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Roswell Farnham Correspondence

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An 1849 graduate of the University of Vermont, Farnham taught school in lower Canada and northern Vermont while studying law. He was admitted to the Orange County Bar in 1857 and began a private practice. Farnham was commissioned from Bradford on May 1, 1861 as a 2nd lietenant in Co.D, 1st Vt. Infantry and mustered out August 15, 1861. He was later commissioned as a lieutenant colonel of the 12 Vt. on September 19, 1862. After returning to Vermont, Farnham was elected to the Vermont State Senate in 1868 and elected governor in 1880.

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Time Period Covered: May 5, 1861 - February 26, 1864 

Parent Collections

Vermonters in the Civil War

Related Archival Collection(s)

Roswell Farnham Papers

Published:  March 10, 2011,  University of Vermont, Bailey/Howe Library, Center for Digital Initiatives

Rights:  Requests to reproduce this item should be sent to the UVM Libraries' Center for Digital Initiatives at cdi@uvm.edu. For more information, see http://cdi.uvm.edu/about/rights. More information.


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Browsing by:    Recipient: ("Farnham, Mary") remove term

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Title:   Roswell Farnham to [Mary Farnham]

Creator:  Farnham, Roswell, 1827-1903

Date:  1863-05-04

Resource type:   correspondence

Writing from Warrenton Junction, VA, on the railroad in an open field topics include marching from Wolf Run Shoals to Union Mills, then by train to Falmouth, writes of his horses Burnie and White Face, relates a fight with the men of John Singleton Mosby (nicknamed The Gray Ghost, a Confederate cavalry battalion commander) resulting in casualties, the capture and escape of Union soldiers, the killing of a Rebel spy, and the capture of a Rebel major, captain, and two lieutenants.

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    Title:   Roswell Farnham to [Mary Farnham]

    Creator:  Farnham, Roswell, 1827-1903

    Date:  1863-05-08

    Resource type:   correspondence

    Writing from Rappahannock Bridge, Va. topics include advice to wife Mary Farnham about drinking porter and whisky to improve her health, the 15th regiment moving to guard Bealton Station, a fight at Warrenton Junction, relates surrendering Rebels telling of Confederated General "Stonewall" Jackson having lost an arm (was amputated as a result of being shot May 2nd during the Battle of Chancellorsville & died May 8, 1863) and Roswell Farnham’s good health.

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      Title:   Roswell Farnham to [Mary Farnham]

      Creator:  Farnham, Roswell, 1827-1903

      Date:  1863-05-10

      Resource type:   correspondence

      In Virginia camp topics include the beautiful scenery at Rappahannock Bridge, good health of the men as well as himself, mentions his horses Burnie and White Face, General Stoneman with five thousand cavalry crossing at Kelly’s Ford following a successful cavalry expedition, the failure of Hooker, and contrabands in camp.

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        Title:   Roswell Farnham to [Mary Farnham]

        Creator:  Farnham, Roswell, 1827-1903

        Date:  1863-05-11

        Resource type:   correspondence

        Topics include money being sent home, references to Gen. Stoneman and Col. Mann, mentions hearing a piano being played by the daughter of Mr. Bowen playing a tune "Run, Yankees, Run or Jackson Will Catch You," rebel cavalry on the other side of the river, a scout by Colonel Mann and two companies, and the improvement in Nelson’s health, advises wife to dress well, look pretty, drink porter & get fat.

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          Title:   Roswell Farnham to [Mary Farnham]

          Creator:  Farnham, Roswell, 1827-1903

          Date:  1863-05-15

          Resource type:   correspondence

          Topics include remaining in Heintzleman’s corps and not joining Hooker’s Army & acting as a guard, inquiries about the house, Mary Farnham’s health and the little dog, Mac, states Mr. Batchelder can get money to Mary, and a description of Mr. Bowen who is pro Union but his wife and daughter are Confederate and he has a son in the Black Horse Cavalry (Army of Northern Virginia, 4th Virginia Calvary Confederate States of America).

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            Title:   Roswell Farnham to [Mary Farnham]

            Creator:  Farnham, Roswell, 1827-1903

            Date:  1863-05-16

            Resource type:   correspondence

            Topics include the enemy posting infantry pickets on the other side of the Rappahannock, moving to Bristol Station, Virginia, locations of other companies, at home the death of Jenny (possibly a horse) caused by "bots" (a disease of mammals, especially cattle and horses, caused by infestation of the stomach or intestines with botfly larvae), more encouragement to have his wife drink porter.

