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Bradford Sparrow Correspondence

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Collection Overview

Bradford P. Sparrow was drafted and assigned to the Fourth Vermont in the summer of 1863. In letters to his family, Sparrow wrote about the journey to Virginia, his illness through much of the winter, and the battles of the Wilderness and Spotsylvania. Sparro was captured at the Weldon Railroad near Petersburg, Virginia, on June 23, 1864. For a month he kept a diary, writing about the prisoners' march to Georgia and conditions at Andersonville Prison. Paroled in April 1865, Sparrow wrote several more letters home from military hospitals before he was mustered out.

Time Period Covered: August 19, 1863 - June 6, 1865 

Parent Collections

Vermonters in the Civil War

Published:  July 05, 2013,  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:   ?

Creator:  Sparrow, Bradford

Resource type:   correspondence

Letter No. 23 pages missing ; date & location known ; preserved here is him writing of news of health issues of folks at home, of wanting to hear the results of a town meeting regarding bounty (system used as an incentive to increase enlistments), of Heaton's auction, of his weight being 149 pounds.

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    Title:   Bradford Sparrow to ?

    Creator:  Sparrow, Bradford

    Resource type:   correspondence

    A copy of an official document by Private Bradford P. Sparrow stating his military service and is an application to recover military pay due him.

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      Title:   Bradford Sparrow to Alner D. Sparrow

      Creator:  Sparrow, Bradford

      Date:  1863-08-19

      Resource type:   correspondence

      Two letters of August 19th and 28th - Reporting for duty in Burlington, telling of his journey, of not having food provided & having to buy his own, of sleeping arrangements, dinner in the barracks at the old fair grounds, of the men being examined for fitness to serve.

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        Title:   Bradford Sparrow to Alner D. Sparrow

        Creator:  Sparrow, Bradford

        Date:  1863-09-01

        Resource type:   correspondence

        Topics include marching from Burlington to Long Island, conscripts, waiting for the remaining 59 men before going to join the 4th regiment, very basic tent accommodations, meals given and Charles Stoddard's error while restocking guns which has led to reducing ranks.

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          Title:   Bradford Sparrow to Alner D. Sparrow

          Creator:  Sparrow, Bradford

          Date:  1863-09-26

          Resource type:   correspondence

          Topics include the journey from Alexandria to Culpeper, Virginia by sail and marching, the food in camp and the regiment being used as a reserve.

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            Title:   Bradford Sparrow to Alner D. Sparrow

            Creator:  Sparrow, Bradford

            Date:  1863-10-04

            Resource type:   correspondence

            A long letter with topics including the deaths of Mr. Robinson and Otis, commenting on other news from home, dress parade, Bradford's good health, pickets being posted, the prediction of no hard battles, a request for clothing from home, and the rebels posted in a strong position.

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              Title:   Bradford Sparrow to Alner D. Sparrow

              Creator:  Sparrow, Bradford

              Date:  1863-11-24

              Resource type:   correspondence

              Topics include receiving mittens, Vermont cheese, boots and other items, many of the men receiving many goods with some of them being sold off, the expectation of being paid, and an update on Ira's ill health.

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                Title:   Bradford Sparrow to Alner D. Sparrow

                Creator:  Sparrow, Bradford

                Date:  1864-01-31

                Resource type:   correspondence

                Brief letter writes of returning from a three day picket, of the food and utensils in the recently received box from home, his good health, of witnessing an execution and of stories about the Rebels infiltrating the lines.

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                  Title:   Bradford Sparrow to Alner D. Sparrow

                  Creator:  Sparrow, Bradford

                  Date:  1864-03-09

                  Resource type:   correspondence

                  Writes to his father of regulations required in reporting money sent through the mail not being received so that in case the situation arises a claim can be submitted ; of wanting to know what auction items were bought, of sugaring season soon in Vermont, of wet, rainy weather in Virginia.

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                    Title:   Bradford Sparrow to Father, Mother and Brothers

                    Creator:  Sparrow, Bradford

                    Date:  1863-14-09

                    Resource type:   correspondence

                    A brief letter about the expectation of leaving for Alexandria the next day and a $25 bounty being paid which he will send some home as soon as he feels it is safe to send it.

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                      Title:   Bradford Sparrow to Father, Mother and Brothers

                      Creator:  Sparrow, Bradford

                      Date:  1864-01-01

                      Resource type:   correspondence

                      Topics include letters being delayed, the muddy camp in Virginia, winter quarters, inquiring after his brother Albert's schooling, requests a loaf of brown bread, a tin plate & other items, comments on news from home of folks health and passing away.

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                        Title:   Bradford Sparrow to Father, Mother, and Brothers

                        Creator:  Sparrow, Bradford

                        Date:  1865-05-04

                        Resource type:   correspondence

                        Writes from Parole Hospital in Jacksonville, Florida ; states he had been a prisoner at the Confederate prison camp Andersonville, Georgia ; health is not good as he is suffering from scurvy but is eating well now ; mentions the role of the Sanitary Commission ; hope to be home soon ; mentions the assassination of President Lincoln ; he under the care of Dr. Bundy

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                          Title:   Bradford Sparrow to Friends

                          Creator:  Sparrow, Bradford

                          Date:  1863-10-31

                          Resource type:   correspondence

                          Writes of Bradford's sickness of "remitant fever", his stay and care in the regimental hospital, of other patients in the hospital having Typhoid fever, requests clothing with specific instructions on just how he wants them made, soap and green tea from home,

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                            Title:   Bradford Sparrow to Parents and Brothers

                            Creator:  Sparrow, Bradford

                            Date:  1863-09-09

                            Resource type:   correspondence

                            Topics include the surprising outcome of an election at home, the hardships faced in camp, and Philip being accepted into the army.

