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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: ("Newspapers") remove term

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Title:   Bradford Sparrow to Parents and Brothers

Creator:  Sparrow, Bradford

Date:  1864-02-12

Resource type:   correspondence

Writes his health is good, there was a battle on the Rapidan on the 5th, orders given to move out, he on picket duty to remain, could hear the muskets firing, reads in the newspaper Rebels panic stricken in Richmond by Butler's approach, hears talk of moving Confederate capital to Columbia, South Carolina, paymaster in camp, will send money home, has played cards on picket duty to pass the time, thinks folks at home have gotten his picture (photo), expresses appreciation for berries sent.

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    Title:   Bradford Sparrow to Parents and Brothers

    Creator:  Sparrow, Bradford

    Date:  1864-04-06

    Resource type:   correspondence

    Writes of suffering from diarrhea, wanting to subscribe to the local newspaper call the Repository, commenting on the sugar orchard at home and mentions Gen. Grant.

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      Title:   Bradford Sparrow to Parents and Brothers

      Creator:  Sparrow, Bradford

      Date:  1864-06-05

      Resource type:   correspondence

      A sore has developed on his left heel, is to go to the hospital and see the surgeon, Union army if strengthening its hold in the face of the Rebels strong hold in the area, mentions that newspapers generally get the news wrong and cautions folks at home in believing everything printed, mentions Grant and his chances of taking Richmond.

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        Title:   Bradford Sparrow to Parents and Brothers

        Creator:  Sparrow, Bradford

        Date:  1865-06-06

        Resource type:   correspondence

        Writes of his current location in another hospital, this one in New York, hopes his military discharge will come soon, his need for money sent to him as he will not be paid until his discharge come through, requests the Vermont newspaper the Repository as he wants to know what is going on back home.

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          Title:   Edward P. Stone to Family

          Creator:  Stone, Edward P., 1830-1920

          Date:  1862-07-30

          Resource type:   correspondence

          Inquires about ladies in the family, requesting letters from them, states there is good water contrary to what the newspapers report, vegetables to eat, building brick ovens, prayer meetings being held in brick church, death of son of Judge Swift of Middlebury.

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            Title:   Edward P. Stone to Family

            Creator:  Stone, Edward P., 1830-1920

            Date:  1862-11-20

            Resource type:   correspondence

            Regiment several days marching before reaching camp near the Aquia Creek, names various commanders in charge of the corps, newspaper informed him of the death of General Israel Richardson (wounded in Battle of Antietam in Maryland, Sept. 17, 1862, died Nov. 3, 1862)

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              Title:   Joseph Rutherford to Newport Express

              Creator:  Rutherford, Joseph Chase, 1818-1902

              Date:  1865-03-27

              Resource type:   correspondence

              Letter to the Newport Express newspaper that includes a description of a battle near Petersburg, Virginia (part of the Richmond - Petersburg Campaign) in which many were killed or captured ; number to casualties and prisoners captured stated.

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                Title:   Joseph Rutherford to [Hannah Rutherford]

                Creator:  Rutherford, Joseph Chase, 1818-1902

                Date:  1864-04-10

                Resource type:   correspondence

                Camping in the field near Culpeper, Va. topics include writing articles for home newspapers, disliking the idea of being labeled a "newspaper correspondent", becomes poetic and philosophical reflecting on the current day's beautiful weather, of his deep feelings for receiving letters from home, of his daughter Helen’s progress with writing composition, and Baker and Cuttings visit to camp.

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                  Title:   Joseph Rutherford to [Hannah Rutherford]

                  Creator:  Rutherford, Joseph Chase, 1818-1902

                  Date:  1864-04-24

                  Resource type:   correspondence

                  Writes of the saddened tone among the soldiers in camp as people suspect an advance to the front lines of battle; honors received by General Grant, and discussion of a newspaper's editor on predictions of the next presidential candidate.

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                    Title:   Joseph Rutherford to [Hannah Rutherford]

                    Creator:  Rutherford, Joseph Chase, 1818-1902

                    Date:  1864-05-02

                    Resource type:   correspondence

                    Writes of including a drawing made by him for his daughter Helen of his beloved horse Lady Lightfoot, Rutherford’s relationship with his horse, and discussion of a newspaper article about Grant’s unsuccessful advances and his veiled opinion of the article's Copperhead leaning viewpoint.

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                      Title:   Joseph Rutherford to [Hannah Rutherford]

                      Creator:  Rutherford, Joseph Chase, 1818-1902

                      Date:  1864-12-10

                      Resource type:   correspondence

                      Topics include learning of Lucien, his brother-in-law's death (Hannah's brother) via the newspaper, a artillery shell passing just over his cabin, nighttime gunfire, description of the line of battle south of Richmond, cold and discomfort of his new camping location and the inflated price of getting new boots.

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                        Title:   Joseph Rutherford to [Hannah Rutherford]

                        Creator:  Rutherford, Joseph Chase, 1818-1902

                        Date:  1865-03-19

                        Resource type:   correspondence

                        Rutherford receives the promotion to Surgeon of the 17th Regiment ; notice to be printed in the New York Herald ; anticipation of stillness being soon broken and his skills as a surgeon being needed ; includes a brief personal letter for his daughter Kittie.

