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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: ("Families of military personnel") remove term  Author: ("Spafford, Joseph, 1837-1866") remove term

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Title:   Joseph Spafford to Homer White

Creator:  Spafford, Joseph, 1837-1866

Date:  1862-05-07

Resource type:   correspondence

Still writing from Carver Hospital in Washington D.C. topics include hoping to get his papers to go home to surprise his family, plans to meet Homer White in New York City and hopes that his friend Homer will come to Vermont with him.

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    Title:   Joseph Spafford to Mary Jane Spafford

    Creator:  Spafford, Joseph, 1837-1866

    Date:  1862-01-06

    Resource type:   correspondence

    Written to his sister from his camp in Virginia, topics include inquiring after news from home, a possible visit by his father, cold weather, boxes of bedding sent by the towns of Weathersfield and Windham, and sending hats home so folks can see them.

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      Title:   Joseph Spafford to Mary Jane Spafford

      Creator:  Spafford, Joseph, 1837-1866

      Date:  1862-01-30

      Resource type:   correspondence

      Spafford's brief letter has an underlying tone of being anxious to hear from home. The rainy and muddy weather continue.

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        Title:   Joseph Spafford to Mary Jane Spafford

        Creator:  Spafford, Joseph, 1837-1866

        Date:  1862-03-30

        Resource type:   correspondence

        Still writing from the Mansion House Hospital, topics include listening to the rattling of the soldiers' swords as they pass on the sidewalk outside the hospital, commenting on the number of regiments going down the river, and news of home.

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          Title:   Joseph Spafford to Mary Jane Spafford

          Creator:  Spafford, Joseph, 1837-1866

          Date:  1862-04-20

          Resource type:   correspondence

          Writing from the Mansion House Hospital in Alexandria, Virginia a very brief note to his sister of leaving for Washington and not for her to write to him again at this address.

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            Title:   Joseph Spafford to Mary Jane Spafford

            Creator:  Spafford, Joseph, 1837-1866

            Date:  1862-04-27

            Resource type:   correspondence

            Writing from Carver Hospital in Washington, D.C. topics include the probability of a military discharge, hospital nurses, unhealthiness of hospitals, liking his living situation in the barracks, and fiddle playing and dancing heard coming from a nearby house.

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              Title:   Joseph Spafford to Mary Jane Spafford

              Creator:  Spafford, Joseph, 1837-1866

              Date:  1862-05-06

              Resource type:   correspondence

              Writing his sister from Carver Hospital in Washington, D.C. topics include worry about not receiving letters from home and his general good health.

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                Title:   Joseph Spafford to Mary Jane Spafford

                Creator:  Spafford, Joseph, 1837-1866

                Date:  1862-05-09

                Resource type:   correspondence

                Writing from Carver Hospital in Washington, D.C. topics include waiting for his military discharge papers and sightseeing in Washington.

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                  Title:   Joseph Spafford to Mary Jane Spafford

                  Creator:  Spafford, Joseph, 1837-1866

                  Date:  1862-05-11

                  Resource type:   correspondence

                  Writing from Carver Hospital in Washington D.C. topics include his waiting for his military discharge papers and plans for getting home to Vermont.

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                    Title:   Joseph Spafford to Mary Jane Spafford

                    Creator:  Spafford, Joseph, 1837-1866

                    Date:  1862-05-14

                    Resource type:   correspondence

                    Topics include waiting for his military discharge papers, his plans for returning to Vermont, and his plan to travel with Sergeant Peabody of the 2nd Vermont.

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                      Title:   Joseph Spafford to Mary Jane Spafford

                      Creator:  Spafford, Joseph, 1837-1866

                      Date:  1863-01-18

                      Resource type:   correspondence

                      Considers the possibility of bringing home a Southern woman after the war, asks how family thinks about that, indifferent about having family send a box of goods as he is living well, if he needs money he may borrow from another man, the improvement in George’s health, the need for a new drum major, and teases his sister Sophia about having a Southern woman as a sister-in-law.

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                        Title:   Joseph Spafford to Mary Jane Spafford

                        Creator:  Spafford, Joseph, 1837-1866

                        Date:  1863-04-07

                        Resource type:   correspondence

                        Topics include a description of the area beyond the pickets, rethinking the idea of marriage before next April & idea of possibly going to Mexico after the war made in fun, recreational fun by the men in camp, the expectation of being paid soon, the probability of not returning home before July 23rd, concerns about health of Grandmother.

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                          Title:   Joseph Spafford to Mary Jane Spafford

                          Creator:  Spafford, Joseph, 1837-1866

                          Date:  1863-05-30

                          Resource type:   correspondence

                          Topics include trying to figure out where a family acquaintance (Nels Craigue) is by asking a sutler, the rebels firing on and burning of a train just beyond Kettle Run Bridge and photographs of sister.

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                            Title:   Joseph Spafford to Mary Jane Spafford

                            Creator:  Spafford, Joseph, 1837-1866

                            Date:  1863-06-13

                            Resource type:   correspondence

                            Topics include the hot weather, the anticipation of the rebels attacking again at Bull Run, receiving $214 in pay and sending $175 home, amount of money saved, the plan to go to Washington and hoping to get to Brattleboro and have Mary Jane and Ellen join him there.

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