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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:    Topic: ("Battle casualties") remove term

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Title:   Henry A. Smith to Clarissa A. Smith

Creator:  Smith, Henry A., d. 1864

Date:  1863-11-20

Resource type:   correspondence

Topics include receiving a letter from home, his hope to be released and return home, and news about others from his regiment who were killed or wounded at Hagerstown on July 6.

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    Title:   Henry A. Smith to Family

    Creator:  Smith, Henry A., d. 1864

    Date:  1862-09-24

    Resource type:   correspondence

    Topics include Henry Smith losing his horse, camp punishment of John H. Willard for disobeying an order, and the numerous men who were wounded and killed.

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      Title:   Henry A. Smith to Family

      Creator:  Smith, Henry A., d. 1864

      Date:  1862-04-20

      Resource type:   correspondence

      Topics include the journey from Harpers Ferry to Newmarket, reference to General Banks division, detailed description of the suicide of Major Colins' Colonel, Michigan Calvary refusing to obey orders to charge the enemy, the Calvary rode away, mention of Lieut Col Kellogg and a Col Ashby, an encounter with the rebels that resulted in three rebel deaths and two rebel prisoners, getting pay.

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        Title:   Henry A. Smith to Family

        Creator:  Smith, Henry A., d. 1864

        Date:  1862-08-14

        Resource type:   correspondence

        Six miles south of Culpeper (Virginia) two letters included dated Aug 15 and Aug 15. Topics include an exchange of fire near the Orange Court House, the numerous rebel deaths, injuries, and prisoners, and another terrible battle at Culpeper with references to Jackson, Banks and John Pope.

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          Title:   Henry A. Smith to Family

          Creator:  Smith, Henry A., d. 1864

          Date:  1862-05-27

          Resource type:   correspondence

          From Williams Post, Maryland Smith writes 2 letters one dated May 27 and one May 28. (First Battle of Winchester, May 25, 1862). Topics include a terrible battle in and near Winchester in which he escaped injury, of many men from the regiment being lost but many returning to camp the next day, rebels suffering great losses, mentions General Shields, General Fremont and General Banks, cautions given to his siblings at home regarding being in and near the water.

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            Title:   Henry A. Smith to Family

            Creator:  Smith, Henry A., d. 1864

            Date:  1862-06-07

            Resource type:   correspondence

            Topics include the defeat and retreat of the regiment to Williamsport (Battle of Harrisonburg?? June 6), telling of southern woman firing upon union soldiers, of the shooting death of a drummer boy by a southern woman, description of a rebel regiment's clothing recognized as the Louisiana Tigers, transporting the sick and wounded by wagon to hospitals, a summary of the men who were lost or wounded.

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              Title:   Henry A. Smith to Family

              Creator:  Smith, Henry A., d. 1864

              Date:  1862-06-27

              Resource type:   correspondence

              Topics include the journey from Williamsport to Snickers Ferry on the Shenandoah River, mentions by name men missing from the Company, mentions horses in battle, of his horse having had very little to eat, the rumor that General Pope is going to take control of the army, Gen. Fremont resigning, Gen. Banks to be Assistant Sec. of War, and the Quarter Master Old Jones & Lieutenant Grover's waiter being taken prisoners.

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                Title:   Henry A. Smith to Family

                Creator:  Smith, Henry A., d. 1864

                Date:  1862-10-04

                Resource type:   correspondence

                Topics include encamping near Alexandria, an update on the health of Lant Blake and Gene, his unable to mail a gun home for his younger siblings, the large loss of the rebels at Orange Court House, a request for boots and gloves from home and a comment that army issue are not worth what the soldiers have to pay for them.

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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 Harrison Wilder to Mother

                    Creator:  Wilder, Henry Harrison

                    Date:  1862-06-11

                    Resource type:   correspondence

                    Topics include clarifying things that were written home about Merrill, what Wilder will do once he leaves the army alive, and a man named Damon Hunter returning home after having his leg amputated. One Civil War chronology notes on this date "little or no action on the main front in Virginia along the Chickahominy."

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                      Title:   Henry Harrison Wilder to Mother

                      Creator:  Wilder, Henry Harrison

                      Date:  1861-10-12

                      Resource type:   correspondence

                      Topics include advancing on the Rebels to Prospect Hill, a battle at Hatteras Inlet where the Rebels lost many men, and two Rebels at Camp Advance that were taken prisoners. Reference to Gen. Scott, to Bull Run, to plenty of chestnuts available to eat. Also mentions the opinion that many believe the war will be short (six months)

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                        Title:   Henry Harrison Wilder to Mother

                        Creator:  Wilder, Henry Harrison

                        Date:  1862-02-13

                        Resource type:   correspondence

                        Topics include Wilder getting his army picture taken, his plan to send it to his mother, and a victory at Roanoke Island, No. Carolina (Feb. 8), in which over 2,000 prisoners were taken.

