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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:  1862-03-30

Resource type:   correspondence

Still writing from the Mansion House Hospital, topics include listening to the rattling of the soldiers' swords as they pass on the sidewalk outside the hospital, commenting on the number of regiments going down the river, and news of home.

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    Title:   Joseph Spafford to Mary Jane Spafford

    Creator:  Spafford, Joseph, 1837-1866

    Date:  1862-04-02

    Resource type:   correspondence

    Spafford continues to write from the Mansion House Hospital on topics that include worrying about his mother’s health, difficulty of getting a furlough, commenting on his preference to be a 2nd lieutenant and not a captain, detailed description of a day in the hospital, rules posted in the hospital, a dialogue he had with a drunken soldier from a California regiment, and description of a visit by a Vermonter from Windsor.

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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:  1862-04-14

          Resource type:   correspondence

          Topics include not yet being moved from the Mansion House Hospital to one in Washington, his health being with fever and ague, of disposing of his letters from home by burning them and thus needing Homer White’s address again.

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            Title:   Joseph Spafford to Mary Jane Spafford

            Creator:  Spafford, Joseph, 1837-1866

            Date:  1862-04-16

            Resource type:   correspondence

            A brief writing from Mansion House Hospital include possibility of getting a furlough and an incident at Yorktown with one soldier from the 4th Vermont being wounded slightly and a rebel soldier being "keeled" over.

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              Title:   Joseph Spafford to Mary Jane Spafford

              Creator:  Spafford, Joseph, 1837-1866

              Date:  1862-04-20

              Resource type:   correspondence

              Writing from the Mansion House Hospital in Alexandria, Virginia a very brief note to his sister of leaving for Washington and not for her to write to him again at this address.

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                Title:   Joseph Spafford to Mary Jane Spafford

                Creator:  Spafford, Joseph, 1837-1866

                Date:  1862-04-27

                Resource type:   correspondence

                Writing from Carver Hospital in Washington, D.C. topics include the probability of a military discharge, hospital nurses, unhealthiness of hospitals, liking his living situation in the barracks, and fiddle playing and dancing heard coming from a nearby house.

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                  Title:   Joseph Spafford to Mary Jane Spafford

                  Creator:  Spafford, Joseph, 1837-1866

                  Date:  1862-05-06

                  Resource type:   correspondence

                  Writing his sister from Carver Hospital in Washington, D.C. topics include worry about not receiving letters from home and his general good health.

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                    Title:   Joseph Spafford to Mary Jane Spafford

                    Creator:  Spafford, Joseph, 1837-1866

                    Date:  1862-05-09

                    Resource type:   correspondence

                    Writing from Carver Hospital in Washington, D.C. topics include waiting for his military discharge papers and sightseeing in Washington.

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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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                        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:  1862-10-11

                          Resource type:   correspondence

                          Writing to his sister, Mary Jane, from Brattleboro, Vermont topics include a request for a knitted night cap and a vest; also reference to Veazey as being colonel and the appointment of George C.

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                            Title:   Joseph Spafford to Mary Jane Spafford

                            Creator:  Spafford, Joseph, 1837-1866

                            Date:  [1862]-10-19

                            Resource type:   correspondence

                            Writing from Brattleboro, topics include the inspection of the company by Dr. Phelps, the assignment of positions by various men including that of Dr. Parks as surgeon and assistant surgeon, and another request for a cap with a post note on compliments received on his vest.

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                              Title:   Joseph Spafford to Mary Jane Spafford

                              Creator:  Spafford, Joseph, 1837-1866

                              Date:  [1862]-10-22

                              Resource type:   correspondence

                              Still in Brattleboro but anticipating the company moving out, topics include the men who are going home, George declining the assistant surgeon position, and the expectation of being paid.

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                                Title:   Joseph Spafford to Mary Jane Spafford

                                Creator:  Spafford, Joseph, 1837-1866

                                Date:  1862-10-22

                                Resource type:   correspondence

                                Spafford writes about being asked by Col Veazey to have Spafford go to Windham and ask George to accept the position of assistant surgeon.

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                                  Title:   Joseph Spafford to Mary Jane Spafford

                                  Creator:  Spafford, Joseph, 1837-1866

                                  Date:  [1862]-10-24

                                  Resource type:   correspondence

                                  Writing from Brattleboro topics include George deciding to joint the regiment, Joseph Spafford receiving his payment, and the mustering of the regiment.

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                                    Title:   Joseph Spafford to Mary Jane Spafford

                                    Creator:  Spafford, Joseph, 1837-1866

                                    Date:  1862-10-26

                                    Resource type:   correspondence

                                    Writing en route, topics include a description of the journey to Washington on the “Elm City” train, his deep desire for letters from home and an undercurrent of his willingness to accept how things are.

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                                      Title:   Joseph Spafford to Mary Jane Spafford

                                      Creator:  Spafford, Joseph, 1837-1866

                                      Date:  1862-10-27

                                      Resource type:   correspondence

                                      Very brief letter to his sister, Mary Jane, stating arriving in Washington, D.C. and camping on Capitol Hill.

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                                        Title:   Joseph Spafford to Mary Jane Spafford

                                        Creator:  Spafford, Joseph, 1837-1866

                                        Date:  1862-10-29

                                        Resource type:   correspondence

                                        Stationed in Washington, D.C. on Capitol Hill topics include a brief description of the items Joseph Spafford has in his possession, the living situation at camp, and the good health of the regiment.

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                                          Title:   Joseph Spafford to Mary Jane Spafford

                                          Creator:  Spafford, Joseph, 1837-1866

                                          Date:  1862-11-01

                                          Resource type:   correspondence

                                          Topics include setting up camp on Capitol Hill, the uncertainty of when the regiment will march, homeless orphan white boys asking and being allowed to go along with the soldiers, one of the boys going with Spafford and Spafford’s good health.

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                                            Title:   Joseph Spafford to Mary Jane Spafford

                                            Creator:  Spafford, Joseph, 1837-1866

                                            Date:  1862-11-06

                                            Resource type:   correspondence

                                            Topics include the arrival of George, the movement of the regiment to Camp Vermont near Alexandria, Virginia, having only two dollars in pocket and hoping pay comes soon.

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                                              Title:   Joseph Spafford to Mary Jane Spafford

                                              Creator:  Spafford, Joseph, 1837-1866

                                              Date:  1862-11-09

                                              Resource type:   correspondence

                                              Writing from Camp Seward near Alexandria, Virginia, topics include a copy of Joseph Spafford’s accounts of camp life from October 24th until November 9th, 1862 with a note that he burns the letters he receives. Writes about tents, gunfire heard from a battle a distance away, on leave to visit Washington, D.C., liking his boy Daniel McAuliffe age 13 and wanting to take him with him to Vermont when the 9 months are up.

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                                                Title:   Joseph Spafford to Mary Jane Spafford

                                                Creator:  Spafford, Joseph, 1837-1866

                                                Date:  [1862]-11-19

                                                Resource type:   correspondence

                                                Topics include rumors that the 15th and 16th regiments may move to New York and go with the Texas Expedition, the health of the regiment and the matter of shipping a tub of butter to Spafford.

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                                                  Title:   Joseph Spafford to Mary Jane Spafford

                                                  Creator:  Spafford, Joseph, 1837-1866

                                                  Date:  1862-12-09

                                                  Resource type:   correspondence

                                                  Topics include the 13th, 14th, and 15th regiments moving near Bull Run battlefield, Stoughton arriving in camp, his comfortable living quarters, plenty to eat and inquiries about home.

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