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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

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Title:   Joseph Rutherford to [Hannah Rutherford]

Creator:  Rutherford, Joseph Chase, 1818-1902

Date:  1863-09-15

Resource type:   correspondence

A brief letter with Rutherford declining to give his consent for his daughter, Helen, to participate in hop picking; an activity where a mass of (usually lower class of) people gather to pick hops from the vines.

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    Title:   Joseph Rutherford to [Hannah Rutherford]

    Creator:  Rutherford, Joseph Chase, 1818-1902

    Date:  1863-09-20

    Resource type:   correspondence

    Topics include thankful for getting postage stamps from home, gives treatment for diphtheria, remarks regarding the importance of letter writing, his rail against his wife's relatives for indignities he has suffered from them, well digging at home, reference to "Copperheads," his reaction and outrage to a vote related to the war taken at a town meeting as reported in a home newspaper (Newport News?), his urging to have the vote reversed, his permission to have part of his opinion published in the newspaper if seen fit and a description of the line of battle.

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      Title:   Joseph Rutherford to [Hannah Rutherford]

      Creator:  Rutherford, Joseph Chase, 1818-1902

      Date:  1863-09-23

      Resource type:   correspondence

      Topics include prepared to move out with 8 days rations but does not know to where, may be sent to Washington with the sick, letters to Rutherford's children that include Jacob, Kittie, Maria and Jovis.

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        Title:   Joseph Rutherford to [Hannah Rutherford]

        Creator:  Rutherford, Joseph Chase, 1818-1902

        Date:  1863-09-28

        Resource type:   correspondence

        Topics include reflections upon the beauty of the Blue Ridge countryside, the line of defense maintained, surgeons going to a sheltered area away from gunfire during a battle, preparing a place to treat the wounded, a reference to new born babies, his opinion on another couple's marriage issues, his sons Jovis and Jacob and the hope that the war will end so Rutherford can return to his family.

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          Title:   Joseph Rutherford to [Hannah Rutherford]

          Creator:  Rutherford, Joseph Chase, 1818-1902

          Date:  1863-10-05

          Resource type:   correspondence

          Topics include a reference to Rutherford’s birthday earlier in the month, reflections on his children, Joseph, Jacob & Kittie & their individual personalities & attention needed, needing flannel shirts, grateful knitted socks are being made for him, and acknowledging money sent finally arriving home.

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            Title:   Joseph Rutherford to [Hannah Rutherford]

            Creator:  Rutherford, Joseph Chase, 1818-1902

            Date:  1863-10-09

            Resource type:   correspondence

            Topics include the railroad (Iron horse) in Rutherford’s hometown (Newport, Vt.?), cautioning keeping the children away from the railroad cars, daughter Helen and a Mrs. Bachelder are sick, pleasantly surprised over the low cost of the water well dug at home, the importance of receiving letters from home often, of a grand review of the troops and the prospect of a fight as the Confederate officer J.E.B. Stuart is to the rear & a part of the division has been sent to stop his advance.

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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:  1863-11-05

                Resource type:   correspondence

                Still under marching orders topics include a request for some winter shirts, the possibility of letting (renting) the land at home, and a description of the type of man who would not fight for his country.

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                  Title:   Joseph Rutherford to [Hannah Rutherford]

                  Creator:  Rutherford, Joseph Chase, 1818-1902

                  Date:  1863-06-07

                  Resource type:   correspondence

                  Topics include Hannah not yet in the new house and Rutherford anxious for her comfort, having a very pleasant officer's life visiting with Dr. Childe, his wife and other officers, Mrs. Childe to entertain by singing, mentions they being stationed at the extreme outpost for the defense of Washington, D.C., description of a medical account to Mr. Coburn by Rutherford for neutering Coburn's cat, fresh beef and berries in the area for eating, and the health of the children.

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                    Title:   Joseph Rutherford to [Hannah Rutherford]

                    Creator:  Rutherford, Joseph Chase, 1818-1902

                    Date:  1863-05-30

                    Resource type:   correspondence

                    Topics include not receiving any letters from home, wishing to know if the $25 sent has been received, dealing with the camp cooks drinking too much whiskey and getting drunk, needing to confront the Quartermaster for interfering with his teams and ambulances again, Colonel Jewett's wife visiting which makes four wives in camp which relieves coarseness among the men and relieves monotony in camp.

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                      Title:   Joseph Rutherford to [Hannah Rutherford]

                      Creator:  Rutherford, Joseph Chase, 1818-1902

                      Date:  1863-05-31

                      Resource type:   correspondence

                      Topics include the improved health of J.C. Rutherford's son, wishing for photographs of the new house and of his wife, the visit from a mounted band from Washington played for the brigade, compliments paid to Rutherford and other officers, a soldier who ran the line and did not halt when ordered by the pickets was shot through the leg by friendly fire.

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                        Title:   Joseph Rutherford to [Hannah Rutherford]

                        Creator:  Rutherford, Joseph Chase, 1818-1902

                        Date:  1863-06-21

                        Resource type:   correspondence

                        Two letters dated June 21st and 23rd with topics including a description of hearing an exchange of fire where the Union army was engaged in battle with the Confederates and the Union beating the Rebels, a visit to Campbell Hospital in Washington, D.C., meeting and chatting with Mrs. Jane Grey Cannon Swisshelm (American journalist, publisher, abolitionist, women's rights advocate who during the war devoted her time to nursing the wounded and was called Mother by the men), his praise of her, and how to deal with Mr. Coburn at home who has not paid his debt.

