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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: ("United StatesArmy Military life") remove term

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Title:   Ransom W. Towle to Friends

Creator:  Towle, Ransom W., d. 1864

Date:  1861-03-22

Resource type:   correspondence

From his camp near Alexandria, Virginia Towle writes of the rainy weather, muddy conditions, sleeping conditions wet and tents inadequate for keeping the soldiers dry and of the number of troops camped out in the area. Towle makes a brief reference to his father’s misfortunes [ill health?].

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    Title:   Ransom W. Towle to Friends

    Creator:  Towle, Ransom W., d. 1864

    Date:  1862-04-06

    Resource type:   correspondence

    Towle writes from near Yorktown and of firing upon and taking a Rebel fortification at Young's Mills with little resistance from the enemy. He writes a soldier was wounded soldier who was from the Rutland Company, 5th Regiment. The troops also marched to a well fortified encampment of the enemy. He was also in battle, men killed and wounded and the troops had difficulties with moving the artillery as the ground is march and swamp.

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      Title:   Ransom W. Towle to Friends

      Creator:  Towle, Ransom W., d. 1864

      Date:  1862-06-26

      Resource type:   correspondence

      Towle writes of what he hears about the living conditions of the Rebels including forced service, some without enough food and about the Battle of Richmond having been going on for a month with artillery shelling and likely to continue.

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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:   Ransom W. Towle to Rufus and Sebra Towle

          Creator:  Towle, Ransom W., d. 1864

          Date:  1862-01-11

          Resource type:   correspondence

          Towle writes from his Virginia camp to his parents about drill, military life, resignation of officers due to being unfit physically or mentally, of still needing new boots, illness, and his positive opinion of Colonel Stoughton.

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            Title:   Ransom W. Towle to Rufus and Sebra Towle

            Creator:  Towle, Ransom W., d. 1864

            Date:  1862-03-29

            Resource type:   correspondence

            Writing from Newport News (Virginia?) topics include the journey from Alexandria to his new camp, mentions the destruction of Hampton, Va. by the Confederates, the "concentration of troops" for the possible purpose of advancing into Va. and the inefficiency of the Quarter Master resulting in the soldiers going hungry for a week. He makes reference to passing gun boats, gives a brief description and impression of the "renowned" Monitor (Ironclad) and Fort Monroe.

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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:   Ransom W. Towle to Sebra Towle

                Creator:  Towle, Ransom W., d. 1864

                Date:  1862-01-05

                Resource type:   correspondence

                Towle writes from his Virginia camp to his mother about his thankfulness for the gift of a thick quilt. He writes in detail of boots he wants made, of his thoughts on what it would mean if there was an intervention of England, and his tent mates doing mundane domestic tasks of writing letters and mending clothing.

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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:  1862-06-10

                    Resource type:   correspondence

                    Writing seven miles from Richmond topics include packing up camp and marching at 10pm, a terrible rain storm that soaked the men, of sick soldiers including Towle.

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

                      Creator:  Towle, Ransom W., d. 1864

                      Date:  1862-06-16

                      Resource type:   correspondence

                      Writing from the field topics include cleaning up the streets of Richmond, Va., Rebel and Union pickets conversing and trading bread and whiskey, the hot weather causing Sun Stroke, and building bridges and shoring up roads to ease the difficulty of moving the heavy artillery on the soft roads.

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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:  1862-12-14

                            Resource type:   correspondence

                            Farnham writes to his sister, Laura, about the regiment moving to a new camp near Fairfax Courthouse (Fairfax, Virginia), the arrival of Mary Farnham and Mrs. Blunt, the movement of General Sigel and his 20 to 40,000 troops, and reference to the Battle of Fredericksburg, Virginia (Dec 11-15).

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                              Title:   Roswell Farnham to Laura

                              Creator:  Farnham, Roswell, 1827-1903

                              Date:  1863-01-22

                              Resource type:   correspondence

                              Writing to sister Laura, topics include having to march to near Wolf Run Ford on the Occoquan River, Virginia, Farnham’s wife, Mary, staying at Mr. Whiley's, roads awful making the horses pull through fields and woods, troops carried their tents but the officers are waiting delivery of their tents, he now "at the front," rebel forces at Brentsville, explanation of what the pickets do and the death of Stratton of Fairlee of smallpox.

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                                Title:   Roswell Farnham to Laura

                                Creator:  Farnham, Roswell, 1827-1903

                                Date:  1863-05-01

                                Resource type:   correspondence

                                Brief note to Laura letting her know about the regiment moving to Warrenton Station or Warrenton Junction, Virginia and about Mary in Charleston (South Carolina?).

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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 Laura

                                    Creator:  Farnham, Roswell, 1827-1903

                                    Date:  1861-06-29

                                    Resource type:   correspondence

                                    Topics include two Louisiana Zouaves who were brought in by Col. Hawkins, accounts of their desertion and capture, rumors of an advancing Confederate force, and the anticipation of an enemy attack that never occurs. .

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                                      Title:   Roswell Farnham to Laura

                                      Creator:  Farnham, Roswell, 1827-1903

                                      Date:  1861-07-09

                                      Resource type:   correspondence

                                      Topics include Laura's earache and the proximity of Newport News to the enemy.

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                                        Title:   Roswell Farnham to Laura

                                        Creator:  Farnham, Roswell, 1827-1903

                                        Date:  1862-11-20

                                        Resource type:   correspondence

                                        Roswell Farnham warning is sister, Laura, about over eating, about his trip from Alexandria, Va. to Washington, D.C. and what he saw there, and the anticipation of his wife, Mary's starting her journey to camp.

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                                          Title:   Roswell Farnham to Laura

                                          Creator:  Farnham, Roswell, 1827-1903

                                          Date:  1862-12-02

                                          Resource type:   correspondence

                                          Writes to his sister, Laura, of his new house at Camp Vermont, describing it being built of logs, its rooms, mentions first brigade of his division having left and may have gone to Fredericksburg, his trip to Washington DC to the opening of Congress in the Capitol, and inquires of home.

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                                            Title:   Roswell Farnham to Mary [Farnham]

                                            Creator:  Farnham, Roswell, 1827-1903

                                            Date:  1861-08-14

                                            Resource type:   correspondence

                                            Farnham writes from Camp Phelps, in Brattleboro, to wife, Mary, and responses to her complaint about his letters being "cold", also of wet rainy conditions in camp.

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                                              Title:   Roswell Farnham to Mary [Farnham]

                                              Creator:  Farnham, Roswell, 1827-1903

                                              Date:  1863-04-13

                                              Resource type:   correspondence

                                              A brief letter from Farnham who writes of the unit moving out but not knowing where they are going, of being sad with wife gone but hopes she reached Scott House in Washington safely and is well ; urges her to write every day and he will also.

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                                                Title:   Roswell Farnham to Mary [Farnham]

                                                Creator:  Farnham, Roswell, 1827-1903

                                                Date:  1861-08-01

                                                Resource type:   correspondence

                                                Topics include Roswell alerting his wife to the fact that their departure home will be delayed.

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                                                  Title:   Roswell Farnham to Mary [Farnham]

                                                  Creator:  Farnham, Roswell, 1827-1903

                                                  Date:  1861-08-08

                                                  Resource type:   correspondence

                                                  Topics include Roswell writing from Camp Phelps in Brattleboro informing his wife that the Regiment has arrived in Vermont safely and will soon be home.

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