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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, 9th (1862-1865)") remove term

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Title:   Valentine G. Barney to Maria Barney

Creator:  Barney, Valentine G., 1834-1889

Date:  1862-12-10

Resource type:   correspondence

From Camp Douglas topics include the continued improvement of Barney’s health, being busy with issues with the company including low morale and discipline, the good weather in Chicago and having received a photo of Maria.

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    Title:   Valentine G. Barney to Maria Barney

    Creator:  Barney, Valentine G., 1834-1889

    Date:  1862-12-18

    Resource type:   correspondence

    From Camp Douglas topics include an update on the state of the regiment including men deserting, sick, discharged or joining the regular army, of sending photographs of Bushnell, Cleveland and of himself home to Maria, of Lt Sherman in camp, the loss of 13,000 Union men from Burnside’s army in recent battles, of thousands of paroled prisoners in Annapolis thus Barney needing to stay at camp through the holidays.

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      Title:   Valentine G. Barney to Maria Barney

      Creator:  Barney, Valentine G., 1834-1889

      Date:  1862-08-13

      Resource type:   correspondence

      Topics include the death of two men from the Burlington company, news of the Battle at Culpepper, Capt BeBee of Burlington ill and sent home, and the death of Captain Brooks by the Rebels, confiscating doors from a building inside one of Johnson's abandoned forts to be used a a floor in Barney's tent and a drawing of Barney's encampment.

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        Title:   Valentine G. Barney to Maria Barney

        Creator:  Barney, Valentine G., 1834-1889

        Date:  1862-08-15

        Resource type:   correspondence

        Topics include moving to a camp near the east corner of the fort, a description of the fort including how many guns and what types of guns, and the appointment of Eaton as the major of the 10th 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:   Valentine G. Barney to Maria Barney

            Creator:  Barney, Valentine G., 1834-1889

            Date:  1862-09-20

            Resource type:   correspondence

            Topics include Barney and other men being taken prisoner at Harpers Ferry while on picket guard duty, being paroled and walking towards Annapolis, sleeping with no gear or equipment, little to eat but hard bread and raw pork, and the promise to give a detailed account of the events when Barney has more time to write. Maryland Campaign Sept 3-15, 1862.

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              Title:   Valentine G. Barney to Maria Barney

              Creator:  Barney, Valentine G., 1834-1889

              Date:  1862-09-27

              Resource type:   correspondence

              While in transport Barney writes of heading for Chicago along with others as prisoners, states he had a good breakfast that included much relished butter, speculates they are being moved West as it is cheaper than keeping them East, thinks they will not be exchanged any time soon, feels humiliated to be sold but proud of having done his duty. States the arrest of all the officers in the brigade except Colonel Stannard who has taken command. Mentions photographs he is sending home.

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                Title:   Valentine G. Barney to Maria Barney

                Creator:  Barney, Valentine G., 1834-1889

                Date:  [1862]-10-12

                Resource type:   correspondence

                Topics include receiving $10 from his father, the food supplies at camp, the health of the regiment which includes many men with jaundice, morale of the men, mentions telling his wife army life would be better than he knew it would be in order for her to feel better about letting him be in the military, reporting 2 of his men as deserters to Head Quarters, the false reports written in the papers and mentions prisoner of war camp Camp Douglas.

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                  Title:   Valentine G. Barney to Maria Barney

                  Creator:  Barney, Valentine G., 1834-1889

                  Date:  1862-12-26

                  Resource type:   correspondence

                  From Camp Douglas the day after Christmas topics include the disappearance of other soldiers’ military pay as well his own from an earlier date, the hope to track the money down, the receiving of gifts from the men of the company out of love and respect for Barney as their officer, the damaging of his winter coat beyond repair, a description of Christmas at Mrs. Snow’s including giving his photograph to Sarah.

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                    Title:  

                    Creator:  Barney, Valentine G., 1834-1889

                    Date:  1863-05-13

                    Resource type:   correspondence

                    Topics include working on building forts, his surprise at the resignation of Colonel Stowell, that he was finally able to send his box back to Vermont, and mentions photographs for his album at home. He also refers to the wedding of Silas L. Griffith and Libby M. Staples on May 20th in Danby, Vermont.

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                      Title:  

                      Creator:  Barney, Valentine G., 1834-1889

                      Date:  1863-06-11

                      Resource type:   correspondence

                      Topics include the monotony of camp life, his hope for action, and his comments about promotions in the Regiment. In particular, he feels he will be passed over and a junior captain promoted to Major, because he is not a crony of Colonel Ripley’s. He also compares maintaining discipline in a military company with maintaining discipline at home.

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                        Title:  

                        Creator:  Barney, Valentine G., 1834-1889

                        Date:  1863-06-14

                        Resource type:   correspondence

                        Barney reminiscences about enlisting in the 9th Vermont one year before, how he is glad he wasn’t conscripted, since that would have not been honorable and about military pay. He also writes of a mutiny in the 99th New York Regiment and the punishment of the ring leaders (bucked and gagged) when they refused to march. As well, he writes about promotions and the fact that his first lieutenant, Linus E. Sherman, is looked upon as “small potatoes” and has probably held Barney back from promotion too.

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                          Title:  

                          Creator:  Barney, Valentine G., 1834-1889

                          Date:  1863-10-03

                          Resource type:   correspondence

                          Topics include a visit to Norfolk, Virginia, where he met his brother, Lester (Rufus Lester Barney), his return to the Regiment by boat, and an aborted movement of the Regiment to Portsmouth, Virginia. He also mentions the large number of sick in the Regiment, the arrival of a colored regiment to help stand guard, though he doubts their capability, taking a horse back ride through the Negro regiment and Jewettville.

