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Joseph Spafford Correspondence

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Collection Overview

Joseph Spafford served in the 4th and 16th Vermont Infantry Regiments. His letters are written to his mother and to his sister, M. Jane Spafford, in Upper Falls, Vt. (a village in Weathersfield), as well as to a friend, Homer White, in New York City.

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Time Period Covered: September 15, 1861 - July 23, 1863 

Parent Collections

Vermonters in the Civil War

Related Archival Collection(s)

Joseph Spafford Papers

Published:  December 08, 2010,  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:   Joseph Spafford to Mary Jane Spafford

Creator:  Spafford, Joseph, 1837-1866

Date:  1862-01-02

Resource type:   correspondence

Written to his sister from his Virginia camp, topic include politics of promotion and his chances of getting promoted, theft in the Regiments, photographs, and the opium habit of an unnamed soldier from Jamaica, Vermont.

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    Title:   Joseph Spafford to Mary Jane Spafford

    Creator:  Spafford, Joseph, 1837-1866

    Date:  1862-01-28

    Resource type:   correspondence

    A very brief letter mentions continued rainy weather and deep mud; also a comrade has typhoid fever and not expected to live.

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      Title:   Joseph Spafford to Mary Jane Spafford

      Creator:  Spafford, Joseph, 1837-1866

      Date:  1862-01-30

      Resource type:   correspondence

      Spafford's brief letter has an underlying tone of being anxious to hear from home. The rainy and muddy weather continue.

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        Title:   Joseph Spafford to Mary Jane Spafford

        Creator:  Spafford, Joseph, 1837-1866

        Date:  1862-03-25

        Resource type:   correspondence

        Writing from the Mansion House Hospital in Alexandria VA, topics include difficulty in getting a furlough at the present time, illness among others at the hospital from the Regiment, and the keeping and responsibility of using the Company's money for needed purchases for the men.

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          Title:   Joseph Spafford to Mary Jane Spafford

          Creator:  Spafford, Joseph, 1837-1866

          Date:  [1861-09-16]

          Resource type:   correspondence

          Spafford writes from Brattleboro of the possibility of his sister and Lizzie visiting him before departure, of his time consuming duties as Orderly, of Captain A's wife already having come for a visit.

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            Title:   Joseph Spafford to Mary Jane Spafford

            Creator:  Spafford, Joseph, 1837-1866

            Date:  1861-12-08

            Resource type:   correspondence

            Topics include Captain Atherton expected arrival in Cavendish to recruit men for the regiment, the sending of a photograph, reference to Laurence, the daguerreotype man from Chester who will be taking pictures of the 2nd Vermont Regiment.

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              Title:   Joseph Spafford to Mary Jane Spafford

              Creator:  Spafford, Joseph, 1837-1866

              Date:  1861-12-15

              Resource type:   correspondence

              Topics include winter quarters in a pine woods, officers to have log cabins, he using the Captain's tent with plenty of bed clothes, inquiries about home, seeks opinion of the war from home, sending hard crackers home, poor writing ink.

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                Title:   Joseph Spafford to Mary Jane Spafford

                Creator:  Spafford, Joseph, 1837-1866

                Date:  1862-01-26

                Resource type:   correspondence

                Topics include resignation of officers and promotions of new officers, pay, visiting the 3rd Vermont, sickness in the Regiment, getting vaccinated for small pox, and rumors of marching orders.

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                  Title:   Joseph Spafford to Mary Jane Spafford

                  Creator:  Spafford, Joseph, 1837-1866

                  Date:  1862-03-06

                  Resource type:   correspondence

                  Spafford writes of difficulty of getting postage stamps in the correct amount needed to mail letters home and that the prepared rations ordered for possible march on Feb 27th were consumed in camp.

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                    Title:   Joseph Spafford to Mary Jane Spafford

                    Creator:  Spafford, Joseph, 1837-1866

                    Date:  1862-03-15

                    Resource type:   correspondence

                    Topics include being unable to march with the Regiment when orders came down to move out, of his dislike of how the hospital was run in Camp Griffin and him leaving that hospital, of living in tent with soldier who also had not moved out with the earlier call to march, being sent by ambulance to the Mansion House Hospital in Alexandria, being diagnosed with pleurisy and a detailed description of hospital life and medical care at the Mansion.

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                      Title:   Joseph Spafford to Mary Jane Spafford

                      Creator:  Spafford, Joseph, 1837-1866

                      Date:  1862-04-09

                      Resource type:   correspondence

                      Writing to his sister from the Mansion House Hospital topics include bad weather in Alexandria, Virginia, delayed arrival of letters from home, sewing on chevrons on his coat to help pass the time in his hospital room, and battle news of rebels defeated at Corinth and surrender of island no. 10.

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                        Title:   Joseph Spafford to Mary Jane Spafford

                        Creator:  Spafford, Joseph, 1837-1866

                        Date:  1862-04-11

                        Resource type:   correspondence

                        A very brief letter tells his sister not to write as he will be leaving the Mansion House Hospital for Washington.

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                          Title:   Joseph Spafford to Mary Jane Spafford

                          Creator:  Spafford, Joseph, 1837-1866

                          Date:  1862-05-14

                          Resource type:   correspondence

                          Topics include waiting for his military discharge papers, his plans for returning to Vermont, and his plan to travel with Sergeant Peabody of the 2nd Vermont.

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                            Title:   Joseph Spafford to Mary Jane Spafford

                            Creator:  Spafford, Joseph, 1837-1866

                            Date:  1862-05-11

                            Resource type:   correspondence

                            Writing from Carver Hospital in Washington D.C. topics include his waiting for his military discharge papers and plans for getting home to Vermont.

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