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Vermonters in the Civil War

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Collection Overview

Vermont soldiers in the Civil War wrote an enormous quantity of letters and diaries, of which many thousands have survived in libraries, historical societies, and in private hands. This collection represents a selection of letters and diaries from the University of Vermont and the Vermont Historical Society.

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Time Period Covered: January 1, 1861 - February 28, 1864 


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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:  1863-10-04

    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:  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:  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 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 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:  1863-11-08

                          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:  1863-10-12

                            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:  1863-11-21

                              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:  1864-05-13

                                Resource type:   correspondence

                                Two letters written here from the battlefield about having been in battle for the past 8 days although not on the front line & does not record his location, has not been hurt, has sent a photograph home, names three men who were killed.

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                                  Title:   Bradford Sparrow to Parents and Brothers

                                  Creator:  Sparrow, Bradford

                                  Date:  1865-05-12

                                  Resource type:   correspondence

                                  Writes of receiving good medical care with plenty of good food, alcohol to drink, health is improving, may be transported to Annapolis, Maryland ; hopes to be home soon ; mentions Gen. Grant may discharge all the hospital boys. Letter head U.S. Christian Commission stationery.

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                                    Title:   Bradford Sparrow to Parents and Brothers

                                    Creator:  Sparrow, Bradford

                                    Date:  1865-06-06

                                    Resource type:   correspondence

                                    Writes of his current location in another hospital, this one in New York, hopes his military discharge will come soon, his need for money sent to him as he will not be paid until his discharge come through, requests the Vermont newspaper the Repository as he wants to know what is going on back home.

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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:  1864-04-25

                                          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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                                            Title:   Bradford Sparrow to Parents and Brothers

                                            Creator:  Sparrow, Bradford

                                            Date:  1864-06-05

                                            Resource type:   correspondence

                                            A sore has developed on his left heel, is to go to the hospital and see the surgeon, Union army if strengthening its hold in the face of the Rebels strong hold in the area, mentions that newspapers generally get the news wrong and cautions folks at home in believing everything printed, mentions Grant and his chances of taking Richmond.

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                                              Title:   Bradford Sparrow to Parents and Brothers

                                              Creator:  Sparrow, Bradford

                                              Date:  1865-05-22

                                              Resource type:   correspondence

                                              Writes from the General Hospital in South Carolina of his hopes to be discharged soon and be home by mid June, has a job in the dining room setting table, etc. & feels it is good for his health. Thinks of his parents and hopes they have not worried over his having been taken prisoner & mentions the other folks at home. Letter head United States Sanitary Commission, N. E. Women's Auxiliary Association.

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                                                Title:   Bradford Sparrow to Parents and Brothers

                                                Creator:  Sparrow, Bradford

                                                Date:  1864-06-08

                                                Resource type:   correspondence

                                                States he is in the hospital getting the sore on his heel tended to, makes reference to the Battle of the Wilderness, of wounded and killed in his company the same day he writes this letter, inquires of folks and happenings at home, wishes more folks to write to him.

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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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