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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: ("Operational rations (Military supplies)") remove term

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Title:   E. A. Morse to John Wolcott Phelps

Creator:  Morse, E. A.

Date:  1861-08-22

Resource type:   correspondence

Topics include rations for the 1st Regiment of the Vermont Volunteer Militia for May 23rd to August 8th, processing routine, the offering of the position of Quartermaster in the 4th Vermont Regiment, writer's decline of the position.

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    Title:   Erastus Fairbanks to John Wolcott Phelps

    Creator:  Fairbanks, Erastus

    Date:  1861-07-29

    Resource type:   correspondence

    Letter from Vt. House Rep. Erastus Fairbanks writing about the storage of military equipment that has not otherwise been disposed of at Fort Monroe, Va., mentions loss of supplies by the 2nd Regiment at Manassas.

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      Title:   George W. Quimby to Emeline B. Masta

      Creator:  Quimby, George W., 1835-1862

      Date:  1862-07-12

      Resource type:   correspondence

      Topics include an account of a battle starting on the 27th of June (Battle of Gaines' Mill/First Cold Harbor/Chickahominy). Quimby mentions some explosions that surprisingly caused less harm than expected. Difficulties include long marches, usually at night; surprise attacks; and water deprivation.

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        Title:   George W. Quimby to Sister

        Creator:  Quimby, George W.

        Date:  1861-11-05

        Resource type:   correspondence

        Topics include family matters where George gives legal advice to his sister Emeline in regards to settling her estate after the death of her husband, of illness among the men particularly measles, of finally getting all their military clothing.

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          Title:   Henry A. Smith to Family

          Creator:  Smith, Henry A., d. 1864

          Date:  1862-10-04

          Resource type:   correspondence

          Topics include encamping near Alexandria, an update on the health of Lant Blake and Gene, his unable to mail a gun home for his younger siblings, the large loss of the rebels at Orange Court House, a request for boots and gloves from home and a comment that army issue are not worth what the soldiers have to pay for them.

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            Title:   Henry Harrison Wilder to Mother

            Creator:  Wilder, Henry Harrison

            Date:  1862-03-16

            Resource type:   correspondence

            Wilder's location is titled "Sesesh Church," in Alexandria. "Sesesh," Wilder's phonetic spelling of "secesh," or "secessionist," suggests that the members of the church were Confederate sympathizers. Mentions Gen. George B. McClellan (recently relieved of his supreme command but still in charge of the Army of the Potomac) and the beginnings of the Peninsula Campaign, which involved patrolling the James and York rivers. Wilder expresses determination to fight for the Union cause.

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              Title:   Hiram H. Barton to Melissa Barton

              Creator:  Barton, Hiram H., 1836-1903

              Date:  1861-12-15

              Resource type:   correspondence

              Topics include the number of men in the Regiment, the clothes they received for the first six months, and a description of the barracks.

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                Title:   Horace Henry Baxter to John Wolcott Phelps

                Creator:  Baxter, Horace Henry

                Date:  1861-05-31

                Resource type:   correspondence

                Topics include potentially offering Colonel Phelps command of a three year regiment and inquiring how many horses are needed for his Regiment.

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                  Title:   John Spafford to Joseph Spafford, Joseph Spafford to John Spafford

                  Creator:  Spafford, John, b. 1810; Spafford; Spafford, Joseph, 1837-1866

                  Date:  [1861-11-?]

                  Resource type:   correspondence

                  Letter from John Spafford to his son Joseph. Both serving in the military. John inquires about what needs Joseph might have, of the importance of keeping body and clothes clean and the movement of the regiment from Washington to Camp Griffin. Joseph answers his father's questions on the same letter to be returned to John.

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                    Title:   John Spafford to Joseph Spafford, Joseph Spafford to John Spafford

                    Creator:  Spafford, John, b. 1810; Spafford; Spafford, Joseph, 1837-1866

                    Date:  [1861-10-?]

                    Resource type:   correspondence

                    Topics include inquiries about writing materials, tobacco, dress coats, and stockings.

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                      Title:   Joseph Spafford to Mary Jane Spafford

                      Creator:  Spafford, Joseph, 1837-1866

                      Date:  1861-09-15

                      Resource type:   correspondence

                      Spafford writes from Camp Holbrook in Brattleboro, Vt 4th Vt Vol. M. Atherton Guards to his sister in Upper Falls, Vt. Topics include marching orders for Washington, D.C. on September 16, 1861, of his stolen "valice" (dressing case), of having received military supplies of blankets and forthcoming uniforms and arms.

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                        Title:   Joseph Spafford to Mary Jane Spafford

                        Creator:  Spafford, Joseph, 1837-1866

                        Date:  1861-09-15

                        Resource type:   correspondence

                        Spafford writes to his sister about possibly coming to see him at Camp Holbrook in Brattleboro, of Captain A. writing to his wife to have her join him at camp, having received guns and about possible delay in departure.

