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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:  1861-05-08

Resource type:   correspondence

Topics include acting as Adjutant of the Regiment at Camp Fairbanks, Rutland, and considering a commission in the army with the rank of captain. Farnham mentions his high regard for his superiors, especially Ge. Baxter, and how much the soldiers look forward to arriving at Fort Monroe and eventually training for battle.

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    Title:   Roswell Farnham to Mary [Farnham]

    Creator:  Farnham, Roswell, 1827-1903

    Date:  1861-05-09

    Resource type:   correspondence

    Topics include anticipated journey to New York en route to Ft. Monroe, Va. Farnham describes oath-taking ceremony upon leaving Camp Fairbanks (Judge Smalley) and soldiers passing muster by Col. Rains. US Army has provided them with good clothing and food. Villages cheer when they pass through. Farnham is confident that Gen. Scott will be pleased with the Vt. soldiers soon to arrive at Ft. Monroe.

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      Title:   Roswell Farnham to Mary [Farnham]

      Creator:  Farnham, Roswell, 1827-1903

      Date:  1861-05-10

      Resource type:   correspondence

      Farnham relates the impression the 1st Regiment made on citizens of Troy, NY and finally New Yorkers, both in public and in the press. Apparently, it was "the biggest and toughest looking regiment" seen in New York. Concludes letter with a few domestic concerns. Mentions daughter Laura's letter "in the Times" (probably Burlington Times).

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        Title:   Roswell Farnham to Mary [Farnham]

        Creator:  Farnham, Roswell, 1827-1903

        Date:  1861-08-14

        Resource type:   correspondence

        Farnham writes from Camp Phelps, in Brattleboro, to wife, Mary, and responses to her complaint about his letters being "cold", also of wet rainy conditions in camp.

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          Title:   Roswell Farnham to Mary [Farnham]

          Creator:  Farnham, Roswell, 1827-1903

          Date:  1861-05-24

          Resource type:   correspondence

          Topics include being quartered with the Northfield Company and how the troops were greeted at Bellows Falls. One company member, the fifer, had the measles.

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            Title:   Roswell Farnham to Mary [Farnham]

            Creator:  Farnham, Roswell, 1827-1903

            Date:  1861-05-05

            Resource type:   correspondence

            Topics include camp life, food (lack of some items, abundance of others), daily routine, occasional discomforts. Farnham mentions rumors that the Regiment won't be sent to the South but more likely to New York, even though most of the men are looking forward to battle. Some discussion about postal service, i.e. how long a letter will take for sender and recipient. Col. Phelps is lauded as a good disciplinarian.

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              Title:   Roswell Farnham to Mary [Farnham]

              Creator:  Farnham, Roswell, 1827-1903

              Date:  1861-05-15

              Resource type:   correspondence

              Topics include description of Fort Monroe, including "the big gun" and other armaments; overnight guard duty; being outside the fortress walls; staying in local hotel; good weather, food; low anxiety. Names: John Stearns, John Prichard, David Johnson; Laura, Ezekiel. Ships: Alabama.

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                Title:   Roswell Farnham to Mary [Farnham]

                Creator:  Farnham, Roswell, 1827-1903

                Date:  1861-05-18

                Resource type:   correspondence

                Topics include the safety of the fort; definition of "columbiad" (delivers 10-inch cannonball); living arrangements (Willard Hotel); officers' food versus soldiers' food; daily drill and men's complaints; several lines about health concerns, children's health, not getting mail, and correct mailing address. Names: Pickett, John Prichard, Andross, Stearns, Charlie Peters, Mr. Batchelder, Woodstock Company.

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                  Title:   Roswell Farnham to Mary [Farnham]

                  Creator:  Farnham, Roswell, 1827-1903

                  Date:  1861-05-25

                  Resource type:   correspondence

                  Topics include the rebels burning Hampton Bridge, the funeral of Benjamin Underwood, the food the Massachusetts Regiment is receiving from home, and false alarms of rebels. Hampton population, whites and blacks. Fortress Monroe now has close to 4,000 soldiers encamped; news that Vt. Regiment is about to be shipped out, destination unknown. Names mentioned: Gen. Butler, Col. Washburn, Maj. Worthen, Lt. Pickett, Col. Phelps, Capt. Clark, Andross, Judge Underwood, John Prichard, Mr. May, Mr. Batchelder, Ed. Wilcox, John Richards, Dr. Hartley, Daniel Johnson.

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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:  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:  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:  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:  1861-08-13

                              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:  1862-11-16

                                    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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