Civil War Hospital

Civil War Hospital



Hospital Guards' Quarters, Chapel, Assistant Surgeons' Quarters.jpg

Officer Of The Guards Quarters, Chapel, Assistant Surgeons' Quarters

Corner Atwood And Sunny Acres

Hospital Main Buildings 1863.jpg

Hospital Dispensary With Flanking Patient Wards

Looking West From Parade Ground Center

Hospital Chaplain's House, Telegraph Signal Tower In Distance.jpg

Chaplain's House At Far Right

Signal Tower House On Hill To Northwest

Civil War Camp In Brattleboro Vermont.jpg

Camp Holbrook In 1861 Before Hospital Built

1st Vermont Regiment Camp At Brattleboro 1861.jpg

First Vermont Regiment In Camp At Brattleboro 1861

Photograph By George Harper Houghton

Civil War Camp, Brattleboro, 1861, 1st Vermont Volunteers, Photographer George Harper Houghton.jpg

Civil War Hospital, Brattleboro, Circa 1864, Elbridge J. Knowlton, 4th Vermont Regiment Co. E, Veterans Reserve Corps.jpg

Supply Hut, Civil War Hospital, Brattleboro, Vermont In 1864

Private Elbridge J. Knowlton, 4th Vermont Infantry, Co. E, Veterans Reserve Corps

Fifth Soldier From The Left

Quartermaster Ansel Lin Snow Is Officer Seated At Center


The Location and Uses of the Various Buildings.

Civil War Hospital In Brattleboro 1863.jpg

United States General Hospital, 1863, Photograph By Caleb L. Howe

United States Military Hospital, 1863, Officers Tents, Barracks.jpg

United States Military Hospital 1863

Officer's Tents And Barracks

Our illustrations showing the hospital buildings and the barracks are from photographs taken by C. L. Howe. The entrance to the camp ground was where the present entrance to the Valley Fair grounds is. The building at the extreme right was the chaplain's house, and it stood nearly where the agricultural products building now is. The next building was the surgeon's headquarters, with cook houses to the rear, and a ward adjoining on the south.

This building was nearly where the floral hall now is. From this point the buildings ran in a straight line nearly due south. In the centre was the dispensary building with wards adjoining. The arrangement of the hospital buildings proper, it will be seen, was on three sides of a hollow square. In front of the dispensary building was a grass plat, and a fence extended along the front of all the buildings with a wide belt of green turf between the buildings and the fence. The neatly kept walks were of gravel. Water was supplied from the Bardwell brook, pumping by a water wheel from the brook into a tank at the south end of the buildings. The chapel stood in the rear of the house at the officer of the guard.

When the room in the hospital buildings became insufficient, 40 hospital tents were erected, accommodating 12 men each. Cases of contagious disease were isolated in tents erected in the edge of the pines opposite the present grand stand, beyond the race track.

The lower illustration shows the barracks erected for the use of the troops before they were sent to the front. These buildings stood in the extreme east of the camp ground, on the brow of the hill overlooking South Main street.

There were 60 rods or more in the rear and east of the present line of horse paddocks. As originally built they accommodated 2,000 men, but in the winter of 1862-63, after the government hospital was established, some of the barracks were moved over to the other side of the grounds and fitted up for hospital purposes. The tents in front were the guard tents, with the officers' tent at the right.

The wide space between these two lines of building, including the present race track enclosure, was all open, and was used for drill and parade purposes.

Dr. E. E. Phelps, before the war a professor in the Dartmouth College medical school, was the surgeon in charge of the hospital. Col. William Austine was the mustering in officer.

We are indebted for these details of descriptions to Comrade George E. Greene of Brattleboro, who was the chief hospital steward during nearly the whole period of the war. Mr. Greene enlisted in the 16th Vermont, expecting to go to the front, but having some knowledge of medicine and of the care of the sick, he attracted the favorable attention of Dr. Phelps, who, acting on his own initiative, secured Mr. Greene's discharge as a volunteer and caused his appointment as a steward in the regular army.

Vermont Phoenix, September 14, 1906.

[The original 1863 Caleb L. Howe photograph was given in February 1915 to the G. A. R. Sedgwick Post by Caleb's son, John C. Howe]


Stacked Muskets

Guard And Officers Tent.jpg

Hospital Guards' And Officers' Tents

Looking North East


George E. Greene compares former hospital sites to the Valley Fair buildings shown here. Chaplain Francis C. Williams' house stood near Farm Products. Dr. Edward E. Phelps' surgeon's headquarters stood near the Floral Hall, with its cook house to the west and its ward to the south.


The D. L. Miller 1895 Map

The central Dispensary with its fifty-foot high flagpole and flanking ranks of wards, all forming three sides of a hollow square with its grass plat, fences, lawns, and gravel walks, stood along Atwood Street half way between Fairground Road and Sunny Acres.

The Assistant Surgeons' quarters, the Officer of the Guard house and guards' tents, and the Hospital Chapel to their west, stood in the crook in the road that now forms the roads Atwood and Sunny Acres. These buildings stood at a slight angle to the straight line of hospital buildings which adjoined to the north.

The Bardwell Brook and pond with William Gould's hydraulic ram and water wheel pumped water to a water reservoir which stood just south from the chapel and guard house. Moses, Sarah, Luther, and Mary Bardwell had owned this land.

The Bardwell Brook was also then called the Cascade Brook, for its scenic waterfall attraction some distance eastward. This stream has been called Venter's Brook since Fort Dummer times, quite possibly for the Fort Orange (Albany) merchant family Van der Venter.

The pest house stood at the eastern extremity of the camp grounds, in an isolated rectangular area within the pine woods, a short distance west from South Main Street and south from present Fairground Road.

The barracks cemetery was likely here as well. Col. William Austine told a Brattleboro Reformer reporter for his June 23, 1893 article, that "They were given an honorable military burial near the barracks.". These grounds are now the Brattleboro Department of Public Works.

The Camp Holbrook ground was carefully chosen to be close to Brattleboro with its community and its railroad depot, and with the shortest possible supply lines to vital food and water sources in the surrounding farms---especially to the George Clark pastures and the William F. Richardson cattle.


The Barracks Cemetery

The pest house quartered the contagious soldiers who suffered from the dread typhoid fever, smallpox, and dysentery.

George E. Greene, the Hospital Steward and later a long-time Brattleboro pharmacist, recalled that the pest house stood at the eastern extremity of the camp grounds, sixty rods or more behind the barracks line. Sixty rods is nine hundred and ninety feet---into an isolated area, rectangular in shape, within the pine woods---


Beers Atlas 1869 Map

The "barracks cemetery" was nearby. Col. William Austine told a Brattleboro Reformer reporter for his June 23, 1893 article, that "They were given an honorable military burial near the barracks."

This position was convenient for rapid burial, and also downwind to help dispel any mal aria, or disease-promoting "bad air"---and slightly downhill from Camp Holbrook.

It seems likely that the pest house stood a distance east from the barracks cemetery. Soldiers could still visit deceased friends at the cemetery adjoining the camp, without having to venture too near to the pest house. This "barracks cemetery" must have been very near the present-day high school's obstacle race course.


The Pest House

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Woolen Mill Built In 1847

Elliot, Union, Williams, Flat, Birge Streets

Former Civil War Pest House In Foreground Used As Bleachery

On August 31, 1867 the Vermont Record And Farmer reported that "The old 'pest-house' on the grounds where the U. S. Military Hospital was situated, has been moved down near the Woolen Factory, there to be used as a bleachery."

The Brattleboro Woolen Factory stood close by bridge over the Whetstone Brook out Flat Street. The concern of Frost & Goodhue---contracted to supply the U. S. General Hospital---operated this woolen factory for years in the interests of the Jordan & Marsh Company, with John W. Frost as agent.

Frost & Goodhue purchased this woolen mill after the war in order to enlarge, repair, and set in steam power for use during low water. In the photograph from about 1888, the former pest house is surrounded by a lumber yard.


War Fever

Local Squibs.---A belligerant member of the community desires to know, if in the twenty days allowed them, the South neglect to hie to their "respective abodes," who's to blame if after that they get hi(gh)ed?

One of our closest analogists, argues that they who expect to fare Sumter-ously every day, always come to hard Pickens, sooner or later.

An urchin up town, who is up with the times, having heard his father pronounce the "quill mightier than the sword," procured a feather from his mother's duster, and with a half-peck of sliced potatoes, is practising faithfully the "pop-gun" drill. He awaits the Governor's requisition.

One of the early volunteers in this region, declared he'd been put under bonds twice within a year, for fighting; and he wanted just one chance to "sail in," without being answerable to a magistrate.

"Armed to the teeth," means more than we had supposed. A good stout son of Vulcan from hence, was rejected at the Navy Yard, because he lacked one front tooth wherewith to bite off cartridges.

A patriotic pupil of Mrs. Partington, from this village, declares her readiness to go South to make "partridges" and scrape "flint" for our soldiers. We're "glad she thought she felt she could do it."

"What a fall was there, my countrymen!" The walls of the "Academy," so lately decorated by the lavish hand of Art, now answer nightly to the tread of armed warriors eager for the fray.

Two young patriots in this village recently undertook to answer the scriptural question "Who by taking thought can add one cubit to his stature?" They stuffed pocket handkerchiefs into their stockings to bring their heads up to the requisite five feet four and one-half inches necessary for all volunteers. But, alas for their hopes! their innocent deception was discovered, and they were sent away empty.

Vermont Phoenix, May 9, 1861.


Brattleboro's Company "C"

Company C. of this village have removed their head quarters to Fayetteville, both for the economy of boarding and as a "means of grace" in the avoidance of the temptations incident to a large village. They are quartered at Wakefield's Hotel where they get good accommodations for $2.10 per week---the commutation price of their weekly rations. They marched from this village Sunday morning and were about four hours on their way, a distance of 12 miles.

The uniforms of the company are to be made in this village by Pratt, Wright & Co., and Cune & Brackett, in accordance with a pattern and of cloth furnished by the State. This course will ensure good work and promptness in their delivery. The soldiers are rapidly improving in drill under the constant instruction of their officers.

Vermont Phoenix, Thursday, May 31, 1861

The Home Guard now musters some fifty men, at company drills, and a considerable degree of precision is already attained by them in executing the first movements of the manual. An inspection of the arms of the company, would lead one to suppose that such a draining of the country around us of "shootin' irons," would afford the crows an unusual chance in the cornfields this season. 'T will be extremely unsafe for an enemy to dodge, if fair aim is taken at them with these.

We learn that less than fifty nurses have volunteered to share the perils of the campaign with the Guard; and while they are acquiring the "double-quick," we should judge that a competent surgeon, with a whole flock of these young Nightingales, could be kept employed in preparing shin-bandages and applying Russia-Salve.

[Tin of 'Redding's Russia Salve' in a box. Consists of a round tin containing brown ointment, with an embossed design on the lid depicting a battle scene [horse, gun, part of canon, officer treating injured soldier], scene also repeated on one side of the box. Name and address of manufacturer also embossed on the lid. Folded in the box is a leaflet with directions for use and a special notice of change to metal container . . .'We have now adopted a larger and improved metal container'.

In 1864, Harper's Weekly was running an advertisement for Redding's Russia Salve, a "happy combination" of yellow wax, sweet oil and glycerine produced by a Boston firm. The ad read: "A Real Pain Extractor. It reduces the most angry-looking Swellings and inflamations, heals old Sores, Wounds, Burns, Scalds, &c., &c., as if by magic. Only 25 cents a box." "Striving for Muscovite atmosphere, the Redding stamp, a one cent black, depicts a Cossack who has dismounted and is dressing the wounds of another Cossack while his horse stands beside them in the snow. A rifle leans dangerously against the horse".]


Windham County Sharp Shooters, August 19, 1861.gif

Recruiting Poster, August 19, 1861

Private Abraham H. Cooper

Abraham Hines Cooper enlisted in Brattleboro on September 11, 1861 for three years with the 1st United States Sharp Shooters, 1st Regiment, Company F. He was the son of Arad Cooper and Miranda Stebbins of Hinsdale, New Hampshire. Cooper was promoted to Corporal on May 1, 1862, and to Sargent on December 1, 1862.

At Gettysburg on July 2, 1863 toward midday, Sgt. Cooper followed his final orders to "Follow me, advance firing", and was killed in action during reconnaissance for Daniel Sickles' III Corps, near, or in the thick underbrush of Pitzer's Woods at the south extremity of Seminary Ridge in a short, hot skirmish with the Alabama 11th, 10th, and 8th Infantry.

A sharpshooter in the First Regiment describes capture by Confederates---

It is impossible for me to describe the slaughter we had made in their ranks. In all my past service, it beat all I had ever seen for the number engaged and for so short a time. They were piled in heaps and across each other. I got to where the surgeons were dressing the wounded, I saw hundreds of men there. The doctor would hardly believe there were so few of us fighting them, thought we had a corps, as he never saw lead so thick in his life as it was in those woods. But when I told him who we were, said that accounted for it, as he claimed the Sharpshooters were the worst men we have to contend with.

The four company 1st U. S. S. S sent about one hundred soldiers into Pitzer's Woods with breech loading Sharps rifles.


Assistant Surgeon Heman H. Gillett

Heman H. Gillett, Surgeon, 8th Vermont Volunteers.jpg

Heman Henry Gillett was born on May 22, 1823 to Henry Gillett and Hannah Wallace, in Thetford, Vermont. Dr. Gillett graduated from Dartmouth Medical School and moved to Corinth, Vermont, where he practiced medicine and represented Corinth in the State Legislature until the outbreak of the Civil War.

Dr. Heman Gillett was commissioned Assistant Surgeon in the 8th Vermont Volunteers on December 10, 1861, while in Montpelier. He left immediately to attend to the sick soldiers in Camp Holbrook in Brattleboro. Historian George N. Benedict describes---

Going into camp in the heart of a winter of unusual severity, many fell sick and Surgeon Gale and Assistant Surgeon Gillette, who had been commissioned on the 10th of December, found plenty of business on their hands. Within the first week in camp fifty men were placed in hospital. Measles and mumps ran through the regiment, and chills and fever and diptheria prostrated a few; but the men had good medical care and no deaths occurred.

Assistant Surgeon Heman H. Gillett departed Brattleboro with the Eighth Regiment on March 4, 1862.



Private Orwell Blake's 1862 Drawing Of Camp Holbrook


Camp Holbrook In February-March 1862

Sketch By Orwell Blake, Private, Co. A, 8th Vermont Regiment

Orwell Blake was born on February 25, 1836 in Phillips, Maine and enlisted from Eden, Vermont in Co. A, Eighth Vermont Regiment. He mustered in on February 18, 1862 at the rendezvous in Brattleboro, remaining here until his regiment departed on March 4, 1862.

Orwell Blake's sketch, made some time during his two weeks in Brattleboro, shows the remnants of the twelve-foot high snow drifts at Camp Holbrook, and barracks standing near the present Fairground Road before they were shifted farther west in the camp ground.

George N. Carpenter

"History of the Eighth Regiment Vermont Volunteers 1861--1865."

(Boston: Press of Deland & Barta, 1886).


Barracks Near Fairground Road

First Battery Of Light Artillery 8th Vermont Regiment

Cannon were fired on "Hospital Hill" to honor Abraham Lincoln.


Barracks later placed in a hollow square for the Hospital.

Soldiers' letters frequently refer to the tall pines.


Charles Jarvis Elijah Ross, Private, 4th Vermont Infantry, Company F.jpg

Charles Jarvis Elijah Ross

Charles Ross Diary

Charles Jarvis Elijah Ross was born January 14, 1841 in East Haven, Vermont, to Elijah Ross and Clarissa Walter. He enlisted in Grafton On September 14, 1861 and mustered in seven days later as a Private in the 4th Vermont Infantry, Company F. He transferred to the Veterans Reserve Corps on September 30, 1863, and mustered out January 19, 1865.

Charles Ross kept a diary during his residence in Brattleboro. He describes Camp Holbrook, and the slight inconveniences there, which were soon exacerbated and then turned chaotic during the severe winter. These conditions virtually forced the United States Army to establish the United States General Hospital here.

The Ross diary begins in 1861---

Sat. Aug. 16

Arrived at Brattleboro about 3 o'clock. . . I find the camp on a pleasant plane about a mile from town.

Sunday 17

A very pleasant day but a very unpleasant one for me being the first in camp. I fear I shall find many such days but I hope I shall not have any disposition to let fail my religious feeling. . . Wanted to go to church but could not get out of camp as we were called out to supper 4 of our men fell out as they were faint. I am tough as a horse.

Monday 18

Our Com. has been inspected today. Some have been thrown out. What my lot is I do not know. I have recd a Greatcoat, Blanket, Kanteen & Blowse from the Gov. also some shivering for my coat. I wish I could get in some place as I am not where I wish I could be.

Wednesday 20

I do not like the way I am tented. I would like to be in a tent with my own chosen comrades. I am feeling pretty mean and have the Wild-axe-handles, but I hope to get over it soon. I am pretty tired. Have drilled pretty well all day.

Thursday 21

Felt pretty mean this morning. Did not drill before breakfast but have done all my duty rest of the day. . . Think I shall like camp life as soon as I get used to it. I do not like so much swearing.

Saturday 23

Bought six pears & apples all cost .09 and also got one blanket marked for .05. . . Did not drill this morning before breakfast as I felt mean.

Monday 25

Did not get off duty till near 9 o'clock this morning. . . Did not sleep very warm last night. It was cold and foggy.

Tuesday 26

I should like to have it rain and settle the dust a little. . . We have one or two that are quite sick.

Thursday 28

We met with quite a loss in our company today. Our Capt. was promoted and we are left without a Capt. I am sorry for our com. and glad for the capt. Hartland & I got our pictures taken today for .75. We have had rain tonight all the camp is a float.

Friday 29

Did not sleep this last night very comfortable as I was wet at the legs. Have not done a great deal at company drill but have been on Battallion drill twice. Have spent for apples .03. I wished I had not eat them for I feel I shall have the wild-ax-handles.

Sunday 31

It has been quite pleasant all day. . . Went down to the river and had a good wash this forenoon. Attended the meeting this afternoon and heard a very good sermon from a good man.

September, Monday 1

It is raining quite hard and is quite disagreeable. . . Have been mustered into the U. S. service but did not receive any pay.

Tuesday 2

Have just received my first pay. . . I fear I shall sleep cold. Do not think much of this way of living.

Wednesday 3

Went down town this morning on dead dutys. one of our company had died and the company went down to escort his body to the depot. . . I am 24 years old to day another birthday I fear I never shall see.


Charles Ross wrote six diaries---one for every year from 1860-1865. His entries are all made with pencil. These diaries were owned by Carl A. Ross of Grass Valley, California.


The Barracks

Soldier's Houses.---Messrs. Lawrence Barnes & Co., of Burlington are constructing buildings for the use of soldiers, known as Soldier's Houses. They are each 24 feet long by 16 wide and about 8 feet in hight to the roof. On each side are either three or four tiers of bunks, and four bunks in a tier. These bunks are each 6 feet long by 4 wide and afford sleeping room for two soldiers, thus affording accommodations for 48 soldiers in those having three tiers to a side, and for 60 in those of four tiers. A space of 8 feet wide and 24 feet long contains a stove which warms the house, and ventilation is secured by openings in the gables. These houses are made to put up and take down without the use of nails, bolts or screws, being nicely fitted in their several parts after the manner of panel work.

We understand that the Governor has ordered five of thse houses to be delivered in Brattleboro for the use of the 8th Regiment, and if they are found to work well he will probably order fifteen more. After being used here they will be distributed among the several Vermont Regiments for hospital use, for which they are particularly valuable.

Vermont Phoenix, December 12, 1861.

Extract from the article.


Messrs. Frost & Goodhue, who, it is understood, have the contract for victualling the 8th or Col. Thomas' Regiment, are erecting suitable barracks in which to feed the men. The main building containing the tables will be enclosed, and well lighted and warmed. The soldiers will have no occasion to complain of rations or accommodations.

Vermont Phoenix, December 12, 1861.

John W. Frost and Frank Goodhue.


Brigadier Surgeon Edward E. Phelps


We learn that Dr. Edward E. Phelps of Windsor has been appointed Brigade Surgeon to Gen. Brook's brigade, which is composed of the Vermont 2nd, 3d, 4th, 5th and 6th Regiments. This is an excellent appointment, and it was procured upon the representations of the Governor, and at the earnest solicitation of our Congressional delegation.

Vermont Phoenix, January 2, 1862.

Dr. Edward Elisha Phelps was in Virginia with Gen. William T. H. Brooks, serving as Brigade Surgeon in the Peninsula during the spring and summer of 1862, when this photograph was taken in detail by George Harper Houghton. Dr. Edward E. Phelps was later appointed Surgeon in Charge at the Military Camp and the United States General Hospital in Brattleboro.


The Measles

There are a number of cases of measles among the troops already here, but a large and commodious dwelling house having been obtained for a hospital, the sick are well cared for.

Vermont Phoenix, January 2, 1862.


Camp Holbrook.

A visit to the encampment of the 8th Tuesday morning, convinced us that a regiment of troops can be encamped here in Vermont in the middle of the winter without detriment or without serious inconvenience. The soldiers' houses prove to be just what is wanted to insure the accommodation and comfort of the troops. The only possible source of danger in their use is their liability to be kept too warm, and thus lay the foundation for colds. A little experience and care will remedy this objection.

The men appear to enjoy themselves in camp. The care of their houses and of the camp, and an occasional company drill comprise the present range of their duties, but as the regiment becomes full more active service will become necessary. An examination of the culinary department satisfied us that it is in every respect far in advance of any other that has as yet been provided in this State. The men have well warmed, comfortable halls in which to take their meals, and are supplied with an abundance of fresh bread, excellent coffee and meat and meat and potatoes three times per day, with all the necessary adjuncts. They cannot with justice complain of their fare.

There are now six companies in camp, viz: Those recruited at Hydepark, Derby, Bradford, St. Johnsbury, Worcester and St. Albans. The company at West Randolph has been organized, and the one at Williamsville, in this county, will be ready for organization in a few days. We shall expect to see the regiment full in the course of next week.

Vermont Phoenix, January 9, 1862.


Light Artillery Arrives

Military Matters.---The 1st Battery of Light Artillery recruited for the 8th Regiment, arrived at Camp Holbrook on Monday. The company recruited at Townshend, Capt. Dutton, arrived on Saturday of last week, and the company from Williamsville, Capt. Lynde, arrived on Sunday.

The company recruited at Lunenburgh was inspected by surgeon Gale on Tuesday. An immediate organization will follow and the company will arrive in camp this week. This completes the 8th Regiment.

Vermont Phoenix, Thursday, January 23, 1862.


False Rumors.---We have recently learned that rumors that the small-pox is prevalent in the camp in this village are rife in the neighboring towns. Upon inquiring of Surgeon Gale of the 8th Regiment, who has charge of all the sick soldiers in town, we learn that there is not nor has there been a single case of small-pox in camp, hospital or village since the troops came here.

Vermont Phoenix, February 6, 1862.



Pvt. Melvin P. Kent

Worcester, Vermont

Eighth Vermont Regiment


"Charles Kent has sent ten sons and sons-in-law into the army. One of them fell bravely fighting at Petersburgh; one of them died in hospital; one is in Sloan hospital; and the rest are now at the front. What father can boast of more patriotic sons?"

Private Melvin Kent the carpenter may have helped build barracks in Brattleboro.


Dr. Charles S. Cooper

Here we donned our suit of blue, and were soon off for camp at Brattleboro. The company in which I served being the first on the ground was given the right of the regiment and was known as company A. Our camping ground was some distance south of the village, and high above it on a hill, where there was an abundance of room not only for our quarters, but for company and battalion drill. The place proved so well adapted for the purpose that it was kept as a rendezvous for State troops, till the close of the war. A man by the name Goodhue had a contract to furnish provisions for the regiment, and a large cookhouse and eating room were built in the shape of a capital H with the cook-room in the center, two sides being filled with long tables for the accommodation of eleven hundred and fifty men, a battery being in camp with us. The companies, however, had to furnish the cooks, with the exception of one who oversees the work.

Having enlisted as a cook, I was immediately sent to the cook-house, where things were done on a large scale. On one side were a row of boilers, where we made our coffee, it taking about twenty-five pails to supply the demands for each meal. In the center of the house was a long arch with three large sap pans, in which we fried our meat, made fish ball, etc. On the other side were large kettles, in which we boiled our potatoes, beans and codfish. Twice a week we had hash, the potatoes being chopped in half barrels with a barn shovel (a clean one, of course.) In reality we lived well, but the usual amount of grumbling had to be indulged in by the boys, as they had never seen hardtack or smoked sides, and but little corned beef.

One night, after being here a short time, nearly two-thirds of the regiment were suddenly taken sick. But were slightly affected, while others were nearly prostrated by the attack. By morning the very air seemed pregnated with curses. Indeed, it did not sound like the muttering of distant thunder, for, as the regiment was marched into the dining hall that morning, it was like the sudden bursting of a storm cloud, when peal on peal of thunder echoes and re-echoes till one stands aghast at the fury of the storm. They had all taken their places at the table and the cooks and waiters were making their rounds with loads of provisions, when the men gave one deafening yell and the air of those halls were filled with bread, potatoes, dishpans, plates, cups, etc., flying in every direction where a waiter could be seen, with curses on the man who drugged their coffee. As soon those articles were disposed of, they made a raid on the tables, and it was with difficulty the officers succeeded in getting them back to their quarters. If this was a little trick of the surgeon, as I have heard hinted, he accepted the warning and did not try it again.

The quarters of the men were portable houses with four or five tier of bunks on either side. They were most uncomfortable things in which to pass a long, cold winter.

March 4th 1862, we left camp Holbrook on the noon train for New Haven. Snow was at least three feet deep on a level and breaking camp was no small job, though all took hold with a will and the work was accomplished. At the appointed time we were on board the train and soon bade adieu to our native State, some, alas, forever.

In The Ranks; Or Reminiscences Of A Private, by Dr. Charles S. Cooper. Extract from his twenty-eight page manuscript, date of writing not known.

At eighteen years, Charles Cooper, blind in his right eye and with a roving disposition, enlisted on September 30, 1861. He was the son of Rev. Alden Spooner Cooper, Methodist Episcopal, and his mother was named Fanny. He nearly died of malaria in Louisiana. Dr. Charles S. Cooper died in May 1915.

The United States Sanitary Commission in July 1861 encouraged the new military policy for preventative medicine, especially in the use of quinine sulphate for the reduction of malaria. An acceptable dosage for some time had been three grains in a gill of whiskey once per day. It seems likely that the unseasoned Vermont farm boys at Camp Holbrook were objecting to quinine sulphate. Or to sulphate in the soup instead of in an alcoholic bitter?

Camp Holbrook and the U. S. General Hospital were remarkably in close with all Windham County residents, visitors, and vendors. Eugene Ferriter came from Ireland to sell his apples and ginger bread to the Union soldiers at the camp. Soldiers convalescent were seen to be sunning themselves on the long wooden benches on the Common.


Paddy Skirmish, Cat Soup, Hind Pox Vaccination

Private Justus F. Gale of Elmore, Company A, Eighth Vermont Infantry, posts a letter from Camp Holbrook [extract] to his brother Charles, dated February 7, 1862---

. . .last Monday 12 or 14 of our Co. went down to the ville & had a paddy skirmish they sumped all of the Reg down but our little squad had no trouble in the taking care of our selves. the Colonel & other officers searched three houses of the pats & found a barrel of rum & carried off, we had no severe trouble but see some les than forty great Irish women one of which I cha [r] ged bayonet on to keep her from passing the door that I guarded, we trooped around the ville til noon then had a good dinner to the tavern & went home, our fair is about the same, if any one likes to be confined on bread & watter or bread & stuf called coffee with poor butter once a day they can have enough of that, we have some very good meals but have hash about twice a day, if you could se them make their hash & cat soup it would make you vomit, they grind their meat in a saucage grinder which is turned by an irish-man and fed in about the same manner meat grissle ropes shirtflaps & all together. I swore of on harsh the first time that I tried it, our Co. has all been vaccinated for the hind pox this morning they say that they have got it down to the ville, [the small pox]. . .

Since the hind is a female red deer, and the "kine pox" refers to the cow pox vaccination, it appears that Private Justus Gale is confounding here, and calling the cow pox, the hind pox. This soldier died of disease on September 19, 1863.


Contraband Of War

Certain individuals in this village not having the fear of the law before their eyes, but being instigated and moved thereto by a greedy desire for gain, have at sundry times and in diverse ways sold liquor to the soldiers of the 8th Regiment, now in camp here. The consequence has been that sundry of these soldiers would get "tight" and thereby occasion much disturbance in camp. Therse facts coming to the notice of Col. Thomas he early requested those who are in the habit of keeping liquors in their establishments not to sell the same to the soldiers under his command. This request was generally complied with by our hotel keepers and others, but there were some who still persisted in selling to anybody that could pay for their grog. The consequence was that quite a number of soldiers were found drunk in the streets, and their behavior was such as to greatly annoy all decent citizens. At length things came to such a pass that, on Tuesday of last week, the Colonel took a file of men and, with his sword in one hand and a manuscript document in the other, he marched from the camp to the street and requested those who had sold liquors to his soldiers to sign a pledge not to sell any to the soldiers of his regiment, unless they brought a certificate from the Surgeon for that purpose. With one or two exceptions all who were called upon signed the pledge aforesaid. One of our landlords was contumacious; he wouldn't "sign away his liberties." The file of soldiers were ordered in and directed to bring out all the liquor they could find. As cask and demijohn were rolled into the street preparatory to their being emptied as "contraband of war," the landlord relented and to save his liquors reluctantly signed the paper. The original packages were then rolled in again, and the military left for their camp. We reckon our nighbors will do well to keep their pledge.

Vermont Phoenix, January 30, 1862.


The "Contraband" Spilled.---Deputy Sheriff Herrick, aided by a file of soldiers, searched the premises of three Irishmen on Elliot-street, in this village, on Tuesday morning, for "contraband" liquors. In Michael Lillis's house a part of a cask---the remains of a considerable investment---was found, which was seized and, after an inquest in proper form, was ordered to be spilled. It is probably that a large number of soldiers have been supplied from this source.

Vermont Phoenix, February 6, 1862.

Soldiers who sought to escape into the solaces of spirit could turn their murderous guns inboard, as Colonel Stephen Thomas well knew.

Captain Nickerson, who spent time at the Brattleboro hospital later in the war, submitted to a Vermont court martial for his responsible part in controlling, with violence, drunken soldiers in the railroad cars. Nickerson returned to the front from the U. S. General Hospital in Brattleboro, with a command of thirty-two men.


The 8th Vermont Hospital Library

Brattleboro, Feb. 1st 1862.

The Chaplain of the 8th Regiment acknowledges the receipt for the soldiers of several Bundles of pamphlets and papers at Mr. Steen's; Papers from Merchants on Main St., Machine Shop, and Melodeon Factory; Tracts (French and English) and papers from the pastor of the Methodist Church; Magazines and 200 valuable Illustrated and Pictorial Papers from E. J. Carpenter, Periodical Depot; Testaments from J. Steen, agent American Bible Society; A large number of papers from Editor Vermont Phoenix; A large package hymn books, tracts and books from American Unitarian Association; Pamphlets from pastor of the Congregational Church West Brattleboro; Copies from their offices of Vermont Chronicle; Christian Messenger; Christian Reporter; Christian Enquiries; Church Journal; Boston Pilot; Metropolitan Record; Congregationalist; Recorder. Also books, mittens, old linen and hospital stores from the Ladies Soldiers aid Society, and Young Ladies Sock and Mitten Club, Brattleboro; and magazines from sundry individuals, all which have been distributed to and very thankfully received by the soldiers.

Vermont Phoenix, February 6, 1862.


Algiers, La., Oct. 22, 1862.

Editor Phoenix: I write to thank those of our Brattleboro friends who contributed to the box of books sent to the Hospital of the 8th Vt., for their very acceptable gift. The convalescent and the wounded have suffered from the great lack of reading matter. To read is a relief to the wearied mind of the sick soldier; good reading may make his hours of gradual recovery a valuable opportunity for mental improvement; and the more active the mind the greater is the martyrdom of idleness and the greater the advantage of well chosen books. These which I have just received are precisely what is most needed. Their very variety makes them the better adapted to our use. For a man with a tedious wound the Illustrated Papers, sent, I have no doubt, by E. J. Carpenter, of the News Depot, are a source of amusement and interest one must see with his own eyes, perhaps experience in his own case, before it can be realized. Books are not to be had here, of course; the little local papers cost five cents each; and the New York dailies fifteen, twenty and twenty-five cents each; and, as we have not been paid excepting to April 30th, I assure you money is scarce indeed. Let our friends then feel that this box of books, which had some money value at home, is here above price, and is to comfort many a weary mind, and restore many a desponding spirit to cheerfulness and health. I now conside our hospital a model one, and I am glad to say that the records attest the fidelity and skill of all concerned. . .

Vermont Phoenix, November 6, 1862.

Chaplain Francis C. Williams letter in extract. The presence of Francis Williams had a direct bearing at all times upon the United States General Hospital at Brattleboro---even from the distant malarial swamps of Louisiana.


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Surgeon George F. Gale

Surgeon George F. Gale, Eighth Vermont Regiment.jpg

Dr. George Frederick Gale

This physician was responsible at one time for every sick soldier in Brattleboro. After the war, when asked what he considered to be his most important contribution, this surgeon replied simply that---he did his duty every day. The Civil War produced countless such reticent men, whose silence ever spoke volumes.

"Beloved Physician" appears upon Dr. George Frederick Gale's gravestone in the Prospect Hill Cemetery. An obituary in the Vermont Phoenix reflects his pride that

Upon the discovery of the germ theory Dr. Gale became intensely interested in it and continued researches along that line until he was considered an authority on bacteriology. Even in late years by reading and study he kept well abreast of the advances made in medicine and surgery, and was informed on all subjects relative to his life work.

Another obituary records that

For years Dr. Gale was interested in microscopic research and he possessed powerful lenses for this work. He was also the owner of one of the largest telescopes owned privately in New England, a gift to him through the will of his intimate friend, the late Gov. Fuller.

Surgeon George F. Gale.jpg

Dr. George Frederick Gale

Doctor From Brattleboro


Hospital Stores.---The Hospital of the 8th Regiment is greatly in want of suitable hospital stores, such as cannot be readily purchased in market, and for which dependence is placed upon the benevolent exertions of the ladies. The following is a list of articles most in request:

Bandages without selveges, shrunk, assorted and proportioned as follows:

1 doz-------1 1-2 inches wide--------1 yard long;
2---"--------2 1-2----"------"----------3-----"-------"
1-2---"------3 1-2----"------"----------5-----"-------"

Lint, scraped from old linen;

Old linen and cotton cloth;

Ring Pads, with openings from 3 to 8 inches in diameter;

Saddler's Silk, wound in cards;

Red Flannel, Linen Thread and Tape;

Cotton Red Shirts, 4 feet long, collar 17 inches long, to be open whole length in front and to fasten with 4 tapes on each side;

Cotton Red Shirts 3 feet long;

Loose Cotton Drawers, with drawing string at top;

Cotton Sheets, 4 feet wide and 80 inches long;

Pillow Cases, 1-2 yard wide and 1 yard long;

Towels, Handkerchiefs, Slippers and Socks.

All articles should be marked "Hospital 8th Vt. Vol," with indelible ink, and forwarded as soon as possible to Dr. Geo. F. Gale, Brattleboro, Vt.

Vermont Phoenix, February 13, 1862.


In A Predicament.

Late on Saturday evening the police of this village were called upon to suppress a disturbance at a house of ill-repute on Flat-street, occasioned by some of the soldiers of the 8th Regiment. The police declined to interfere unless accompanied by some of the proper military authorities. Accordingly the information was laid before Col. Thomas who, with suitable guard, proceeded to the aforesaid establishment and there captured a gay Lieutenant and sundry privates. The captive officer was ordered to report himself under arrest and the privates were sent to the guard house. Two of the privates escaped with one of the women by secreting themselves in the cellar. It is currently reported that these arrests were made upon information given by certain civilians, who had been temporarily supplanted in the affections of the inmates of this house by the aforementioned soldiers.

Vermont Phoenix, February 27, 1862.

Colonel Stephen Thomas.jpg

Colonel Stephen Thomas

Colonel Stephen Thomas confronted his spirited recruits. He knew that soldiers who contracted social diseases added to health burden at Camp Phelps and later at Camp Holbrook. Stephen Thomas' prompt and intelligent responses as an officer contributed its share toward encouraging the Vermont public in its characteristic benevolence displayed toward the encamped soldiers.

His presence was not forgotten in Brattleboro, and this reprinted article appeared in the Vermont Phoenix for March 4, 1864---

Col. Stephen Thomas, of the 8th Vermont regiment, returned to this Department on the Cahawba yesterday. The Col. passed through the campaigns in Louisiana with honor, until during the trying siege of Port Hudson his health failed and he was compelled to leave the field. At Port Hudson during the assault of the 27th May, Col. Thomas had a very singular escape. While leading his regiment in the attack on the right wing he was struck on the temple by a Minnie ball, the force of which had fortunately been expended in passing through the woods in which they were fighting. A slight scar was the only injury he received.

The Colonel will be welcomed back to New Orleans by hosts of warm friends.

Brigadier-General Stephen Thomas (1809-1903) received the Medal of Honor for his courage at Cedar Creek, Virginia on October 19, 1864 and for his "Distinguished conduct in a desperate hand-to-hand encounter, in which the advance of the enemy was checked".


Brigadier General Stephen Thomas


Capt. George N. Carpenter, Eighth Vermont Regiment.jpg

Captain George Nathaniel Carpenter

Eighth Vermont Regiment

The Savory Oyster Solution

To make a proper estimate of the case, it must be borne in mind that the regiment bivouacked in the middle of a Vermont winter of unusual severity, amid deep snows, when the thermometer ranged from ten to fifteen degrees below zero. Their only shelter was a lot of cheap sectional wooden houses, less convenient and comfortable than tents would have been. Their mess-house was a rough shed, and the hospital for the sick was but little better. . . .

The "winter of their discontent" was not unrelieved by amusing and pleasant experiences, as when Col. Thomas found in the village certain dealers who continued to supply "evil spirits" to his men, after being warned to desist. He did not wait for the slow and quibbling course of the prohibitory law, but confronted the offenders with a file of soldiers with fixed bayonets, and the sellers were glad to make satisfactory terms.

One day some mischief-loving assistant in the cook's department intimated to the boys that the meat that was cooking for dinner was hurt. Maj. Frank Goodhue heard the report and sought counsel of Quartermaster Smith as to the proper course to be pursued, for the exasperated boys threatened to pull down the cook-house. It was agreed that the regiment should be told, as they were falling in for dinner, to observe the quality of the beef, and if it proved to be bad and furnished by the caterer knowing its condition, they might raze his quarters to the ground. What shouts went up from the tables, when, on marching in, they found not only wholesome meat, but every man a bowl of savory oysters, hot from the suspected stew-pan. . . .

It is true that their ideas not unfrequently differed from those of the cook about the best way of preparing certain delicacies, but they were too well-bred and considerate to intrude their personal preferences upon his notice, unless they were exasperated by finding too much seasoning in the broth; and the only time that a strongly pronounced murmur escaped their lips was, when the surgeon tried to deceive them with sundry doses of "preventatives" surreptitiously mingled with the soup.

As already intimated, the winter of 1861-62 was one of unusual severity; snow began to fall very early in the season, and came to stay, for each new storm added to its depth, and the weather was extremely cold. To increase their discomfort, the portable wooden buildings in which the men were quartered were by no means fitted to resist the inclemency of such a winter, being constructed in a hasty manner, like summer houses at the beach. They were heated with large wood stoves, and the sleeping berths for the use of the men were ranged on each side, one above another. Through the day the occupants huddled together, and by burning a very liberal supply of fuel, managed to keep themselves comfortably warm, in an atmosphere reeking with the steam from damp garments, and tobacco smoke; but at night, when they had laid themselves away upon the shelves of bunks provided for them, and were disposed to sleep, it was found that a degree of heat necessary to keep those in the lower berths warm nearly suffocated their comrades in the dormitories over their heads. The natural result of this ill-conditioned regimen was that scores of boys fell sick with severe colds, and the surgeons not only had a little foretaste of army practice, but soon had a hospital full of patients; chills and fever attacked a large number, and shortly after the measles and mumps broke out in the camp.

George N. Carpenter

History Of The Eighth Regiment Vermont Volunteers. 1861--1865.

(Boston: Press of Deland & Barta, 1886).


Severe Winter 1861-1862

Snow in Wardsboro.---We learn that the snow in Wardsboro and the other western towns in this county, would average three feet and a half in depth the last of last week. The sleighing through Marlboro is now about as good as the average during the winter. In the mornings the farmers can go with their ox-sleds all over their farms, crossing fences, &c., with impunity. Such a state of things at this season of the year is the first in the experiences of the very oldest inhabitants.

Vermont Phoenix, April 17, 1862.


A friend in this town, who is "weather-wise" to that extent that he has kept a record of the amount of snow that has fallen each season for nearly forty years, informs us that since last autumn there have been twenty-seven snow storms in this vicinity, and that the amount of snow that has fallen measured as it fell nine feet and six inches. He also found by careful experiment in melting a section of snow of the average depth on the 1st of April, that it yielded and average of eighteen inches of water. With these facts in mind it is not difficult to determine the cause of the recent freshet.

Vermont Phoenix, April 24, 1862.

Israel Wood recorded the Brattleboro weather for the local newspapers, beginning in 1838. He was the son of Jabez Wood, an early settler in West Brattleboro in 1776. Israel was born on August 24, 1801 and died on July 12, 1889. The Wood farm remained in the family for four generations. Israel had four grandsons who fought in the Civil War.

The severity of this winter cannot be underestimated. These snow-falls produced the single greatest flood ever seen on the Connecticut River. In Camp Holbrook, the newly-enlisted soldiers were housed in barracks which were not well designed or constructed. Despite repeated glowing and approving notices in the Vermont Phoenix, these barracks were never used by the soldiers after they had dismantled and taken them south to Ship Island.


The number of feet of snow that has fallen the past winter up to March 1st: Nov. 7th 5 inches, Nov. 8th 3 inches, Nov. 30th 1 1-2 inches, Dec. 1st 1 1-2 inches, Dec. 6th 6 inches, Dec. 30th 10 inches, Dec. 31st 1 inch, Jan. 11th 5 inches, Jan. 14th 5 inches, Jan. 22nd 1 1-2 inches, Jan. 27th 3 1-2 inches, Jan. 29th 8 inches, Feb. 6th 6 inches, Feb. 10th 7 inches, Feb. 12th 6 inches, 15th 1 inch, Feb. 22nd 2 inches, Feb. 26th 1-2 inch, March 1st 6 inches; 67 1-2 inches. Measured by Israel Wood.

Vermont Phoenix, March 5, 1863.


Capt. Luman M. Grout


Fine Record In Two Wars.

Death of Major L. M. Grout,

Vermont's Last Survivor of Mexican War

Quelled Mutiny at Brattleboro Camp

When the war of the Rebellion broke out, his military experience was remembered, and he was given charge of recruiting work. But he soon decided to go himself to the front. He had been drilling a body of volunteers, which later became Company A of the Eighth Vermont, and his men refused to organize unless he would accept the captaincy of the company.

Captain Grout spent the winter of 1861-1862 in camp with his regiment at Brattleboro, where his only protection from the cold was that afforded by a canvas tent. Part of the regiment, dissatisfied with their quarters in portable sheds, planned to leave the camp. On the very night when the plan was to be carried out, and within a few minutes of the time set, Captain Grout overheard a conversation which revealed the scheme to him. Hastening to a point where a sentry was stationed in a narrow passage cut through a snowdrift 12 feet deep, he relieved the soldier of his rifle and took the post himself.

"Go to the first lieutenant of my company," said the captain, "and tell him to bring the men here at once on the double quick." But before the company reached the spot the dissatisfied men, 600 strong, appeared. Captain Grout faced them. "Not a man passes," said he, "except over my dead body." A few thrusts of his bayonet held them back until the arrival of his men, when the rebellious volunteers were quickly driven back to their quarters, unarmed as they were.

Brattleboro Daily Reformer, December 11, 1913.

Capt. Luman M. Grout called for his First Lieutenant Moses McFarland---


First Lieutenant Moses McFarland

Waterville, Vermont

Following this failed mutiny, arrangements were made to provide the soldiers with more basic protection from the elements.


A model of simplicity and fair dealing, was the gathering in aid of the wounded soldiers, on Wednesday evening of last week. Neither grab-bag or ring-cake schemes allured, nor did fortune-telling or the postage on sentimental letters, empty the pockets of any. A short speech or two in explanation of the needs-be in the case, a few patriotic songs, and a marching of the crowd up to the contribution-box, left time for all to be at home before nine o'clock. The sum of sixty-four dollars was realized---the gross receipts being the net proceeds.

Vermont Phoenix, May 1, 1862.


Lorenzo D. Keyes

Killed.---Lorenzo D. Keyes of this village formerly a hotel keeper in Marlboro, and teamster of the Windham County Company 1st Vermont Cavalry, was shot from a baggage wagon in his care during the retreat of Banks' command. He leaves a wife and three children. We do not learn of any other casualties to this Company.

Vermont Phoenix, June 5, 1862.


Lorenzo D. Keyes of this village, who joined the Regiment of Vermont Cavalry, and was reported killed during the famous retreat of Gen. Banks, we are happy to learn is yet alive. He was taken prisoner and for a long time his friends had no tidings from him. He has been released and is now with his Regiment. On his return to his comrades he showed symptoms of having received very hard usage.

Vermont Phoenix, October 23, 1862.


Lorenzo D. Keyes enlisted on September 10, 1861 and mustered in on November 19, 1861 with Company F, First Vermont Cavalry. He was taken prisoner at the battle of Cedar Creek and confined two months on Belle Island, then transferred to Winchester prison for two months and then exchanged on September 13, 1862. Keyes endured "hard usage"---

When he was released he was a physical wreck. Hundreds of prisoners died near him, and but for one fortunate circumstance he would have lost his own life. Just before he was taken prisoner he found on the ground some matches which a comrade had thrown away because they were wet. Few of the other prisoners had matches with which to light their tobacco, so by exchanging these matches Mr. Keyes kept himself supplied with tobacco, and he had often said that it was this tobacco that kept him alive until he was released.

He served out the remainder of his time as a wagoner for officers, driving six horses. Upon his return to Brattleboro he bought a milk route of Stewart Pratt, and afterward he bought the Boyden farm in Brattleboro near the Guilford line. He continued his milk business about 20 years.

Vermont Phoenix, February 24, 1899.


Lorenzo D. Keyes was born in Charlemont, Massachusetts on October 17, 1820, one of eight children of Calvin Keyes. Working as a stage-driver, Keyes married Velonia P. Day of Chesterfield, New Hampshire in 1848. He died at the age of seventy-eight on February 18, 1899, suffering greatly from an intensification of the rheumatism which he had endured ever since his mustering out.

After mustering out on November 18, 1864, Lorenzo Keyes' farm was located south of the U. S. General Hospital, along the old road to Guilford. The Vermont Record for May 24, 1866 describes an unusual practice---

L. D. Keyes, milk peddler, had a load of milk unloaded last Friday morning in quicker time than usual. His horse became restive when near W. S. Newton's store, and the contents of several cans were emptied upon the ground.


Fair Hands And Kind Hearts


Second Lieutenant

Alfred Cowles Ballard

Ninth Vermont Regiment

On our way back with our guns---and some had two---and, by the way, I had two more than belonged to me---we halted to rest in a pleasant shade by the road side, and while there we were assailed by a detachment of fair women and fairer girls, armed with pails of clear, cold water, and sparkling glasses, and each soldier drank his own health, and I doubt not, asked a blessing on the head of the giver of the refreshing draught---and as I watched them ministering to the wants of those strange soldier boys, I could not but think, that among them all, they might have fathers and sons, and husbands, and brothers, and lovers far away in some sunny and more unhealthy clime---and if so, may they in their greater need than ours, find as fair hands and kind hearts to minister to them, as we on that afternoon, when we first begot our guns.

Rutland Herald, July 1, 1862.

This is an extract from the soldier's longer letter.

First Lieutenant Alfred Cowles Ballard was native to Tinmouth, Vermont and was twenty-seven years old when he wrote this. For two years before the war he had taught school in Clarence, New York, east of Buffalo.

Company B was returning from Brattleboro, armed with "old smoothbore Belgian muskets" on Friday, June 27, 1862 when it met the Brattleboro women.


Pvt. John Wheeler

John Wheeler, Drum Major of the 4th Vermont, arrived home last week on a furlough of thirty days. He accidentally wounded himself in one foot while cleaning his pistol. John is now in good condition otherwise than his wound, although he has lost over one hundred pounds of flesh while serving his country on Virginia's sacred soil.

Vermont Phoenix, July 17, 1862.


Arrested.---Sergeant John Wheeler of Co. F, 4th Vermont, was arrested by order of Maj. Austine, United States Mustering and Disbursing Agent for Vermont, on Saturday last, for obtaining a furlough as a commissioned officer, and taken to Fort Columbus, New York. The government is wisely looking up the soldiers who are away from the army without leave and under false pretences.

Vermont Phoenix, July 24, 1862.


Private John Wheeler of Brattleboro was a blacksmith by trade when he enlisted on August 24, 1861 and was mustered in on September 21, 1861. Wheeler served as Sergeant in Co. F, and was promoted to Drum-Major on May 1, 1862. He was dishonorably discharged on July 26, 1862 by sentence of the General Court-Martial.

John Wheeler reenlisted in Co. F as a substitute for Clark Pierce of Wardsboro on July 31, 1863 and was subsequently promoted to Quartermaster-Sergeant September 21, 1864 before being reduced on February 3, 1865 and finally transferred to Co. A on February 25, 1865. Wheeler's final desertion is recorded for March 2, 1865.

John Wheeler served as a soldier. He knew the possible consequences for desertion, for the Vermont Phoenix for December 26, 1861 states that

Private John Wheeler of Co. F, 4th Vermont Volunteers, has sent to one of his friends in this village a piece of a newspaper stained with the heart's blood of the first deserter and traitor shot by order of our military officers. This "memorial" is posted in Lilley's saloon.

John Wheeler was the son of John H. Wheeler and Lucy Fisk, who were married on February 14, 1821 by Rev. Jonathan McGee, pastor of the Church on the Common. John Wheeler was born on August 28, 1839. The father died on August 26, 1848. Before the war John Wheeler was described as a promising blacksmith, with a new shop on Main Street with a partner.

Private John Wheeler, divorced, died quite suddenly on April 12, 1871 at age thirty with cerebral congestion from alcoholism. The Vermont Phoenix for April 14, 1871 describes the "young man of dissipated habits, formerly well known in this vicinity". Soldier John Wheeler is buried in the Prospect Hill Cemetery.

Not all men are given to be successful soldiers, and as with all else,

"They jest at scars, who never felt a wound."


Wounded and Missing Soldiers.---Dr. W. I. Sawin, an Assistant Surgeon in the Vermont Brigade, and one of the prisoners recently released from Richmond, has furnished the Watchman with a full list of prisoners taken by the rebels in the recent battles before Richmond. It embraces those wounded in the battles and those who were sick, and the names of those detailed as nurses. From the list we extract so much as relates to soldiers from this county and vicinity.

Among the sick were Robert Burrington of Whitingham, a private in Co. B, 4th Regiment, and H. F. Hartwell of Bellows Falls, a private in Co. K, 4th Regt.

Henry L. Lamb of Newfane, a private in Co. C, 2nd Regiment, was employed as a nurse.

J. A. Shippee of Wilmington, a private in Co. A, 2nd Regt. was wounded in his right thigh.

E. J. Carpenter of Newfane, a private in Co. C, 2nd Regt. was wounded in his thigh.

Danforth Bugbee of Dover, a private in Co. C, 2nd Reg. was wounded in both thighs.

Of these Shippee has been released on parole. The others will probably be exchanged or paroled as soon as they are able to leave.

Vermont Record, August 7, 1862.


Orderly Sergeant J. Warren Hyde

We are pained to learn by telegraph of the death of another brave soldier who went out at the call of the government to fight the battles of his country.

Warren Hyde the only son of William Hyde Esq., of this village died on the 25th of July. Many of our readers will remember him as the fair faced active lad, the first and foremost in every feat of strength and daring, and filling acceptably at an early age a responsible position in the Bank of Brattleboro. Those who have followed his career since have learned that his early manhood has not belied the promise of his youth---accepting and discharging with distinguished ability an honorable and responsible place in Chicago, winning the regard and respect of all who knew him. He left it freely and asked only a private's place in the mercantile Battery of that city---where true men were needed. Frequent letters to his friends here have breathed of manliness, courage, and patriotism, when his battery lay under the strong walls of Vicksburg---and his last written but a day or two after the fall of that strong hold, spoke enthusiastically of the prospect of their success to which he and his battery were being led.

We do not know how he died---by shot or shell---or by western fever which is depleting so many of our regiments. We are sure that whether it was on the field or in the hospital---he died like a man---and that his friends have an invaluable legacy in his character which was brave and true and noble.

Vermont Phoenix, August 6, 1863.


Orderly Sergeant Hyde.---The remains of J. Warren Hyde, Orderly Sergeant of the Mercantile Battery, passed through this city yesterday en route to his relatives in the East. Formerly in the employ of the Joliet and Chicago Railroad Company, he left a lucrative salary and enlisted as a private. Of a daring nervous temperament, his courage in the field won for him the respect of his superior officers, and elevated him to the rank he held at the time of his death. A letter from Capt. White, of the Battery, says:---

"He was a good man and a brave soldier, and his death has filled the hearts of his comrades with sorrow, as he was beloved by all that knew him. He died in his country's service, and his grave should show it."

His illness was very short, and the first intimation that his parents received was the sad telegram that all that remained of their only son was on its last journey home. In their bereavement they have the sympathy of a host of Western friends, to whom the deceased had endeared himself during his residence in Chicago. He was a native of Brattleboro, Vt.---

Chicago Tribune.

Sergeant Hyde died of dysentery, near Vicksburg, July 25th. His remains were enclosed in a metallic case and forwarded by his Captain, reaching Brattleboro on the 6th inst. The obsequies were held in the Unitarian Church on Sunday last. The hearse was draped with the National Flag, and was accompanied by a military escort, six members of the Hydropath Engine Company acting as pall bearers. Following the relatives and immediate friends of the family, were the Hydropath Engine Company, of which the deceased before he left town was a valued member, and the Mazeppa Engine Company, both in full uniform. The Cadets of Mr. Mile's School in strict military order closed this imposeing procession. During the march to the grave the Drum Corps of the 16th Regt. Vt. Vols. played an appropriate dirge arranged for the occasion.

Vermont Phoenix, August 13, 1863.


The Festival in this Village on Wednesday evening Aug. 6th by the Ladies Aid Society, was a complete success. There was realized the very handsome sum of $530, which is to be appropriated for the sick and wounded soldiers. Blessings be on the heads of the patriotic women.

Vermont Phoenix, August 14, 1862.



Green-Wood Cemetery, Brooklyn, New York City

Drummer Boy From Brattleboro

Charles Conrad Foster, who at the age of nine years served as a drummer boy with a Vermont regiment during the Civil war, died suddenly Monday at his home, 275 Court street, Brooklyn borough, New York, of apoplexy. Mr. Foster was born in Brattleboro 61 years ago. After the war ended he went to Brooklyn, where he located permanently and engaged in the printing business. He was captain of the 1st corps of the White Cross Hospital Relief association, whose station is at Rockaway Beach, and a member of the Star of Bethlehem lodge of Masons. Three daughters survive. He was affiliated with U. S. Grant Grand Army post, and his body was escorted to the tomb in Greenwood by a detachment of his comrades, who beat "taps" over his grave and fired the customary burial musket salute.

Brattleboro Reformer, Thursday, September 17, 1914.
"Death Of Drummer Boy.
Charles Conrad Foster of Brooklyn Was Native of Brattleboro."


Drummer boys beat all the different calls which coordinated the soldiers and their movements, and signalled their officers' intentions. Drums called officers to sudden strategy meetings during battle. They beat the Call to Battle, March, Morning Call, Assembly, and Execution.

Drummers served as orderlies, as runners between outposts, as stretcher-bearers, cared for the wounded, carried water, foraged for firewood, rubbed down horses. Drummer boys could turn the tide of any conflict simply by standing straight and not running, or by picking up the fallen colors. Forty thousand drummer boys served in the Union army.


Camp Holbrook.---The 8th Regiment will, so far as the companies are organized, commence life in camp about a mile south of this village and a hundred rods southwest of the site of "Camp Phelps" of the 1st Regiment, at "Camp Holbrook." The ground is dry and well sheltered from the strong winds that usually prevail at this season of the year. The tents and soldiers' houses have arrived, and the latter are put up. The tents are of the pattern known as the James's or Butler Tent, and they are in every respect of utility, convenience and comfort superior to any in use by Vermont troops. The Governor has as yet ordered but five of the soldier's houses, each of which is 24 feet by 16, and will accommodate 64 soldiers with sleeping room, but if these give satisfaction a full supply will be forth-coming. Messrs Frost & Goodhue of this village have been assigned the duty by Col. Thomas and Quartermaster Smith of feeding the regiment. For this purpose they have erected two buildings, each 150 feet by 24 and containing four rows of tables lengthwise, connected by a cross building in the middle like the letter H, in which the cooking is done boilers, stoves and pans extemporized for that purpose. The camp is supplied with the excellent running water for which our village is famous. These arrangements have been examined by men thoroughly acquainted with the service, and are pronounced the best ever seen in Vermont, and fully adequate to all the requirements of the troops. It will probably be from four to six weeks before the Regiment will be in readiness for moving forward and vessels will be ready to transport them.

Vermont Phoenix, August 28, 1862.


William Gould

For many years he was much employed by the Vermont and Massachusetts railroad company, also the Connecticut River and Valley railroads, in constructing their station water works, and overcoming hydraulic difficulties, for which he had a special genius. During the war he was employed to construct the works for the supply of water to the United States hospital, located here, which he did, greatly to the satisfaction of the Government authorities, by means of a water ram.

Vermont Phoenix, February 19, 1886.

Extracted from Dr. Joseph Draper tribute to William Gould.

This hydraulic ram provided by William Gould forced water uphill, from the considerable pond which lay directly south from the U. S. General Hospital---


Richardson Farm Pond

William F. Richardson sold land to the United States government for the Brattleboro Hospital. His pastured cattle grazing south from the hospital along the old road to Guilford provided the soldiers with milk, meat, and leather. He sold a prize horse to Chaplain Crawford.

Following the war, this pond was a successful trout farm, until an earthquake in 1891 broke the dam at the lower end, with catastrophic consequences for the trout.

This pond was the place that Stephen Greenleaf, Senior chose for his first store in Vermont---outside of the Fort Dummer trading post. Greenleaf started business here in 1771. A road crossed the meadows from Fort Dummer, climbed the hillside to the pond, then turned to the southwest toward East Guilford.

Venter's Brook, later Cascade Brook, could be named for Cornelius Van der Venter, a wealthy Dutch merchant at Fort Orange, later Albany, New York. Dutch merchants sent their factors with Mohawk allies---during times of peace---to trade at Fort Dummer. The pond may have been convenient for their operations.


Chaplain Francis C. Williams

The Chaplaincy of the 8th Regiment.---The appointment of the Rev. F. C. Williams, Pastor of the Unitarian Society of this village, to the Chaplaincy of the 8th Regiment, is peculiarly appropriate when we consider the nature of the duties pertaining to that office. Besides, Mr. Williams belongs to one of the usually called "liberal" denominations, none of which have before been represented in this branch of the service. He evidently believes in the church militant as initatory to the church triumphant, for since the first call for troops his services in his professional capacity have been at the command of the executive, during which time he has regularly drilled in the ranks of the "Home Guards" as an example to others and as a means of fitting himself for military duties and discipline. He is an uncompromising foe to the rebellion, a true patriot, and in his new field of labor he will, we venture to predict, preach, pray or fight with equal fervency, giving his preference to whichever branch of the service seems at the time and under the circumstances of the case most necessary. We hardly think he can run.

Vermont Phoenix, August 28, 1862.

"We hardly think he can run."

Rev. Francis Charles Williams died at his home in Brookline, Massachusetts at the age of eighty-six on November 27, 1910.

The Chaplain of the Eighth Vermont Regiment was born in Boston on November 2, 1824 to Francis J. Williams and Mary Brimmer Holbrook.

After Harvard University and a year in Europe, Francis Williams proceeded to study at Cambridge Divinity School. Ordained in 1850, his first parish was at North Andover, Massachusetts, followed by the Unitarian pastorate at Brattleboro, Vermont. Rev. Francis Williams was an Abolitionist.

Chaplain Williams' letters from the trenches before Port Hudson, Louisiana, dated June 7 and June 13, 1863 were printed in the Vermont Phoenix for July 2, 1863---

This ground around Port Hudson, on our front of six miles extent, is rough, gullied, cumbered with tangled undergrowth and logs, and for the most part thickly wooded---in short, adapted most perfectly by nature for rifle defence. . .

The country is very much like that about Broad Brook, rough, wooded, and full of ravines. We are on the edge of a deep gully firing on the rebels in the next who return the compliment fully.

Another document of more lasting value is the Rev. Francis C. Williams' "Discourse" before the Eighth Vermont Regiment in hospital in New Orleans. This was printed in Brattleboro in the Vermont Phoenix for November 13, 1862.

This discourse was critically timed, to be considered by the residents in Brattleboro when the United States General Hospital was first under construction---and under considerable doubt as well.

This lengthy and complete "Discourse" by the Rev. Francis C. Williams, Chaplain for the Eighth Regiment Vermont Volunteers, is printed here as the final entry. Doubtless that this "Discourse" set a general policy for the United States military and medical presence in Brattleboro.

The presence of Chaplain Francis Charles Williams---this courageous, devout, clear-sighted, and worthy servant of God---was central to the success of the Eighth Regiment, and to the final healing power displayed by the Civil War hospital in Brattleboro.


The Barracks

The Barracks.---The construction of the barracks on the camp ground is going on rapidly. We understand that the contract was to have fifty buildings erected, each large enough to accommodate a company of one hundred men, and as many smaller buildings adapted to cooking purposes, with twenty buildings for the officers. They are in a state of forwardness, and some of the barracks are occupied. They will furnish very comfortable quarters for the men while they are obliged to remain there. But we understand that the plan of having the five new regiments remain there to be drilled for an indefinite time has been changed, and that orders have been received from the War Department to have the regiments sent forward as soon as they can be got ready. In this case the whole number of the barracks will not be needed, and we presume will not be built. This arrangement too will, we suppose, give Col. Stoughton an opportunity to return to his regiment who must have regretted exceedingly the necessity of his absence during the severe battles in which they have been engaged, and in which his courage and skill would have been of invaluable service. We are glad to learn that his health is restored.

Vermont Phoenix, September 25, 1862.

Isaac K. Allen enlisted on September 19, 1861 and mustered in two days later. He was a carpenter and built the barracks for Camp Holbrook, and is remembered for "superintending the building, the Hospital building at Brattleboro, Vermont". In the seven day retreat from Richmond, Isaac Allen earned sergeant's stripes bravery.

"I deem the most important event during my service was going back to get Hospital knapsacks that had been left by others at White Oak Swamp, while the bullets were flying. And another at Antietam of going after wounded comrades between the lines of battle during the firing."

After the war Isaac K. Allen lived in Brattleboro as a carpenter and conducted a lumber dealership. He died at age eighty-one in his house at No. 1 Spring Street on November 3, 1913.



Vermont Quarter-Master George Franklin Davis

In getting ready for troops here, one Sunday morning Quartermaster General Davis rang our door bell, and when my father went to the door, he said: "Mr. Estey, the Governor has ordered me to fit barracks for the troops coming here this week, and I shall have to take that part of your works necessary for getting out the material for our use." So on our way to church planers and saws were humming as if it were a week day, and everything was ready when the regiments arrived.

Abby E. Estey
Daughter of Jacob Estey and Desdemona Wood
Wife of Gov. Levi K. Fuller

Mrs. Levi K. Fuller, "Addresses; Given by Mrs. Levi K. Fuller Before the Brattleboro Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution". Foreward by Clara E. Powell. Published in 1928. Abby Estey also read this paper before the Daughters of the War of 1812, at the house of Mrs. Ada Dowley on Tuesday, January 21, 1913. She called this paper at this time, "Brattleboro in Civil War Times".

The Estey residence was on Canal Street, near the Estey Organ Works buildings along Birge Street. Vermont Quarter-Master General George Franklin Davis came down Hospital Hill to see Jacob Estey.


Accident.---We learn that Lorenzo Kidder of Randolph, a soldier who was detached to work on the barracks in this place, met with a serious accident on Tuesday last Nourse's plaining mill in this village. While working at the matching machine in said mill his hand was caught in the machine and the two middle fingers were entirely cut off and his hand otherwise mutilated. His hand was dressed by the surgeon and he properly cared for. His courage is yet good, and he hopes that the accident will not deprive him of the privilege of going to battle for his country.

Vermont Phoenix, October 2, 1862.

Lorenzo D. Kidder, the son of Daniel and Sarah A. Pierce, was born July 30, 1838. He mustered in on October 23, 1862 with the 16th Vermont, Co. H, and served until his desertion recorded on January 19, 1863.


Civil War Letter, Henry A. Carpenter, 11th Regiment, Co. E, Vermont Volunteers.jpg

Pvt. Henry Addison Carpenter, Newfane, Vermont

Care Capt. Hunt

Capt. John Hunt, Vernon, Vermont

October 29, 1862

Civil War Letter Envelope, Henry A. Carpenter, October 29, 1862.jpg


We learn that there are at present twenty-three soldiers sick at the hospital in the camp near our village. They have very comfortable quarters and are kindly cared for. Only three or four are very sick, and most of them are recovering. Only one ward of the hospital is finished and occupied, the other will be finished soon. The building is large and conveniently arranged, and when completed will accommodate a large number of patients.

Vermont Phoenix, November 6, 1862.


Death On A Train

A soldier belonging to the 5th Vermont Regiment, who had been sick for some time in the hospital at Washington, came to the Wesselhoeft Water Cure a few days ago, where he was tenderly cared for; and being very anxious to reach home alive, Mr. Marshall started with him last Saturday on board the cars, to go to Burke, his home; but the poor fellow breathed his last before he reached the place he so much desired once more to see. His name was Hurbert. Two other disabled and discharged soldiers were on board the same train on their way home.

Vermont Phoenix, November 6, 1862.

Azor Marshall came to Brattleboro after marrying the sister of the proprietor of the old Wesselhoeft Water Cure buildings, Parker B. Francis. The spelling of the dying soldier's name was probably Hurlburt, Hurlbert, or Hurlbut.


The Revere House

A Card.---The undersigned hereby tender their heart felt thanks and gratitude to H. C. Nash, Esq., Proprietor of the Revere House and his family of Brattleboro, Vt., Mr. Kimball his clerk, and Messrs. Snow, Bennett and Whitman, boarders at the Revere House for the great care and attention bestowed upon their son Charles N. Godfrey, a member of Company A, 14th Vermont Volunteers who died at the Revere House on the 7th inst. Also to Mr. and Mrs. John Ray, Mr. and Mrs. James Fisk and Dr. Horton of Brattleboro, who by their unremitting attentions and kind offices rendered the sufferings of their son all the alleviations and comforts that could have been found in a father's home. May the blessings of Heaven rest upon them and theirs, and when called to pass through like afflictions may they be surrounded by such kindness and sympathy as was this afflicted family, is the prayer of a bereaved Father and Mother.

S. L. Godfrey, Jr.,

Ruth S. Godfrey

Bennington, Nov. 12, 1862.

Vermont Phoenix, November 13, 1862.


Henry C. Nash was the Proprietor of the Revere House.

John Ray conducted a livery stable and transported the wounded and their families.

James Fisk, Sr. was a far more honest and respected merchant in Brattleboro than his suffering-for-profit inflicting son, James Fisk, Jr., the financial manipulator. Fisk senior invented a safety harness for horses that prevented runaway accidents, and brought a new-fangled lightning rod to Windham County, earning with it genuine public gratitude.


A Card.---The undersigned would take this method to express to the ladies of Brattleboro his high sense of their kindness and liberality to those soldiers who have been overtaken with sickness at this port. In additon to much kindness bestowed upon those who were taken sick while our hospital accommodations were necessarily very deficient they have contributed at times very largely towards the subsistence of the patients in the hospital. I ought also to acknowledge the receipt from the same source of much and valuable hospital equipage and furniture, and lastly in behalf of the sick themselves I would acknowledge the comfort and benefit that they have administered in their kind visits to the hospital under all its varied shapes from the rough shanty which could not exclude entirely the rain to our present commodious and perfect building which can supply all the requisites of even the most costly structures.

Edward E. Phelps, Brig. Surg. U. S. A.

Surgeon in Charge of Vt. Mil. Hosp.

Brattleboro, Vt., Nov. 25, 1862.

Vermont Phoenix, November 27, 1862.


Surgeon Benjamin F. Ketchum


Surgeon Benjamin F. Ketchum

Dr. Benjamin F. Ketchum was commissioned Surgeon in the 10th Vermont Volunteers on September 19, 1862 and mustered in on October 4, 1862. He was detailed to organize the military hospital in Brattleboro, along with Dr. Edward E. Phelps. Later Dr. Ketchum established the hospital for the 12th Vermont Regiment at Fairfax Court House, Virginia.

Dr. Ketchum lived in Brattleboro following the war in a house on High Street with rooms for his practice and surgery.


Vermont Military Hospital,

Brattleboro, Vt., November 19, 1862.

To the Ladies of Vermont:---

. . . .As the Military Hospital here is not yet in position to draw its equipage and stores from Government, it has been thought best to appropriate temporarily at least a small portion of the above articles which is acknowledged below, viz:

162 sheets, 78 pillow cases, 41 quilts, 6 bed sacks, 22 flannel blankets, 14 dressing gowns, 8 flannel shirts, 50 handkerchiefs, 210 towels, 3 chair cushions, 24 prs. woolen socks, 20 prs. slippers, 5 hop pillows, 12 straw pillows, 5 feather pads, 8 cotton pads, 6 bran pads, 12 napkins, 51 pillows, 5 prs. flannel drawers, 6 prs. cotton drawers, 3 coverlets, 14 window curtains, 22 books, 1 lot magazines and papers, 5 chairs, 1 back gammon board, 1 bottle honey.

With this equipment in addition to a supply of blankets furnished us by Gen. Davis we are now able to supply the wants of 50 patients. In conclusion I would take this opportunity to express an opinion that the ladies of our State have not been behind any of our sister states in their liberality to the sick and wounded and must repeat what I have said before in other communications that they have greatly alleviated the hardships and sufferings of our brave soldiers who have so truly imperiled their lives in this war.

Edward E. Phelps, Brig. Surg. U. S. A.,

Medical Director for Vermont.

Vermont Phoenix, November 27, 1862.

These are the concluding paragraphs, extracted from Surgeon in Charge Edward E. Phelps' report, which details the supplies sent to the Vermont Quarter-Master George F. Davis for distribution to the regiments in the field. Surgeon Phelps is reporting that Vermont supplies have been reserved for the U. S. General Hospital in Brattleboro.

Unfortunately for the historical record, Surgeon Phelps did not record how the sick and wounded soldiers put to use the back gammon board. One must imagine its popularity during the long winter evenings around the wood stove in the barracks.


Treatment For Boredom

A man by the name of Staples got "tight" yesterday and, unlucky for him, soon found himself in a tight place. Policeman Wait had to thumb Staples' neck before he could cool him down sufficiently to lock him up. Staples howled like a mad wolf, and swore vengeance on every body and the rest of mankind---swore he would burn up the Town Hall, and all its inhabitants whether dumb or human. In the evening smoke came streaking up from the basement, and going down it was found Staples had set fire to his duds, and was wheezing and blowing "like a porpoise, and shouting as well as he could---"for-God-sake-let-me-out." The fellow was soon relieved "from durance vile," and led into the open air, and told to start his boots, and away he went up High street with such velocity that his coat-tail stuck out straight behind. The fire could have done no injury except to strangle Staples, and that would not have been much.

Vermont Phoenix, November 27, 1862.

There were a dozen Vermont soldiers named Staples in the war. And Daniel W. Staples, who enlisted from New Hampshire, is listed among the sick at the U. S. General Hospital at Brattleboro on January 25, 1863. Daniel Staples was discharged disabled on March 16, 1863.


Take Notice.---Wm. H. Hadley, special agent of the U. S. Sanitary Commission, will address the citizens of Brattleboro on Thurday evening 11th, at 7 o'clock at the Chapel of the Central Church. His object is to give information and to state interesting facts in relation to the wants of our soldiers in hospitals, and the objects and doings of the Commission in relation thereto, and to thank our people for what they have done. We hope that all interested in this work (and who is not?) will be present to hear Mr. Hadley.

Vermont Phoenix, December 11, 1862.


The Hospital For Soldiers


With a friend, during the past week we paid a visit to Dr. Phelps, U. S. A., Surgeon in charge of the Vt. Mil. Hospital which is just being completed by the Federal Government at a mile south of this village. The site is near the south western angle of the large elevated plain whereon a few weeks ago, was camp Holbrook and where the barracks yet remain. It is a fine site, airy enough and yet protected from violent winter winds by the wooded knoll at its rear, and the parade ground half a mile square lying in front and toward the river. The ground is dry and porous, falling off on each side of the building, abundant water being furnished from a brook near by. The house is not a costly affair but of good plan and serviceable structure. The planning of this and superintendence of its building have been no small part of Dr. Phelps's duties while here, some score of invalid soldiers having been under his care during the time. All of these, with the exception of one case, nearly moribund on admission, and ten or twelve convalescents yet on hand, have been discharged well. We must regard this result as proof of excellent mangement, and as confirming what we have heard from good city physicians that observation and statistics tell in favor of the wards of a hospital, for fever treatment at least.

The building is not yet completed but will, we suppose soon be so. It is of wood and consists of a centre of about thirty feet square, one and a half stories high, with gables east and west, wings running north and south, making the whole front of about one hundred and sixty feet in length and a projection in the rear of like dimensions with the wings. The exterior is of rough unplaned boards, but it is firmly built, with under pinning of stone and mortar. There is a cellar under the main part. The main and northern wing of the building alone are finished. In the first are the office, the surgeons private room, the kitchen, store rooms, &c, with sleeping rooms in the half story above. The wing is divided by a slight partition into two wards, each containing about a dozen beds. In that farthest from the main part we found the remaining convalescents, who seemed comfortable enough. Both wards were warm and both well ventilated by an admirable contrivance of sliding shutters just under the eves. This was simple yet new to us. In one of the projections whch are now being finished is to be a dining room and also a bathing room. The remaining room will be kept for beds. In a few weeks we presume the whole will be finished. What the whole is to cost we do not know, but it will afford we think and instance of the judicious investment of a small sum for use and not for ornament. At present the number of attendants equals if it do not exceed the number of patients.

To Dr. Phelps Vermont, its soldiers and their friends owe many thanks for the faithful services already rendered as for the wise provision for the future. To the friends of sick and wounded soldiers we wish distinctly to say that they may rely on all who are placed here as being faithfully and judiciously cared for. We should deem the chances of recovery here under the direction it has had and is likely to have hereafter, as at least equal and probably better than in almost any private house.

Vermont Phoenix, December 4, 1862.


Hospital Patient List

The following is a correct list of men in Hospital as patients at this date:

United States General Hospital.,

Brattleboro, Vt., Jan'y 25, 1863.

Adams Chas. S., Private, company I, 12th regiment.
Aiken, William, priv., co. I, 12th reg.
Aiken Walter A., priv., co. C, 6th reg.
Allen Melvin I., priv., co. A, 14th reg.
Allen Newman, priv., 1st R. I. cav.
Allard Horace F., priv., co. C, 6th reg.
Archer Abner P., priv., co. C 16th reg.
Amsden William E., priv., co C 6th reg.
Aldrich John G., priv., co. K, 3d reg.
Albee V. W., priv., co F, 2d U. S. S. S.

Buchanan A., priv., co. H, 16th reg.
Benedict Cornelius V., priv., co. D, 12th reg.
Blair Lewis, priv., co. G, 16th reg.
Batten George, priv., co. A, 10th reg.
Brock Robert G. priv., co. F, 15th reg.
Bean George N. M., priv., co. H, 12th reg.
Beedel Elisha F., priv., co. F, 4th reg.
Barber Royal P., priv., co. F, 10th reg.
Barrett Chas. G., priv., co. H, 12th reg.
Ball Leroy A., priv., co. A, 3d reg.
Bronson Austin S., priv., co. F, 16th reg.
Blood Aretas B, priv, co A, 12th reg.
Boudreau Lyman, priv, co B, 14th reg
Bullard Edgar, priv co D, 5th reg
Beuwoire Peter, priv co B, 14th reg U S Inf.
Burnham A S, priv co C U S S S
Bradley Edward, priv co F, 6th reg
Beedel John P, priv co D, 5th reg
Broughton F F, priv co E, 2d regt
Bain C H, priv co E, 2d U S S S
Bush Charles, co C, 9th reg
Borden Peter, priv co C, 9th reg
Brigham Geo W, priv co F, 5th reg
Bateman Lewis, priv co B, 2d reg
Boles Lyman H, priv co A, 4th reg
Butler John, priv co I, 5th reg
Badger Oliver W, priv co G, 4th reg
Buckman Lyman S, priv co F, 4th reg

Cranmore I E, priv co F, 15th reg
Case William H, priv co C, 14th reg
Clapp Irenas, priv co F, 17th U S Inf
Champion Thomas P, (died Jan 14, 1863,) priv co I, 15th reg
Colston John F, priv co B, 12th reg
Cross Solomon A, priv co A, 16th reg
Clark Joel B, priv co F, 16th reg
Cole Reuben M, priv co F, 12th reg
Cole Orra C, priv co A, 10th reg
Crawford Isaac, priv co A, 14th reg
Cressa Orrick, priv co F, 10th reg
Crapo Josiah W, priv co B, 14th reg
Cook John, priv co B, 14th reg
Carmody Thomas, priv co F, 16th reg
Cooper E S, priv co F, 4th reg
Chapman Marion, priv co F, 4th reg
Cook Chas E, priv co D, 8th U S Inf
Center G G, priv co D, 2d reg
Cleveland K B, priv co B, 3d reg
Carr Ethan, priv co B, 15th reg
Coquette Nelson, priv co C, 5th reg
Culver Harry, priv co F, U S S S
Chapin M J, priv co H, 6th reg
Cheever Moses K, priv co G, 4th reg
Carpenter I B, priv co B, 3d U S Inf
Crowell Filo I, priv co B, 5th reg
Clark James, pri9v co K, 6th reg
Collins H, sergt co G, 3d reg
Clifford James, priv co F, 4th reg

Dow S H, priv co D, 4th reg
Davis Frank W, priv co F, 2d reg
Davis N I, priv co H, 2d U S S S
Durkee Daniel M, priv co B, 6th reg
Drury James, priv co C, 4th reg
Daniels Mitchell, priv co K, 2d reg
Doty Geo W, sergt co F, 12th reg
Dunham William, priv co B, 2nd reg.,
Drew Geo H, priv co B, 15th reg.,
Daley Edmund, priv co A, 15th reg
Davis Ira, priv co D, 1st Vt Cav
Dyke Luther K, co B, 14th reg
Dowley M I, priv co D, 16th reg

Eels Henry, priv co D, 16th reg
English A J, priv co F, 5th reg
Eddy James, priv co K, 14th reg
Eddy Henry, priv co B, 14th reg

Fisher H H, priv co F, 15th reg
Foster Warren S, priv co C, 16th reg
French Crighton, musician co C, 5th reg
Fulsom Geo W, priv co F, 5th reg
Fiske Wilbur, priv co F, 2d reg
Fuller Jescuriah, priv co A, 6th reg
Foley Michael, priv co K, 2d reg
Frost Stephen, priv co I, 2d U S S S

Grant Albert G, priv co A, 15th reg
Gaskill Hubbard, priv co G, 15th reg
Goss Loren D, priv co G, 16th reg
Griswold Thomas, priv co K, 16th reg
Gorden Alba H, priv co H, 4th reg
Grow Elias, priv co C, 15th reg
Gregory Alonzo H, priv co H, 15th reg
Gilbert Geo P, priv co D, 4th reg
Gilman John Jr., priv co B, 14th reg
Gould A K, priv co K, 4th reg
Guild Ephraim I, priv co D, 4th reg
Goddard Moses, priv co D, 5th reg
Gorman John, priv co G, 3d reg
Gibson W O, priv co K, 4th reg
Gove Truman K, sergt co K, 4th reg
Gilson Daniel S, priv co C, 4th reg

Haynes S A, corp co F, 15th reg
Hathorne Lumes, priv co G, 16th reg
Houghton Chas I, priv co H, 13th reg
Hammond H H, sergt co A, 12th reg
Hill Freedom, priv co B, 13th reg
Hill Alexander F, priv co K, 14th reg
Hall Geo D, priv co D, 12th reg
Howe Geo W, priv co B, 15th reg
Hall Joshua R, priv co E, 15th reg
Holbrook Manlius, priv co F, 2d U S S S
Holbrook John D, priv co D, 16th reg
Holland John M, priv co F, 16th reg
Harwood John P, sergt co A, 2d reg
Haviland W H, priv co B, 15th reg
Houghton D R, priv co H, 2d U S S S
Holland R W, priv co H, 5th reg
Harrington William, private co B, 2d reg
Heath Orson, priv co B, 5th reg
Hill Isaac L, priv co I, 5th reg
Higgins Hurbert, priv co F, 6th reg
Hatch C F, priv co C, 4th reg
Holmes H B, priv co H, 2d reg

Jackson G H, priv co B, 5th reg
Jones Stephen F, priv co H, 6th reg
Jones Daniel S, priv co K, 6th reg
Johnson A H, priv co H, 16th reg
Jacquith Thomas J, priv co I, 2d reg
Joslyn Ahira, priv co I, 15th reg

Kelton William, priv co H, 3d reg
Kennedy James, priv co F, 5th reg
Kingsbury Newell, priv co C, 3d reg
Kenaston William, priv co B, 15th reg
Kemp James B, corp co H, 12th reg

Ladd Wilson, priv co G, 14th reg
Leonard Henry O, priv co G, 16th reg
Lhalreux John, priv co H, 5th reg
Lafoere C, priv co F, 2d reg
Ladd Jefferson, priv co D, 9th reg
Loggins J G, priv co I, 5th reg
Lyman Jasper, sergt co B, 13th reg

Marsh Lymen, priv co F, 15th reg
Mann Erastus, priv co B, 12th reg
Marsh Fred D, priv co I, 12th reg
Macotte Thomas, priv co K, 16th reg
McCrellis W A S, priv co D, 12th reg
Morse Oliver L, priv co B, 15th reg
Mitchel Solomon, priv co A, 10th reg
Monette John, priv co D, 4th reg
McLauglin, priv co A, 15th reg
McLean S E, priv co H, 4th reg
Marble Geo L, priv co G, 6th reg
Montgomery Caleb, priv co B, 5th reg
Marion Edward, priv co B, 5th reg
Mosher M A, priv co B, 2d reg
Morse Isaac S, priv co G, 3d reg

Noyes Freeman S, priv co E, 12th reg
Noble Chas M, priv co C, 10th reg

O'Neil Edward, priv co A, 14th reg

Piper Collins L, corp co C, 4th reg
Paris I L, sergt co H, 2d U S S S
Pratt Isaac, priv co D, 2d reg
Petree H H, priv co K, 4th reg
Pearsons A M, priv co I, 5th reg
Pixley James E, priv co B, 4th reg
Pratt Henry R, priv co K, 15th reg
Patterson Samuel A, priv co H, 16th reg
Pixley Ziba, priv co F, 13th reg
Parsons Orrin F, priv co I, 13th reg
Paine Henry H, corp co I, 15th reg
Parker Ryland R, priv co C, 16th reg
Plumb O S, priv co I, 16th reg

Rickford Martin, priv co E, 4th reg
Robinson Daniel, priv co G, 16th reg
Rathburn Ira P, priv co H, 16th reg
Rhodes Chas H, priv co E, 3d reg
Rice Augustene W, priv co D, 16th reg
Robinson Chas H, priv co H, 2d U S S S
Reed Thomas, sergt co E, 10th reg
Reed Calvin, priv co C, 14th reg
Royce Chas H, priv co E, 3d reg
Robinson Amos, priv co C, 3d reg
Rust Albert, priv co E, 2d reg
Roberts A L, corp co E, 6th reg
Rand Kirk, priv co C, 2d reg
Richardson H H, priv co H, 6th reg
Rowe Wm H, priv co G, 5th reg

Sawyer D P, corp co B, 3d reg
Smith H H, priv co C, 4th reg
Staples D W, priv co A, 3d reg
Shattuck William, corp co H, 2d U S S S
Shoro Frank, priv co H, 5th reg
Stone Geo E, priv co G, 4th reg
Stetson William, priv co H, 4th reg
Snell William, priv co D, 6th reg
Smith Martin, priv co F, 3d reg
Sheldon H F, priv co E, 6th reg
Sutton James, priv co C, 5th reg
Stearns Francis, W, priv co F, 16th reg
Smith Creon A, priv co E, 6th reg
Sisco Edward F, priv co K, 13th reg
Stevens Cornelius C, priv co F, 2d reg
Stratton Henry C, priv co A, 14th reg
Shepherd Fayette, priv co C, 14th reg
Seaver Silas H, priv co C, 14th reg
Stone Calvin R, priv co G, 15th reg
Somers Bartholemew G, priv co F, 15th reg
Shiney Joseph, priv co H, 6th reg

Tupper Chas, sergt co F, 4th reg
Tower E R, priv co H, 2d reg
Townsend Daniel C, priv co D, 12th reg
Tyler John W, priv co B, 5th reg
Trainer Lawrence, priv co B, 2nd reg
Trask Horace B, priv co B, 13th reg
Thomas Hiram K, priv co G, 15th reg

Utley William J, priv co A, 10th reg

Vanderhoof O S, priv co K, 2nd reg

Wiley William, priv co A, 10th reg
Webber Russell, priv co D, 15th reg
Warner Edward P, priv co K, 15th reg
Winslow David W, priv co G, 16th reg
Wallis Calvin F, priv co K, 10th reg
Whitney Lemuel P, priv co F, 16th reg
Wilder Allen S, priv co I, 12th reg
Wellman Adin J, prov co C, 10th reg
Washburne Julian J, priv co C, 15th reg
Wheelock Alden D, priv co I, 10th reg
Ward Beniah, priv co B, 15th reg
Whitney Isaac B, priv co I, 1st Vt Cav.
Whitsett Robert, priv co E, 16th reg
Wilkins W W, priv co I, 2nd reg
White Chas A, priv co F, 2nd reg
Woodward D C, priv co C, 6th reg
Whitney Robert, priv co E, 4th reg
Wheeler C, priv co I, 2nd reg
Witt Lucien A, priv co H, 2nd U S sharp shooters.

The following were forwarded from here to

the Marine Hospital, Burlington, Vt.

Alger M. B., Private Company D, 10th Regiment.

Burns James N, priv co K, 13th.
Bates Butler A, priv co F, 5th.
Boudreau Stephen E, priv co E, 2nd.
Bean Wm R, priv co D, 2nd.
Brink C W, priv co I, 13th.
Brownell Chas, priv co K, 13th.
Bates Edward E, priv co I, 10th.
Ball Henry I, priv co I, 14th.
Bushnell Henry A, priv co F, 12th.
Burns James priv co I, 10th.

Cooley A A, priv co I, 5th.
Crady P W, priv co I, 10th.
Cross A I, priv co F, 1st U S sharp shooters.
Crawford Stephen G, priv co A, 13th.
Conway John. priv co F, 15th.

Duggin Patrick, priv co A, 6th.
Dayton Albion, priv co I, 14th.
Doran I H, priv co H, 2nd.
Dogan A K, priv co F, 10th.
Daniels Allen E, priv co I, 10th.

Fleming Luke, priv co E, 13th.
Fullington Nelson, priv co A, 10th.
Fallow Thomas, priv co I, 12th.

Gleason Timothy, priv co A, 13th.

Howe David J, priv co E, 2nd U S sharp shooters.
Hamilton Herman H, priv co F, 10th.
Houghtalin J W, priv co G, 14th.
Halleck F G, priv co F, 1st U S sharp shooters.
Huntington Geo E, priv co F, 14th.
Hayes Joseph H, priv co A, 6th.

Isham A W, priv co F, 13th.

Jennings Benjamin C, priv co D, 14th.
Johnson Ira I, priv co B, 10th.
Jacobs Alfred, priv co F, 12th.

Kendrick Milo C, priv co F, 14th.
Kneeland G S, priv co H, 6th.

LaPear Francis, priv co F, 10th.
Luce Joshua, priv co E, 13th.
Lovelette Charles, priv co G, 13th.

Montague A H, priv co E, 13th.
Marshall Henry L, priv co B, 10th.
McCarty Charles, priv co F, 13th.
Martin William A, Corp co G, 14th.

Nichols Geo W, priv co H, 13th.
Noyes William, priv co I, 13th.

O'Neal Michael, priv co A, 13th.

Paine Joseph, priv co B, 15th.
Palmer M C, priv co G, 2nd.
Pasha Antoim, priv co F, 6th.

Roberts Nelson, priv co G, 16th.
Robinson R A, priv co E, 13th.
Reefa John, priv co C, 5th.
Ripley Pascal C, priv co K, 3d.
Riley Thomas D, priv co F, 10th.

Spaulding Charles, priv co D, 14th.
Strong John A, sergt co I, 14th.
Severance F L, priv co D, 10th.
Sunderland I C, priv co I, 5th.
Sanborn Asa I, priv co F, 2nd sharp shooters.
Stevens Anson, co I, 10th.

Tichout Hannibal, co E, 2nd U S sharp shooters.
Turner O C, corp co B, 13th.
Turner Edwin, priv co D, 2d.
Turner William M, co B, 13th.
Taylor John M, co. I, 10th.

Wood I P, priv co D, 15th.
Wilson Josiah, co F, 2nd.
Wilder D S, co F, 14th.
Wright P C, priv co I, 13th.
Willey Geo W, priv co G, 16th.
Wheelock Russell, priv co H, 14th.

Edw. E. Phelps, Surgeon U. S. V.,

Surgeon in Charge.

Vermont Phoenix, January 29, 1863.


Cyril Wheeler was wounded at Fredericksburg and was discharged wounded on May 11, 1863. William R. Bean was also wounded at Fredericksburg and was discharged on April 1, 1863.

Antoine Pasha was wounded first at Lee's Mill and then mortally wounded in action on September 17, 1862 at Antietam, surviving in the Brattleboro hospital until his death on May 18, 1863.

Orra C. Cole was mustered in on September 1, 1862 as a Private in Co. A, 10th Vermont Volunteers. He was wounded at Cedar Creek on October 19, 1864 and after his stay in Brattleboro, was transferred to Co. E, 1st U. S. Artillery on June 16, 1865. He mustered out on June 17, 1868.

Alexander Freeman Hill was born on August 25, 1838, married Josephine, and enlisted one month later at age twenty-four, on August 19, 1862 into the Fourteenth Vermont Volunteers, from Dorset, Vermont. Private Hill arrived at Camp Holbrook in Brattleboro on October 6, 1862 and left for the front on October 22, 1862.

Alexander Hill was detailed as ward master in the regimental hospital, which followed the troops wherever they were stationed, including Camp Chase at Arlington Heights, Virginia. His duties included embalming and shipping the dead, returning their effects, nursing the soldiers, working as assistant surgeon, and serving in the Red Cross corps.

Once for fourteen nights in a row, Alexander Hill helped to save all eleven soldiers who were afflicted with typhoid fever. He improvised building beds from sugar barrel staves staked down.

Private Hill fell sick in January 1863, his case rendered serious by the ill-judged treatment of the Surgeon Edwin H. Sprague, who was later discharged for incompetency. Sent to Brattleboro after visiting other hospitals, he was discharged on April 23, 1863. Alexander Hill worked as a building contractor, especially known for several factories along Flat Street. He died on August 6, 1922.

William A. S. McCrillis from Williamstown, Vermont was born in 1833 and enlisted on August 22, 1862 in Company D, 12th Vermont Regiment. McCrillis was mustered in on October 4, 1862 and mustered out on July 14, 1863. Seven years after his stay in the Brattleboro hospital he had a newborn daughter named Alice E. McCrillis, and a wife named Marian.

Other names here are Moses Goddard, Almer H. Montague, Joseph E. Cranmore, John W. Houghtalin, Benjamin Closson Jennings, Arthur McLaughlin, and Creighton B. French the musician who reenlisted after Brattleboro.

Corporal John B. L'Heureux appears on this patient list as "Lhalreux". He was born on July 13, 1836 in Quebec to Rev. Jean Baptist L'Heureux and Angella Ursule Bedour. He enlisted from Brandon, Vermont, and returned to live there after the war as a house painter. Corporal L'Heureux likely remembered his part in the sword presentation to the surgeons at the Hospital until his dying day---May 29, 1914.


Collins L. Piper

Corporal Collins Leonard Piper left this memoir---

I was sent from Harrison Landing to the hospital at Burlington, Vt., and then to Convalescent Camp at Alexandria, Va. thence back by hospital at Brattleboro. When I was sent from the front to Burlington Vt. in July '62 I was only a living skeleton with chronic diarrhoea. Nov. 1862, I asked Maj. Austine to let me go back to my regiment. Surgeon Thayer objected, but Lieut. French of Co. C was going, so I went with him to Washington. There the Medical Board declared me unfit to go to the front, and sent me to Alexandria to the Convalescent Camp where I was detailed as Forage Master, having in charge 25 teams to provide for. I was again unable to work, and in February '63, was sent to the hospital at Brattleboro, Vt and there detailed as clerk, where I remained the remainder of my term of service.

In April 1871, Collins Piper was conducting a grocery store "Over the Brook" on the corner of South Main and Canal Streets in Brattleboro. Collins L. Piper died on April 10, 1909 and is buried in the Prospect Hill Cemetery.

U S S S indicates the United States Sharp Shooters.

[The names of Freeman S. Noyes, Charles M. Noble, and Edward O'Neil were printed in this list, but slightly misplaced in the column of names. The list as presented here has corrected this error by showing all the names grouped by the initial letter of the soldiers' last names].


Hospital Beds

United States General Hospital,

Brattleboro, Vt., Feb'y 1, 1863.

The ladies and other liberal individuals of Vermont have in answer to my call for help in equipping beds for this hospital very promptly and generously supplied the necessary material. The following table shows the sources from which they are derived:---

Received by Dr. Phelps.

Arlington, One invoice,

Brandon, 1 invoice through John Howe, Jr., 5.50


Bennington, North, 1 inv. through Mrs. H. Hale,
Barnet, "Stevens Village," 1 invoice,
Barre, 1 inv., through H. S. Carpenter,
Burke, "West," 1 inv.,
Brookfield, 1 inv., through E. M. Graves, 11.00

Burlington, 3 inv., thro' Mrs. Sam'l Thayer, Jr,

-----"-----1 inv., thro' Mrs. Platt.

Brattleboro, Water Cure, 1 invoice,

-----"-----Young Ladies, 1 invoice,

Clarendon, 4 inv.,
Concord, West, 1 inv., through Mrs Day,
Cuttingsville and Shrewsbury, 1 inv., through H. G. Thomas, 9.00
Craftsbury, North, 2 inv., through C. M. Marsh,
Cavendish, 2 inv., through Mrs. S. M. Smith,
Dorset, 2 inv., through Miss Sykes,
Derby, 2 inv.,
Fayettesville, 4 inv.,
Felchville, 1 inv.,
Grafton, 3 inv., through Mrs. Adams.
Glover, 1 inv., through S. K. Perkins.
Hartford, West, 1 inv.,
Hardwick, 1 inv.,
Jamaica, 2 inv., through Park Davis,
Mount Holly, 2 inv.,
Mechanicsville, 1 inv., Mrs. Derby,

Merrisville, 2 inv., N. N. Powers, 5.00


-----"------------Mrs. Bartlett,---- 4.00

Manchester, 2 inv., D. S. Benedict,

-----"---Factory Point, 1 inv.,

McIndoes Falls, 1 inv., through Mrs. Cumin,
Middlebury, 1 inv., through Mrs. Beckwith,
Milton, 1 inv., 14.00
Montpelier, 1 inv., through Mrs. Colby, 1.05
Norwich, 2 inv.,
Newbury, "Little Rill," 1 inv.,
Putney, 1 inv., through Mrs. Dwight, 14.00
Perkinsville, 4 inv., through C. S. Cudworth,
Plainfield, 1 inv., through Alonzo Hitchcock,
Proctorsville, 1 inv., through S. Parker,
Pomfret, 1 inv.,

Randolph, West, 2 inv., through Mrs. Wheeler, 4.00

-----"---Centre, 1 inv., J. C. Fongo

Rochester, 2 inv., Chester Pierce, 9.00
Ryegate, 1 inv., G. Cowles, 14.00
Springfield, 3 inv., Mrs. Rice, 9.00
Springfield, North, 1 inv.,
Sutton, 1 inv., 14.00
St. Johnsbury, 1 inv., through Ann M. Lee,
Thetford Centre, 1 inv.,
Townshend, 1 inv.,

Tunbridge, 1 inv.,

-----"---North, 1 inv.,

Windsor, 7 inv., Miss Tracy, 35.00

-----"---West, 3 inv.,

Weston, 1 inv.,
Westmore, 1 inv.,
Waterbury, 1 inv.,
Westminster East, 1 inv.,
Westminster West, 1 inv.,
Williamsville, 1 inv.,
Wallingford, 1 inv., through Aldin Walker,
Wardsboro, 1 inv., through B. Ober, 5.50
Wilmington, 1 inv.,
Waitsfield, 1 inv.,

Unknown, 7 inv.

Edw. E. Phelps, Surgeon U. S. V.,

Surgeon in Charge.

Vermont Phoenix, February 5, 1863.


To the Ladies of Vermont.

U. S. General Hospital

Brattleboro, Vt., February 23, 1863.

Your response to my calls for aid in behalf of this Hospital have been answered in a manner fully equal to the expectations I had formed and which were founded upon a long acquaintance with your character. It now becomes a matter of historic interest that such liberal contributions in money and clothing have been furnished with almost surprising alacrity from all part of the State, and amongst the many valuable evidences of the patriotism of the people of Vermont will be found in the State Archives, a record that the mothers and daughters first gave their sons and brothers, and then contributed most liberally of their goods, to render them more comfortable not only in the field where they were fighting for a glorious cause, but also in this salubrious retreat where they again can enjoy their own native air, and secure the benefit of its healing power.

This Hospital as it now stands is itself a monument to the Soldier. It tells the plain storey, that the people of this state value his services. It says we do not forget how freely our sons have shed their blood on Southern soil to prevent the aggressions of a rising Aristocracy, based upon human slavery. It says we remember with pride Warwick Creek, Antietam, South Mountain, Cramptons Pass, Fredericksburgh and the many long marches, and days and nights of toil and privations our soldiers have endured. It says too, here repose---and although, all have not been alike honorable--and the restraints required in secure order and justice may be irksome and annoying to the half soldier and impatient friends, the patriotism of the people ask of its inmates that they prove as good soldiers in hospital as they have been in the field.

We beg to say in conclusion, that before this stream of beneficence that has been flowing so steadily for weeks past, and which still flows in all the silent eloquence of the placid Connecticut that glides beneath our walls can be stopped, all our wants will be supplied. What a record is this---does it not speak volumes in your praise. Cease then Ladies---Reserve all that you can for future calls---they will occur if the contest continues. Send something to the Sanitary Commission who have rendered our soldiers in the field such service---Remember that but for them our suffering at Warwick Creek, Williamsburgh and many other places would have been doubled. But at the same time remember there may be another call upon your benevolence within our own borders.

In my monthly report for February I shall give you the particulars of this contribution and its application to the uses for which it has been designed.

Ed. E. Phelps, Surg. U. S. Vol.,

Surg. in Charge

Vermont Phoenix, February 26, 1863.


The Varioloid

Small Pox.---We learn that reports have been in circulation in some of the neighboring towns that the Small Pox is raging in this village. To quiet all apprehensions on that score we are able to state that there was several weeks ago one soldier in the Hospital sick with the Varioloid, and more recently Isaac Allen in the village with the same disease, who is now well. These are all the cases of this disease there have been in this place, and at present there are none of the sort.

Vermont Phoenix, March 19, 1863.

Samuel B. Holt of Morristown died of the smallpox at the Hospital on May 4, 1864.


The Chaplain.---Rev. F. C. Williams, Chaplain of the 8th Vermont Regiment is now at home on a short leave of absence. He represents the Regiment as in good health and spirits, and in good condition generally. Those who have friends in that Regiment will learn of their welfare by calling upon him at his house in this village.

Vermont Phoenix, March 19, 1863.


Private Elisha C. Fisk Letter To Private Levi Hines

U. S. Hospital Brattleboro Apr 8th 1863

Friend Hines,

While I was at home I received a line from you, to which I soon replied, & have been expecting one from you ever since, or at least for some time. I think I told you that in accordance with the instructions of Dr Thayer of Burlington Hospital Dr Fairman sent a certificate sworn to before a justice of Peace to the Col. stating my situation, & that I was not able to return. If Dr Thayer knows about the matter that would set me all right. As soon as able I reported in person to Thayer at Burlington telling him that I was desirous to get back to my regiment as soon as possible. After questioning me with regard to my complaint he kept me there about 10 days, then sent me having in charge a deserter to report at their place to Major Austin who ordered me to report to Dr Phelps. I requested the major to send me to my regiment as soon as convenient, also I requested the same of Dr Phelps, who replied that I was now under hospital regulations & would have to wait untill I was sent. I dont know when that will be. I dont know as I should do much, or how I should stand it if I was back. But anything but hospital life for me, I cant put up with it its tedious & lonesome. I dont like this being away from my regiment so long, it is not for my interest. I think I fear I shall get far behind the times. I would like to know whether I am all right on the record or not. I could as well have sent 3 doctors certificates sworn to as one. But I went according to Dr Thayers directions & he told me after I went to Burlington to report myself, that I was all right. If you can find out about the matter, please inform me, you could if you saw fit show this to sergeant Garegan & perhaps he will do me the favor to look into the matter & inform me if I am right & if not what else I have to do. I have no doubt you would be pleased to have fisk come & take care of his duds. But I presume you have delivered them over for safe keeping, long before this. Had I known that I should have been detained in these hospitals so long, I should have staid at home a while longer untill able to go direct to my regiment, but I knew while at home I was sick contrary to military regulations, & I thought I would get myself into a military way of doing the thing as soon as possible, but I find it is so much more than I bargained for when I enlisted. I suppose you have been paid of [off] ere this. If I felt perfectly safe in doing so I would send the money I borrowed of you & Higgins to you in this letter, but I am in hopes to be able to deliver it to you in person soon. If you wish it sent to you write me & I will send it. That I borrowed of Pennee I paid to his son. I dont know but the Capt has drawn the 2 months pay that I was mustered in for, & I dont know as he could, if he has I wish you would take it as far as it would go today that left to you & Higgins. Write me about the matter & if my equipment, &c are all right. I wrote to Capt Morrill when at Burlington but I expected then to have been with you ere this. Quite a number of our boys came to Burlington before I left. They are in Vt but here we are in the state of Brattleboro. And it is a state that I never read of in the Bible. Titus is here, he is hard sick to [too], no mistake. He told me that young Ross & Jocelyn were both dead, & to day I saw an acct of their disease in a paper, I could hardly realize that those 2 fellows were gone. If I judged rightly they were 2 nice young men of good principles & behaviour. Death often calls for the best of us. Give my respects to all the boys who care to hear of me & let me hear from you soon. Hoping soon to be out of this.

I am Respectfully

E. C. Fisk

Levi Hines

[Named or referred to here are James N. Joslin, Charles Ross, Harlan P. Ross, Charles A. Titus, Edwin R. Higgins, Capt. Edwin J. Morrill, Dr. Samuel White Thayer, Dr. Edward E. Phelps, and Dr. Erastus Philo Fairman. Garegon may represent Carrigan, and there is a fairly illegible script resembling Pennee, or some such.]


Sword Presentation

U. S. General Hospital,

Brattleboro, Vt., April 24th, 1863.

Mr. Editor.---A very interesting ceremony took place at this Hospital on the 21st inst., on which occasion Swords were presented by the Hospital Attendants and Patients to the Surgeons of the establishment.

The ceremonies commenced by marching into the square in front of the Surgeons quarters and offices, a column of inmates with excellent field music headed by the Hospital Guard under command of Sergeant John Q. A. Ditty. This Guard is a body of 30 men almost all of whom wear more or less of those badges of honor that are obtained generally where bullets fly and shells are bursting, in other words they are all men who have given unquestionable evidence of bravery and good soldiership and are usually those who by reason of wounds are more or less unfitted for field duty and whom the services can hardly afford to lose by discharge. Upon them devolve the duties of guard in this Hospital. Hence the uniform of the Guards with which they will soon be supplied, will be conclusive evidence that the wearer is a good soldier.

After the line was formed, a committee of five consisting of Hospital Stewards Greene and Rice, Wardmasters Gray and Buxton and Corp. L'Heureux waited upon Surgeon Phelps and Ass't Surgeons Goss and Brooks, and requested their attendance, upon a ceremony of interest to the patients. Upon the entrance of the committee and Surgeons to the square, the drums beat attention, and the Guards presented arms.---Upon notice from the committee that all was ready to proceed with the ceremonies, Serg't Silas H. Stone, came forward and delivered the following appropriate presentation address:

Surgeon Phelps.---In behalf of the patients and inmates of this hospital, I present you this sword as a slight token of their esteem and regard for you, and their appreciation of the noble manner in which you have conducted this institution.

In presenting it to you, we find it exceedingly difficult to accompany it with appropriate remarks. Your distinguished ability as a medical man is too well known to the world to make it appropriate for us to make any observations, but will leave that for abler and better men, who can do justice to your profound attainments. We feel to acknowledge great gratitude for the interest you have manifested in our welfare; for the exertions you have made for the comfort of sick and wounded soldiers from our native State. For these acts of kindness, posterity will bless you, and when this wicked rebellion is crushed and your labors here shall have closed, and we all returned to our quiet and peaceful homes, it is the sincere wish of us all that your coming years may be as peaceful and happy as your former ones have been useful and honorable.

Surgeon Phelps' Reply.

Soldiers.---I must confess you have taken me by surprise in making me this rich and beautiful present. I had not supposed I could ever be induced to mount a weapon of this kind, apparently so inappropriate to our profession. But I cannot refuse to wear an ornament so handsomely placed in my hands. What I would not do for personal decoration, I will not refuse to do in honor of the donors. I had not expected the rigid duties imposed upon me by our superiors, and so often at variance with my feelings and sympathies, had been performed in a manner to awaken such a response. But surely I may now believe that you think me honest in the discharge of duty, and that in common with yourselves I have sought to be a good soldier. In this belief I am, in accepting this testimonial, encouraged to persevere in these duties so closely connected with your welfare. The soldier is, and always has been, a subject of great interest to me, and I have ever studied to bring the resources of our art to his aid. It has been a pleasant task, cheerfully performed, and you may rest assured that now more than ever it will be my great study to assist you in regaining your health and maintaining a proper relation to the Government whom we have all sworn so solemnly to serve.

Serg't Stone's address to Ass't Surgeons Goss and Brooks:

Respected Surgeons Goss and Brooks.---It was with pain and deep regret that the patients and inmates of this hospital, for whom you have labored the past few months, learnt that you were ordered from them to other fields of labor.---In the appreciation of your kindness, and the noble manner in which you have performed your duties, we feel that words are inadequate to express our sorrow at your departure, that a more marked and emphatic testimonial is needed. Although we feel reluctant at your removal, and fain would keep you with us; yet we are aware that the great objects of life are to be accomplished. We are aware that you and each of us, have a duty to perform, in this great drama of life, for the benefit of mankind, and the success of the various callings in which we are severally engaged. Therefore, it would not be becoming us as soldiers, or as men to murmur at the the changes of life; though these changes may cause the heart to ache, and the eye to dim, yet as a duty we submit quietly to the will of our superiors.

And as you go to the tented field to take a more active part in this great and unholy struggle, in which we are now engaged, we feel that our comrades who may be so fortunate as to fall into your hands, will fall into hands that we can trust.

For experience is the greatest of all teachers, and our experience of your faithfulness, in the discharge of your duties while here, leads us to judge without our doubts.

Therefore, in behalf of the patients and attendants of the hospital, I present you these swords as a slight token of their esteem and regards. Take them and go forth to your new fields of labor, and there may you win further laurels, which we hope and trust are in store for you. And ever rest assured that the best wishes of us all, for your success in life will attend you.

Ass't Surgeon Goss's Reply.

Patients and Attendants.---My feelings are such on this occasion as to render it necessary for me to say but a few words. I am about to leave you for other duties, after having been connected with this Hospital from its infancy until the present time. But my heart is made light as the prospect, by the assurance that I now receive that my labors during this time have been acceptable to you. In return, let me assure you that wherever I am, whether in Civil or Military life, it shall be my aim to labor faithfully for those who are entrusted to my care.

Please accept my thanks for this sword. It is a valuable gift. And when peace shall again be restored to this distracted country, and we returned to our homes, with this gift there will ever be connected many pleasant associations.

Ass't Surgeon Brook's Reply.

Fellow Soldiers.---I am the Junior member of this Staff, and will only add my thanks for the remembrance you have shown me in this gift. My profession is one of work and few words. You are to judge whether I have been faithful to the charge. I am to remain a few days longer with you. When I am away, the recollection of this hour will be one of the most pleasant of my life. As I have previously said, I am no speaker, but a worker, and my motto is "Deeds not words."

A flourish of martial music and a salute from the guards closed the ceremonies.

The occasion of these presentations was the departure of Ass't Surgeons Goss and Brooks to join their regiments.

These gentlemen have been connected with this hospital for some months past, and by their assiduous attention to their whole duties, and gentlemanly bearing, have greatly endeared themselves to the invalids who have received their skillful and kind attentions. Serg't Stone by no means overrated the feelings of those for whom he spoke, and it is not saying too much that it will be difficult to supply their places with men who will give themselves so unreservedly to the interests of the government and the welfare of the patients.

The swords were of the most elegant and costly pattern for medical officers, and could not be surpassed in richness, beauty of form or adornment. They are of heavily gilt and chased handles, with highly ornamented guards, and appropriate devices upon their elegant blades. The arms of the state of Vermont are beautifully engraved upon the upper part of the scabbards, and a suitable inscription showing who are the donors and to whom they were presented.


Vermont Phoenix, April 30, 1863.

The initial C stands for Charles Cummings, who was the editor of the Vermont Phoenix before and during the Civil War, before his enlistment---

Lieutenant-Colonel Charles Cummings was killed at Poplar Grove Church, also called Poplar Spring Church, before Petersburg, on September 30, 1864, leading the 16th Vermont Regiment on the advance toward the Boydton Plank Road.


The subject of this notice was well and favorably known throughout the State of Vermont for his many excellent qualities of head and heart. Lieutenant Colonel Cummings was born at Royalston, Mass., in February, 1821. He studied medicine, and in 1847 received the degree of M. D. at Woodstock. He practiced his profession at Fitzwilliam, N. H., three years, but his tastes were for literary pursuits, and he abandoned his profession, and removed to Brattleboro' in 1852, connected himself with the Brattleboro' Eagle, as associate editor with Hon. B. D. Harris, and subsequently, in a similar capacity, with the Vermont Phenix, at that place. After a time he became proprietor of the Phenix, and so continued up to the time of his death.

Otis Frederick Reed Waite, Vermont in the Great Rebellion; Containing Historical and Biographical Sketches, Etc. (Claremont, N.H.: Tracy, Chase and Co., 1869), pp. 261-263.


Sergeant John Q. A. Ditty lead the thirty-man Hospital Guard. He was born on November 22, 1835 and enlisted from Roxbury, Vermont on May 7, 1861 into Co. F, 2nd Vermont Regiment. Private Ditty was wounded at Fredericksburg on December 13, 1862. John Ditty died on June 17, 1915 and is buried in Bennington, Vermont.

Sergeant Silas H. Stone was born on July 29, 1838 in St. Johnsbury, Vermont. He enlisted from Danville at the age of twenty-three on September 3, 1861 and mustered in on September 21, 1861 as a Corporal in Company H of the 4th Vermont Volunteers. Stone was wounded and taken prisoner of war at Savage's Station on June 29, 1862, and paroled on July 25, 1862.

Sargent Silas H. Stone was recovering from his wounds at the U. S. General Hospital when he presented the swords to the surgeons. He reenlisted on December 15, 1863. Following the war, Silas Stone returned to Danville, married Sarah, raised sons and worked as the railroad station agent. He died in 1922.


Assistant Surgeon Nathaniel G. Brooks, Sixteenth Vermont Regiment.jpg

Assistant Surgeon Nathaniel Grout Brooks

"Deeds not words."

Nathaniel Grout Brooks was born on October 14, 1838 in Acworth, New Hampshire. He studied at first with his father, Dr. Lyman Brooks, and then attended Dartmouth Medical College.

Nathaniel was appointed Assistant Surgeon in the 16th Vermont Volunteers on October 23, 1862 after graduation and traveled in the South. He was in Gettysburg just two weeks after the battle and says in his diary that he lost an orderly there. He returned to the North, accepted his discharge from the 16th infantry on August 10, 1863, and served, as an Assistant Surgeon at the U. S. General Hospital in Brattleboro until the end of the war.

Dr. Nathaniel Brooks returned to Acworth, New Hampshire until 1874, when he moved to Charlestown, New Hampshire to continue his practice. In his later years he became a member of the New Hampshire House of Representatives and served as State Senator. Dr. Brooks was still seeing his patients when he died on March 17, 1918.


Assistant Surgeon Story Norman Goss.jpg

Assistant Surgeon Story Norman Goss

Dr. Goss was commissioned assistant surgeon 9th Regt. Vt. Vols., Sept. 26, 1862, and ordered to report to the general hospital at Brattleboro. Here he remained till April when he received orders to join his regiment in the field, previous to which he was presented with a sword by the patients and attendants of the Brattleboro institution in token of their high appreciation of his valuable services. Continuing with the 9th Regt. in the vicinity of Yorktown, he was compelled to resign in October, 1863, as he was stricken down with malarial fever. Partially recovering, his zeal for the cause led him to re-enlist as acting assistant surgeon, U. S. A., and was ordered again to Brattleboro and shortly afterwards to Fairfax Seminary Hospital, Va., at the time when the battles of the Wilderness were fought. For a third time he was stationed at Brattleboro and later at Burlington until the close of the war.

From "Men Of Vermont; An Illustrated Biographical History of Vermonters and Sons of Vermont, By Jacob G. Ullery, Redfield Proctor, Charles H. Davenport, Hiram Augustus Huse, Levi Knight Fuller. (Brattleboro, Vermont: Transcript Publishing Company, 1894).



Private Madison Cook


Madison Cook, Brattleboro Farmer

Second Vermont Infantry

Killed At Battle Of Salem Church On May 4, 1863

Private Madison Cook enlisted from Brattleboro at the age of eighteen in Co. C, Second Vermont Infantry on May 1, 1861 and mustered in on June 20, 1861. He was killed in action at the Battle of Salem Church, known also as the Battle of Bank's Ford, on May 4, 1863.

Madison Cook is buried in the Fairbanks Cemetery in Guilford, Vermont.


Col. Grant's Official Reports

So far as space will admit, this is a faithful account of the part taken by the Vermont troops in the battle of Bank's Ford. It was a terrible struggle. If we believe what intelligent prisoners informed us, the rebel General Lee was present directing the attack. He skillfully massed and hurled against us a terrible force, fully expecting to annihilate or capture the whole Corps. No less than three Corps of the rebel army were engaged. And no less than three Brigades fought the Green Mountain Boys, to wit: a Louisiana, a North Carolina, and a Mississippi Brigade, each consisting of four regiments. The Louisiana and North Carolina Brigades must have been nearly annihilated. The Col. Commanding the Louisiana Brigade, whom we captured, admitted that we had taken and killed and wounded the most of his Brigade. The number of prisoners actually captured must have been one thousand, but owing to the imperative order withdrawing the 2 nd 3d and 6th Vermont. . .

Vermont Phoenix, May 14, 1863.

Col. Lewis Addison Grant, First Vermont Brigade, reporting to Peter T. Washburn, Adjutant and Inspector General


U. S. A. General Hospital,

Brattleboro, May 26th, 1863.

The following is a correct list of sick and wounded men arrived at this Hospital, May 16th and 19th.

Second Vermont Regiment.

Henry H. Prouty, Sergt. Major
gun shot wound, both thighs.

Pratt Stone, Sergt. co. A
gun shot wound right arm.

Charles Hupf, Private co. A
E. Bennington
gun shot wound right leg.

Alonzo Goodenough, Corp'l co A
gun shot wound left thigh.

William O'Brien, Private co. A
gun shot wound right thigh.

George Shippee, Private co. A
gun shot wound right thigh.

H. Wilson, Private co. A
gun shot w'nd right neck.

Chauncey Brown, Private co. B
gun shot wound left thigh.

William H. Foster, Sergt. co. C
gun shot wound rist and right thigh.

George H. Knight, Private co. C
gun shot wound left thigh.

John Cross, Private co. F
gun shot wn'd right thigh.

Henry L. Ballard, Private co. H
gun shot wound right shoulder.

Forest D. Gilson, Private co. I
So. Reading
gun shot wound left arm.

Webster Derby, Private co. I
W. Townshend
gunshot wound right elbow.

Augustus Pratt, Corp'l co. I
gunshot w'nd right eye and left hand.

Duane O. Ross, Private co. I
gunshot w'nd right leg.

Elbridge W. Prior, Corp'l co. I
gunshot wound right thigh.

Cyrus Bowers, Corp'l co. K
gunshot w'nd left leg.

Third Vermont Regiment.

Charles C. Meader, Private co. C
gunshot wound right leg.

Wm. W. Harriman, Private co. D
gunshot wound left arm.

Nelson Fuller, Private co. D
gunshot wound face.

John Fairbanks, Corp'l co. F
gunshot w'nd right shoulder and neck.

Richard Goodale, 2nd Lieut. co. G
gunshot wound left leg.

J. C. Inman, Private co. G
gunshot w'nd right leg.

Milo Sanders, Private co. I
gunshot w'nd Face.

Fourth Vermont Regiment.

Celon J. Ball, Private co. F
gunshot w'nd left hand.

W. B. Jones, Private co. F
sub. luxation.

George W. Hill, Private co. F
_____ typhoid fever.

Elliot Harris, Private co. I
gunshot w'nd left elbow.

Lowdwick Underwood, Private co. I
gunshot wound finger left hand.

Fifth Vermont Regiment.

George A. Sweet, Private co. B
gunshot wound left hand.

Henry Donney, Private co. G
gunshot wound left thigh.

Sixth Vermont Regiment.

Horace Yarrington, Private co. B
left arm.

Henry M. Washburn, Private co. B
left thigh.

Joseph Moor, Private co. G
right thigh.

Norman Archer, Private co. C
left leg.

William Livingston, Corpl co. D
left arm.

Silas O. Dwinell, Sergt. co. E
left leg.

Twelfth Vermont Regiment.

Charles B. Bowers, Private co. A
West Windsor

Henry C. Tower, co. K
typhoid fever.

Edward M. Tower, co. K
typhoid fever.

Jacob S. Bailey, Corpl. 1st U. S. S. S.
West Randolph
left elbow.

E. E. Phelps, Surg. Gen. In Charge.

Vermont Phoenix, May 21, 1863.


sub. luxation = subluxation, an incomplete or partial dislocation of a joint---elbow, shoulder, finger, kneecap, hip, or spine.

These soldiers arrived at the U. S. General Hospital in Brattleboro in slightly over two weeks following the Second Battle of Fredericksburg on May 3, 1863 and the immediately following Battle of Salem Church during May 3 and May 4, 1863.

Major General John Sedgwick defeated the Confederate forces left behind to defend Fredericksburg, but his defeat by the returning General Robert E. Lee at the Battle of Salem Church forced the Union Army to retreat back across the Rappahannock River with considerable casualties, and to abandon the entire campaign for Chancellorsville.

President Abraham Lincoln and his advisors had pointed out to Governor Frederick Holbrook of Vermont that many soldiers were likely to perish from the effects of the difficult and rough transport to any future hospital built in Vermont.

In the case of Captain John S. Tyler of Brattleboro, who died in New York City on his way back from the front with a severe thigh wound, this objection to Holbrook's plans for an experimental military hospital proved to be completely accurate.

That so many soldiers arrived at the Brattleboro hospital in so short a time, and survived their sickness and wounds, is a tribute to the effective system established by medical and military circles. The travelling hospital steward George E. Greene, taking advance warning for major impending battles, doubtless saved countless lives which otherwise had been lost for Vermont.


Charles A. Miles Visits The Hospital

Mr. Editor: We had an occasion the other day to visit the United States Hospital near this place, which is under the charge of Surgeon Phelps. The Dr. did us the honor to show us around the establishment, and we were highly struck with the military order, neatness, and regularity which prevailed throughout. Two of the wards were occupied by soldiers of the 1st Vermont Brigade who were wounded in the recent battles on the Rappahanock. These were a noble looking set of men, appearing quite cheerful, though many of their wounds were quite severe. They had done their country and their state great honor, and the consciousness of it was a glory that rendered suffering comparatively easy. The 1st Brigade cut its way through overwhelming numbers and not only saved itself from the imminent danger of being captured by the enemy but contributed greatly towards the withdrawal of Sedgwick's entire division. If we reflect upon what a blow it would have been to the State and to the cause to have its oldest and best brigade captured by the enemy, we can rightly estimate the value of its services in the havoc which it dealt among the enemy's ranks in cutting its way. Vermont, "The last citadel of Freedom" would have felt it indeed, to have one of its brigades surrendered while under the command of its own officers.

But though the conflict in which the 1st Brigade were engaged was sharp and severe, though they charged and drove back overwhelming numbers their loss was not comparatively considerable; because, they observed that order and discipline, that subordination to command which accomplishes the greatest amount of work with the least possible loss. It was by observing the same careful military order and regularity which pervades to such a high degree the Hospital under Surgeon Phelps that the boys of the 1st Brigade achieved their glory. Battles cannot be won without military order and regularity; and every thing pertaining to the military establishment---and hospitals above all things---should be conducted with that order and regularity. Health, as well as moral character and good discipline require it/ and hospitals that are without it, are an injury to the service instead of a benefit.

Surgeon Phelps, we understand, was at the military school of Captain Partridge who at one time was at the head of the military academy at West Point; and the arrangement and conduct of the Hospital under his charge, give unmistakeable evidence of his military training. The location is elevated, dry, amidst the quietude of beautiful scenery, and as near the theatre of war as a hospital in the state could be. The air is salubrious, and in a short time curable patients are healed and returned to their regiments with renewed pluck and without loss of discipline. It is by such method and order, observed throughout all our military movements, that the rebellion can alone be put down.

This hospital was constructed out of some of the buildings that were used as barracks for the last regiments that were furnished by the state, and have hence occasioned but a small additional expense. They will also be very convenient for the sick of the nine months' regiments when they are mustered out.


Vermont Phoenix, May 28, 1863.

Charles A. Miles of Brattleboro is the most likely author of this letter. He commanded the local Burnside Military Academy.

The writer's reference is to Captain Alden Partridge (1785-1854), United States Army Corps of Engineers, the fourth Superintendent of West Point Military Academy (1815-1817).


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Burnside Military School

Colonel Charles A. Miles, Superintendent

Procession To The Hospital

The Hospital.---On Wednesday afternoon of last week there was a pleasant gathering at the hospital grounds in this village. The Band which has been recently organized in this state for the First Brigade of Vermont troops, and which was mustered into service a day or two previous, was present and discoursed sweet and stirring music under the guidance of Mr. Adams their skilful and accomplished leader. Mr. Miles too with his fine company of lads numbering about thirty-five was present. The exhibition of his company was very creditable both to Mr. Miles and his pupils. They went through with the various movements, drill, skirmishing, &c., with great accuracy and promptness. These lads will be well fitted when of a suitable age to do good service to their country on the battle field, should the war continue so long. This feature of Mr. Miles's school adds greatly to its value, and with its other excellencies makes it a first class school for the education of boys. The Fire Engine Company Mazeppa was also present on the occasion, and showed, as they have often done before, their skill and power in throwing water to a great height. The engine was drawn by four white horses, decorated by the stars and stripes and all together made a very handsome appearance. The procession as it marched through our streets and up to the parade ground was a spectacle pleasant to behold and attracted much attention. Dr. Phelps seemed much gratified by this visit to his hospital, and entertained his guests in a manner highly gratifying to their tastes. There was a crowd of spectators who appeared highly delighted with what they saw and heard.

Vermont Phoenix, June 4, 1863.