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                          Title:   Joseph Rutherford to [Hannah Rutherford]

                          Creator:  Rutherford, Joseph Chase, 1818-1902

                          Date:  1863-09-14

                          Resource type:   correspondence

                          Topics include Rutherford trying to reassure and relieve his wife's fears for the welfare of Vermont troops, reference to the 10th Regiment as the "lucky 10th", his good health, opinions on the war, his willingness to suffer hardships for the benefit of having a good home in the future, his daughter Helen and son Jacob's welfare, a small fight that occurred in the area near camp, orders given to be ready to move at a moment's notice, expecting military pay, needing to buy new clothes, will send some money home, request for local newspaper, Newport News.

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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:  1864-03-10

                              Resource type:   correspondence

                              Topics include various men going home on leave including Chaplain, Capt. Bartlett & Lt. Gale, a ball attended by staff officers and their wives, going to army headquarters, sending money home, all wives ordered to leave camps as soon as they can and reference to appointment of Joseph Daggett as 1st Lt (and Regimental Quartermaster of the 43rd U.S. Colored Infantry) to a Negro regiment, has written a newspaper article for the Newport News, came down with a case of the measles, many soldiers dying from diarrhea.

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                                Title:   Joseph Spafford to Homer White

                                Creator:  Spafford, Joseph, 1837-1866

                                Date:  1863-06-11

                                Resource type:   correspondence

                                Topics include stating having moved from Bristoe Station to Union Mills, Virginia, quoting an article from the Washington Chronicle about the battle of Port Hudson, reference to a Captain Craigue being wounded, setting up camp, and the plan to be paid the next day.

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                                  Title:   Joseph Spafford to Homer White

                                  Creator:  Spafford, Joseph, 1837-1866

                                  Date:  1863-07-17

                                  Resource type:   correspondence

                                  Brief letter to friend Homer White (of New York City) informing him of Spafford's soon discharge from the army, heading to New York, the heavy losses at Gettysburg with those killed & wounded, opinions of newspaper editors.

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                                    Title:   Joseph Spafford to Mary Jane Spafford

                                    Creator:  Spafford, Joseph, 1837-1866

                                    Date:  1863-01-04

                                    Resource type:   correspondence

                                    From Centreville, Va., a brief letter to sister Mary Jane requesting copies of the Boston Daily Journal with information about the battles of Bull Run (August 1862) and Chantilly (September 1862), mention of skirmish of cavalry pickets with the rebels, of how desolate the area is with empty, burned buildings and Joseph’s good health.

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                                      Title:   Justus F. Gale to Sister

                                      Creator:  Gale, Justus F., 1837-1863

                                      Date:  1863-01-01

                                      Resource type:   correspondence

                                      Writing from Brashear City (Morgan City), Louisiana topics include wishing his sister a happy New Year and ruminating on his life as a soldier so far. He also writes about his health, the food he is eating, his mail, newspapers, what he wants put in a box his family is sending to him and regards to family members and friends.

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                                        Title:   Lyman Barton to Melissa Barton

                                        Creator:  Barton, Lyman, 1839-1936

                                        Date:  1863-12-01

                                        Resource type:   correspondence

                                        Lyman Barton writes of his return to his regiment after spending time at home on sick leave. He also writes of two men being shot for desertion from his regiment, one from his own company. Both men were drafted and he tells the story of the wife of one man coming to camp after his execution, of her being told the news of his death by the company cook, of Portsmouth newspaper reports on Gen Grant and Gen Meade's capture of Rebel prisoners, of comfortable tent to live in with stove.

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                                          Title:   Note

                                          Resource type:   correspondence

                                          A handwritten note to call Mr. Kenney of the Globe (?). Possibly a reference to someone at a newspaper. No date.

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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 [Mary Farnham]

                                              Creator:  Farnham, Roswell, 1827-1903

                                              Date:  1863-05-26

                                              Resource type:   correspondence

                                              Topics include a pleasant ride at Manassas Junction, stopping by a deserted house and picking bouquets of flowers from the over grown garden there, the danger of rebel guerrilla warfare, his horse Burnie improving in health but still with a cough, the plan to return to Union Mills tomorrow, hoping to receive the newspapers sooner than before, and much preparations by the soldiers in expectation of rebels in Alexandria.

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                                                Title:   Valentine G. Barney to Maria Barney

                                                Creator:  Barney, Valentine G., 1834-1889

                                                Date:  1862-08-24

                                                Resource type:   correspondence

                                                Topics include the arrival of a package from home that included much needed boots, hospital care by Southern women to southern soldiers far better than to the Union men hospitalized, the men of Virginia who are afraid to support the Union cause openly for fear it will fail, drunkenness among the soldiers, reference to Lamondy (or La'Mondy) death, the deaths in the regiment since leaving Clouds Mills, receives newspapers.

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                                                  Title:   Valentine G. Barney to Maria Barney

                                                  Creator:  Barney, Valentine G., 1834-1889

                                                  Date:  1862-12-21

                                                  Resource type:   correspondence

                                                  From Camp Douglas topics include Barney having had 48 small photographs of himself made, of sending photographs home to his family, of several of his men, of trying to get a furlough for one of them, of expecting to stay where he is for a while longer, fixing up his living quarters, Colonel Andrus to arrive in camp to replace Stannard who may go home to recover his health, newspapers reporting Reg. to be sent back East, and the invitation to spend Christmas at Mrs. Snow’s.

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