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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:   Roswell Farnham to Laura

Creator:  Farnham, Roswell, 1827-1903

Date:  1863-02-10

Resource type:   correspondence

Two letters dated Feb 10 and Feb. 15. Topics include the costs of newspapers and magazines, the chain of custody of Laura’s braids of hair, comfortable living conditions at the moment, Mary’s visit in camp, mention of a map sent to Charlie, news of friends seen, a trip to Washington where they saw actress Maggie Mitchell (she was a Confederate sympathizer and friend of John Wilkes Booth), an incident with their dog, suggestions on refurbishing the house and money sent home.

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    Title:   Roswell Farnham to Laura

    Creator:  Farnham, Roswell, 1827-1903

    Date:  1863-03-01

    Resource type:   correspondence

    Mentions an artist is taking some pictures of camp life (photos? or drawings?) promises to send sketches he has made of camp home, the sick in camp including Mary, William Wallace and his best horse, has purchased another horse and will fatten him up,marching orders having been given, Rebels at Leesburgh, Drainsville, Centreville & at Union Mills, brief references to Copperheads at home.

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      Title:   Roswell Farnham to Laura

      Creator:  Farnham, Roswell, 1827-1903

      Date:  1863-03-15

      Resource type:   correspondence

      Another mention of the death of Cyrus Farnham, family financial issue addressed, reporting the death of four men in camp, $400 sent home and wishing Charlie Harding to acknowledge receipt.

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        Title:   Roswell Farnham to Laura

        Creator:  Farnham, Roswell, 1827-1903

        Date:  1863-03-21

        Resource type:   correspondence

        About ambrotype photo well received by Laura, that is well be protected by glass, his letter having been read in Sunday School by Mr. McKeen, instructions regarding financial matters at home, greetings to folks at home, inquiry about financial and other issues regarding Cyrus including wishing to have a "miniature" by Cyrus, and Roswell Farnham being put in charge of the detachment of Wolf Run Shoals, more details about the Kelly's Ford engagement on the 17th.

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          Title:   Roswell Farnham to Laura

          Creator:  Farnham, Roswell, 1827-1903

          Date:  1862-12-14

          Resource type:   correspondence

          Farnham writes to his sister, Laura, about the regiment moving to a new camp near Fairfax Courthouse (Fairfax, Virginia), the arrival of Mary Farnham and Mrs. Blunt, the movement of General Sigel and his 20 to 40,000 troops, and reference to the Battle of Fredericksburg, Virginia (Dec 11-15).

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            Title:   Roswell Farnham to Laura

            Creator:  Farnham, Roswell, 1827-1903

            Date:  1862-11-20

            Resource type:   correspondence

            Roswell Farnham warning is sister, Laura, about over eating, about his trip from Alexandria, Va. to Washington, D.C. and what he saw there, and the anticipation of his wife, Mary's starting her journey to camp.

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              Title:   Roswell Farnham to Mary Farnham

              Creator:  Farnham, Roswell, 1827-1903

              Date:  1863-07-09

              Resource type:   correspondence

              Telegraph message via the Vermont & Boston Telegraph Company to Mrs. Roswell (Mary) Farnham in Bradford, Vt. from Roswell Farnham that he is in Brattleboro and that she is to come down to meet him.

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                Title:   Roswell Farnham to Mary [Farnham]

                Creator:  Farnham, Roswell, 1827-1903

                Date:  1863-01-21

                Resource type:   correspondence

                Topics include camping near Wolf Creek, Virginia, bunking with a fellow officer, no tents yet delivered, shelter not water tight, horses out unprotected, the terrible roads due to rain and mud, Paymaster Holway expected soon with military pay for the Vermont troops, advice to wife Mary, who is planning on visiting to bring only one trunk with only essentials and to wear her boots as there is a lot of mud, brief reference to Kinepox (which is another name for small pox vaccine).

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                  Title:   Roswell Farnham to Mary [Farnham]

                  Creator:  Farnham, Roswell, 1827-1903

                  Date:  1863-01-25

                  Resource type:   correspondence

                  From near Wolf Run Shoals, Virginia topics include instructions to wife, Mary, about what to bring with to her camp, how much to pay Mr. Whiley for room and board, Captain Ormsbee leaving camp and not for her to forget to bring her washing.

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                    Title:   Roswell Farnham to Mary [Farnham]

                    Creator:  Farnham, Roswell, 1827-1903

                    Date:  1863-04-13

                    Resource type:   correspondence

                    A brief letter from Farnham who writes of the unit moving out but not knowing where they are going, of being sad with wife gone but hopes she reached Scott House in Washington safely and is well ; urges her to write every day and he will also.

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                      Title:   Roswell Farnham to Mary [Farnham]

                      Creator:  Farnham, Roswell, 1827-1903

                      Date:  1863-04-14

                      Resource type:   correspondence

                      Farnham writes of the unit preparing to leave Wolf Run Shoals, expresses his wishes to see his wife, Mary, again, feeling sad with his wife absent from camp but glad she is safe, sends a photo by way of Capt. Ormsbee that Mary is to take care of photo, Mr. Peach is ill, letter from Henry and his clothing business.

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                        Title:   Roswell Farnham to Mary [Farnham]

                        Creator:  Farnham, Roswell, 1827-1903

                        Date:  1863-04-20

                        Resource type:   correspondence

                        Topics include dropping a note to Mary Farnham to figure out logistics of her visit.

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                          Title:   Roswell Farnham to Mary [Farnham]

                          Creator:  Farnham, Roswell, 1827-1903

                          Date:  1863-05-06

                          Resource type:   correspondence

                          Topics include him wishing to hear from his wife Mary and missing her, having Mr. Peach to cook for the soldiers, Mrs. Peach coming to visit, the probable move to the Rappahannock River in Va., the rainy weather, his horse Burnie is at Mills Union in a stable there and his horse White Face doing well.