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              Title:   Roswell Farnham to [Mary Farnham]

              Creator:  Farnham, Roswell, 1827-1903

              Date:  1863-05-24

              Resource type:   correspondence

              Topics include small disturbances by the rebels nightly, men is danger of guerrilla warfare by the Rebels, the ill health of the 13th regiment, a lot of inquiries about folks at home, a reference to Mr. Bond and the garden, him wanting the front yard at home spruced up before he gets back home, again encourages his wife to drink porter and get fat as she only weighs 104 pounds.

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                Title:   Roswell Farnham to [Mary Farnham]

                Creator:  Farnham, Roswell, 1827-1903

                Date:  1863-05-26

                Resource type:   correspondence

                Topics include a pleasant ride at Manassas Junction, stopping by a deserted house and picking bouquets of flowers from the over grown garden there, the danger of rebel guerrilla warfare, his horse Burnie improving in health but still with a cough, the plan to return to Union Mills tomorrow, hoping to receive the newspapers sooner than before, and much preparations by the soldiers in expectation of rebels in Alexandria.

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                  Title:   Roswell Farnham to [Mary Farnham]

                  Creator:  Farnham, Roswell, 1827-1903

                  Date:  1863-05-28

                  Resource type:   correspondence

                  Farnham returning to Union Mills, Virginia ; living accommodations pleasant with tent set and well ventilated, men doing drills well, Farnham at headquarters in order to perform duties in the absence of the Colonel thus Farnham was not put in command of any of the detachments ; advises wife to not work so hard and take porter rather than whiskey.

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                    Title:   Roswell Farnham to [Mary Farnham]

                    Creator:  Farnham, Roswell, 1827-1903

                    Date:  1863-06-07

                    Resource type:   correspondence

                    Topics include the expectation to start for home in about twenty days, Hooker crossing to Fredericksburg, many men needed for the line from Blackburn's Ford to Woodyard's ; Col. Randall at Occoquan, Virginia ; troops remaining on the railroad in anticipation of Lee, and the Court of Inquiry taking place regarding the conduct of Lieut Hartshorn.

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                      Title:   Roswell Farnham to [Mary Farnham]

                      Creator:  Farnham, Roswell, 1827-1903

                      Date:  1863-06-02

                      Resource type:   correspondence

                      Topics include being field officer of the day, ride with Col. Blunt to Wolf Run Shoals, sutler tent torn down by the men & some supplies drank & eaten, a raid by the rebels on the railroad and the destruction of the train with rebels' artillery being taken by Union soldiers, and the hope that Colonel Andross and Stearns will come out to Union Mills.

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                        Title:   Roswell Farnham to [Mary Farnham]

                        Creator:  Farnham, Roswell, 1827-1903

                        Date:  1863-06-13

                        Resource type:   correspondence

                        Topics include a group of officers and men going on a ride to the battle field of Bull Run, thoughts of wanting to stay in the military but home and family pull at him more, the expectation of leaving on July 4th for Brattleboro, a visit to and description of Mr. Buckley’s family (Confederate sympathizers), talk of drinking alcohol and of wife wishing for photographs.

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                          Title:   Roswell Farnham to [Mary Farnham]

                          Creator:  Farnham, Roswell, 1827-1903

                          Date:  1863-06-17

                          Resource type:   correspondence

                          Topics include the old Vermont Brigade being at Fairfax Station, 3rd Corps train with 400 wagons, the Army of the Potomac moving in response to Gen. Robert E. Lee as Lee is on the move to Pennsylvania (Gettysburg Campaign), and Farnham's lament on men being discharged just as they are in best fighting condition.

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                            Title:   Roswell Farnham to [Mary Farnham]

                            Creator:  Farnham, Roswell, 1827-1903

                            Date:  1863-06-21

                            Resource type:   correspondence

                            Topics include marching to Wolf Run Shoals, strengthening the pickets, fighting at Aldie down to Thoroughfare Gap, firing heard near Dumfries, an invitation to join Hooker’s Army with a stay of another six months but will not in spite of mixed emotions about wanting to stay in the military and wanting to be at home with family.

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                              Title:   Roswell Farnham to [Mary Farnham]

                              Creator:  Farnham, Roswell, 1827-1903

                              Date:  1863-06-20

                              Resource type:   correspondence

                              Topics include the need for the men to stay in the army even though they will be discharged within the week, the destruction of the Rappahannock Bridge by the union soldiers preventing the Rebels from using the Orange & Alexa. railroad, and the sixth corps going to Manassas (Bull Run), freshly butchered chicken for breakfast from Mr. Peach.

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                                Title:   Roswell Farnham to [Mary Farnham]

                                Creator:  Farnham, Roswell, 1827-1903

                                Date:  1863-06-25

                                Resource type:   correspondence

                                Two letters dated the 25th and 27th of June telling of marching to Centreville, camping beyond there, sharing a tent with the Chaplain, heavy rain, the brigade now reporting to General Reynolds of the 1st Army Corps, his horse Burnie sick again and knows the horse must go along or be put down. In the letter of the 27th tells of moving to Poolesville, Maryland, of his horse, Burnie, feeling better & may do fine and the soldiers being kept in the field until very end of their military service.