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Burnside Military School

Judge Samuel Wells House At Far Left


Francis A. Gleason

The body of Lieut Francis A. Gleason of Co. C, 2nd Vermont Regiment arrived by the morning train Wednesday morning, 3d inst. It was there received by the Fire Department of the village and conveyed to the Town Hall, where it was delivered over to Major Austine to be interred with Military honors. Lt. Gleason was wounded in the arm by a minnie ball at the recent battle of Fredericksburg. He went out as Sergeant in Co. C, and was promoted for the faithful discharge of duty and soldierly conduct.

Vermont Phoenix, June 4, 1863.


Funeral Obsequies.---The funeral of Lieut. Francis A. Gleason, of Co. C, 2nd Vermont Regiment, took place in this village on Thursday May 4th. The services were performed at the Town Hall which was filled with people from this and other Towns. It was estimated that there were present in and about the Hall twelve or fifteen hundred people. Both of the Fire Engine Companies of the village were present, a military Company from the Hospital, and the village Band, which with many citizens formed the procession to the Cemetery. The services at the Hall were singing by the Choir, Hymn read by Rev. Mr. Tyler, a Prayer by Rev. M. Carpenter, Address by Rev. Mr. Roberts, formerly Chaplain of the 4th Vt. Regiment, now Chaplain at the Hospital. The services were listened to with great attention. At the grave Mr. Roberts read the burial service, and Rev. Mr. Stowe made a prayer and pronounced the benediction. The Band played a dirge, and to conclude the service, the Company under the direction of Major Austine fired three volleys over the grave of their companion who has fought his last great battle, and gone to his reward. Thus was laid in his final resting place one who had lost his life in the service of his country, and who will long be remembered as a good soldier, an efficient officer, and a worthy man.

Vermont Phoenix, June 11, 1863.

Rev. Mark Carpenter, Baptist

Rev. W. T. Stowe, Universalist

Rev. John L. Roberts, Methodist Episcopal


Chaplain John L. Roberts


John Lord Roberts was born on February 26, 1809 in Strafford Township, Vermont to Jonathan and Olive. He was commissioned the Methodist Episcopal chaplain to the Vermont Fourth Regiment and mustered in on September 25, 1862 from Chelsea, Vermont, replacing the resigning Chaplain Plympton.

Rev. John L. Roberts resigned this commission on May 9, 1863 to become Chaplain of the United States General Hospital in Brattleboro, Vermont, replacing Chaplain Francis C. Williams. Chaplain Roberts was again commissioned Chaplain to the Fourth Regiment on July 3, 1863 and served until his mustering out on July 13, 1865.

Rev. John L. Roberts died on February 23, 1886 and is buried in the Village Cemetery in Coventry, Vermont.


Abby Estey Fuller Visits The Wounded

The dry bracing air, with the breath of the pines, and the dry sandy soil, did wonders for the poor soldiers. And later wounded men were sent here. Three days after Gettysburg, men wounded in that battle were brought in here. It seems as though I can hear now the rumble of John Ray's hacks as they went by after the late train at night, taking the poor fellows to the hospital.

Abby E. Estey

Wife of Governor Levi K. Fuller of Vermont

Mrs. Levi K. Fuller calls an important passing impression, when she says that "good women from our village were nurses". How much feminine tenderness and dedication, is recollected in these simple words?

Good women from our village were nurses.

Abby Estey Fuller also says that before the establishment of the U. S. General Hospital, wounded soldiers were quartered in the private houses along Canal and South Main streets, and that

There were seventeen sick men who were placed in a temporary hospital, arranged for them in the upper story of the old Brattleboro House, and one died there.


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George Grenville Benedict

Aide-De-Camp At The Battle Of Gettysburg

Camp of the Twelfth Vermont,

Brattleboro, Vt., July 14, 1863.

Dear Free Press:

If I recollect aright, my last letter, from the battle-field of Gettysburg, contained an intimation that in a subsequent epistle I might attempt to set down some additional incidents of the great battle. I take the first opportunity to fulfill the promise--finding it only here, ten days after the fight and many hundred miles from the field. As hitherto, I write only of what passed under my own eye, leaving to others the description of the battle as a whole.

As some of the army correspondents have given more or less erroneous accounts of the wounding of General Hancock, I will describe it as it happened. Just after General Stannard had ordered the Thirteenth and Sixteenth Vermont regiments out on Pickett's flank, General Hancock, followed by a single mounted orderly, rode down to speak to General Stannard. Lieutenant George W. Hooker and myself were standing near the general's side. The din of artillery and musketry was deafening at the time, and I did not hear the words that passed between the two generals. But my eyes were upon Hancock's striking figure --I thought him the most splendid looking man I ever saw on horseback, and magnificent in the flush and excitement of battle-- when he uttered an exclamation and I saw that he was reeling in his saddle.

Hooker and I with a common impulse sprang toward him, and caught him as he toppled from his horse into our outstretched arms. General Stannard bent over him as we laid him upon the ground, and opening his clothing where he indicated by a movement of his hand that he was hurt, a ragged hole, an inch or more in diameter, from which the blood was pouring profusely, was disclosed in the upper part and on the inside of his thigh. He was naturally in some alarm for his life. "Don't let me bleed to death," he said, "Get something around it quick." Stanhard had whipped out his handkerchief, and as I helped to pass it around General Hancock's leg, I saw that the blood, being of dark color and not coming in jets, could not be from an artery, and I said to him: "This is not arterial blood, General; you will not bleed to death." From my use of the surgical term he took me for a surgeon, and replied, with a sigh of relief: "That's good; thank you for that, Doctor." We tightened the ligature by twisting it with the barrel of a pistol, and soon stopped the flow of blood. Major Mitchell of Hancock's staff rode up as we were at work over the general, and uttering an exclamation of pain as he saw the condition of his chief, turned and darted away after a surgeon. One came in fifteen minutes, and removing the handkerchief thrust his forefinger to the knuckle into the wound and brought out from it an iron nail bent double. "This is what hit you, General," he said, holding up the nail, "and you are not so badly hurt as you think."[1]

I was sent by General Stannard, about this time, with orders to the Vermont regiments then actively engaged in front, and did not return until the repulse of Pickett's division was complete. General Hancock was still lying where he fell. He had just sent a message to General Meade announcing the repulse of the great assault of the enemy, and was evidently more cheerful in mind than he had been half an hour before. I helped to lift him into an ambulance and saw him no more.

I wish I could describe the great cannonade of Friday afternoon, but it was simply indescribable. At one time, when it was at the hottest, I took out my watch and counted for a minute the shells that came so nearly in the line of my sight that I could see them like black spots in the air. I counted six such in sixty seconds. Most of these went just over our heads or I should not be writing this.

The most destructive shot I noticed took effect in the Thirteenth regiment, as it was marching back to resume its place in line after the surrender of the greater portion of the main rebel column. I was hurrying past with an order, when a thud and cry of horror close behind me attracted my attention above the cracking of exploding shell. I turned to find a cruel gap in the column. Of a file of four men three had been prostrated by a shell, together with two officers marching by their side. The outer man was thrown to the ground but I believe not seriously injured; the second was hit and killed by the passing missile; the third was struck in the centre of the body and literally dismembered, one leg, bared of all but the shoe and stocking, being thrown several feet from the body. The fragments of the shell exploding at the same moment killed the sergeant-major of the regiment, Smith, to whom I had just spoken a cheering word, and threw senseless to the ground Lieut. Col. Munson, who was walking at the moment at the sergeant-major's elbow. For a moment the men in the rear of the file which had thus been swept away halted and drew back aghast; but discipline prevailed in another moment, and stepping over their mangled comrades, they closed up the gap and marched on.

That I have made no mention of individual cases of good conduct on the field, is simply because such were altogether too numerous to mention. The troops of our brigade, being on their first battlefield, were not greatly counted on at the outset by our corps and division generals; and as we afterwards learned, strong supports were placed back of us to take our places when we should fall to the rear. But the supports were not needed. Our men endured that fearful cannonade as steadily as the oldest veteran regiment on the field. They rose into the cast-iron tornado that was sweeping over them, as promptly as if they had been on dress parade, and when their line moved, it was to the front instead of to the rear. They took the only two guns, so far as I can learn, that were taken from the enemy during the battle, and probably lessened Mr. Lee's army, in killed and wounded and prisoners, at the rate of two or three men for every one of our own engaged. Our friends of the First brigade have been wont to call the Second brigade "the picnic party." I am sorry they were not present on the spot to see the picnic party go in, July 2d and 3d.

But one instance of unmanly want of fortitude attracted my notice among our Vermont troops. One young man, struck down by a shot which shattered one leg, as the regiment was hurrying forward, burst forth into loud entreaties to his comrades not to leave him, and rising on one knee tried to stop them by catching at the skirts of their coats as they passed him. They could not stay, of course, and it may have been the next day possibly before he was cared for. Such was the case with many of our wounded. The rule which forbids the rank and file leaving the ranks to attend to the wounded, hard as it seems, is one of necessity, and if more rigidly enforced in all our battles would have saved a hundred lives for every one lost by it.

I was not at Gen. Stannard's side when he was wounded, having been sent by him a little before with an order to Lieut. Col. Rose, commanding the detachment of the Fourteenth Vermont which supported the Sixteenth in its charge on Wilcox's brigade. The men of the battalion had just been ordered to cease firing, when I reached their line, the enemy in their immediate front having thrown down their arms. One or two men, in their excitement, paid no heed to the order and kept on firing till fairly collared by Major Hall.

The risks of battle were, I think, more apparent to me while I was going to and fro on this errand, than at any other time; for the rebel batteries had opened afresh to cover Wilcox's retreat, and I had to cross two places which, owing to the conformation of the ground, were receiving especial attention from them. The ground at these points was being literally swept by grape, and ploughed into long furrows by shell, and it did not look as if a man crossing them had much chance for his life; but I was fortunate enough to get down and back without being hit; and a spent ball which struck a pistol-cartridge box on my side and doubled down a Smith & Wesson cartridge without exploding it, was the only hostile missile that touched me, during the battle.

After Stannard was taken to the rear Colonel Randall assumed command of the brigade, which remained on the field, with the corps, for three days after the battle, while the old brigade with the Sixth corps, which had been held in reserve, pushed after Lee's retreating army.

I rode over the ground on Sunday, from right to left; but can give but little space to the horrors of the battle-field. I have seen nothing with which to compare them, except Brady's photographic views of the field of Antietam--and there are in them no evidences of carnage at all equalling what I saw in twenty places on the field of Gettysburg. In the open ground in front of our lines on the centre and left, multitudes of the dead of both armies still lay unburied, though strong burial parties had been at work for twenty-four hours. They had died from almost every conceivable form of mutilation and shot-wound. Most of them lay on their backs, with clothes commonly thrown open in front, perhaps by the man himself in his dying agony, or by some human jackal searching for money on the corpse, and breast and stomach often exposed. The faces, as a general rule, had turned black--not a purplish discoloration, such as I had imagined in reading of the "blackened corpses" so often mentioned in descriptions of battle-grounds, but a deep bluish black, giving to a corpse with black hair the appearance of a negro, and to one with light or red hair and whiskers a strange and revolting aspect. In the woods on our right, where the long musketry fight of Friday forenoon raged, I found the rebel dead (our own having been mostly buried) literally covering the ground. In a circle of fifty feet radius as near as I could estimate, I counted forty-seven dead rebels. The number of the enemy's dead in two acres of that oak grove, was estimated at 2,000, and I cannot say that I think it exaggerated. On the knoll just on the right of the position of our brigade, occupied successively by two of our batteries on Friday, I counted the dead bodies of twenty-nine horses. As late as Sunday noon, wounded men were still being brought into the field hospitals, some of whom had lain on the field since Thursday.

Gettysburg, Devil's Den, Sharpshooter.jpg

Devil's Den

I could relate other scenes and incidents of the battle, as noteworthy as those I have mentioned, but time and space are failing me.

On Sunday night, after midnight, as I lay asleep, face up to the sky, on the field, a man shook me by the shoulder. It was an orderly with a led horse, who came with a message from General Stannard, directing me to join him at the farm house several miles away to which he had been carried. The night was pitch dark, and how we made out to thread the lines of sleeping soldiers and find our way to the house, I cannot understand; but we did it before daylight. Next day I took him, in an ambulance, to Westminster, a twenty-seven mile ride, and we spent that night in a freight car, one of a train of fifty or more cars, which were filled with wounded officers. Most of them were wholly unattended and groaned the night away on the bare floors. Of course this was the result of no intentional neglect; but the number of wounded, exceeding twenty thousand, swamped all ordinary means of relief. I left the general in Baltimore, while I went to Washington to obtain transportation for him to Vermont, whither I accompanied him a little later. One of the first men I met at the War Department was Brig. Gen. Carl Schurz. He lectured in Burlington, as some will remember, just before this "great unpleasantness" began, and having seen something of the civil war of the Swiss Cantons before he came to America, he ventured the prediction that while there was sure to be war between the North and South, with us as with the Swiss one battle would settle the dispute and there would not be much bloodshed. I reminded him of his prophecy, and he said he had changed his mind about our war, since then. But enough of this gossip. The Second Vermont brigade is disbanded. The Twelfth regiment, having remained on arduous duty in the Army of the Potomac a week beyond the utmost limit of its time--for which it received the thanks of General Newton, commanding the First corps, in a highly complimentary order--took its leave with the hearty goodwill of all with whom it has been associated, and has been mustered out and ceased to exist as a military body. The Thirteenth has also arrived here covered with dust and laurels, and in a few days will be no more as a regiment. Two weeks more will see the other regiments on their way home.

The service of the brigade has not been what most of us expected, for we counted on active campaigns in the field, and hoped to be in at the death of the rebellion. But if less glorious than that of some, the duty which has mainly occupied us in the defence of Washington has been honorable, and more laborious than the average. And though not permitted to see within our term the close of this great war, we have been allowed to have a hand in the greatest battle that has been fought in it, and can go to our homes, feeling that with the glorious successes in the West and the opening of the Mississippi, the back-bone of the rebellion is indeed broken.

And now with prayers for the speedy triumph of the Good Cause, in the service of which it is honor enough to have had even a small share; with heartiest good wishes for his comrades in arms, for many of whom he has formed friendships which will be life-long; and with kindest regard for the gentle readers who have received with such kind interest his hasty and unstudied sketches, your correspondent brings these letters to a close, and takes his leave of camps and army correspondence.

Yours, B.


[1] Four months after the battle I met Hancock in Willard's Hotel in Washington. He remembered my face and I spent an hour talking over the battle with him. He told me that though his wound soon healed externally, it gave him immense pain till, after a number of weeks, the surgeons opened it and probed it more thoroughly, when, eight inches from the opening, they found and extracted a minie ball and a round plug of wood. The explanation of this curious assortment of missiles to be taken from a single wound was a simple one. Hancock was nearly facing the enemy when hit. The ball passed first through the pommel of his McClellan saddle, took from it the nail and a round piece of wood the size of the ball, and carried both with it into his body. I may add that I possess and prize a note in General Hancock's peculiar handwriting, addressed to myself, in which he says: "I have reason to remember you and Colonel Hooker on that field, for to you I am indebted for your kindly aid in assisting me from my horse when I was struck and about to fall to the ground, and that incident is of course indelibly impressed upon my memory."

During his nine months in the military, Lieutenant George Benedict corresponded with the Free Press in Burlington. After the war Benedict compiled the two-volume "Vermont in the Civil War: A History of the Part Taken by the Vermont Soldiers and Sailors in the War for the Union 1861-1865" and "Army Life in Virginia: Letters from the Twelfth Vermont Regiment and Personal Experiences of Volunteer Service in the War for the Union 1862-1863".

George Grenville Benedict was honorably discharged on July 14, 1863 at Brattleboro, Vermont on the same day that he posted this final military correspondence for the Burlington Free Press.

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Lt. George G. Benedict

January 1863

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Vermont Soldiers Reunion At Devil's Den In October 1886


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Joel J. Morrison, Jr., Thirteenth Vermont Regiment, Company "G", Invalid Corps

Private Joel Morrison was from Middlebury, Vermont. This portrait is by Caleb L. Howe.


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Pvt. Ralph Orson Sturtevant, Historian, 13th Vermont Infantry

We were marched by companies to a commodious hall on the camp ground, one of the many buildings recently built, and about fifty at a time were admitted and the doors shut, and then we were told to remove all our clothing as quick as possible and stand in line up and down the hall. This was a new deal that we had not been told of, and some demurred, but no use, strip we must and so we did, and when we were all lined up in a row we hardly knew ourselves and especially each other. Though there were two surgeons we thought them very slow, the room was cold and no fire and we were growing chilly. This examination was critical and reminded me of the careful and scrutinizing examination of the horse buyer when about to purchase a valuable animal for market. Eyes, ears, teeth, arms, thumbs and fingers, legs, feet and toes and required to go through various motions with hands, run and jump over a common empty flour barrel laid down on the floor, and many similar antics, nothing escaped their attention. If symptoms of hernia of any kind appeared, their fingers would press hard upon the spot . . . The boys' teeth chattered and they shirvered with cold long before the surgeons finished their scrutinizing task, but the running and jumping warmed them up and none took cold. None of Company K was thrown out, nor of the regiment to my knowledge. Corporal H. P. Bullard had a defective eye, and Cadmus S. Gates was not a good high jumper. The eye of Corporal Bullard they did not see and comrade Gates' sprawling jump lighting on the barrel and his ride on it almost across the hall, so amused the surgeons that they said, 'You are all right.'

The boys ran up and down the hall to limber up their stiffened limbs and to warm their bodies, whooping and jumping like wild Indians, caring but little for appearance and utterances . . . Quite a few of the more curious and restless secured passes and went over to the village stopping on their way to look over the village cemetery. During the afternoon the clouds broke and cleared away, and everything appeared more pleasant in and about camp, and as we looked to the south and west the wooded hills and mountains beyond and the beautiful and thriving village with its white painted houses on the high banks of the broad Connecticut River on its way to the sea made an attractive picture.

There was a pressing demand on our arrival for spruce gum and likely not one native born Vermonter in the whole regiment whose jaws did not open and shut, cheeks bulge out with great cuds of spruce gum, moving about from side to side from morning until late at night. The zest and industry and skill demonstrated the youthful habit and place of birth. All had been without the usual cud of spruce gum for nine months and were now evidently making up for lost time. It was said on the evening of the first day after our return there was not an ounce of spruce gum to be found in the stores of Brattleboro. Many of the boys climbed the steep mountain-side across the Connecticut in search of gum.

Commissioned Surgeon George Nichols, 13th Vermont Infantry, 1862.jpg

Surgeon George Nichols, 13th Vermont Infantry

Occasionally some one was accidently pricked with the bayonet during our first drills, but not seriously. While we were in this camp most every day there were pressing demands for passes to visit the village, insane asylum, organ manufacturing establishment and other places; these were the reasons given, but not always the correct ones, and the highway between camp and village was alive with teams and footmen from early morning till late at night. Twenty passes a day granted from each company were given out with permission to be absent two hours, some returned on time and others forgot and had a plausible excuse, and thus the days and nights were spent with little variation. . .

We had already found desirable places four our sick, and arranged for their care before leaving. I recall to mind only one of the dangerously sick, Henry B. Meigs of Company K. He was sick with typhoid fever, taken down soon after reaching Camp Lincoln, and by his company comrades was conveyed on a wagon drawn by hand from Camp down into the village and placed in the house of Mrs. Mary Willard still living in Brattleboro. . . I have reason to believe that the kindness and patriotic sympathy of this noble woman not only saved our young hero's life, but as a true, devoted and loyal lover of her country displayed the same heroic courage as was evinced by the valiant conduct of this boy (then in her care) of eighteen summers at Gettysburg. She was the Good Angel that watched and cared for this stranger soldier boy night and day till restored to health. Young Meigs developed into one of God's true and noble men and in his prosperity has not forgotten the lady that took him in and cared for him. The unselfish duty so generously bestowed found as reward and demonstration in what is written in scripture "Cast Thy Bread upon the waters, for Thou shalt find it after many days", and surely in this case it has come to pass.

[Private Henry Benjamin Meigs, 13th Vermont Infantry, Company K, and Mary Hubbard Field, daughter of Charles K. Field, Esq., later Mrs. Henry Cushman Willard]

From Ralph Orson Sturtevant and Eli Nelson Peck, "Pictorial History of the Thirteenth Vermont Volunteers in the War of 1861-1865", (Burlington, Vermont: Vermont Regimental Association, 1910).


From William Henry Channing

Stanton Hospital, Washington, D. C.,

July 15th, 1863.

Mrs. Charles Warder, Wesselhoeft Water Cure,

Brattleboro, Vt.

Dear Madam:---Will you present to the Ladies of Brattleboro my sincere thanks for the favor they have done me in making me the almoner of their bounty to our wounded soldiers. On the next page you will find my receipt.

Anticipating a great battle on the upper Potomac, I have held the money, forwarded by you, until to-day. But as the papers inform us this morning that Lee has escaped into Virginia without a fight, I have at once dispatched your contribution to be used for the wounded at Gettysburg.

The zeal and sympathy of the women of America in the nation's cause does honor to them and is at once a high reward and encouragement for the heroes of our army.

