A War of the People: Vermont Civil War Letters

A War of the People: Vermont Civil War Letters

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A War of the People: Vermont Civil War Letters by Jeffrey D. Marshall

The Civil War left no Vermonters untouched, and few families free from pain. More than 140 letters -- carefully selected from some 9000 in several archives -- convey in personal terms the combat experience of Vermonters throughout the war. Vermont raised seventeen infantry regiments, one cavalry regiment, three batteries of light artillery and three companies of sharpshooters -- nearly 35,000 soldiers in all. As a result of this impressive commitment, Vermont suffered one of the highest rates of military deaths of any Union state.

A War of the People covers the war chronologically, with editor Jeffrey D. Marshall providing running commentary on both the war overall, and Vermonters' experiences. Supplemented with maps and photographs, it includes many voices -- from privates to colonels, mothers, wives, and best friends, young and old -- writing about battle narratives, camp life, financial advice, family matters, and much more. An African-American soldier from Hinesburgh, a French-Canadian soldier who enlisted in Milton, and dozens of others record their experiences in unforgettable words. Marshall's battlefront/homefront choice of letters provides a deeper understanding of the social and political dimensions that, although secondary to military concerns, were an integral part of Vermont's war years.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780874519235
Publisher: University Press of New England
Publication date: 05/01/1999
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 377
Product dimensions: 7.00(w) x 10.00(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

JEFFREY D. MARSHALL is University Archivist and Curator of Manuscripts at the University of Vermont.

Read an Excerpt

'This war is a war of the people,' William Young Ripley wrote to his son William after the humiliating Union defeat at Bull Run in July 1861. 'The men at Washington - will find that they are only agents in the matter,' he warned. A prominent citizen of Rutland, Vermont, and a member of his state's emerging class of industrial leaders, Ripley represented a swelling tide of dissatisfaction with the military and political leadership in Washington. Before the war ended four years later, Ripley would exchange hundreds of letters with his three sons in the army, sharing home-front reactions to war news and receiving frank assessments of the conflict's progress from the front. The story of this 'war of the people,' fought by citizen-soldiers and supported by the extraordinary sacrifices of citizens at home, unfolds in countless letters written from the battle front and the home front. -- From the Introduction

Table of Contents

List of Illustrationsvii
1.Spring 186116
2.Summer 186134
3.Autumn 186147
4.Winter 186257
5.Spring 186270
6.Summer 186285
7.Autumn 1862109
8.Winter 1863128
9.Spring 1863144
10.Summer 1863161
11.Autumn 1863183
12.Winter 1864201
13.Spring 1864220
14.Summer 1864241
15.Autumn 1864258
16.Winter 1865282
17.Spring 1865293
AppendixMuster Roll317
Works Cited341

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