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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:   N. S. Leffnis

Creator:  Leffnis, N. S.

Date:  1862-12-16

Resource type:   correspondence

Topics include a pass instructing guards to allow Mrs. Blunt and Mrs. Mary Farnham to cross Long Bridge and enter camp of the 12th Vermont Volunteers by order of General Casey .

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    Title:   N. S. Leffnis to Roswell Farnham

    Creator:  Leffnis, N. S.

    Date:  1862-11-21

    Resource type:   correspondence

    Orders to guards to allow Roswell Farnham to travel to and from Washington and Alexandria via Long Bridge by order of General Casey ; N.S. Jeffries, Assist. Adjt. General.

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      Title:   Note

      Resource type:   correspondence

      A handwritten note to call Mr. Kenney of the Globe (?). Possibly a reference to someone at a newspaper. No date.

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        Title:   Report

        Date:  1862-12-12

        Resource type:   correspondence

        Topics include a pass allowing Col. Roswell Farnham of the 12th Vermont Volunteers to travel to Washington D.C. as approved by Col. Asa P. Blunt and Brig. Genl S. H. Stoughton.

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          Title:   Report

          Date:  1862-12-15

          Resource type:   correspondence

          Pass for Roswell Farnham to return from Washington to the 12th Vermont Volunteers camp by order of Col. A. P. Blunt and approved by Brig Genl E. H. Stoughton and Geo W. Hooker.

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            Title:   Report

            Date:  1863-03-09

            Resource type:   correspondence

            A pass for Roswell Farnham to go to Washington for 48 hours signed by Col Commanding Asa P. Blunt.

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              Title:   Report

              Date:  1863-05-22

              Resource type:   correspondence

              Topics include a pass for Roswell Farnham to go to Washington with a valise that has signatures of three officers and a note stating he left camp June 2nd.

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                Title:   Report

                Resource type:   correspondence

                A list of the distribution of soldiers on picket duty for the officer of Provost Marshal, for Yates Ford, Island Ford, Woodyard's Ford, McLane's Ford.

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                  Title:   Report of property found in the several companies of the 1st Vermont Regiment…

                  Creator:  Farnham, Roswell, 1827-1903

                  Date:  1861-06-24

                  Resource type:   correspondence

                  List compiled by Farnham of items found or stolen from citizens by soldiers during a campaign.

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                    Title:   Roswell Farnham to ?

                    Creator:  Farnham, Roswell, 1827-1903

                    Date:  1862-09-22

                    Resource type:   correspondence

                    A special order for the Twelfth Regiments to report to Brattleboro.

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                      Title:   Roswell Farnham to Asa P. Blunt

                      Creator:  Farnham, Roswell, 1827-1903

                      Date:  1863-03-03

                      Resource type:   correspondence

                      Report to Col Asa P. Blunt regarding an inspection of several items including saddles, horses and bugles in the Second Connecticut Battery stationed at Wolf Run Shoals, Virginia stating the unfitness of some horses for duty and the disrepair of two bugles.

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                        Title:   Roswell Farnham to Ben

                        Creator:  Farnham, Roswell, 1827-1903

                        Date:  1863-05-07

                        Resource type:   correspondence

                        Topics include being 21 miles away from the rest of the brigade, possibility of moving to the Rappahannock thus nearer to Kelly's Ford & the front, reports from Contrabands and refugees of fighting at Gordonville, relates again of the attack by Confederate commander John Singleton Mosby’s cavalry on Union Cavalry & of his defeat in that fight, of guarding the road so that Gen. Joseph Hooker’s army can receive supplies, and the rainy weather.

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                          Title:   Roswell Farnham to C. H. Harding

                          Creator:  Farnham, Roswell, 1827-1903

                          Date:  1861-05-07

                          Resource type:   correspondence

                          Farnham's regiment in Rutland gets the news that they are to leave for Fort Monroe, Va., via rail car and then boat. News of the deployment raises morale; the men are ready for a good fight (recurring theme in Farnham's letters).

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                            Title:   Roswell Farnham to Edwin H. Stoughton

                            Creator:  Farnham, Roswell, 1827-1903

                            Date:  1863-01-12

                            Resource type:   correspondence

                            Writing from camp near Fairfax, Virginia to Brig. Gen. Stoughton this report includes placement of various troops including the 12th Vt. Vol. Militia regiment moving to the stone bridge, the passing of two bodies of cavalry, and a picket in the rear to look out for rebels.

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                              Title:   Roswell Farnham to Frederick Holbrook

                              Creator:  Farnham, Roswell, 1827-1903

                              Date:  1863-03-10

                              Resource type:   correspondence

                              To the Governor of Vermont, Frederick Holbrook regarding names recommended for promotions, reporting Colonel Blunt at Fairfax Station, and the capture of General Stoughton.

