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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: ("Postal service") remove term

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Title:   Letter to Rufus and Sebra Towle

Creator:  Towle, Ransom W., d. 1864

Date:  1861-11-25

Resource type:   correspondence

From Camp Griffen, Va. Topics include the health of the regiment (measles, Typhoid fever), requests for food, tea, clothing and the cold weather.

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    Title:   Lyman S. Williams to Lois L. Williams

    Date:  1862-05-18

    Resource type:   correspondence

    Topics include the hard marching to a camp owned by the rebel Colonel Lee and requests for items to be sent from home.

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      Title:   Lyman S. Williams to Lois L. Williams

      Creator:  Williams, Lyman S., 1839-1905

      Date:  1863-08-06

      Resource type:   correspondence

      Writes his health is good, the weather is hot, the men have a good camp ground and good water close by. States he has received letters from home and tells of the different types of food crops grown in Virginia ; gives his opinion of some men folk at home, of men drafted but who run away and refuse to fight, and sends this letter with no postage stamp as his request for some has not yet been fulfilled.

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        Title:   Nathan A. Williams to Lois L. Williams

        Creator:  Williams, Nathan A., 1837-1903

        Date:  1862-08-24

        Resource type:   correspondence

        Topics include the expectation of a battle and reinforcements. The anticipated battle was probably the 2nd Manassas or Bull Run campaign (Aug. 26-30, another win for the Confederates).

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          Title:   Ransom W. Towle to Rufus and Sebra Towle

          Creator:  Towle, Ransom W., d. 1864

          Date:  1862-04-03

          Resource type:   correspondence

          Towle writes of orders received to march on Richmond, Virginia and of his many camp duties. He writes of soldiers letters being detained and of their camp being fired upon by the Rebels. No harm done.

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            Title:   Roswell Farnham to Laura

            Creator:  Farnham, Roswell, 1827-1903

            Date:  1862-11-07

            Resource type:   correspondence

            Topics include the regiments location relative to Alexandria, Virginia and Mount Vernon, a description of G. Mason ( a Southern secessionist), troops commandeering and occupation of Mason's property, the ruins of other mansions in the area, and the continued improvement of Laura’s health (Farnham's sister).

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              Title:   Roswell Farnham to Mary [Farnham]

              Creator:  Farnham, Roswell, 1827-1903

              Date:  1861-05-05

              Resource type:   correspondence

              Topics include camp life, food (lack of some items, abundance of others), daily routine, occasional discomforts. Farnham mentions rumors that the Regiment won't be sent to the South but more likely to New York, even though most of the men are looking forward to battle. Some discussion about postal service, i.e. how long a letter will take for sender and recipient. Col. Phelps is lauded as a good disciplinarian.

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                Title:   Roswell Farnham to Mary [Farnham]

                Creator:  Farnham, Roswell, 1827-1903

                Date:  1861-05-15

                Resource type:   correspondence

                Topics include description of Fort Monroe, including "the big gun" and other armaments; overnight guard duty; being outside the fortress walls; staying in local hotel; good weather, food; low anxiety. Names: John Stearns, John Prichard, David Johnson; Laura, Ezekiel. Ships: Alabama.

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                  Title:   Roswell Farnham to Mary [Farnham]

                  Creator:  Farnham, Roswell, 1827-1903

                  Date:  1861-05-18

                  Resource type:   correspondence

                  Topics include the safety of the fort; definition of "columbiad" (delivers 10-inch cannonball); living arrangements (Willard Hotel); officers' food versus soldiers' food; daily drill and men's complaints; several lines about health concerns, children's health, not getting mail, and correct mailing address. Names: Pickett, John Prichard, Andross, Stearns, Charlie Peters, Mr. Batchelder, Woodstock Company.

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                    Title:   Solomon G. Heaton to ?

                    Creator:  Heaton, Solomon G.

                    Date:  1862-12-10

                    Resource type:   correspondence

                    Heaton writes that he is sending money home ($20), and that he needs $1 in postage stamps sent to him (the rest can go toward Lucy's board at school during the winter). His camp site, Belle Plains, Va., lies just east of Fredericksburg, the site of a major battle (Dec. 11-15, 1862) that began a day after Heaton wrote this note; hence, the need to be ready with sixty rounds of "catridges."

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                      Title:   Valentine G. Barney to Maria Barney

                      Creator:  Barney, Valentine G., 1834-1889

                      Date:  1862-08-03

                      Resource type:   correspondence

                      Writing from Camp Seigle near Winchester, Va. topics include having a good meal, postal service finally getting the mail on the road only to be handed off and the rider now missing, the burning of the city (Winchester?), being invited to take refreshments by city residents but declining as he did not want to risk being poisoned, Lieutenant Jewett on picket duty, attended worship service, misses his young children, and the hope that the 10th regiment will arrive in camp.

