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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:  1862-12-18

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:  1862-12-26

    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:   Valentine G. Barney to Maria Barney

      Creator:  Barney, Valentine G., 1834-1889

      Date:  1863-01-14

      Resource type:   correspondence

      News that the Regiment is to be exchanged, size of Regiment reduced due to desertion, deaths and discharges, speculation about where the Reg. might be sent, men being readied with marching orders expected soon, still makes reference to the envelope in which money was lost with hope of being repaid.

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        Title:   Valentine G. Barney to Maria Barney

        Creator:  Barney, Valentine G., 1834-1889

        Date:  1863-01-18

        Resource type:   correspondence

        Topics include receiving family photographs, his displeasure with General Order 145, which allowed enlistment by volunteer soldiers in the regular army, how it affected discipline, Col. Andross resigning his office because of it, 65th waiting for their arms to be manufactured so they can move out.

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          Title:   Valentine G. Barney to Maria Barney

          Creator:  Barney, Valentine G., 1834-1889

          Date:  1863-02-25

          Resource type:   correspondence

          Topics include the execution of many deserters via orders of Gen Hooker, small pox at Camp Douglas with Barney taking the vaccine against the disease, celebrating George Washington’s birthday, rebels taking the oath of allegiance, the passage of the draft bill with an expectation that many will leave for Canada.

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            Title:   Valentine G. Barney to Maria Barney

            Creator:  Barney, Valentine G., 1834-1889

            Date:  1863-03-09

            Resource type:   correspondence

            Barney writes of how soldiers incarcerated in the guard house organize life while there, mimicking the rules of a regiment, including a “Colonel” (the Bully) who gets his position by fighting other soldiers, of extortion committed, of brutal beatings with one soldier not expected to live. He also describes how a soldier from his company (the 9th) deposed the "Colonel" and himself rose to the rank of “Major General” before escaping from camp, of Barney going to church worship, of Gen. Hooker granting furloughs and writes of family members.

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              Title:   Valentine G. Barney to Maria Barney

              Creator:  Barney, Valentine G., 1834-1889

              Date:  1863-03-16

              Resource type:   correspondence

              Topics include his confidence in her childrearing abilities, Colonel Stannard’s promotion, the gifts the Regiment wishes to give him including a horse, saddle and other equestrian equipment, his hope that the Regiment will be under his command in one of the Vermont Brigades. He also writes of giving photographs of Tom Thumb and his wife as gifts to his children.

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                Title:   Valentine G. Barney to Maria Barney

                Creator:  Barney, Valentine G., 1834-1889

                Date:  1863-03-20

                Resource type:   correspondence

                Writes of his feelings about being passed over for promotion in favor of Captain Edward H. Ripley being promoted to Major, since Ripley is friends with Major Stowell and is wealthy. Barney has seniority, is reassured he is well liked, respected and has the support of most of the line officers. He also writes of collecting photographs for his album.

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                  Title:   Valentine G. Barney to Maria Barney

                  Creator:  Barney, Valentine G., 1834-1889

                  Date:  1863-03-22

                  Resource type:   correspondence

                  Topics include the rainy weather and the monotony of camp life, comfortable living, the shortage of men in the regiment, of hopes of conscription act will fill the ranks and plans for home improvements including building a barn and cistern.

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                    Title:   Valentine G. Barney to Maria Barney

                    Creator:  Barney, Valentine G., 1834-1889

                    Date:  1863-03-29

                    Resource type:   correspondence

                    Topics include orders received to go to Baltimore in the next day or two, will take only 36 men with him, and packs only what he will carry with him in the field having sold unneeded items.

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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:  1863-07-08

                            Resource type:   correspondence

                            Barney writes of returning to the regiment at West Point, Virginia and of some of his new duties as a field officer. He also writes of the difficulty of sleeping due to mosquitoes, of swimming in the Pamunkey River, his commission dated May 24th.

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                              Title:  

                              Creator:  Barney, Valentine G., 1834-1889

                              Date:  1863-07-14

                              Resource type:   correspondence

                              Barney writes that the Brigade will be doing garrison duty, and that he was Brigade officer of the day. He also writes that the field officers live very well but that it is costly, and that the bathing is good there. Writes of sending a book to Fred, & a souvenir, a percussion tube used to fire heavy guns, and warns his wife not to pull hard on the wire, in case it goes off. Hopes "to hear of Lee's destruction today."