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                            Title:   Roswell Farnham to Mary [Farnham]

                            Creator:  Farnham, Roswell, 1827-1903

                            Date:  1861-08-14

                            Resource type:   correspondence

                            Farnham writes from Camp Phelps, in Brattleboro, to wife, Mary, and responses to her complaint about his letters being "cold", also of wet rainy conditions in camp.

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                              Title:   Roswell Farnham to Mary [Farnham]

                              Creator:  Farnham, Roswell, 1827-1903

                              Date:  1862-11-16

                              Resource type:   correspondence

                              Topics include arranging for Mary Farnham and Colonel Blunt’s wife to travel to camp to visit and what they should bring.

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                                Title:   Roswell Farnham to Mary [Farnham]

                                Creator:  Farnham, Roswell, 1827-1903

                                Date:  1862-11-17

                                Resource type:   correspondence

                                Topics include arranging for Mary Farnham to come visit camp with either Mrs. Blunt or Mrs. Vaughn and the necessary arrangements.

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                                  Title:   Roswell Farnham to [Laura]

                                  Creator:  Farnham, Roswell, 1827-1903

                                  Date:  1863-03-09

                                  Resource type:   correspondence

                                  Topics include the death of Cyrus Farnham from typhoid fever.

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                                    Title:   Roswell Farnham to [Mary Farnham]

                                    Creator:  Farnham, Roswell, 1827-1903

                                    Date:  1863-04-13

                                    Resource type:   correspondence

                                    Roswell Farnham checks up on his wife, Mary ; expresses being sad and lonely once she had left camp, asks her to write him and tell him how to direct his letters to her, instructions to her if she needs money and for her to check her clothing for vermin since she was in camp for such a long time.

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                                      Title:   Roswell Farnham to [Mary Farnham]

                                      Creator:  Farnham, Roswell, 1827-1903

                                      Date:  1863-04-23

                                      Resource type:   correspondence

                                      Topics include Mary Farnham finally heading home from her stay in Washington D.C., arrival of General George J. Stannard & his headquarters to be at Union Mills, Va., the prediction of moving soon & possibly guarding the railroad, an update on some of the men in camp, reference to Mr. and Mrs. Peach, and the possibility of Roswell Farnham becoming a colonel in a new regiment.

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                                        Title:   Roswell Farnham to [Mary Farnham]

                                        Creator:  Farnham, Roswell, 1827-1903

                                        Date:  1863-04-26

                                        Resource type:   correspondence

                                        Topics include being field officer of the day on picket line, Freeman Keyes in camp, concerns for his horse Burnie's health, stern orders from General Abercrombie regarding drills, request for photographs of his wife be taken and sent to him.

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                                          Title:   Roswell Farnham to [Mary Farnham]

                                          Creator:  Farnham, Roswell, 1827-1903

                                          Date:  1863-05-01

                                          Resource type:   correspondence

                                          Topics include the ill health of Mary Farnham and Nelson (mustard paste applied to his back), rumors and conflicting reports about the Rebels, about Hooker & about Lee, snakes in camp, the importance of keeping an open mind about possibly moving to the city after the war, comments on happiness versus wealth, the death of S. S. Leonard of Company H, paymaster has arrived with military pay and orders to move and guard the railroad.

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                                            Title:   Roswell Farnham to [Mary Farnham]

                                            Creator:  Farnham, Roswell, 1827-1903

                                            Date:  1863-05-08

                                            Resource type:   correspondence

                                            Writing from Rappahannock Bridge, Va. topics include advice to wife Mary Farnham about drinking porter and whisky to improve her health, the 15th regiment moving to guard Bealton Station, a fight at Warrenton Junction, relates surrendering Rebels telling of Confederated General "Stonewall" Jackson having lost an arm (was amputated as a result of being shot May 2nd during the Battle of Chancellorsville & died May 8, 1863) and Roswell Farnham’s good health.

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                                              Title:   Roswell Farnham to [Mary Farnham]

                                              Creator:  Farnham, Roswell, 1827-1903

                                              Date:  1863-05-11

                                              Resource type:   correspondence

                                              Topics include money being sent home, references to Gen. Stoneman and Col. Mann, mentions hearing a piano being played by the daughter of Mr. Bowen playing a tune "Run, Yankees, Run or Jackson Will Catch You," rebel cavalry on the other side of the river, a scout by Colonel Mann and two companies, and the improvement in Nelson’s health, advises wife to dress well, look pretty, drink porter & get fat.

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                                                Title:   Roswell Farnham to [Mary Farnham]

                                                Creator:  Farnham, Roswell, 1827-1903

                                                Date:  1863-05-15

                                                Resource type:   correspondence

                                                Topics include remaining in Heintzleman’s corps and not joining Hooker’s Army & acting as a guard, inquiries about the house, Mary Farnham’s health and the little dog, Mac, states Mr. Batchelder can get money to Mary, and a description of Mr. Bowen who is pro Union but his wife and daughter are Confederate and he has a son in the Black Horse Cavalry (Army of Northern Virginia, 4th Virginia Calvary Confederate States of America).

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                                                  Title:   Roswell Farnham to [Mary Farnham]

                                                  Creator:  Farnham, Roswell, 1827-1903

                                                  Date:  1863-05-24

                                                  Resource type:   correspondence

                                                  Topics include small disturbances by the rebels nightly, men is danger of guerrilla warfare by the Rebels, the ill health of the 13th regiment, a lot of inquiries about folks at home, a reference to Mr. Bond and the garden, him wanting the front yard at home spruced up before he gets back home, again encourages his wife to drink porter and get fat as she only weighs 104 pounds.

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