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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.Vermont Infantry Regiment, 4th (1861-1865)") remove term

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Title:   Ransom W. Towle to Friends

Creator:  Towle, Ransom W., d. 1864

Date:  1861-02-27

Resource type:   correspondence

Writing from his Virgina camp Griffin, Towle gives a description of a Battalion Drill and the ill health effects on the soldiers, of a gale storm damaging tents and overturning an ambulance with a sick soldier inside. He writes of orders from General McClellan to be ready to move, and states men are sick and death count to date for his regiment is 66.

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    Title:   Ransom W. Towle to Friends

    Creator:  Towle, Ransom W., d. 1864

    Date:  [1862]-03-05

    Resource type:   correspondence

    From Camp Griffin, Towle writes of a brigade and bayonet drill, the increasing number of sick men with the death count for the regiment at 77, and of the monotony of camp life.

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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:  1862-04-18

        Resource type:   correspondence

        Writing after a battle near Yorktown, Towle recalls those wounded and killed. States preparations continue to be made for more fighting, that provisions for the men sometimes are difficult to get, that Col Stoughton performs admirably but that General Smith was drunk and has been arrested .

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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:  1862-02-05

              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 Rufus and Sebra Towle

                Creator:  Towle, Ransom W., d. 1864

                Date:  1862-02-23

                Resource type:   correspondence

                Topics include a Brigade Parade and a farewell address of Washington, he relates some of the soldiers opinions and predictions that the war will end in three weeks. Mention of 109 six mule teams passing through his camp; exact purpose unknown.

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                  Title:   Ransom W. Towle to Rufus and Sebra Towle

                  Creator:  Towle, Ransom W., d. 1864

                  Date:  1862-02-27

                  Resource type:   correspondence

                  A brief letter to his parents from Camp Griffin in Virginia of marching orders with three days rations and the hope to encounter the Rebels. He makes a brief reference to Brigade surgeon Dr. Phelps. Towle expresses his dismay that the troops in the west are fighting and gaining glory while the army of the Potomac lays idle.

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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:  1862-05-15

                        Resource type:   correspondence

                        From camp in Whitehouse Landing, Va. topics include the destruction of the Merrimac (the ironclad warship), a bear hunt, the occupation of Norfolk, Virginia troops under the command of President Lincoln, a description of skirmishes with the Rebels, and the warm weather in Virginia.

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

                          Creator:  Towle, Ransom W., d. 1864

                          Date:  1862-06-03

                          Resource type:   correspondence

                          Writing from in the field near Richmond, Va. topics include a detailed description of Company E at Lees Mills and speaks well of officers (Pingree, Terry). He criticizes a fellow soldier for shirking duty and writes of fighting of the the union and rebel batteries.

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                            Title:   W. C. Holbrook to John Wolcott Phelps

                            Creator:  Holbrook, W. C.

                            Date:  1861-11-25

                            Resource type:   correspondence

                            Topics include Lt. W. C. Holbrook of the 4th Vermont Regiment planning to meet Brig. Gen. John Wolcott Phelps at Old Point but must wait for orders from Gen. McClellan first.

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                              Title:   W. C. Holbrook to John Wolcott Phelps

                              Creator:  Holbrook, W. C.

                              Date:  1861-11-25

                              Resource type:   correspondence

                              Topics include Lt. Adjt. W. C. Holbrook of the 4th Vermont Regiment requesting from Captain Mundee an order to report to Brig. Gen. John Wolcott Phelps at Old Point, Virginia as Aid de Camp.

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                                Title:   Warren E. Bliss to Smiley Bancroft

                                Creator:  Bliss, Warren E., 1840-1930

                                Date:  1862-06-19

                                Resource type:   correspondence

                                Topics include moving to camp near the Chickahominy, anticipation of a battle at Richmond, the capture of Fort Darling, a description of the Battle of Fair Oaks, and the death of Charles Bancroft. Topics include moving to camp near the Chickahominy, anticipation of a battle at Richmond, the capture of Fort Darling, a description of the Battle of Fair Oaks, and the death of Charles Bancroft. Use of hot air balloons in reconnaissance is mentioned, as is the observation that many plantations are deserted by their owners and run by slaves, Gen. McClellan threatened to turn every "White House" (plantation) into a hospital.

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