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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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Title:   Mary E. Farnham to Henry

Creator:  Farnham, Mary E.

Date:  1862-12-24

Resource type:   correspondence

Mary Farnham writes from near Fairfax Court House in Virginia to her brother, Henry, of soldiers being taken prisoners, of the wounded, of casualties, of checking rabbit traps for food. She mentions the weather, of her tour of camp, of sickness among the troops, of her excellent dinner at camp with Mrs. Blunt, Mrs. Stearns and others, and writes of family back home.

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    Title:   Roswell Farnham to Laura

    Creator:  Farnham, Roswell, 1827-1903

    Date:  1863-06-19

    Resource type:   correspondence

    Reflections on the dead in war soon forgotten, of graves (many unmarked) to be found where camped, of so many families never knowing what happened to their loved ones, of seeing the exposed bodies of dead soldiers in the Bull Run battlefield on a recent visit there, of 2nd Vt soldiers who died there all buried in a single trench, of hardships soldiers endure on the march & in camp & how folks at home know little or nothing about it.

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      Title:   Roswell Farnham to Mary [Farnham]

      Creator:  Farnham, Roswell, 1827-1903

      Date:  1863-06-10

      Resource type:   correspondence

      Train arriving from Rappahannock with wounded soldiers & rebel prisoners from fight at Brandy Station on June 9 between Confederate Major General J. E. B. Stuart & Union Gen. Alfred Pleasanton [part of the Gettysburg Campaign], reference to Rebel military tatic regarding Vicksburgh and Fredericksburgh, the examination of witnesses in regard to Lieutenant Hartshorn’s conduct, Captain Hazard being at Chantilly with his battery, money sent to Geo. Chamberlin

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        Title:   Roswell Farnham to Mary [Farnham]

        Creator:  Farnham, Roswell, 1827-1903

        Date:  1863-06-15

        Resource type:   correspondence

        Topics include telling of an incident with his horse, White Face, at Pope's Run on the railroad tracks with companion Nelson's horse falling resulting in Nelson landing in a stream below. Great excitement as a lot of troop movement reported. A train heading towards Centreville with forage and army wagons, the movement of Hooker’s army at Wolf Run & at Occoquan, Gen. Robert E. Lee moving to Shenandoah Valley (part of Gettysburg Campaign) & being outmaneuvered by Hooker and a brief description of sights seen at Bull Run battlefield with remains of dead soldiers still visible.

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          Title:   Roswell Farnham to Mary [Farnham]

          Creator:  Farnham, Roswell, 1827-1903

          Date:  1863-06-19

          Resource type:   correspondence

          Topics include the location of some of the corps, seeing many men of the 6th Army Corps and listing their names, Vt Calvary has met Rebels, telling of Captain of Rhode Island regiment with heavy losses including the captain & his horse being wounded, the anticipation of some fighting, the possibility of moving to Wolf Run Shoals, two wives in camp (Mrs. Sherman & Mrs. Halley) & they not wanting to leave their soldier husbands, and the very hot weather.

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            Title:   Roswell Farnham to Mary [Farnham]

            Creator:  Farnham, Roswell, 1827-1903

            Date:  1863-06-29

            Resource type:   correspondence

            Four brief letters telling of a 5th day of marching from Fredericksburg to Catoctin Furnace, lack of information to the men as to where they are going nor where Robert E. Lee is, Hooker believed to be relieved of his command, much rain, muddy roads, told they are on their way to Gettysburg. Letter of July 2nd tells of fighting on the way to Gettysburg, fresh chickens for food, General Reynolds reported killed on July 1.

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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:  1863-07-04

                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:  1861-06-16

                  Resource type:   correspondence

                  Topics include: gratitude among the men for gifts of food (incl. maple sugar) and other "luxuries"; Major Worthen's scouting expedition, which led to a small skirmish and some casualties among some St. Albans and Swanton soldiers; press inaccuracies; life at camp; how he misses his books and reading; other domestic matters.

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