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                          Title:   Henry Harrison Wilder to Mother

                          Creator:  Wilder, Henry Harrison

                          Date:  1862-04-09

                          Resource type:   correspondence

                          Topics include the rebels being strongly fortified at Lee's Mill, the preparations for a hard battle (the month-long siege of Yorktown), and Merrill's sickness. Detailed description of some dead and wounded soldiers.

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                            Title:   Henry Harrison Wilder to Mother

                            Creator:  Wilder, Henry Harrison

                            Date:  1862-04-23

                            Resource type:   correspondence

                            Topics include a request for Wilder's mother to send him stamps, Wilder's predictions that he may never return home, and a description of the battle at Yorktown. Poignant thoughts about friends and loved ones near and far away.

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                              Title:   Henry Harrison Wilder to Mother

                              Creator:  Wilder, Henry Harrison

                              Date:  1862-04-28

                              Resource type:   correspondence

                              Topics include two officers from the New York regiment joining the rebel army and a description of a rebel attack. Wilder is writing at the time of the Siege of Yorktown, Va.

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                                Title:   Hiram H. Barton to [Melissa Barton]

                                Creator:  Barton, Hiram H., 1836-1903

                                Date:  1862-09-11

                                Resource type:   correspondence

                                Topics include the journey from Harrisons Landing to Fort Monroe, a fight at Bulls Run (aka 2nd Manassas), and the deaths of Thomas Covil and Lyman Morhouse.

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                                  Title:   Horatio P. Bruce to Smiley Bancroft

                                  Creator:  Bruce, Horatio P.,

                                  Date:  1862-06-26

                                  Resource type:   correspondence

                                  Topics include the death of Charles Bancroft from typhoid fever, the sickness of other men in the company, and that the fall of Richmond will bring the war to an end. Like many other writers, he refers to McClellan's reluctance to deploy his massive army.

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                                    Title:   Ira A. Marshall to William Wirt Henry

                                    Creator:  Marshall, Ira A., d. 1893

                                    Date:  1862-05-13

                                    Resource type:   correspondence

                                    Topics include recent battles in Yorktown and Williamsburg, which had significant casualties; the destruction of the C.S.S. Merrimack off the coast of Norfolk, Va., now under Union occupation. McClellan will likely send Vt. troops home once Richmond is taken. Ill soldier Tilton Sleeper mentioned again.

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                                      Title:   Ira A. Marshall to William Wirt Henry

                                      Creator:  Marshall, Ira A., d. 1893

                                      Date:  1862-06-08

                                      Resource type:   correspondence

                                      Topics include camping at Harrison's Landing, Virginia on the James River, makes reference to regiments and companies losing men, the names of men wounded and their injuries in Company D, makes reference to a battle (maybe Battle of Seven Pines [Fair Oaks]??), several officers resigning, the high cost of food, and the slight sickness of Ira Marshall.

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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:  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:  1863-11-03

                                            Resource type:   correspondence

                                            Topics include references to folks at home and their improved health, of not minding having his letters read to others, brief reference to a battle at Briston Station (Manassas plains), Dr. Childe's sister has a book for Rutherford's daughter Helen, a brief description of a battle and how the wounded men were treated including Rutherford's decisions to not amputate limbs and the recovered heath of those soldiers who were spared the surgery.

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                                              Title:   Joseph Rutherford to [Hannah Rutherford]

                                              Creator:  Rutherford, Joseph Chase, 1818-1902

                                              Date:  1863-05-04

                                              Resource type:   correspondence

                                              Topics include getting paid so as to make payment on their new house, $500 sent home, wishing to have a photograph of the finished house sent to him, having a pleasant lifestyle in camp with visits with other officers, a trip to Washington to purchase medicine, how fat J. C. Rutherford has grown, suggestions for his wife to have a garden, and war news conflicting but evidence of a lot of fighting because of the number wounded arriving at City Hospitals .

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                                                Title:   Joseph Rutherford to [Hannah Rutherford]

                                                Creator:  Rutherford, Joseph Chase, 1818-1902

                                                Date:  1863-05-13

                                                Resource type:   correspondence

                                                Topics include the rainy weather, traveling to Washington to help at the Campbell Hospital, attending the many wounded, their fortitude in their suffering, their injuries and the mens' gratitude for medical attention, having Surgeon's duties but not necessarily the pay to go with it, the honor associated with any position in the army to make up the difference, and instructions to his wife to secure housing for herself and the children above all else.

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                                                  Title:   Joseph Spafford to Homer White

                                                  Creator:  Spafford, Joseph, 1837-1866

                                                  Date:  1863-07-17

                                                  Resource type:   correspondence

                                                  Brief letter to friend Homer White (of New York City) informing him of Spafford's soon discharge from the army, heading to New York, the heavy losses at Gettysburg with those killed & wounded, opinions of newspaper editors.

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