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Justus F. Gale Correspondence

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Justus F. Gale was born in 1837 to Jonas (1800-1874) and Abigail Albee Gale (1810-1869). He enlisted in Co. A of the 8th Regiment of Vermont Volunteers September 23, 1861 and died in Louisiana September 19, 1863 of chronic diarrhea.

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Time Period Covered: December 23, 1861 - December 13, 1862 

Parent Collections

Vermonters in the Civil War

Related Archival Collection(s)

Gale and Morse Family Papers

Published:  March 25, 2011,  University of Vermont, Bailey/Howe Library, Center for Digital Initiatives

Rights:  Requests to reproduce this item should be sent to Vermont Historical Society Library, vhs-library@state.vt.us. For more information, see http://cdi.uvm.edu/about/rights. More information.


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Title:   Justus F. Gale to Father

Creator:  Gale, Justus F., 1837-1863

Date:  1862-09-24

Resource type:   correspondence

Topics include his reference to his religious faith, the death of Justus Gale’s brother Charlie and of the death of Jester caused by the fever, the poor health of the rest of his family, the good health of himself and of sending on a photograph sent to him and of getting a photograph taken of him to send.

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    Title:   Justus F. Gale to Father

    Creator:  Gale, Justus F., 1837-1863

    Date:  1862-11-07

    Resource type:   correspondence

    Gale writes of his regiment and the rebels, of other troops encountering the enemy who left much camp supplies, cannon, etc. behind, receiving the Green Mountain Freeman, trying to appease both parents concerning the farm and deeding it back to his father, his concerns about his father having another woman in his life and how that affects him, and the expectation that the regiment will return to Algiers.

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      Title:   Justus F. Gale to Father

      Creator:  Gale, Justus F., 1837-1863

      Date:  1863-01-05

      Resource type:   correspondence

      Topics include arrangements being made between Justus’ father and brother to take care of his father, trying to stop his father from taking a premium heifer, and admonishing his father not to spend money on anything but his own care. He also writes of the weather in Louisiana in the winter and how pleasant it is, except when it rains and gets muddy.

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        Title:   Justus F. Gale to Father

        Creator:  Gale, Justus F., 1837-1863

        Date:  1863-02-18

        Resource type:   correspondence

        Topics include a running sore on his hand that put him in the hospital in New Orleans, buying a new watch, flooding in New Orleans, sending an envelope he confiscated belonging to a rebel from a gunboat encounter and writes of an attack on a rifle pit made by his company.

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          Title:   Justus F. Gale to Father

          Creator:  Gale, Justus F., 1837-1863

          Date:  1863-05-13

          Resource type:   correspondence

          Gale writes to his father a description of the land through which he is marching, as the Brigade travels up and down the Red River in pursuit of Confederate forces. He also gives a short description of the Battle of Fort Bisland, and then goes on to describe the fresh food available to the soldiers. He encloses with the letter a plate he used to eat lunch on that day, made of the bark of a Sweetgum tree, as most of his equipment had to be left at the camp at Brashear City.

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            Title:   Justus F. Gale to Friends

            Creator:  Gale, Justus F., 1837-1863

            Date:  1862-05-04

            Resource type:   correspondence

            Topics include packing up to march most likely towards New Orleans, the occupation of New Orleans by the Union troops, thinking the war will be over soon.

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              Title:   Justus F. Gale to Mother

              Creator:  Gale, Justus F., 1837-1863

              Date:  1862-02-21

              Resource type:   correspondence

              From Brattleboro topics include Justus Gale’s common cold, asking for leave denied, only those with wife and babies being allowed to go home, the rumor that Texas and Tennessee has been ordered to surrender, has received $33 in military pay and the expectation to stay at Camp Holbrook for another month.

