page top

Vermonters in the Civil War

Bookbag (0)
collection image

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.

More...

Time Period Covered: January 1, 1861 - February 28, 1864 


Search Collection:
within

Browsing by:    Topic: ("Contraband of war") remove term

Add to bookbag

Title:   Joseph Rutherford to [Hannah Rutherford]

Creator:  Rutherford, Joseph Chase, 1818-1902

Date:  1862-10-07

Resource type:   correspondence

Rutherford writes to his wife, Hannah, about life in camp along the Potomac River. Many soldiers have fevers, his assistant surgeon is ill but he continues to keep up with all the work needing to be done. He writes of a 17 year old male runaway slave named Moses, who takes care of him and his horse, Lady Lightfoot and complains of how slow the mail is.

Matches [0]:


    Add to bookbag

    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.

    Matches [0]:


      Add to bookbag

      Title:   Justus F. Gale to Sister

      Creator:  Gale, Justus F., 1837-1863

      Date:  1862-11-14

      Resource type:   correspondence

      Topics include the poor health of Justus Gale’s sister, having plenty to eat and confiscating anything while in the field including livestock from the rebels, receiving a box from home that was greatly appreciated though disappointed none of Mother's cheese, the expectation of returning to Algiers, and some family affairs including what to do with Charlie's clothes since his death, mentions still needing to get a photographer and have his photo taken, and the possibility of renting the farm.

      Matches [0]:


        Add to bookbag

        Title:   Solomon G. Heaton to Mother

        Creator:  Heaton, Solomon G.

        Date:  1862-03-17

        Resource type:   correspondence

        With Heaton's words, "the great Army of the Potomac has at last started," we get a sense of impatience, on the soldier's part, with Gen. George McClellan's well-known reluctance to send men into battle. The date of this letter coincides within the beginning of the Peninsula Campaign, which deployed over 121,000 Union soldiers. Perhaps Heaton's regiment, camped somewhere in Virginia, is about to meet up with this "offul Army down on the co[a]st it numbers 90 thousand men" as part of the Campaign. He notes some of the destruction left behind by retreating rebels, most notably the burned homes near Fairfax courthouse, supposedly where George and Martha Washington were married. (The home owned by Martha Custis, Washington's betrothed, was indeed burned in 1862 because of the war. This is believed to have been a likely site of the marriage in early January, 1759.) Other place names mentioned: Mannassas, Centerville.

        Matches [0]:


          Add to bookbag

          Title:   Wheelock G. Veazey to Julia A. Veazey

          Creator:  Veazey, Wheelock G., 1835-1898

          Date:  1862-03-09

          Resource type:   correspondence

          Topics include love of his wife, memories of time spent with her and mention of a contraband bringing important information to camp.

          Matches [0]:


            Add to bookbag

            Title:   William C. Holbrook to Frederick Holbrook

            Creator:  Holbrook, William Cune, 1842-1904

            Date:  1862-05-27

            Resource type:   correspondence

            Topics include the Union gaining control of New Orleans, General Shepley becoming Military Commandant of the city, and the news that the Vermont Brigade has been gaining control on the Potomac. Evaluations of Generals Butler and Shepley. Also mentions the "contrabands" or slaves coming within Union lines. (Butler would later start recruiting African Americans to be Union soldiers.)

            Matches [0]:


              Add to bookbag

              Title:   William Wirt Henry to Mary Jane Henry

              Creator:  Henry, William Wirt, 1831-1915

              Date:  1862-12-28

              Resource type:   correspondence

              Change of camp location to Monocacy, letters in the mail not catching up with him, getting a new servant named Johnny Cole of Walden, Vt., having Christmas dinner with a local citizen named Trundell a Southerner (perhaps same as Mr. Trundle that Joseph Rutherford helped heal) but who wishes good relations with Union so his chickens & loose property will not be stolen), a slave (contraband) coming into camp & taken as a servant to the Lieut, speculation on who will command the brigade, and that he is in good health.

              Matches [0]:


                Add to bookbag

                Title:  

                Creator:  Barney, Valentine G., 1834-1889

                Date:  1863-04-06

                Resource type:   correspondence

                Two letters enclosed. Still on the steamer Long Island at Norfolk, Virginia waiting for the rest of the Regiment before moving on, the Regiment traveling a lot seeing the country, contraband items distributed among the officers and men, seeing men harvesting oysters in the river. He also mentions sightseeing in Norfolk, Virginia, buying pants there, and oysters both raw and fried.

                Matches [0]:


                  Add to bookbag

                  Title:  

                  Creator:  Barney, Valentine G., 1834-1889

                  Date:  1863-08-09

                  Resource type:   correspondence

                  Writes of excessive heat, mosquitoes, responds to his wife’s complaint that he doesn’t write enough letters to her ; mentions several individuals (Capt Reynolds of Gen Wistar's staff, Qr Master Sawyer and Gen. Stannard) ; writes about how being absent from his family has led him to appreciate family life more dearly, suggests the idea of bringing home a "contraband" (i.e. a young person about 12 to 15 years old), again asks for photographs of the children, Fred and Carrie.

                  Matches [0]:


                    Add to bookbag

                    Title:  

                    Creator:  Barney, Valentine G., 1834-1889

                    Date:  1863-08-23

                    Resource type:   correspondence

                    Laments of trying to write the letter with other officers having a conversation around him, of the heat which curtails his exercise, and of having a photograph taken of his dark bay horse, Frank, and his contraband boy, both of whom he hopes to take back to Swanton as well as a little white dog for his children Carrie and Fred. He also writes of “Jewettville,” the negro contraband village, named after Lt. Jewett also known as Slabtown.

                    Matches [0]: