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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: ("Picketing") remove term

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Title:   Joseph Spafford to Mary Jane Spafford

Creator:  Spafford, Joseph, 1837-1866

Date:  1863-06-16

Resource type:   correspondence

Topics include the hot weather, trains of wagons, etc passing through camp raising much dust, Dr. George not yet returned.the 15th Regiment returning to Union Mills, soldiers report hard march in hot weather, sun stroke, Joseph being unable to get a pass to Washington, and the regiment being on picket duty, $20 enclosed, wondering if father might like to come to camp.

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    Title:   Justus F. Gale to Sister

    Creator:  Gale, Justus F., 1837-1863

    Date:  1863-07-05

    Resource type:   correspondence

    Topics include family news, the weather, that Colonel Thomas is acting Major General now, that the Rebels are deserting often and are short of provisions, and that his Company while on picket duty talks back and forth to the Rebels and shares their food with them at times.

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      Title:   Lyman Barton to Hiram Barton

      Creator:  Barton, Lyman, 1839-1936

      Date:  1863-05-01

      Resource type:   correspondence

      Lyman Barton writes a detailed description of the capture of the Confederate battery at Hill’s Point on May 19, 1863, when his company and six others from the 8th Connecticut Infantry Regiment and eight companies of the 89th New York Infantry Regiment boarded the U.S.S. Stepping Stones and traveled up the Nansemond River to assault the rifle pits and fort.

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        Title:   Lyman Barton to Melissa Barton

        Creator:  Barton, Lyman, 1839-1936

        Date:  1863-09-10

        Resource type:   correspondence

        Lyman Barton writes of the movements of his Brigade and mentions that the Regiment has received 166 conscripts and that all but one are substitutes. He also mentions that he is unwell.

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          Title:   Lyman Barton to Sister

          Creator:  Barton, Lyman

          Date:  1862-11-25

          Resource type:   correspondence

          Topics include an account of the Battle of Antetam [sic], the cold weather, the high prices of goods at camp, and reports on the health of other soldiers and family members.

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            Title:   Lyman S. Williams to Carrie A. Williams

            Creator:  Williams, Lyman S., 1839-1905

            Date:  1864-11-13

            Resource type:   correspondence

            Topics include moving camp towards Winchester, Virginia, a Confederate attack on the picket lines resulting in rebel prisoners, captured artillery & ammunition trains, receiving his commission as 1st Lieutenant of Company I, and his happiness that President Abraham Lincoln was re-elected.

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              Title:   Lyman S. Williams to Lois L. Williams

              Creator:  Williams, Lyman S., 1839-1905

              Date:  1862-04-01

              Resource type:   correspondence

              Topics include the journey from Alexandria to Newport News.

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                Title:   Lyman S. Williams to Lois L. Williams

                Creator:  Williams, Lyman S., 1839-1905

                Date:  1864-03-20

                Resource type:   correspondence

                Topics include being on picket duty and receiving his letters through the kindness of Private Francis Phillips of Westford, who walked eight miles to bring them to him. He also writes of wishing to be home for sugaring season that he was chosen editor of the next paper the Sixth Regiment Debating Society.

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                  Title:   Lyman S. Williams to Lois L. Williams

                  Creator:  Williams, Lyman S., 1839-1905

                  Date:  1864-11-01

                  Resource type:   correspondence

                  Topics include wishing for letters from home, being in command of two companies and Adjutant as well, and his hopes for a leave of absence when the Brigade goes to winter quarters.

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                    Title:   Lyman S. Williams to Lois L. Williams

                    Creator:  Williams, Lyman S., 1839-1905

                    Date:  1864-12-16

                    Resource type:   correspondence

                    Williams describes the movement of the 6th Corps from Winchester to Petersburg, Virginia moving into the log houses built by the 2nd Corps, the neighborliness of the rebel pickets, names of people he has received letters from, news of Union General Thomas’ victory over Confederate General Hood at the Battle of Nashville (Tenn.) December 15-16, 1864, receipt of leather gloves much needed by the men.

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                      Title:   Lyman S. Williams to Lois L. Williams

                      Creator:  Williams, Lyman S., 1839-1905

                      Date:  1865-02-19

                      Resource type:   correspondence

                      Topics include the health of the Essex boys, the size of the chapel built in camp, which can hold three hundred soldiers, the friendly banter between the pickets and the number of Confederate soldiers deserting to the Union side, his optimism about the end of the war coming soon, and how many fights he has been in.

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                        Title:   Lyman S.Williams to Lois L. Williams

                        Creator:  Williams, Lyman S., 1839-1905

                        Date:  1861-12-09

                        Resource type:   correspondence

                        Topics include the improving health of the regiment, the deaths of John Roland and Walter Osburn, and a scouting expedition.

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                          Title:   Ransom W. Towle to Family

                          Creator:  Towle, Ransom W., d. 1864

                          Date:  [1862]-01-20

                          Resource type:   correspondence

                          Towle writes from his Virginia camp to his parents and sister on the mud while out on picket duty, fearfulness of some of the soldiers, list of items to send from home including a reference to his much needed new boots, sickness and deaths in the Regiment, and news of the Rochester boys.