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                            Title:  

                            Creator:  Barney, Valentine G., 1834-1889

                            Date:  1863-10-08

                            Resource type:   correspondence

                            Barney writes of having only 83 men on duty due to sickness, and that he is currently in command of the fort, though General Wistar would be returning soon after a raid on guerillas. He also comments on the lack of experience of the colored regiment. The rest of the letter contains comments and questions about life at home in Swanton.

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                              Title:  

                              Creator:  Barney, Valentine G., 1834-1889

                              Date:  1863-10-11

                              Resource type:   correspondence

                              Barney writes that the Regiment will soon be moving to North Carolina because of the sickness at Fort Yorktown. He spends the rest of the letter assuring his wife that he does not drink liquor.

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                                Title:  

                                Creator:  Barney, Valentine G., 1834-1889

                                Date:  1863-10-15

                                Resource type:   correspondence

                                Brief letter informing his wife that the Regiment has not yet moved, though there was a second order to board a steamer that was again countermanded. He also writes that he is expecting his box of clothing, which he needs, as his current shirts are too small.

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                                  Title:  

                                  Creator:  Barney, Valentine G., 1834-1889

                                  Date:  1863-10-19

                                  Resource type:   correspondence

                                  Barney writes that the Regiment has still not moved and he is very anxious that they do so, though the sickness in the Regiment is abating a little. Mentions several names of men (Col. [James Wolfe] Ripley, H. Meigs, Sartwell, Dr. Carpenter & Bellrose). He also writes of the arrival of another colored regiment and of the efforts of General William F. “Baldy” Smith in getting the Regiment moved. As well he writes of target shooting with his brother Lester and some of the other officers and nearly shooting himself in the leg while reloading.

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                                    Title:  

                                    Creator:  Barney, Valentine G., 1834-1889

                                    Date:  1863-10-23

                                    Resource type:   correspondence

                                    Brief letter notifying his wife, Maria, that the Regiment is moving to New Bern, North Carolina, and his brother, Lester, will be returning to Vermont, perhaps traveling as a nurse with the Vermont soldiers from the hospital at Fort Monroe.

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                                      Title:  

                                      Creator:  Barney, Valentine G., 1834-1889

                                      Date:  1863-10-27

                                      Resource type:   correspondence

                                      Topics include attempting to take a steamer, John Rice, with 8 companies to New Bern, North Carolina, encountering bad weather, and being forced to return to Fort Monroe. He also writes of the death of one young soldier from Company A, Austin Kennedy, and the death by drowning of another soldier, Vilas Smith of Marshfield.

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                                        Title:  

                                        Creator:  Barney, Valentine G., 1834-1889

                                        Date:  1863-11-15

                                        Resource type:   correspondence

                                        Barney writes of visiting Captain Kelley at “Bogue Sound” and of how the Regiment is gaining health, though many still have the “shakes.” He also asks after news of his brother, Colonel Elisha Barney thinking he is with Gen. Meade & in pursuit of Lee and how the recruiting is going in Swanton for the 9th Regiment.

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                                          Title:  

                                          Creator:  Barney, Valentine G., 1834-1889

                                          Date:  1863-12-09

                                          Resource type:   correspondence

                                          Barney writes that he could not join the planned hunt since at least one officer has to remain behind to command the regiment. He writes of selling his horse, named Old Frank, to a local man (Mr. Bell) for $250 and thinking that he will send for a horse from Vermont, as he wants one that is a little better than any in the regiment.

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                                            Title:  

                                            Creator:  Barney, Valentine G., 1834-1889

                                            Date:  1863-12-18

                                            Resource type:   correspondence

                                            In his letter Barney gives the location, a brief description of the area around Newport Barracks (also known as Shepardsville, Lucknow and Newport), camp life comfortable, mentions the arrival of a German musician in camp who entertained on a cithara.

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                                              Title:  

                                              Creator:  Barney, Valentine G., 1834-1889

                                              Date:  1863-12-21

                                              Resource type:   correspondence

                                              Barney writes that he is not in his house (winter quarters) yet, but hopes to be shortly, as the weather is getting colder. He also writes that he has a new “Darkey” servant named John Franklin, as the last man had a wife in Yorktown and didn’t want to stay at Newport Barracks. Wants a pair of boots made by D. Heher and asks if the $200 sent to Maria is received.

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                                                Title:  

                                                Creator:  Barney, Valentine G., 1834-1889

                                                Date:  1863-04-02

                                                Resource type:   correspondence

                                                A brief letter telling of traveling by railroad from Chicago to Baltimore with 451 Confederate prisoners captured at Murfreesboro and Arkansas Post, speculation about where the 9th Vermont will be stationed and mentions Col. Stowell

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                                                  Title:  

                                                  Creator:  Barney, Valentine G., 1834-1889

                                                  Date:  1863-04-04

                                                  Resource type:   correspondence

                                                  Writes of traveling by the steamer Long Island from City Point to Fort Monroe, of how woebegone City Point looks due to bombing, seeing the Confederate flag flying, searching the Confederate prisoners, finding many Union items, such as canteens and haversacks which were taken from them, of prisoners being paroled as no Union soldiers ready yet to be exchanged. He also mentions seeing naval ships at Newport News, and where the Regiment might go next.

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