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                                Title:   Roswell Farnham to Laura

                                Creator:  Farnham, Roswell, 1827-1903

                                Date:  1862-12-14

                                Resource type:   correspondence

                                Farnham writes to his sister, Laura, about the regiment moving to a new camp near Fairfax Courthouse (Fairfax, Virginia), the arrival of Mary Farnham and Mrs. Blunt, the movement of General Sigel and his 20 to 40,000 troops, and reference to the Battle of Fredericksburg, Virginia (Dec 11-15).

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                                  Title:   Roswell Farnham to Laura

                                  Creator:  Farnham, Roswell, 1827-1903

                                  Date:  1862-12-31

                                  Resource type:   correspondence

                                  Farnham writes from Camp Vermont near Fairfax Court House, Va. to his sister, Laura, of rebel threatening, of military action with the rebels, of Col. Stoughton's entry into the rebel camp, of wife Mary's reaction to gunfire, of Jackson and his 12,000 men on the march maybe to Harper's Ferry.

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                                    Title:   Roswell Farnham to Laura

                                    Creator:  Farnham, Roswell, 1827-1903

                                    Date:  1863-01-22

                                    Resource type:   correspondence

                                    Writing to sister Laura, topics include having to march to near Wolf Run Ford on the Occoquan River, Virginia, Farnham’s wife, Mary, staying at Mr. Whiley's, roads awful making the horses pull through fields and woods, troops carried their tents but the officers are waiting delivery of their tents, he now "at the front," rebel forces at Brentsville, explanation of what the pickets do and the death of Stratton of Fairlee of smallpox.

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                                      Title:   Roswell Farnham to Laura

                                      Creator:  Farnham, Roswell, 1827-1903

                                      Date:  1863-02-01

                                      Resource type:   correspondence

                                      Letter includes two drawings, one of a stockaded tent the soldiers have done and one of Farnham's cabin, all at Wolf Run Shoals, Va., a description of camp life and conditions, his sister Mary’s visit to camp, the mud and snow, and reconsidering sending money home to repay debts.

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                                        Title:   Roswell Farnham to Laura

                                        Creator:  Farnham, Roswell, 1827-1903

                                        Date:  1863-02-10

                                        Resource type:   correspondence

                                        Two letters dated Feb 10 and Feb. 15. Topics include the costs of newspapers and magazines, the chain of custody of Laura’s braids of hair, comfortable living conditions at the moment, Mary’s visit in camp, mention of a map sent to Charlie, news of friends seen, a trip to Washington where they saw actress Maggie Mitchell (she was a Confederate sympathizer and friend of John Wilkes Booth), an incident with their dog, suggestions on refurbishing the house and money sent home.

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                                          Title:   Roswell Farnham to Laura

                                          Creator:  Farnham, Roswell, 1827-1903

                                          Date:  1863-03-01

                                          Resource type:   correspondence

                                          Mentions an artist is taking some pictures of camp life (photos? or drawings?) promises to send sketches he has made of camp home, the sick in camp including Mary, William Wallace and his best horse, has purchased another horse and will fatten him up,marching orders having been given, Rebels at Leesburgh, Drainsville, Centreville & at Union Mills, brief references to Copperheads at home.

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                                            Title:   Roswell Farnham to Laura

                                            Creator:  Farnham, Roswell, 1827-1903

                                            Date:  1863-03-09

                                            Resource type:   correspondence

                                            Lt. Chamberlain resigns due to illness, General Stoughton taken prisoner by Fitz Hugh Lee’s Cavalry at the Court House (Virginia), the large number of sick men in camp many with typhoid fever, fears his best horse will not regain health, enclosed pictures (ambrotype, a photograph), suggested reading for Laura with specific book titles stated as well as books he is reading (Motley's History of the Dutch Republic and Woman in White), orders for Colonel Blunt to report to the station to take command of the Brigade, description of who is in the photos being sent home.

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                                              Title:   Roswell Farnham to Laura

                                              Creator:  Farnham, Roswell, 1827-1903

                                              Date:  1863-03-15

                                              Resource type:   correspondence

                                              Another mention of the death of Cyrus Farnham, family financial issue addressed, reporting the death of four men in camp, $400 sent home and wishing Charlie Harding to acknowledge receipt.

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                                                Title:   Roswell Farnham to Laura

                                                Creator:  Farnham, Roswell, 1827-1903

                                                Date:  1863-03-21

                                                Resource type:   correspondence

                                                About ambrotype photo well received by Laura, that is well be protected by glass, his letter having been read in Sunday School by Mr. McKeen, instructions regarding financial matters at home, greetings to folks at home, inquiry about financial and other issues regarding Cyrus including wishing to have a "miniature" by Cyrus, and Roswell Farnham being put in charge of the detachment of Wolf Run Shoals, more details about the Kelly's Ford engagement on the 17th.

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                                                  Title:   Roswell Farnham to Laura

                                                  Creator:  Farnham, Roswell, 1827-1903

                                                  Date:  1863-04-12

                                                  Resource type:   correspondence

                                                  Topics include the good times the officers' wives are having in camp, the watching of the Guard Mounting, Picket Guard Mounting, battery practice and regiment drill, ladies sent to Alexandria as orders received that the whole brigade is to move and information about Cyrus’ death and belongings.

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