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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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Title:   Henry A. Smith to Family

Creator:  Smith, Henry A., d. 1864

Date:  1862-11-06

Resource type:   correspondence

Two letters dated Nov 6 and Nov 11.Topics include a skirmish at Thoroughfare Gap, Henry Smith out riding the rebels thus avoiding almost being captured, a number of Union soldiers captured, lots of honey and fowl to eat and the burning of Haymarket.

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    Title:   Henry A. Smith to Family

    Creator:  Smith, Henry A., d. 1864

    Date:  1862-11-28

    Resource type:   correspondence

    Topics include the arrival of the package from home that had includes apples and chicken but those were eaten by Jarvis Wentworth, pictures of relatives received, admiration of his new boots, Henry Smith's friend Fenney hoping to become his brother-in-law, and the death of a boy names Henry Holt of Hartland, gives advice on how to best care for a horse.

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      Title:   Henry A. Smith to Family

      Creator:  Smith, Henry A., d. 1864

      Date:  1862-09-02

      Resource type:   correspondence

      From Alexandria, Virginia topics include transporting the sick, injured and "used up horses", the expectation of new horses, the extensive fortifications between Alexandria and Centerville, the horrors of war, the restriction of letter writing until 10 days following a battle, reference to men having fought in a battle but does not say which one (Pope's Campaign??) and Henry Smith's wish to return home.

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        Title:   John M. Stone to Family

        Creator:  Stone, John M., 1835-1915

        Date:  1862-08-28

        Resource type:   correspondence

        Two letters dated Aug 28 & Aug 30 ; grateful for letters from home writing, pride in Vermont for providing soldiers, loading wagons onto the boats in Hampton (Va.?), pleased with the work done by black men, sending money home and news from home.

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          Title:   Justus E. Gale to Family

          Creator:  Gale, Justus F., 1837-1863

          Date:  1862-08-31

          Resource type:   correspondence

          Topics include a train crash, confiscating rebel property including horses, cattle, sheep and mules. Writes of having plenty of food on their travel back to camp including dining on lamb. Provided a meal at an old planters house. Mentions Negroes (slaves) and 1500 Blacks at camp, sending troops to Gen. Phelps, the expectation of getting paid, rebels killed in an encounter with the enemy.

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            Title:   Justus E. Gale to [Family]

            Creator:  Gale, Justus F., 1837-1863

            Date:  1862-08-23

            Resource type:   correspondence

            Topics include a poem titled “The Heavenly Home” and clearing up the rumor that Justus Gale is dead.

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              Title:   Justus F. Gale to Family

              Creator:  Gale, Justus F., 1837-1863

              Date:  1862-07-24

              Resource type:   correspondence

              Topics include the sickness and deaths in the regiment due to Typhoid Fever and poor water, a report that Vicksburg was burned, and the call for the 11th and 12th regiments from Vermont.

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                Title:   Justus F. Gale to Friends

                Creator:  Gale, Justus F., 1837-1863

                Date:  1862-05-04

                Resource type:   correspondence

                Topics include packing up to march most likely towards New Orleans, the occupation of New Orleans by the Union troops, thinking the war will be over soon.

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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 & Friends

                    Creator:  Gale, Justus F., 1837-1863

                    Date:  1862-09-09

                    Resource type:   correspondence

                    Topics include the sickness of Justus Gale’s mother and brother Charley, mentions his dismay of men trying to skip military duty, the rebel prisoners taken by various Union regiments, mentions Gen. Butler may be taking care of the guerrilla fighters and the injuries sustained by the men in the train accident whereby many seemed to have avoided amputations.

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                      Title:   Justus F. Gale to Sister & Friends

                      Creator:  Gale, Justus F., 1837-1863

                      Date:  1862-09-24

                      Resource type:   correspondence

                      From Algiers, La topics include ill health of his mother and sister, the death of his brother Charley, how difficult it is to get a military discharge, Justus Gale’s negative opinion of the Blacks, his hope slavery is ended, and his hope that his sister and mother will become healthy again.

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                        Title:   Justus F. Gale to [Family]

                        Creator:  Gale, Justus F., 1837-1863

                        Date:  1862-02-19

                        Resource type:   correspondence

                        Writing from Brattleboro topics include drilling, a few companies being sworn into the United States service, Justus Gale’s health improving from a brief cold, mentions "rag" hash soup, boiled beef & potatoes, news of family members and the snow at camp.

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                          Title:   Justus F. Gale to [Family]

                          Creator:  Gale, Justus F., 1837-1863

                          Date:  [1862-04]

                          Resource type:   correspondence

                          Topics include lyrics to a song that is sung while marching.

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