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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:   Roswell Farnham to Mary [Farnham]

Creator:  Farnham, Roswell, 1827-1903

Date:  1863-04-14

Resource type:   correspondence

Farnham writes of the unit preparing to leave Wolf Run Shoals, expresses his wishes to see his wife, Mary, again, feeling sad with his wife absent from camp but glad she is safe, sends a photo by way of Capt. Ormsbee that Mary is to take care of photo, Mr. Peach is ill, letter from Henry and his clothing business.

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    Title:   Roswell Farnham to Mary [Farnham]

    Creator:  Farnham, Roswell, 1827-1903

    Date:  1863-04-15

    Resource type:   correspondence

    Topics include receiving his wife's letter via the Adjutant, the rainy weather, Roswell Farnham trying to go to Washington, and the loneliness in camp without the women even though Mrs. Wallace remains in camp, requests for heavy coat and other clothing, the taking of photographs that he will send.

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      Title:   Roswell Farnham to Mary [Farnham]

      Creator:  Farnham, Roswell, 1827-1903

      Date:  1861-05-27

      Resource type:   correspondence

      Topics include the movement from Hampton to Newport News, Virginia, the beginning of the first entrenchment at Camp Butler, some details about camp dentistry, and the appointment of John Wolcott Phelps as Brigadier General. Mentions Vt. military units: Northfield Co., Bradford Guards, Vt. Regiment ; a Virginia unit: Old Dominion Dragoons (ODD) ; ships: Catalina, Monticello ; and a newspaper (Vt.?): "the Telegraph."

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        Title:   Roswell Farnham to Mary [Farnham]

        Creator:  Farnham, Roswell, 1827-1903

        Date:  1863-04-20

        Resource type:   correspondence

        Topics include dropping a note to Mary Farnham to figure out logistics of her visit.

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          Title:   Roswell Farnham to Mary [Farnham]

          Creator:  Farnham, Roswell, 1827-1903

          Date:  1863-05-05

          Resource type:   correspondence

          A brief letter stating again his unit's move to Warrenton Junction, the continued sickness of Nelson, Contrabands coming in and telling of victories by Gen. Joseph Hooker (nicknamed Fighting Joe) and the hearing of cannonade during the Second Battle of Fredericksburg (also known as the Second Battle of Marye's Heights May 3, 1863, part of the Chancellorsville Campaign).

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            Title:   Roswell Farnham to Mary [Farnham]

            Creator:  Farnham, Roswell, 1827-1903

            Date:  1863-05-06

            Resource type:   correspondence

            Topics include him wishing to hear from his wife Mary and missing her, having Mr. Peach to cook for the soldiers, Mrs. Peach coming to visit, the probable move to the Rappahannock River in Va., the rainy weather, his horse Burnie is at Mills Union in a stable there and his horse White Face doing well.

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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:  1861-08-01

                      Resource type:   correspondence

                      Topics include Roswell alerting his wife to the fact that their departure home will be delayed.

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                        Title:   Roswell Farnham to Mary [Farnham]

                        Creator:  Farnham, Roswell, 1827-1903

                        Date:  1861-08-08

                        Resource type:   correspondence

                        Topics include Roswell writing from Camp Phelps in Brattleboro informing his wife that the Regiment has arrived in Vermont safely and will soon be home.

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                          Title:   Roswell Farnham to Mary [Farnham]

                          Creator:  Farnham, Roswell, 1827-1903

                          Date:  1861-08-12

                          Resource type:   correspondence

                          Topics include the Regiment being held up at Camp Phelps in Brattleboro, VT while awaiting the paymaster, the men being more disciplined than is previous days, reference to a girl with mental disabilities being taken home by Mr. Slocome, mentions the death of a St. Albans boy and others who have died.

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                            Title:   Roswell Farnham to Mary [Farnham]

                            Creator:  Farnham, Roswell, 1827-1903

                            Date:  1861-08-13

                            Resource type:   correspondence

                            Topics include Roswell informing his wife that he will most likely be home on Thursday, August 15th, 1861, of the returning home troops marching through the streets.

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                              Title:   Roswell Farnham to Mary [Farnham]

                              Creator:  Farnham, Roswell, 1827-1903

                              Date:  1861-08-14

                              Resource type:   correspondence

                              Topics include a brief description of Camp Phelps and the anticipation of arriving home, writes of cold rainy weather, of dining with Dr. Cummings, with Maj Worthen at the Revere House.

