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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: ("Food") remove term

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Title:   Justus F. Gale to Father

Creator:  Gale, Justus F., 1837-1863

Date:  1862-06-14

Resource type:   correspondence

Topics include the living conditions and food in New Orleans, continues with cooking duty, the good weather, soldiers bringing back to camp chickens, eggs, an account of the poor treatment of slaves, two slave boys being rescued from ill treatment from their masters, and the observance of Sabbath in camp, wishing to know more news of the war than he can get in the South.

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    Title:   Justus F. Gale to Mother

    Creator:  Gale, Justus F., 1837-1863

    Date:  1862-04-06

    Resource type:   correspondence

    Two letters dated April 4th and 6th. Writing after arriving at Ship Island, Mississippi topics include observing the Sabbath,his devotion for the Bible, arriving on shore, digging and finding plenty of fresh water, being treated with food from the Mass. 30th, thinking war may be over before he gets a chance to fight and the expectation of capturing New Orleans.

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      Title:   Justus F. Gale to Sister

      Creator:  Gale, Justus F., 1837-1863

      Date:  1862-05-15

      Resource type:   correspondence

      Topics include leaving Ship Island, being towed back up the Mississippi River to camp in New Orleans, the poor conditions of Fort Jackson and Philips, traveling into the city, the positive attitude of the natives of New Orleans toward Gale and companion now that it is occupied by the Union, General Butler redistributing provisions to the poor of the city that were captured from the rebels

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        Title:   Justus F. Gale to Sister

        Creator:  Gale, Justus F., 1837-1863

        Date:  1862-06-14

        Resource type:   correspondence

        Topics include the movement of the company from Algiers to Lafourche, a description of the living situation at Algiers, the good food at camp including fresh fruit berries, water quality not good.

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          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.

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            Title:   Justus F. Gale to Sister

            Creator:  Gale, Justus F., 1837-1863

            Date:  1862-04-21

            Resource type:   correspondence

            Topics include the improvement in Justus Gale's health, the cost of food items in camp, the death of three men in the regiment, the attempted suicide of a man in Company F, mentions "sugar place" back home in Elmore and writes about the lack of information in camp about the rest of the Union Army.

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              Title:   Justus F. Gale to Sister

              Creator:  Gale, Justus F., 1837-1863

              Date:  1862-07-18

              Resource type:   correspondence

              Topics include the good health of Justus Gale, the food available at Algiers including confiscated beef from the locals, standing guard for 12 hour shifts, killing alligators, writes of some of his comrades, the sickness of Sargent 2nd Class.Chas. C. Martin with inflammation of the bowels, the capture of Richmond and Vicksburg, mentions Confederate Gen. G. T. Beauregard, receiving a copy of the Green Mountain Freeman and refers to his religious faith.

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                Title:   Justus F. Gale to Sister Almeda

                Creator:  Gale, Justus F., 1837-1863

                Date:  1862-08-16

                Resource type:   correspondence

                Topics include guard duty, being able to pick some sweet potatoes, having fresh fruit melons, a trip into the city, a description of a plantation, mentions how much work it is for owners to look after their slaves, states care must be taken of their dress suits and boots in spite of whatever their living conditions may be and the improved health of some of the men in the regiment.

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                  Title:   Justus F. Gale to [Family]

                  Creator:  Gale, Justus F., 1837-1863

                  Date:  1862-02-19

                  Resource type:   correspondence

                  Writing from Brattleboro topics include drilling, a few companies being sworn into the United States service, Justus Gale’s health improving from a brief cold, mentions "rag" hash soup, boiled beef & potatoes, news of family members and the snow at camp.

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                    Title:   Mary E. Farnham to Henry

                    Creator:  Farnham, Mary E.

                    Date:  1863-01-27

                    Resource type:   correspondence

                    Mary Farnham writes from Wolf Shoals Creek, Va. on the Occoquan River to brother Henry about desserts and other food the troops are enjoying eating, her instructions for food to be sent to brother Zeke in the 10th Regiment, terrible traveling conditions due to deep muddy roads, horses having to be walked, she riding with other officers' wives, and her feeling uncomfortable with the looks of the Southerns (Secesh)

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                      Title:   Ransom W. Towle to Sebra Towle

                      Creator:  Towle, Ransom W., d. 1864

                      Date:  1863-10-12

                      Resource type:   correspondence

                      Writes of receiving a welcomed letter from his mother making him feel as if he is at home with her in a conversation. Some of the men from the hospital are going out to gather chestnuts, he is not able to go as he is confined at the hospital due to wounds. States he suffers from diarrhea from time to time. Speaks of food available (meat, bread, milk, apples).

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                        Title:   Roswell Farnham to Laura

                        Creator:  Farnham, Roswell, 1827-1903

                        Date:  1863-02-01

                        Resource type:   correspondence

                        Letter includes two drawings, one of a stockaded tent the soldiers have done and one of Farnham's cabin, all at Wolf Run Shoals, Va., a description of camp life and conditions, his sister Mary’s visit to camp, the mud and snow, and reconsidering sending money home to repay debts.

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                          Title:   Roswell Farnham to Laura

                          Creator:  Farnham, Roswell, 1827-1903

                          Date:  1863-06-08

                          Resource type:   correspondence

                          Discomforts of camp life including bug bites and the discomfort they cause, food, the Court of Inquiry regarding the conduct of Lieutenant Hartshorn while commanding the guard on the train that was destroyed (May 30th), the good chance of having to spend forty-eight hours on picket line by the end of the week.

