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Solomon G. Heaton Correspondence

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Solomon G. Heaton enlisted from Brighton on April 22, 1861 as a private in Company D, 3rd Vermont Regiment. He reenlisted on December 21, 1863. Heaton was wounded at Spotsylvania on May 12, 1864 and was mortally wounded on Cold Harbor on June 3rd, 1864. He died three days later on June 6th.

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Time Period Covered: July 30, 1861 - November24, 1863 

Parent Collections

Vermonters in the Civil War

Published:  March 04, 2011,  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:   Solomon G. Heaton to ?

Creator:  Heaton, Solomon G.

Date:  1862-12-10

Resource type:   correspondence

Heaton writes that he is sending money home ($20), and that he needs $1 in postage stamps sent to him (the rest can go toward Lucy's board at school during the winter). His camp site, Belle Plains, Va., lies just east of Fredericksburg, the site of a major battle (Dec. 11-15, 1862) that began a day after Heaton wrote this note; hence, the need to be ready with sixty rounds of "catridges."

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    Title:   Solomon G. Heaton to Family

    Creator:  Heaton, Solomon G.

    Date:  1861-07-30

    Resource type:   correspondence

    An account of the journey from Camp Baxter to Camp Lyon near Washington, D. C. with people along the way cheering and giving an enthusiastic reception to the soldiers ; food provided ; blessings of God speed given ; mentions Major General McClellan in command ; high morale

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      Title:   Solomon G. Heaton to Father

      Creator:  Heaton, Solomon G.

      Date:  1861-11-17

      Resource type:   correspondence

      A brief letter from Camp Griffin, 3rd Vt. Co. D part of Smith's Division stating cold weather ; not much to do but some picket duty ; requests warm clothing be sent to him ; expecting to be paid soon ; reflects on how the camp glows at night with all the camp fires lighting the area like a city ; the men have been provided uniforms and he wishes to send home photographs of himself in full uniform but asks for postage stamps as he can not get them

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        Title:   Solomon G. Heaton to Father

        Creator:  Heaton, Solomon G.

        Date:  1862-10-30

        Resource type:   correspondence

        As Heaton indicates, the Army of the Potomac crossed the river into Virginia at the time this letter was written (Gen. George McClellan would soon be removed, however, and succeeded by Gen. Ambrose Burnside). There is no record of a "very hard fight" at Gordonsville, Va. Gen. Wm. Buel Franklin was implicated in some intrigue against Burnside, and both were relieved of their command in Jan., 1863. Heaton complains about harsh treatment by his commanding officer and being denied a rubber blanket. Nevertheless, he claims to be in good spirits.

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          Title:   Solomon G. Heaton to Father

          Creator:  Heaton, Solomon G.

          Date:  1863-10-04

          Resource type:   correspondence

          Writing a brief letter to his father, Solomon G. Heaton’s states his dislike for General Mead of the Army of the Potomac, mention of Gen. McClellan and requests several clothing items to be sent from home including boots, gloves and food such as tea, cheese, bread, maple sugar.

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            Title:   Solomon G. Heaton to Father

            Creator:  Heaton, Solomon G.

            Date:  1863-11-24

            Resource type:   correspondence

            Topics include the anticipated move of the army, the branding and branding of two soldiers, disapproves of this action by the army, requests food and clothing from home.

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              Title:   Solomon G. Heaton to Mother

              Creator:  Heaton, Solomon G.

              Date:  1861-12-25

              Resource type:   correspondence

              Writes of pleasant, comfortable winter quarters with 16 men to a tent and government supplied stoves ; tells of what food is available and what he had to eat while on picket duty ; very basic food for Thanksgiving ; no usual drill schedule due to it being Christmas Day ; mentions Charley and Lucy ; again reflects on if he lives to return home.

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                Title:   Solomon G. Heaton to Mother

                Creator:  Heaton, Solomon G.

                Date:  1862-03-17

                Resource type:   correspondence

                With Heaton's words, "the great Army of the Potomac has at last started," we get a sense of impatience, on the soldier's part, with Gen. George McClellan's well-known reluctance to send men into battle. The date of this letter coincides within the beginning of the Peninsula Campaign, which deployed over 121,000 Union soldiers. Perhaps Heaton's regiment, camped somewhere in Virginia, is about to meet up with this "offul Army down on the co[a]st it numbers 90 thousand men" as part of the Campaign. He notes some of the destruction left behind by retreating rebels, most notably the burned homes near Fairfax courthouse, supposedly where George and Martha Washington were married. (The home owned by Martha Custis, Washington's betrothed, was indeed burned in 1862 because of the war. This is believed to have been a likely site of the marriage in early January, 1759.) Other place names mentioned: Mannassas, Centerville.

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                  Title:   Solomon G. Heaton to Mother

                  Creator:  Heaton, Solomon G.

                  Date:  1864-01-28

                  Resource type:   correspondence

                  Brief letter from Heaton letting his mother know his health is good, the good weather, and the expectation to head to Washington soon.

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                    Title:   Solomon G. Heaton to Mother

                    Creator:  Heaton, Solomon G.

                    Date:  1864-04-06

                    Resource type:   correspondence

                    Topics include Heaton letting his mother know his health is good, the bad weather, the “vile” women, the death of Heman Belden who was shot accidentally & survived only 3 or 4 days, reference to book "Miss Martha Brownlow : the heroine of Tennessee" by William D. Reynolds.

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                      Title:   Solomon G. Heaton to Mother

                      Creator:  Heaton, Solomon G.

                      Date:  1864-05-12

                      Resource type:   correspondence

                      Writes of battle casualties that include Elbrige, George, Emery, and Captain Buck being wounded, the death of Git Porter, he working in a military hospital in Fredericksburg as a Cook and the expected fall of Richmond.

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