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                Title:   Justus F. Gale to Mother

                Creator:  Gale, Justus F., 1837-1863

                Date:  1862-04-06

                Resource type:   correspondence

                Two letters dated April 4th and 6th. Writing after arriving at Ship Island, Mississippi topics include observing the Sabbath,his devotion for the Bible, arriving on shore, digging and finding plenty of fresh water, being treated with food from the Mass. 30th, thinking war may be over before he gets a chance to fight and the expectation of capturing New Orleans.

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                  Title:   Justus F. Gale to Mother

                  Creator:  Gale, Justus F., 1837-1863

                  Date:  1862-08-19

                  Resource type:   correspondence

                  Topics include a few deaths in the regiment, a description of the Battle at Baton Rouge (August 5, 1862) , and the resignation and promotions within the regiment.

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                    Title:   Justus F. Gale to Mother

                    Creator:  Gale, Justus F., 1837-1863

                    Date:  1862-10-25

                    Resource type:   correspondence

                    Writing to his mother, topics include marching orders to go up the railroad, waiting for a regiment of contrabands from the other side of the river to lead the way on their march, receiving his military pay, and giving his best wishes to his mother.

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                      Title:   Justus F. Gale to Mother

                      Creator:  Gale, Justus F., 1837-1863

                      Date:  1863-01-30

                      Resource type:   correspondence

                      Topics include his health and the sore on his hand, the family situation in Vermont, including the separation of his parents and how things have changed since he left, and how Sunday is usually the day the army usually has an inspection or moves.

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                        Title:   Justus F. Gale to Mother

                        Creator:  Gale, Justus F., 1837-1863

                        Date:  1863-04-11

                        Resource type:   correspondence

                        Topics include getting ready to march with the 19th Corps against Fort Bisland and Colonel Thomas’ confidence in the 8th Vermont. He also writes that the regiment marched over 100 miles and captured 2,200 prisoners in an addendum to his letter, dated April 21.

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                          Title:   Justus F. Gale to Mother

                          Creator:  Gale, Justus F., 1837-1863

                          Date:  1863-07-01

                          Resource type:   correspondence

                          Gale writes that his company had been busy digging entrenchments in preparation for an assault on Port Hudson, and that rebels made a small raid to acquire some nearby guns but were repulsed. He also writes that deserters are coming in almost every day and report that rations are short in the fort. As well he writes that there is a rumor that the Rebels had invaded Brashear City and took or burned items left by the 8th Regiment, and the Colonel Thomas reacted strongly, saying “he wished he could get one clip at them with his brigade.”

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                            Title:   Justus F. Gale to Mother

                            Creator:  Gale, Justus F., 1837-1863

                            Date:  1863-08-21

                            Resource type:   correspondence

                            In this letter Gale writes to his mother from the Church Hospital in Baton Rouge that he has been ill but is getting better. He has been eating a little. He and his unit had been "beseigeing" Port Hudson just before he was taken ill. He also writes that he never really suffered while soldiering, and that he is sorry his brother, Lyman, has been drafted, since he doesn’t think he could stand army life. Some time after this, Gale was sent to the U.S. General Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee, where he died of chronic diarrhea on September 19, 1863.

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                              Title:   Justus F. Gale to Sister

                              Creator:  Gale, Justus F., 1837-1863

                              Date:  1862-01-11

                              Resource type:   correspondence

                              Topics include the snow at Camp Holbrook, St. Albans, the living arrangements, the 25 men sick with the measles, and the move to Ship Island in 2 or 3 weeks.

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                                Title:   Justus F. Gale to Sister

                                Creator:  Gale, Justus F., 1837-1863

                                Date:  1862-01-30

                                Resource type:   correspondence

                                Topics include remaining at Camp Holbrook in Vermont for 4 weeks, grateful to hear from home, food not very good, a rumor of getting paid, and the visitors who watch dress parade.