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                            Title:   Roswell Farnham to Mary [Farnham]

                            Creator:  Farnham, Roswell, 1827-1903

                            Date:  1863-06-29

                            Resource type:   correspondence

                            Four brief letters telling of a 5th day of marching from Fredericksburg to Catoctin Furnace, lack of information to the men as to where they are going nor where Robert E. Lee is, Hooker believed to be relieved of his command, much rain, muddy roads, told they are on their way to Gettysburg. Letter of July 2nd tells of fighting on the way to Gettysburg, fresh chickens for food, General Reynolds reported killed on July 1.

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                              Title:   Roswell Farnham to [Mary Farnham]

                              Creator:  Farnham, Roswell, 1827-1903

                              Date:  1863-06-20

                              Resource type:   correspondence

                              Topics include the need for the men to stay in the army even though they will be discharged within the week, the destruction of the Rappahannock Bridge by the union soldiers preventing the Rebels from using the Orange & Alexa. railroad, and the sixth corps going to Manassas (Bull Run), freshly butchered chicken for breakfast from Mr. Peach.

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                                Title:   Roswell Farnham to [Mary Farnham]

                                Creator:  Farnham, Roswell, 1827-1903

                                Date:  1863-06-28

                                Resource type:   correspondence

                                Four days of marching have left the men foot sore and exhausted & he writes of the hardships and consequences of men not being able to keep up. Tells of a mishap with an officer and his horse, of the men picking up stray horses, of the men cooking for themselves, of butchered cattle for fresh beef, mention of Mrs. Capt. Williams and Mrs. Damon, moving towards Hagarstown and no expectation for a fight.

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                                  Title:   Solomon G. Heaton to Father

                                  Creator:  Heaton, Solomon G.

                                  Date:  1863-10-04

                                  Resource type:   correspondence

                                  Writing a brief letter to his father, Solomon G. Heaton’s states his dislike for General Mead of the Army of the Potomac, mention of Gen. McClellan and requests several clothing items to be sent from home including boots, gloves and food such as tea, cheese, bread, maple sugar.

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                                    Title:   Solomon G. Heaton to Father

                                    Creator:  Heaton, Solomon G.

                                    Date:  1863-11-24

                                    Resource type:   correspondence

                                    Topics include the anticipated move of the army, the branding and branding of two soldiers, disapproves of this action by the army, requests food and clothing from home.

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                                      Title:   Valentine G. Barney to Maria Barney

                                      Creator:  Barney, Valentine G., 1834-1889

                                      Date:  1863-01-04

                                      Resource type:   correspondence

                                      From Camp Douglas in Chicago topics include going to the Baptist Church where he heard Elder Knapp a revivalist, sightseeing which included visiting grave to Stephen Douglas, seeing buffalo and oxen, requesting the return of the opened envelope in which money is missing, of eating well these days, of when the Regiment will be exchanged, gifts for officers including Col. Stannard, Col Andross, Major Stowell and the enclosure of "two small likenesses."

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                                        Title:   Valentine G. Barney to Maria Barney

                                        Creator:  Barney, Valentine G., 1834-1889

                                        Date:  1863-01-26

                                        Resource type:   correspondence

                                        Still at Camp Douglas with the Regiment remaining in Chicago to guard 1500 expected Rebel prisoners from Arkansas, good supper on tin dishes, getting teased about writing to his wife so frequently, the reported resignation of a brother of Lieut. Sherman in Company C because he was passed over for promotion, love to his daughter Carrie and son Fred.

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                                          Title:   Valentine G. Barney to Maria Barney

                                          Creator:  Barney, Valentine G., 1834-1889

                                          Date:  1862-08-05

                                          Resource type:   correspondence

                                          From Camp Siegel topics include the mail from home being delivered after being misdirected, comments on family, digging in the ground creating storage spaces for items such as butter and milk, having fresh berries to eat, clearing up rumors revolving around the regiment, sun stroke suffered by one soldier due to the heat, cost of food.

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                                            Title:   Valentine G. Barney to Maria Barney

                                            Creator:  Barney, Valentine G., 1834-1889

                                            Date:  1862-08-28

                                            Resource type:   correspondence

                                            Topics include the capturing of some Rebels at Newtown who stated Rebels do not go hungry as long a Union troops are around from which to steal food, issues with the postal mail service, the difficulty of getting rest in camp, and the sickness of the regiment.

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                                              Title:   Valentine G. Barney to Maria Barney

                                              Creator:  Barney, Valentine G., 1834-1889

                                              Date:  1862-10-01

                                              Resource type:   correspondence

                                              Writing from Chicago topics include the journey to an area 2 miles from Chicago, a description of the living quarters that include a good dinner, fixing up the sheds they are living in which are on the fairgrounds (the site of a Sanitary Fair to benefit soldier relief funds, Oct. 27, 1863), the morale of the men, food of pork, bread, beef, talk of being relocated to Minnesota, and the disparate need for money.

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                                                Title:   Valentine G. Barney to Maria Barney

                                                Creator:  Barney, Valentine G., 1834-1889

                                                Date:  1862-11-03

                                                Resource type:   correspondence

                                                Topics include the continued improvement of Barney’s health from jaundice though his appetite is low and his skin itches, of foods he regularly eats, the sickness of Sergeant Whitmore with typhoid fever, and the deaths in the regiment including Chas Crook.

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                                                  Title:   Valentine G. Barney to Maria Barney

                                                  Creator:  Barney, Valentine G., 1834-1889

                                                  Date:  1862-06-22

                                                  Resource type:   correspondence

                                                  Topics include the food served in camp was plentiful and good, tent set up to be comfortable, health is good, the distribution of clothing among the men, Col. Stannard expected in camp, mentions plans to return home and the expected arrival of a few more companies at Brattleboro.

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