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                                  Title:   Roswell Farnham to [Mary Farnham]

                                  Creator:  Farnham, Roswell, 1827-1903

                                  Date:  1863-06-28

                                  Resource type:   correspondence

                                  Four days of marching have left the men foot sore and exhausted & he writes of the hardships and consequences of men not being able to keep up. Tells of a mishap with an officer and his horse, of the men picking up stray horses, of the men cooking for themselves, of butchered cattle for fresh beef, mention of Mrs. Capt. Williams and Mrs. Damon, moving towards Hagarstown and no expectation for a fight.

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                                    Title:   Roswell Farnham to [Mary Farnham]

                                    Creator:  Farnham, Roswell, 1827-1903

                                    Date:  1863-07-03

                                    Resource type:   correspondence

                                    From near Westminster, MD topics include the Battle of Gettysburg (July 1-3), eighth day of marching for the men, the 12th guarding trains of First Corps, the false rumor General Stannard was killed, hundreds of prisoners from the battle passed by camp, ammunition exploding in wagons, replacement troops of the 15th coming in and the hope to be home soon.

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                                      Title:   Roswell Farnham to [Mary Farnham]

                                      Creator:  Farnham, Roswell, 1827-1903

                                      Date:  1863-07-03

                                      Resource type:   correspondence

                                      From camp at Westminster, MD topics include a description of the Battle of Gettysburg, the 12th ordered to guard the trains, supplies needed by the men in the field as they have none, the men of the 12th carrying out their duty and suffering much even though not engaged in the fighting, the determination of the men to continue marching despite severe hardship, horses giving out but coming to camp the next morning, men may be needed to stay on duty even though their military duties are up.

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                                        Title:   Roswell Farnham to [Mary Farnham]

                                        Creator:  Farnham, Roswell, 1827-1903

                                        Date:  1863-07-04

                                        Resource type:   correspondence

                                        Two letters. One dated July 4th, the other July 5th give a description of the battle at Gettysburg, an account of those who were killed or wounded, and the expectation to be home soon.

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                                          Title:   Roswell Farnham to [Mary Farnham]

                                          Creator:  Farnham, Roswell, 1827-1903

                                          Date:  1862-12-03

                                          Resource type:   correspondence

                                          Topics include Farnham's anticipation of his wife Mary's visit, plans to celebrate Thanksgiving in camp, Mary's dental health, there being a large amount of supplies all for the holiday dinner.

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                                            Title:   Roswell Farnham to [Mary Farnham]

                                            Creator:  Farnham, Roswell, 1827-1903

                                            Date:  1862-12-07

                                            Resource type:   correspondence

                                            Topics include inquiries about Mary Farnham’s teeth and dental health, the severe cold weather in camp, instructions on where Mary should go to meet up with Roswell, the house he lives in that has some chinks that allow the wind to come in.

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                                              Title:   Roswell Farnham to [Mary Farnham]

                                              Creator:  Farnham, Roswell, 1827-1903

                                              Date:  1861-08-15

                                              Resource type:   correspondence

                                              Farnham writes from Camp Phelps in Brattleboro to wife Mary about the possibility of mustering out, of the men getting paid, and Col. Phelps now General Phelps.

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                                                Title:   Roswell Farnham to [Mary Farnham]

                                                Creator:  Farnham, Roswell, 1827-1903

                                                Date:  1861-05-13

                                                Resource type:   correspondence

                                                Farnham is writing from the SS Alabama after arriving safely off the coast of Virginia, at Fort Monroe. Some men are sea-sick, and another has measles. Company was greeted with three cheers by sailors passing by. Farnham called on again to be adjutant because of his demonstrated leadership skills. A few words about friends and acquaintances seen in New York, one being a secessionist.

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                                                  Title:   Roswell Farnham to [Mary Farnham]

                                                  Creator:  Farnham, Roswell, 1827-1903

                                                  Date:  1861-06-01

                                                  Resource type:   correspondence

                                                  Topics include the food that the soldiers eat, and that pilfering from local farms--even "secessionist"--is forbidden. Farnham assures his wife that newspaper reports of the war are highly exaggerated. A rebel attack is unlikely before they return to Vt. A German scouting party caused a stir with an accidental gun discharge. Col. Phelps assigns Farnham a camp security position--provost marshall. One concern is the slaves that have just left their masters, who arrive at Ft. Monroe with food to sell but may also be spies. The able-bodied are put to work; all others are considered for deportation to Liberia. Names: Officers Phelps, Peckett; Everett Shaw.

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