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                            Title:   Ransom W. Towle to Friends

                            Creator:  Towle, Ransom W., d. 1864

                            Date:  1862-06-08

                            Resource type:   correspondence

                            Writing seven miles from Richmond, Virginia topics include the mention of the Chickahominy River, a prediction of a battle and a description of skirmishes.

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                              Title:   Ransom W. Towle to Rufus and Sebra Towle

                              Creator:  Towle, Ransom W., d. 1864

                              Date:  1862-02-05

                              Resource type:   correspondence

                              Towle responds to his parents' letter that expresses low morale at home, financial difficulties at home and Towle encourages the doing without luxuries on the home front as much as possible. He writes of a 30 hour picket trip, the capture of rebel two scouts, drills being only two a day and of a self inflicted wounding of a Union soldier requiring amputation of the wounded soldier's leg.

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                                Title:   Ransom W. Towle to Sister and Friends

                                Creator:  Towle, Ransom W., d. 1864

                                Date:  1862-06-22

                                Resource type:   correspondence

                                Camping in the field near Richmond topics include the weather in Virginia with food crops growing well in the hot temperatures, pickets conversing and trading papers, coffee, whiskey, fighting resulting in losses, reference to Rifle Pits, preparations for the Battle of Richmond, sickness among the soldiers.

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                                  Title:   Ransom W. Towle to [Family and Friends]

                                  Creator:  Towle, Ransom W., d. 1864

                                  Date:  1862-06-18

                                  Resource type:   correspondence

                                  Towle writes from the field near Richmond, Va on heavy firing between Union gun boats on James River and Fort Darlin, an exchange of fire with the enemy, the seemingly deterioration of Gen. McClellan's appearance and the arrest of Colonel Stoughton for not turning out with his regiment to in line of battle.

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                                    Title:   Report

                                    Resource type:   correspondence

                                    A list of the distribution of soldiers on picket duty for the officer of Provost Marshal, for Yates Ford, Island Ford, Woodyard's Ford, McLane's Ford.

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                                      Title:   Roswell Farnham to Laura

                                      Creator:  Farnham, Roswell, 1827-1903

                                      Date:  1863-05-22

                                      Resource type:   correspondence

                                      Topics include small disturbances by the rebels nightly, the discussion of discharges, the death of Jenny (a horse?), the very hot weather, mentioning of Mr. Batchelder giving money as needed, horses Burnie and White Face improving in health, reference to Mr. Chamberlin living at the house & the desire to have him leave if he is willing before Farnham returns home.

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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 W. H. Hill

                                          Creator:  Farnham, Roswell, 1827-1903

                                          Date:  1863-05-31

                                          Resource type:   correspondence

                                          Field officer of the day report from Farnham to Captain William H. Hill (Assistant Adjudant General) relating review of the pickets on May 29 and May 30, the event of throwing up of lights by pickets in Centreville by order of the General

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                                            Title:   Roswell Farnham to [Mary Farnham]

                                            Creator:  Farnham, Roswell, 1827-1903

                                            Date:  1863-05-16

                                            Resource type:   correspondence

                                            Topics include the expectation of many to be mustered out of service soon, false alarms with gun fire, skirmishes around where the regiment is, the locations of the other regiments including the 14th, 15th and 16th regiments, the health of several individuals, obtaining ice water and iced current wine from Mr. Bowen's sister who lives in the area, him reading David Copperfield by Charles Dickens, and mentions his horse, Burnie.

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                                              Title:   Roswell Farnham to [Mary Farnham]

                                              Creator:  Farnham, Roswell, 1827-1903

                                              Date:  1863-05-16

                                              Resource type:   correspondence

                                              Topics include the enemy posting infantry pickets on the other side of the Rappahannock, moving to Bristol Station, Virginia, locations of other companies, at home the death of Jenny (possibly a horse) caused by "bots" (a disease of mammals, especially cattle and horses, caused by infestation of the stomach or intestines with botfly larvae), more encouragement to have his wife drink porter.

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                                                Title:   Roswell Farnham to [Mary Farnham]

                                                Creator:  Farnham, Roswell, 1827-1903

                                                Date:  1863-06-07

                                                Resource type:   correspondence

                                                Topics include the expectation to start for home in about twenty days, Hooker crossing to Fredericksburg, many men needed for the line from Blackburn's Ford to Woodyard's ; Col. Randall at Occoquan, Virginia ; troops remaining on the railroad in anticipation of Lee, and the Court of Inquiry taking place regarding the conduct of Lieut Hartshorn.

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                                                  Title:   Roswell Farnham to [Mary Farnham]

                                                  Creator:  Farnham, Roswell, 1827-1903

                                                  Date:  1863-06-02

                                                  Resource type:   correspondence

                                                  Topics include being field officer of the day, ride with Col. Blunt to Wolf Run Shoals, sutler tent torn down by the men & some supplies drank & eaten, a raid by the rebels on the railroad and the destruction of the train with rebels' artillery being taken by Union soldiers, and the hope that Colonel Andross and Stearns will come out to Union Mills.

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