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                          Title:   Joseph Rutherford to [Hannah Rutherford]

                          Creator:  Rutherford, Joseph Chase, 1818-1902

                          Date:  1863-04-22

                          Resource type:   correspondence

                          Topics include a violent confrontation with a very drunken soldier resulting in kicks exchanged, a storm, the expectation for the regiment not to march as originally thought, his favorable impression of Dr. Childe's wife, Rutherford's longing to be with his family, and the expectation of going to Washington the next day to hopefully receive pay.

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                            Title:   Joseph Rutherford to [Hannah Rutherford]

                            Creator:  Rutherford, Joseph Chase, 1818-1902

                            Date:  1862-11-05

                            Resource type:   correspondence

                            Dr. Rutherford writes of a battle near Leesburgh some 14 miles from the camp near Seneca Creek (Maryland?) the outcome of which is not known, of the filthy condition of some of the soldiers, of an epidemic of Typhoid fever with the loss of over a dozen men to the illness. He writes of his winter living accommodations of which he is very happy and mentions "Mose the Moor", the runaway black slave boy who tends to him. Also writes of a review from the Brigadier General, and the health of Rutherford’s family.

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                              Title:   Joseph Rutherford to [Hannah Rutherford]

                              Creator:  Rutherford, Joseph Chase, 1818-1902

                              Date:  1862-11-27

                              Resource type:   correspondence

                              Topics include Rutherford’s hope to send money home to his wife Hannah, of anticipation of having a Thanksgiving dinner in camp, the good health of the entire family, of the Colonel praising Rutherford for his performance of medical duties and of the man Murk who wrote slanderous reports of the surgeons being put on trial.

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                                Title:   Joseph Rutherford to [Hannah Rutherford]

                                Creator:  Rutherford, Joseph Chase, 1818-1902

                                Date:  1863-01-16

                                Resource type:   correspondence

                                Topics include being in Baltimore, assisting with errands in the city for fellow officers, guarding the river for 20 miles, not receiving an appointment because some men provided bad accounts of Rutherford to the Governor, taking charge of hospital, references to Col. Jewett and Dr. Willard Augustus Childe (surgeon), inquiring after his children and his premonitions regarding their welfare.

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                                  Title:   Joseph Rutherford to [Hannah Rutherford]

                                  Creator:  Rutherford, Joseph Chase, 1818-1902

                                  Date:  1863-01-20

                                  Resource type:   correspondence

                                  Writes of medical treatment for diphtheria if his children ever come down with the illness, a possible leave of absence for Dr. Willard Augustus Childe as he has been in service for 20 months without one, expresses his anger at criticism from folks back home about what the military ought to be doing and states the need for the Union to conquer the South.

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                                    Title:   Joseph Rutherford to [Hannah Rutherford]

                                    Creator:  Rutherford, Joseph Chase, 1818-1902

                                    Date:  1863-04-10

                                    Resource type:   correspondence

                                    Topics include the progress being made on the house, military pay slow in being received, the children's bad reactions to a vaccination with suggestion for treatment, follow up visits to Mr. Trundle with his erysipelas, a big dinner in camp with the officers including Col. Jewett, the men practice shooting a new rifle received in camp with targets being cattle grazing across the river owned by the Secessionists and a flock to ducks.

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                                      Title:   Joseph Rutherford to [Hannah Rutherford]

                                      Creator:  Rutherford, Joseph Chase, 1818-1902

                                      Date:  1862-12-13

                                      Resource type:   correspondence

                                      Rutherford writes to wife Hannah about the death of General Newcomb, Rutherford's medical duties and the birth of Mrs. Turn’s baby.

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                                        Title:   Joseph Rutherford to [Hannah Rutherford]

                                        Creator:  Rutherford, Joseph Chase, 1818-1902

                                        Date:  1862-12-18

                                        Resource type:   correspondence

                                        Topics include family money troubles, a description of his horse Lady Lightfoot, anticipation of a Rebel raid, and a description of the winter quarters and John tending to his comforts as his "nig" (Moses) has been sick, reference to the troublesome Murk.

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                                          Title:   Joseph Rutherford to [Hannah Rutherford]

                                          Creator:  Rutherford, Joseph Chase, 1818-1902

                                          Date:  1863-01-13

                                          Resource type:   correspondence

                                          Writing from camp in Maryland topics include an accident that happened to Rutherford's daughter Kittie, an attempt for a leave of absense, of sending some military pay home via express and Rutherford's role of Acting Surgeon.

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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 Rutherford to [Hannah Rutherford]

                                              Creator:  Rutherford, Joseph Chase, 1818-1902

                                              Date:  1863-04-28

                                              Resource type:   correspondence

                                              Writing from camp 2 miles from Poolesville, Maryland topics include Rutherford reassuring Hannah that his life style is comfortable while in camp, the rebels are building fortifications across the river that the regiment plans to break down with cannon fire, finally receiving the pay, sending $400 home and sorting out house payments.

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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:  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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