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                                  Title:   Justus F. Gale to Sister

                                  Creator:  Gale, Justus F., 1837-1863

                                  Date:  1862-02-09

                                  Resource type:   correspondence

                                  Topics include observing the Sabbath in camp by reading the Bible, a description of dress parade, gives his enlistment date at Sept 23, 1861, anticipates military pay of $20 a month from the date of enlistment and mentions again the bombardment of Fort Henry on the Tennessee River by Commodore A H Foote and General Grant.

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                                    Title:   Justus F. Gale to Sister

                                    Creator:  Gale, Justus F., 1837-1863

                                    Date:  1862-03-07

                                    Resource type:   correspondence

                                    Writing to his sister topics include the journey from Camp Holbrook to Ship Island through New York via train car, mentions 45 rebel officers being taken prisoner at Fort Donelson, hopes the war to be over soon, thinks of his family back home and puts his faith in God to rule over all.

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                                      Title:   Justus F. Gale to Sister

                                      Creator:  Gale, Justus F., 1837-1863

                                      Date:  1862-05-15

                                      Resource type:   correspondence

                                      Topics include leaving Ship Island, being towed back up the Mississippi River to camp in New Orleans, the poor conditions of Fort Jackson and Philips, traveling into the city, the positive attitude of the natives of New Orleans toward Gale and companion now that it is occupied by the Union, General Butler redistributing provisions to the poor of the city that were captured from the rebels

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                                        Title:   Justus F. Gale to Sister

                                        Creator:  Gale, Justus F., 1837-1863

                                        Date:  1862-05-22

                                        Resource type:   correspondence

                                        Topics include trying to figure out where letters may have gone missing, letters taking several weeks to arrive, not receiving the Green Mountain Freeman, the lack of details about the taking of New Orleans, and Justus Gale being on guard last night.

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                                          Title:   Justus F. Gale to Sister

                                          Creator:  Gale, Justus F., 1837-1863

                                          Date:  1862-06-14

                                          Resource type:   correspondence

                                          Topics include the movement of the company from Algiers to Lafourche, a description of the living situation at Algiers, the good food at camp including fresh fruit berries, water quality not good.

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                                            Title:   Justus F. Gale to Sister

                                            Creator:  Gale, Justus F., 1837-1863

                                            Date:  1862-07-18

                                            Resource type:   correspondence

                                            Topics include the good health of Justus Gale, the food available at Algiers including confiscated beef from the locals, standing guard for 12 hour shifts, killing alligators, writes of some of his comrades, the sickness of Sargent 2nd Class.Chas. C. Martin with inflammation of the bowels, the capture of Richmond and Vicksburg, mentions Confederate Gen. G. T. Beauregard, receiving a copy of the Green Mountain Freeman and refers to his religious faith.

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                                              Title:   Justus F. Gale to Sister

                                              Creator:  Gale, Justus F., 1837-1863

                                              Date:  1862-08-26

                                              Resource type:   correspondence

                                              Topics include wishing his sister a happy birthday, clearing up the rumor that he is dead, the enlisting of blacks, and the enlisting of men from home before they are drafted.

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                                                Title:   Justus F. Gale to Sister

                                                Creator:  Gale, Justus F., 1837-1863

                                                Date:  1862-10-09

                                                Resource type:   correspondence

                                                Topics include the improved health of Justus Gale’s family, speaks of his religious faith, a discussion of deciding on Charley’s gravestone, and the separation of his Gale's parents.

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                                                  Title:   Justus F. Gale to Sister

                                                  Creator:  Gale, Justus F., 1837-1863

                                                  Date:  1862-11-14

                                                  Resource type:   correspondence

                                                  Topics include the poor health of Justus Gale’s sister, having plenty to eat and confiscating anything while in the field including livestock from the rebels, receiving a box from home that was greatly appreciated though disappointed none of Mother's cheese, the expectation of returning to Algiers, and some family affairs including what to do with Charlie's clothes since his death, mentions still needing to get a photographer and have his photo taken, and the possibility of renting the farm.

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