction that the fighting will end by June, and inquiries about home. In addition to myriad details regarding weather, food, and correspondence, Bancroft inserts thoughtful questions, e.g.: "Clara do folks in our neighborhood manifest much interest in my being out here? do they seem to care a great deal about it?" He also refers to the lull in fighting--and resulting boredom-- that precedes Lincoln's general order of Jan. 27 for federal armies to advance.

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                Title:   Charles F. Bancroft to Family

                Creator:  Bancroft, Charles F., d. 1862

                Date:  1862-04-06

                Resource type:   correspondence

                Topics include taking possession of Shelman's Mill, the men killed and wounded by the Rebels, and an account of brief skirmishes. Bancroft describes abandoned Rebel fortifications and odd items left behind. Senses that greater fighting is about to begin, and indeed, the so-called siege of Yorktown, Va. dates from this period. In a lighter moment, Bancroft expresses his gratitude for the green tea he received from home: "there is nothing better for a soldier on a march than a cup of tea."

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                  Title:   Charles F. Bancroft to Family

                  Creator:  Bancroft, Charles F., 1835-1862

                  Date:  1861-10-06

                  Resource type:   correspondence

                  Topics include anticipation of a battle in Virginia and requests for some items from home.

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                    Title:   Charles F. Bancroft to Family

                    Creator:  Bancroft, Charles F., 1835-1862

                    Date:  1861-11-16

                    Resource type:   correspondence

                    Topics include the number of men who have either died or are sick in the regiment, the success at Port Royal, and the arrest of the Confederate Ministers to Europe, Mason and Slidell.

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                      Title:   Charles F. Bancroft to Mary Bancroft

                      Creator:  Bancroft, Charles F., 1835-1862

                      Date:  1862-02-16

                      Resource type:   correspondence

                      Topics include Charles Bancroft's health, the food that is being cooked in camp, and the capture of Fort Donelson, Tenn. Bancroft wasn't involved in it, but the fall of Ft. Donelson reminds him that his tour of duty, if not the whole war, may be over by year's end. Bancroft sounds more confident as a soldier (enjoys picketing) and is certain he could serve another two years if asked.

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                        Title:   Charles F. Bancroft to Parents

                        Creator:  Bancroft, Charles F., 1835-1862

                        Date:  1861-12-20

                        Resource type:   correspondence

                        Topics include items received from home and events surrounding a bottle of brandy that was stolen.

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                          Title:   Charles F. Bancroft to Parents

                          Creator:  Bancroft, Charles F., 1835-1862

                          Date:  1862-02-02

                          Resource type:   correspondence

                          Topics include reminiscences of church meetings in Vt., stimulated by his attendance of them at camp; how much he enjoys the supplies (footwear, clothing, food, brandy) from home; some medical treatment that was improved with brandy; his appreciation of family and home; a few words about postal delivery; and a map of the South he plans to give to his father. -- Because of winter, the war has slackened off a bit. Lincoln is still trying to force McClellan to act.

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                            Title:   Charles F. Bancroft to Smiley Bancroft

                            Creator:  Bancroft, Charles F., 1835-1862

                            Date:  1861-12-31

                            Resource type:   correspondence

                            Topics include picket guard, description of camp life, and a prediction of the future of the war.

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                              Title:   Charles F. Bancroft to [Family]

                              Creator:  Bancroft, Charles F., 1835-1862

                              Date:  1861-10-02

                              Resource type:   correspondence

                              Topics include setting up a choir at camp and organizing the sale of Vermont butter.

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                                Title:   Charles H. Joyce to William Wirt Henry

                                Creator:  Joyce, Charles H., 1830-1916

                                Date:  1862-08-13

                                Resource type:   correspondence

                                Topics include C.H. Joyce's hope of being put in charge of the 11th regiment and anticipation of the camp moving. This would be the evacuation of Harrison's Landing, where McClellan had kept his Army of the Potomac for several weeks. Joyce refers to "old W." (Wash. DC?) and "Gov. H.," Frederick Holbrook, influential governor of Vt., 1861-1863. Also: Battle of Savage's Station, June 29, 1862, where Joyce performed well.

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                                  Title:   Conductors Will Pass Free

                                  Date:  1864-02-26

                                  Resource type:   correspondence

                                  A railroad military pass for Col. Roswell Farnham allowing passage from Alexandria (Va.) to Brandy (maybe, Brandy, Va.)

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                                    Title:   Daniel S. White to Maria E. Howe

                                    Creator:  White, Daniel S., 1837-1912

                                    Date:  1863-05-11

                                    Resource type:   correspondence

                                    Letter includes a poetic description of nature, contrasting with itthe blight of slavery, and his hope for the end of the war. It also includes ruminations on death in the field versus a natural death at home. As well, he writes of love. He then gives details of the health of his Company, including the news that Sergeant Beckwith was bitten by a snake, and mentions several visitors.

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                                      Title:   Daniel S. White to Maria E. Howe

                                      Creator:  White, Daniel S., 1837-1912

                                      Date:  1863-09-22

                                      Resource type:   correspondence

                                      Short letter mentioning photographs, pay, and his health.

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                                        Title:   Daniel S. White to Maria E. Howe

                                        Creator:  White, Daniel S., 1837-1912

                                        Date:  1861-08-03

                                        Resource type:   correspondence

                                        Topics include the witnessing of a hanging execution of a man from the New Hampshire 2nd Regiment who had killed an innocent woman (wife of a rebel soldier), his reaction to the hanging, of military tactics to deter the rebels advance, of breakfast awaiting consisting of fried pork bread and coffee.

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                                          Title:   Daniel S. White to Maria E. Howe

                                          Creator:  White, Daniel S., 1837-1912

                                          Date:  1861-08-12

                                          Resource type:   correspondence

                                          Topics include taking a Negro woman and her children as prisoners to keep them safe from their master, anticipation of a battle, false rumor that officers appropriated a box meant for the soldiers for it was delivered to the men.

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                                            Title:   E. A. Morse to John Wolcott Phelps

                                            Creator:  Morse, E. A.

                                            Date:  1861-08-22

                                            Resource type:   correspondence

                                            Topics include rations for the 1st Regiment of the Vermont Volunteer Militia for May 23rd to August 8th, processing routine, the offering of the position of Quartermaster in the 4th Vermont Regiment, writer's decline of the position.

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                                              Title:   E. P. Mason to [Asa P.] Blunt

                                              Creator:  Mason, E. P.

                                              Resource type:   correspondence

                                              Topics include E. P. Mason asking Roswell Farnham for his help in protecting his sick family.

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                                                Title:   E. P. Mason to [Asa P.] Blunt

                                                Creator:  Mason, E. P.

                                                Resource type:   correspondence

                                                Topics include G. Mason stationed in Spring Bank Virginia requesting of Col. Blunt that guards be stationed around his house and wood pile for protection.

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                                                  Title:   E. T. Johnson to Mary [Farnham]

                                                  Creator:  Johnson, E. T.

                                                  Date:  1862-10-03

                                                  Resource type:   correspondence

                                                  Topics include several companies camping on the riverbank in Maryland, Jackson’s army assembling in Leasburg, and preparing to march most likely to Edwards Ferry.

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