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                              Title:   Bradford Sparrow to Parents and Brothers

                              Creator:  Sparrow, Bradford

                              Date:  1863-09-23

                              Resource type:   correspondence

                              Topics include the journey to Fortress Monroe, the fruit in the wharf, and the health of Bradford, Ira and Swift.

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                                Title:   Bradford Sparrow to Parents and Brothers

                                Creator:  Sparrow, Bradford

                                Date:  1863-10-12

                                Resource type:   correspondence

                                Two letters ; Oct 12 and Oct 15 ; topics include retreating from Culpepper to Rappahannock Station, the enemy's closeness, anticipation of a battle, money sent home was received, long marches every day.

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                                  Title:   Bradford Sparrow to Parents and Brothers

                                  Creator:  Sparrow, Bradford

                                  Date:  1863-11-08

                                  Resource type:   correspondence

                                  Two letters; one dated Nov 8th and one dated Nov 10th ; writes of moving to a hospital near Rappahannock Station, his health is improving slowly, the news that Charleston is being shelled, of some domestic duties he is able to do, names some of his officers and updates about boys from home.

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                                    Title:   Bradford Sparrow to Parents and Brothers

                                    Creator:  Sparrow, Bradford

                                    Date:  1863-11-21

                                    Resource type:   correspondence

                                    Writes of Ira, of himself having a light case of typhoid, his own health improving, will be entering Virginia winter quarters in a month, mentions the draft & how the process might be different and Bradford sending a list home of things he needs that include food and clothing.

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                                      Title:   Bradford Sparrow to Parents and Brothers

                                      Creator:  Sparrow, Bradford

                                      Date:  1863-12-18

                                      Resource type:   correspondence

                                      A long letter started on Dec 18th and begun again Dec 25th. Topics include Bradford recovering from sickness, receiving goods from home, boots and shirts, Mr. Bishop eating up some of the eatable food meant for Sparrow due to going so long without food, making strawberry preserves, requesting several hundred pounds of butter and cheese, various utilitarian items including a spider frying pan, a list of items Ira wants, mentions by name other men he has seen and talked to, acknowledges that a letter went missing and recaps what was written in that letter.

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                                        Title:   Bradford Sparrow to Parents and Brothers

                                        Creator:  Sparrow, Bradford

                                        Date:  1864-02-12

                                        Resource type:   correspondence

                                        Writes his health is good, there was a battle on the Rapidan on the 5th, orders given to move out, he on picket duty to remain, could hear the muskets firing, reads in the newspaper Rebels panic stricken in Richmond by Butler's approach, hears talk of moving Confederate capital to Columbia, South Carolina, paymaster in camp, will send money home, has played cards on picket duty to pass the time, thinks folks at home have gotten his picture (photo), expresses appreciation for berries sent.

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                                          Title:   Bradford Sparrow to Parents and Brothers

                                          Creator:  Sparrow, Bradford

                                          Date:  1864-02-18

                                          Resource type:   correspondence

                                          Writes of substitute soldiers deserting after being paid, of Mosby assisting the deserters, mentions the Confederate pirate sloop ship the Alabama (documented as being sunk in June 1864) and of photographs (ambrotype), of mail being robbed.

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                                            Title:   Bradford Sparrow to Parents and Brothers

                                            Creator:  Sparrow, Bradford

                                            Date:  1864-03-27

                                            Resource type:   correspondence

                                            Snowball fights, reference to the bounty vote, mention of a shoemaker in Company E, of his boots, of wanting a pound of sugar sent and remarks on folks at home.

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                                              Title:   Bradford Sparrow to Parents and Brothers

                                              Creator:  Sparrow, Bradford

                                              Date:  1864-04-06

                                              Resource type:   correspondence

                                              Writes of suffering from diarrhea, wanting to subscribe to the local newspaper call the Repository, commenting on the sugar orchard at home and mentions Gen. Grant.

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                                                Title:   Bradford Sparrow to Parents and Brothers

                                                Creator:  Sparrow, Bradford

                                                Date:  1864-04-16

                                                Resource type:   correspondence

                                                Writes of having sent money home, of improved health, of not having a chance to get a photograph made, of two deserters from his company in the guard house, and gives advice as to whom to write in case he is unable to do so, Chaplain Roberts, 4th Vt Regt., Washington, D.C.

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                                                  Title:   Bradford Sparrow to Parents and Brothers

                                                  Creator:  Sparrow, Bradford

                                                  Date:  1864-04-25

                                                  Resource type:   correspondence

                                                  Still at Brandy Station, Virginia and writes of feeling well, of expecting Gen. Meade to move is head quarters to Culpeper soon, been rifle target practice, Lt. Gen. Grant reviewed the troops, photograph sent home via mail, has heard news of Red River expedition and massacre at Fort Pillow (April 12) where a large number of Black and White troops were killed, mentions lots of opportunities for men to get commissions in the Black regiments.

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