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                                Title:  

                                Creator:  Barney, Valentine G., 1834-1889

                                Date:  1863-07-20

                                Resource type:   correspondence

                                Duty as judge in trying criminals in the Regiment, his interest in receiving news about Swanton residents who were conscripted (drafted), his amusement over the possible identities of some of the conscripts, & the cost of keeping up appearances (being outfitted). He comments that he & the Colonel get along amicably and that some of the officers will be returning to Vermont to bring back the conscripts (draftees) that have been assigned to the Regiment.

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                                  Title:  

                                  Creator:  Barney, Valentine G., 1834-1889

                                  Date:  1863-07-27

                                  Resource type:   correspondence

                                  A description of the regiment's difficult expedition to commandeer & capture guerrilla fighters, horses & weapons. Negroes pressed into service as guides. Mentions can't get horses so must confiscate them. Women cried when horses taken. Took a trip to a local ten acre peach orchard, eating many & taking some to camp. Requests white handkerchiefs.

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                                    Title:  

                                    Creator:  Barney, Valentine G., 1834-1889

                                    Date:  1863-07-31

                                    Resource type:   correspondence

                                    Two letters enclosed. Gives detailed account of his duties as officer of the day, details on camp life including cleaning the sinks (latrines), of some of the sight-seeing he has done and hopes to do in the area of Yorktown, of sickness in the camp, of rain and lightening that killed one horse & injured several others. As well, he complains of Vermont towns that pay $300 rather than send anyone who has been drafted, compares them to the rebels. Requests photographs of the children Fred and Carrie.

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                                      Title:  

                                      Creator:  Barney, Valentine G., 1834-1889

                                      Date:  1863-08-04

                                      Resource type:   correspondence

                                      Topics include a review of the Brigade by General [Henry Morris] Naglee, sickness in camp, and the reliability of the 9th Regiment and its officers, which causes them to be used by General [Issac Jones] Wistar in many responsible positions in the Brigade. Describes how well the officers are living, foods they are eating. Again requests photographs of his children.

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                                        Title:  

                                        Creator:  Barney, Valentine G., 1834-1889

                                        Date:  1863-08-14

                                        Resource type:   correspondence

                                        Letter is short because Barney in command of the Regiment and many duties, including signing passes for each Company. Writes that Colonel Ripley is sitting on an examining board which examines the competency of officers sent before it. No Vermont officers will be examined. Writes of keeping the camp clean to try and avoid sickness with the help of a mule and cart to remove debris daily. .

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                                          Title:  

                                          Creator:  Barney, Valentine G., 1834-1889

                                          Date:  1863-08-18

                                          Resource type:   correspondence

                                          Very short letter in which Barney lists all his activities, including sitting on the examining board, holding a court martial, commanding the Regiment and being complimented by the Officer of the Day on the cleanliness of the camp.

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                                            Title:  

                                            Creator:  Barney, Valentine G., 1834-1889

                                            Date:  1863-08-21

                                            Resource type:   correspondence

                                            Topics include sitting on the examining board, officers resigning in fear of the board, and a description of a picture drawn by a 16 year old boy from Company C of Barney's quarters, including the Negro contraband boy who is taking care of his horse. As well, he includes a photograph of his good friend Dr. Carpenter. He also describes the kind of food they eat in their mess.

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                                              Title:  

                                              Creator:  Barney, Valentine G., 1834-1889

                                              Date:  1863-09-05

                                              Resource type:   correspondence

                                              Barney writes that his health has improved, there are 130 men on the sick list but little death. He also allays his wife’s fear that he is drinking, assures her that the officers of the 9th are not drinking men, that he is still in charge of the regiment as Col. Ripley is still on the examining board, of being hungry for milk & hopes Maria will get a barn.

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                                                Title:  

                                                Creator:  Barney, Valentine G., 1834-1889

                                                Date:  1863-09-09

                                                Resource type:   correspondence

                                                Barney writes of the men repairing the barracks in preparation for the winter, and of having a photograph taken of his horse. He also writes of food for breakfast, getting a firkin (56 lbs.) of butter of acquiring a cow for the field and staff officers’ mess and of hearing from Major Jarvis who will be traveling to Brattleboro shortly.

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                                                  Title:  

                                                  Creator:  Barney, Valentine G., 1834-1889

                                                  Date:  1863-09-18

                                                  Resource type:   correspondence

                                                  Topics include receiving news from home from Lieutenant Jewett, inquiring into what newspapers his wife is reading and whether she has had work done on building a barn. Writes winter barracks continue to be worked on. He also wishes to have photographs of his children sent to him, preferably in their every day clothing.

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