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                                Title:   Roswell Farnham to Mary [Farnham]

                                Creator:  Farnham, Roswell, 1827-1903

                                Date:  1862-10-09

                                Resource type:   correspondence

                                Topics include the journey to Jersey City and then on to Annapolis Junction.

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                                  Title:   Roswell Farnham to Mary [Farnham]

                                  Creator:  Farnham, Roswell, 1827-1903

                                  Date:  1862-10-12

                                  Resource type:   correspondence

                                  Topics include buying necessities for camp, the movement of the regiments around them, and the anticipation of several hours of battalion drills.

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                                    Title:   Roswell Farnham to Mary [Farnham]

                                    Creator:  Farnham, Roswell, 1827-1903

                                    Date:  1862-11-16

                                    Resource type:   correspondence

                                    Topics include arranging for Mary Farnham and Colonel Blunt’s wife to travel to camp to visit and what they should bring.

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                                      Title:   Roswell Farnham to Mary [Farnham]

                                      Creator:  Farnham, Roswell, 1827-1903

                                      Date:  1862-11-17

                                      Resource type:   correspondence

                                      Topics include arranging for Mary Farnham to come visit camp with either Mrs. Blunt or Mrs. Vaughn and the necessary arrangements.

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                                        Title:   Roswell Farnham to W. H. Hill

                                        Creator:  Farnham, Roswell, 1827-1903

                                        Date:  1863-05-31

                                        Resource type:   correspondence

                                        Field officer of the day report from Farnham to Captain William H. Hill (Assistant Adjudant General) relating review of the pickets on May 29 and May 30, the event of throwing up of lights by pickets in Centreville by order of the General

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                                          Title:   Roswell Farnham to [C. H.] Harding

                                          Creator:  Farnham, Roswell, 1827-1903

                                          Date:  1861-05-14

                                          Resource type:   correspondence

                                          Topics include arriving at Fort Monroe, just on the border of "the secession." Farnham briefly describes character of various officers: Capt. Andross, Col. Phelps, Lieut Stearns, and Lieut Peckett. Some discussion about how they spend their spare time. Description of overnight watch without shelter and being relieved the following morning. Other names: Col. Washburn, John Prichard, George Woods, George Flanders, Dan Flanders, Ben Underwood. Ships: Cumberland, Minnesota. Also: Scientific American.

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                                            Title:   Roswell Farnham to [C. H.] Harding

                                            Creator:  Farnham, Roswell, 1827-1903

                                            Date:  1861-05-26

                                            Resource type:   correspondence

                                            Topics include preparing for a march with the 4th Massachusetts Regiment and a New York Regiment most likely to Sewells Point, Virginia. Farnham expresses pride in the Green Mountain Boys. Names mentioned: Officers Stearns, Andross, and Worthen.

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                                              Title:   Roswell Farnham to [C. H.] Harding

                                              Creator:  Farnham, Roswell, 1827-1903

                                              Date:  1861-06-03

                                              Resource type:   correspondence

                                              Camp Butler, Newport['s] News: Farnham assesses regiment and its destiny: "We are better situated." Action at Hampton resulted in many freed slaves. Provost marshall duties involving confiscated property and "loose" slaves. Press coverage is exaggerated; Farnham's pride in the Green Mtn. Boys; politics among regiment officers. Apology for any offensive remarks. Heavy rain for several days; more slaves arriving. Steamer Harriet Lane fires on rebel battery at Pig Point; also commandeers ship with livestock and other foodstuffs--cheers from the troops. Mentions "Hawkins Zouaves" and "the Germans." Names: Officers Butler, Phelps, Packard, Peckett; soldiers Stebbins, Geo. Flanders, McFarland.

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                                                Title:   Roswell Farnham to [C. H.] Harding

                                                Creator:  Farnham, Roswell, 1827-1903

                                                Date:  1861-06-15

                                                Resource type:   correspondence

                                                Topics include a recount of the battle at Great Bethel. Farnham remains critical of press coverage, estimating 90% is inaccurate. Some criticism of Mass. Gen. Pierce (destined to be court-martialed). First taste of battle now having an affect on Farnham and other Vermonters, no doubt.

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                                                  Title:   Roswell Farnham to [C. H.] Harding

                                                  Creator:  Farnham, Roswell, 1827-1903

                                                  Date:  1861-06-24

                                                  Resource type:   correspondence

                                                  Topics include recollection of the Battle of Great Bethel, especially of Maj. Winthrop, who died in battle. Further critique of newspaper accounts; mentions the number of runaway slaves he has to account for. Farnham also states that mail delivery from Vt. to Va. takes only two days!

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