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                          Title:   Joseph Spafford to Mary Jane Spafford

                          Creator:  Spafford, Joseph, 1837-1866

                          Date:  1861-10-23

                          Resource type:   correspondence

                          Writes of muddy conditions at Camp Griffin, Virginia, of seeing Gen. Davis from Cavendish, of learning George is to be married, of being still in good health, of having gone out scouting but seeing no Rebels, asks about Thanksgiving in Vermont, meals of wheat bread and coffee, getting butter from sutler to enhance his meal.

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                            Title:   Joseph Spafford to Mary Jane Spafford

                            Creator:  Spafford, Joseph, 1837-1866

                            Date:  1862-10-29

                            Resource type:   correspondence

                            Stationed in Washington, D.C. on Capitol Hill topics include a brief description of the items Joseph Spafford has in his possession, the living situation at camp, and the good health of the regiment.

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                              Title:   Justus E. Gale to Father

                              Creator:  Gale, Justus F., 1837-1863

                              Date:  1862-03-28

                              Resource type:   correspondence

                              Two letters one dated March 28th and one April 6th.Topics include a description of the journey to Ship Island, Mississippi, being seasick, about the food and hard bread, poor quality water and little of it, writes of his faith in God and his sighting of the island.

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                                Title:   Justus F. Gale to Brother

                                Creator:  Gale, Justus F., 1837-1863

                                Date:  1862-01-24

                                Resource type:   correspondence

                                Two letters in one dated Jan 24th and Jan 26th. Topics include the expectation that the war will end in a couple of months, waiting for military pay, anxious to hear from home, Sergeant U. A. Woodbury drilling the company, the stormy weather at camp, the bad food being served except for good bread from a local bakery, the good health of Gale and of him sending a picture in this letter.

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                                  Title:   Justus F. Gale to Brother

                                  Creator:  Gale, Justus F., 1837-1863

                                  Date:  1862-04-24

                                  Resource type:   correspondence

                                  Two letters dated April 24th and 25th. Topics include the capture of Fort Jackson(?) ; fort south of the city of New Orleans, Louisiana, [battle April 18-28], the food at camp good except greasy pork meat, and the schedule for the day including battalion drills and dress parade.

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                                    Title:   Justus F. Gale to Father

                                    Creator:  Gale, Justus F., 1837-1863

                                    Date:  1862-06-06

                                    Resource type:   correspondence

                                    Topics include the good living conditions in New Orleans, the Indiana regiment taking meat from the rebels, been on cooking duty, good meals, fresh beef, waiting for military pay and the possibility of leaving soon.

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                                      Title:   Justus F. Gale to Father

                                      Creator:  Gale, Justus F., 1837-1863

                                      Date:  1862-07-10

                                      Resource type:   correspondence

                                      Topics include the medicating himself after seeing the doctor twice to rid his diarrhea, taking of Richmond and rebel prisoners, the weather in Algiers, high price of provisions, inquires about family and the plan to go visit friends 4 miles away.

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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 [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:   Ransom W. Towle to Parents and Friends

                                            Creator:  Towle, Ransom W., d. 1864

                                            Date:  1862-05-23

                                            Resource type:   correspondence

                                            Topics include Towle’s not receiving wages, the high prices of food, poverty in camp, the destruction of the countryside by the Rebels, how the Union soldiers are forbidden to even touch any property, the movement of the regiment in Virginia, and the attitude of the slaves towards the Yankees.

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                                              Title:   Roswell Farnham to Asa P. Blunt

                                              Creator:  Farnham, Roswell, 1827-1903

                                              Date:  1863-03-03

                                              Resource type:   correspondence

                                              Report to Col Asa P. Blunt regarding an inspection of several items including saddles, horses and bugles in the Second Connecticut Battery stationed at Wolf Run Shoals, Virginia stating the unfitness of some horses for duty and the disrepair of two bugles.

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                                                Title:   Roswell Farnham to Mary [Farnham]

                                                Creator:  Farnham, Roswell, 1827-1903

                                                Date:  1861-05-09

                                                Resource type:   correspondence

                                                Topics include anticipated journey to New York en route to Ft. Monroe, Va. Farnham describes oath-taking ceremony upon leaving Camp Fairbanks (Judge Smalley) and soldiers passing muster by Col. Rains. US Army has provided them with good clothing and food. Villages cheer when they pass through. Farnham is confident that Gen. Scott will be pleased with the Vt. soldiers soon to arrive at Ft. Monroe.

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                                                  Title:   Roswell Farnham to Mary [Farnham]

                                                  Creator:  Farnham, Roswell, 1827-1903

                                                  Date:  1861-05-10

                                                  Resource type:   correspondence

                                                  Farnham relates the impression the 1st Regiment made on citizens of Troy, NY and finally New Yorkers, both in public and in the press. Apparently, it was "the biggest and toughest looking regiment" seen in New York. Concludes letter with a few domestic concerns. Mentions daughter Laura's letter "in the Times" (probably Burlington Times).

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