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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:  1862-09-10

                            Resource type:   correspondence

                            Writing from Bolivar Heights, West Virginia topics include not hearing from the men left at "W" (Winchester? or Washington?) and the regiment encamping with the 60th Ohio Regiment and the 126th New York Regiment, not hearing or having any word of what military actions are taking place unless troops hear the firing of guns, reference to prisoners being paroled, of soldier committing suicide and Barney encouraging troops to partake in evening singing to keep up morale. Maryland Campaign Sept 3-15, 1862.

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                              Title:   Wheelock G. Veazey to Julia A. Veazey

                              Creator:  Veazey, Wheelock G., 1835-1898

                              Date:  1862-07-13

                              Resource type:   correspondence

                              Still at Harrison's Landing and writing to Julia now in Boston topics include improved health of the men, the resignation of Major Seaver and Major Proctor, and Wheelock Veazey saying when he leaves the army he will not yet be fit for business, laments that if he does not get a regiment he will resign from service, is distraught about the politicians, corruption of the army, and gives a brief mention of women with the army.

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                                Title:   William Wirt Henry to Mary Jane Henry

                                Creator:  Henry, William Wirt, 1831-1915

                                Date:  1862-12-28

                                Resource type:   correspondence

                                Change of camp location to Monocacy, letters in the mail not catching up with him, getting a new servant named Johnny Cole of Walden, Vt., having Christmas dinner with a local citizen named Trundell a Southerner (perhaps same as Mr. Trundle that Joseph Rutherford helped heal) but who wishes good relations with Union so his chickens & loose property will not be stolen), a slave (contraband) coming into camp & taken as a servant to the Lieut, speculation on who will command the brigade, and that he is in good health.

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                                  Title:   William Wirt Henry to Mary Jane Henry

                                  Creator:  Henry, William Wirt, 1831-1915

                                  Date:  1863-07-05

                                  Resource type:   correspondence

                                  Letter written on his knee in an open field it discusses movement of the Brigade to South Mountain and the anticipation of the arrival of more troops. The lack of letters received from family members is also discussed.

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                                    Title:   William Wirt Henry to Mary Jane Henry

                                    Creator:  Henry, William Wirt, 1831-1915

                                    Date:  1863-09-06

                                    Resource type:   correspondence

                                    Letter discusses the increased frequency of mail after been marching, newspaper reports of Copperheads in Vermont, the possibility of moving to a different location, command of the Regiment in addition to rumors about the possibility of getting a new commanding General, pride of the regiment with praise from Gen. Morris, and the difficulty of obtaining a leave of absence while being part of the Army of the Potomac.

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                                      Title:   William Wirt Henry to Mary Jane Henry

                                      Creator:  Henry, William Wirt, 1831-1915

                                      Date:  1864-04-29

                                      Resource type:   correspondence

                                      Henry writes that the mail is being held up in Washington until the Regiment moves, that he has received postage stamps as he requested and that nothing much is happening except that some of the line officers are getting up a little “breeze” against Captain Frost. Reference to Captain Dillingham and Mr. Dillingham.

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                                        Title:   William Wirt Henry to Mary Jane Henry

                                        Creator:  Henry, William Wirt, 1831-1915

                                        Date:  1864-10-29

                                        Resource type:   correspondence

                                        Henry writes that the mail is not coming, though there is a train every day, and that he is still not feeling very well.

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                                          Title:  

                                          Creator:  Barney, Valentine G., 1834-1889

                                          Date:  1863-10-30

                                          Resource type:   correspondence

                                          A short letter to let his wife know he has arrived in Morehead City, N.C., they are waiting for railroad cars to take them to the Newport barracks. He is writing while waiting for his breakfast with a dozen other men, also writing letters.

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                                            Title:  

                                            Creator:  Barney, Valentine G., 1834-1889

                                            Date:  1863-11-03

                                            Resource type:   correspondence

                                            Topics include his arrival at the Newport barracks after leaving the steamer Maple Leaf, the news that Colonel [James Wolfe] Ripley was in command of the post, and settling the men in barracks. He also comments on the poverty of the area, that wild game is plentiful, that hunting game may be the only amusement & how to direct letters through the mail.

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                                              Title:  

                                              Creator:  Barney, Valentine G., 1834-1889

                                              Date:  1863-11-26

                                              Resource type:   correspondence

                                              Barney writes of his love for his wife, and comments on news from home. He gives his wife information on mail regulations and the cost of sending letters and other items. As well, he describes what the officers will be eating for Thanksgiving and comments that General Butler has aged since he last saw him.

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                                                Title:  

                                                Creator:  Barney, Valentine G., 1834-1889

                                                Date:  1864-01-06

                                                Resource type:   correspondence

                                                Barney writes of the difficulty of getting mail through, his duties while in command of the Regiment, and his relationship with the other field and staff officers, including playing cards with them.

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