We have glorious news on all sides, now, and we earnestly hope for the speedy redemption of our Republic.

I remain, yours faithfully,

William Henry Channing,
Chaplain of Stanton Hospital, Washington, D. C.

N. B.--- The whole of this sum has been disposed of for the use of the Heroes of Gettysburgh.

W. H. C.

Vermont Phoenix, July 30, 1863.


The following list of articles have been furnished for the United States Hospital at Brattleboro, by the ladies and friends of the sick and wounded soldiers in Jacksonville and other portions of Whitingham, viz:

5 quilts, 1 dozen shirts, 7 pillow cases, 4 pairs of drawers, 2 handkerchiefs, 1 napkin, 1 paper of pins, linen and lint, 1 paper of dried blackberries, 9 1-2 pounds of dried apples.

M. A. H., Sec. of the J. S. A. S.

Jacksonville, July 25, 1863.

Vermont Phoenix, July 30, 1863.


Maria L. Brown, Nurse Hines

No woman was more patriotic. She had a deep love for Brattleboro, her native state, and the nation. In the early days of the war, when sick and wounded soldiers were brought to Vermont, her home was gladly opened to them, and they received such tender care that more than one regarded her as a second mother.

Maria L. Brown was born in Dummerston on April 12, 1818, and early in life removed to Brattleboro. In 1835 she married Col. Arnold Jefferson Hines, a prominent mechanic and businessman, and lived at the Hines homestead on Canal Street somewhat east from Birge Street.

Daniel Brown and Katherine Arnold, her parents, were of strictly Puritan descent, and she had in a marked degree the Puritan qualities, energy, enterprise, fidelity, and faith in God. Her moral nature was strongly developed. She had the courage of her convictions, and was thoroughly sincere in word and deed.

On April 1, 1861 Arnold J. Hines retired and began closing his worldly affairs, afflicted with an internal tumor of sure growth, which had several attachments in the abdomen, and which finally weighed seventy-eight pounds. There was no cure and little palliation for this condition. A. J. Hines died on April 5, 1862.


Cherry Brandy Medicinal

Washington, July 22, 1863.

My Dear Sir:

One of our greatest wants here, in connection with the sick in the Hospitals, has been a reasonable supply of stimulants. Our men have suffered, much more than those brought up further south, from chronic diarrhoea, either alone or in combination with other diseases, and especially as a sequence of typhoid fever. I have given out nothing which apparently, in this class of cases, has been as beneficial in its effects as cherry-rum or brandy, and I would suggest that a full supply be procured this summer. I think the common choke cherry, or the sand cherry, in consequence of their very astringent properties, as well as the wild black cherry may be used to great advantage. Thirty pounds or more of sugar should be put to each barrel of cherries, and I believe pure New England rum as good a spirit as could be used for the purpose. After the cherries have been soaked in the spirit for five or six weeks the liquor may be drawn off, and a new supply of sugar and spirit added, to remain about three months or more, or the cherries pressed and the juice put in the rum, care being taken not to crush too many of the cherry stones in the operation. In any case the cherries should be pressed when no more rum is to be put to them. If I remember right the choke cherry ripens next month. Should you agree with me in this matter, will you please call upon our people for a supply, and I have no doubt they will promptly respond to your call. We are at present in want of nothing else, except some fruit jellies. At this time of the year jellies should be put up in screw cap jars, and carefully packed with coarse ground indian meal, or cut straw, or similar material, in well coopered barrels.

Yours truly,

W. F. Hall

Surgeon Edward E. Phelps.

U. S. General Hospital, Brattleboro, Vt.

I most fully concur in Mr. Hall's views in regard to the value of the preparations above mentioned and hope such aid may be sent as will enable him to continue his most valuable labors in making more comfortable the Vermont sick.

Ed. E. Phelps, Surg. U. S. Vol.

Vermont Phoenix, July 30, 1863.


Private Holden S. Hodge

Holden S. Hodge was born on November 19, 1838 in Stowe, Vermont, to Ephraim T. Hodge and Betsey C. Sever. He enlisted in Company E, 2nd Regiment United States Sharp Shooters on October 28, 1861 and was mustered in on November 9, 1861 at West Randolph.

Private Holden Hodge was detailed as regimental hospital cook on February 15, 1862, and also detailed to assist the surgeon in the care of the wounded. While caring for the wounded on the field, shots passed through his clothes six different times, but he was not hurt.

While assisting the surgeons in hospital at the Second Battle of Bull Run on August 30, 1862, Confederate soldiers took him prisoner. For the next five days he had nothing to eat, kept under guard on or near the field of battle. Sent then to Parole Camp, Annapolis, thankful for the protection of the Stars and Stripes, and for the good cheer provided after long privation.

At the Battle of Gettysburg Holden S. Hodge was sunstruck, and remained in a general hospital until the middle of August 1863, when he was transferred to the U. S. General Hospital at Brattleboro, Vermont.

On March 29, 1864, Private Hodge was transferred to the Veterans Reserve Corps, and was finally discharged by reason of disability on September 30, 1864, serving two years, eleven months, and two days. He received a $100 government bounty.

Holden Hodge worked as a house carpenter after the war, in Stowe, Vermont company with his wife Flora A. Peck and his daughter and his son, Jennie S. and Willis V. Hodge. He died in Mazomanie, Dane County, Wisconsin on July 30, 1898.


Typhoid Fever

In the U. S. Hospital in this place, of typhoid fever, Private Dwight P. Moore of Co F, 16th Vt. Regt.

Vermont Phoenix, August 6, 1863.


In the General Hospital at Brattleboro, July 27th, of typhoid fever, Henry Brigham, of Whitingham, Private in Co. I, 16th Vt. Vols., aged 21.

In the General Hospital at Brattleboro, Aug. 3d, of typhoid fever, John J. Abbott of Windham, Drummer in Co. I, 16th Vt. Vols., aged 19.

Vermont Phoenix, August 13, 1863.


In Brattleboro, July 31st, of typhoid fever, Dwight P., son of Ephraim Moore, of Dover, aged 22 years. He was a member of Co. F, 16th Vt. Regt., and during his term of service faithfully discharged the duties required of him. He was in the battle of Gettysburg, and bravely fought for his Country against the invading foe; spared in the conflict, bright anticipations of soon seeing his home and friends filled his mind; but they were hopes never to be realized. With difficulty he reached Brattleboro, but was never able to be conveyed home. This sad bereavement, is more deeply felt by the family, because of their recent affliction, in the death of a beloved son and brother, in the same regiment. They had fondly hoped one would be spared to them, but God saw fit to order it otherwise. And deeply as we feel our heavy loss, yet we know He does not willingly afflict, nor grieve the children of men.

Father to Thee, we must submit.
Although Thy chastening rod,
Hath taken from us both our sons.
We'll trust them with our God.


Vermont Phoenix, August 27, 1863.


Pvt. John G. Sugland, 54th Massachusetts Infantry (Colored)

During the war John Sugland was arrested in Vernon, Vermont on a charge of doing violence to another man, but he was released from jail by the selectmen, on his promise to enlist in the 54th Massachusetts Infantry (Colored). John G. Sugland was in Camp Holbrook in Brattleboro within two days.

Rinaldo N. Hescock, Hospital Steward at the United States Military Hospital, also in charge of the reception room, the library, and its reading room, recalled Sophronia M. Colgrove Sugland visiting her husband while he was suffering from a violent cold---the lingering effects from which, he applied for invalid pension on June 15, 1883.


Pvt. Rinaldo Nathan Hescock



Diptheria is prevailing in an epidemic form in this village. Three young children who died of this disease were buried in one day last week. The increased and increasing ravages of this alarming disease in this section of the country renders it incumbent on medical men to study carefully its earlier symptoms in orde to determine, if possible, the predisposing and exciting causes of this malady.

Vermont Phoenix, December 10, 1863.


Sickness and Mortality.---The amount and severity of sickness in this town and vicinity has wonderfully increased of late, and in an unusually large proportion of cases has proved fatal. All diseases early assume a very persistent and aggravated type. Diptheria has invaded many a household and called therefrom some of the fairest and choicest flowers. So numerous have been its ravages that families are justly alarmed at the approach of any ailment of the throat and lungs, and seek medical advice when ordinarily they would trust implicitly to their own experience. But diptheria has been thrown in the shade by the appearance of a new and more fatal type of disease in this and other towns in this county. What this disease is the faculty have not decided. In some towns and by some persons it is called spotted fever, others regard it as a peculiar form of typhus fever, while we have heard it pronounced by excellent medical authority to be congestion of the brain and spinal cord in an epidemic form. The victims of this disease are usually young people from seven to fourteen years of age, and the disease proves fatal in from one to three days. In this village there have been several cases---three of them boys and cousins, and two of them only sons. We are informed that the same disease is prevailing to some extent in Newfane, Townshend, Wardsboro and Jamaica.

It is remarkable that in the town of Stratton---with a population of 366 in 1860, and which has since diminished rather than increased,---from ordinary causes alone there have been over sixty deaths during the last two years, and a majority of these have been caused by diptheria.

Vermont Phoenix, February 5, 1864.


Civil War Hospital Flag, General Order January 4, 1864.gif

Civil War Hospital Flag

By General Order January 4, 1864

Signal For Ambulance Guidon, Civil War.gif

Signal For Ambulance Guidon



Edward R. Cook and Thomas H. Whitman

Tintype Taken In Brattleboro

These men had known each other since childhood, and were working in a chisel factory in Sunderland, Vermont, in a village called Chiselville, when they both enlisted for the Union on December 14, 1863 and were mustered in on December 24, 1863.

It seems likely that this tintype was made in December 1863, soon after the mustering in, but the newspaper article in which the tintype is seen claims that it was made in September 1863. Edward Cook had already served in the Fourteenth Regiment, so he may be wearing his uniform from that time. But if the tintype really was made in September 1863, why should Thomas Whitman be wearing a Union uniform two months before his enlistment?

Edward R. Cook was born on February 1, 1846 and had already served for nine months in Co. C, Fourteenth Vermont Regiment when he reenlisted. He was wounded at Chapins Farm on September 29, 1864---

Private Edward R. Cook, a laborer from Sunderland, Co. E., had his left arm mangled by a piece of shell. What remained of the 19-year-old's left arm was later amputated between shoulder and elblow. The same piece of shell that shattered his arm also struck the left side of his chest an inch below and to the left of the left nipple. A doctor wrote later, "Considerable hemorrhage followed per the bronchial tube and mouth showing that the lung was injured, probably force of the blow rather than the actual contact of the shell as there were no symptoms denoting escape of air." On January 3, 1865, Cook wrote Vermont's Adjutant General Henry H. Baxter asking him to help him get transferred to the general hospital in Brattleboro. His request moved exceptionally fast through the bureaucracy and was approved by the War Department on January 17; Cook was transferred soon thereafter."

Paul G. Zeller, The Ninth Vermont Infantry; A History and Roster. (Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers, 2008) pp. 174-175.

Edward R. Cook's wife Clara Ann Lyman was from Dover, Vermont, where they lived after the war and brought up their daughters Nellie and Lela. Edward Cook died on February 8, 1918 and is buried in Wilimington, Vermont.

Thomas H. Whitman was also wounded at Chapins Farm, scratched by two bullets. The long marches in Virginia brought this soldier the ulcerated varicose veins which eventually disabled him. Following treatment in an Army hospital, he served as a hospital attendant until he was mustered out on May 22, 1865. He married Nellie and worked as a farmer in Sunderland, and later resided in Bennington. Thomas Whitman died on September 13, 1927 and is buried in Arlington, Vermont.

The photograph above taken of Edward R. Cook and Thomas H. Whitman was published in the Brattleboro Reformer, September 27, 1912.



At the Hospital in this village, Dec. 30, Henry W. Hopkins, aged 26 years. He had been but a few days mustered into the 2nd U. S. Sharpshooters.

Vermont Phoenix, January 1, 1864.

Private Henry W. Hopkins enlisted from Brattleboro on August 10, 1861 and was mustered in on October 18, 1861 in Company C, Second Vermont Regiment. He was discharged disabled on November 8, 1862. Soldier Henry W. Hopkins is buried in the Soldiers' Lot within the Prospect Hill Cemetery in Brattleboro.


Pvt. Charles E. Blake Letters To Abiah His Wife

U. S. Barracks, Brattleboro, Feb. 3, 1864

Dear wife,

I arrived in first rate order, about 12 o'clock Saturday night. Sunday went to Hinsdale. Mary Ann can tell you. Saw her off Monday morning. Can find nothing of the letter I wrote her. The recruits have mostly left. About 70 went to the 9th Regt. This afternoon. There are a few more to go on that are here and some of the furloughed that are sick and have not come back. I looked for a letter from you tonight some. I am almost afraid to hear from home. I hope that the pestilence may be staid, but all things are in the hands of God. The same disease (Meningitis Cerebro Spinal) is here. I have heard that there were several deaths in town from it Sunday night. Three of the recruits have died with it. A postmortem examination shows the same condition as those described in that medical work Doct. Bowker had, but of this I cannot speak with any certainty, as I have not seen any Surgeon since I came back. Hope that I shall never need to see one.

I write this that any physician who wishes to learn about it may know where he can gain information. I suppose there is no doubt of disease here and in East Charleston being the same.
It made its appearance in a neighborhood in the town of Wentworth and Piermont in New Hampshire, in November and it has been very fatal. I saw a man in the cars that had watched almost every night for several weeks. He was an intelligent young man. The appearance of those afflicted was the same as those in East Charleston. There were but few that recovered. One person, a young lady, had been dying for ten weeks and was alive when he left home. Doctor McNabb calls it the old fashioned spotted fever or typhus (which I understand the young man he called the same here). The people give it many names, don't know what the physicians call it. It was here before I went home. The young man sick in the house where Mrs. Chaplin was has died with it. She is now sick. I have not heard from her today.

Monday the Captain's wife sent to me that she had a parcel that had been left for me. I went over and got it. It was a present from Catherine. It was a nice little thing. Don't know what you call it. There was needles and pins, bees-wax, thread, some buttons, some medicine and a comb. It was really nice lined with a piece of a vest that I had before I went to Georgia. One pocket was made of a piece of a dress that was your mother's and hers and is now Mable's. I could not find my mittens, and lost a 2 dollar bill coming down. I found Ephraim at Derby, took out my money and paid my fare there. Ephraim carried me to Newport. I did not take out my money from the time I left Derby until I got to the Junction, a 2 dollar bill gone. The Captain got that of Allen, so I shall get along. Ephraim was very glad to see me, thinks you one of the best women in the world. He seemed to act as if he knew that I did not feel right toward him, edged round a little as if he wished to speak about it but I was off about something else. Glad that he did not speak, as I could not hold my temper than and I might have said things that I should be sorry for. I must choke it down a while longer. By & by I shall get cool enough to write to him. I would not quarrel with him for a great deal on father's account, if for no other reason. I thought of it as we rode along, that a few words, or a slight turn in the conversation might create a feud that would never be healed and I thought of what would be father's feelings if such should be the case and kept off. That is the best way I know of but it was hard work. If I had not had that talk with father I think I could not have done it, but as I regretted somewhat what I said to father, thought I would say nothing more to regret and some of the steam had passed off; if it had not the boiler would certainly have burst when I saw Ephraim.

I wrote a good long letter last night to Catherine all but the "good" I have, lest all the faculty I had in writing letters they will not read as I wish them to no way I can fix them. I think that another two months of hard work in the business that I have been in would spoil me entirely, but when I get among those negroes again I should come round all right. There is nary nigger here now, but I have not got among them yet, but the way I am putting them into the tactics is now slow. Why I can hardly say, in the recitations, Batallion, Company or Squad. I almost say "Colored gentlemen, attention!" "Colored gentlemen, right about!" Colored gentlemen, that will be grand, but never mind. I rode in the cars with the 6th New Hampshire. They were at Jackson, Mississippi, Vicksburg and had seen the colored gentlemen fight, and it did my heart good to hear the tell how they fought. They saw there are none of them but what will fight with a will. We will make our mark yet, and all the world shall point to us as the Saviors of the Union. This is written in jest, but the truth may be told in jest just as well by the pen as the sword.

The weather is very pleasant here now. Had quite a fall of snow Monday, but it melted some. Oh! How I wish you were here, but it is all useless, so I will grin and bear it. I am anxious to hear from home and to hear how the sick all are. How is Mr. Caruth's family and Mr. Cade? It seems to that Charlie was alive now, but that cannot be possible. I wished that I had told someone to have written to me as soon as those boys died. Remember me to them and their families. If you cannot write to me tell Mary Ann to write. Ask her how she bears the separation from the dear one. He has presented his farewell sermon in Hinsdale, but probably he soon will be in a better place and then & then ask father and mother, but the night is wearing away, and so is my paper. I am sitting up with one of our boys who is sick. It is past one. I have got my lesson and shall recite immediately after guard mount.

Yours in love and affection,


Charles E. Blake, Private, 6th Vermont Infantry, Gravestone.jpg

Charles E. Blake was born on December 20, 1820 to Samuel Blake and Mary Benham, later residing in Salem, now Derby, Vermont. Samuel conducted "Blake's Tavern" and was the Town Clerk for thirty years. Charles was Salem Representative to the Legislature in 1857.

Charles Blake enlisted as a substitute and mustered in on August 27, 1863 from Charleston, Vermont as a private in Co. "D", Sixth Vermont Infantry. His wife was Abiah Mansur and they had six children in all.

Charles Blake was killed in action at the Battle of Opequon, also called the Third Battle of Winchester, in the Shenandoah Valley on September 19, 1864. He is buried in the Winchester National Cemetery in Virginia.

A descendant of Charles E. Blake and his son Edward Blake of South Dakota presented a paper before the Daughters of the American Revolution and the Colonial Dames, based upon her ancestor's many Civil War letters. Several transcripts were made at this time from the original letters, which still remain in a private collection.

Private Charles Blake's first letter from the U. S. Barracks in Brattleboro was dated September 24, 1863 and begins with "It is a mystery to me why I am here." Transcripts from his complete letters from Long Island in Boston Harbor, and from Brattleboro, would comprise a small book.

Charles Blake served in the administrative offices while in Brattleboro, processing the records for the arriving new recruits and handling the pay roll accounts. During the writing of his letter dated December 4, 1863, Charles Blake suddenly looked up from his office desk---

There has just now ninety of the hospital boys left the hospital to rejoin their Regiments. They are now marching down by the barracks. I will go and look at them. Well, I have been out and seen them. Most appear to be in good spirits. Some look rather sober. Many of them have friends that have come to bid them good bye, wives and little children that is sad to look upon. If I were going to the front I should not wish you to be present when I started.

In his letter dated February 11, 1864 Charles Blake describes a woman who is possibly "the Captain's wife" named in his letter from eight days previously, or possibly Martha Amanda Cushing, the wife of Pvt. Richard W. Chaplin of the 10th Vermont Regiment, Co. "K", who was eventually transferred to the Veterans Reserve Corps on May 15, 1864---

Almost any woman that comes on to the ground got complimented over the left, though that depends some upon her manner. There is one woman that lives in one of the barracks near ours, the wife of one of the men in our company that no one ever says ought of. When any of the men are sick she is ready to do anything for them. At other times she is at home. Her husband is a shoemaker and works nights when he is not on duty. His wife washes for the men and mends, bakes pies and sells them and minds her own business. They are making money.

Three days later on February 14, 1864, now Corporal of the Guard, Charles Blake writes to his wife that---

There was a report yesterday that there was a case of small pox at the hospital. It will go through all the hospitals as the sick come on through Washington. There are some deaths occurring in the hospital, most of them from measles that get up and take cold and away they go. One man from Company A died this morning. There are none from our company that have died, though there is one that has had the typhoid fever and the measles that is not expected to live.

Furloughed to Philadelphia, Charles Blake writes to Abiah on May 15, 1864 about the Brattleboro hospital soldiers---

There has a large number of wounded arrived in the city this morning. I went to the Baltimore depot to see them, but the crowd was so great that I could not get near. I saw in the ambulances as they passed, some I knew but they were all recruits, and knew but little about the old boys. I had quite a chat with one man, a recruit, who has left Brattleboro since I came from there, wounded very severely in the ankle. I walked by the side of the ambulance. He told me that a great many Vermont boys were with along, but he had not been in the army long enough to know the men.

This same day Corporal Blake wrote to Rep. Portus Baxter, Chairman of the Committee on Expenditures in the Department of the Navy, popularly called "the soldier's friend", at Derby Line, Vermont---

There was a large number of the wounded came into the city this morning. I went to see them, though I must confess that I felt almost ashamed to go among those war-worn Veterans. The crowd was so great that I saw but few, but one that I knew. He was a recruit that has left Brattleboro since I came here. He was not acquainted with many, even in his own company. He said there was many of the Vermont Brigade.


The Guard House

"Hard Tickets"

Jno. Better was on guard with me last night. We have got some hard tickets in the guard house now as I ever saw. Had to visit the cell once every 1/2 hour last night. Have four men chained 2 & 2 and hand cuffed, and one hand cuffed and his feet chained together by a chain about a foot long and riveted to his ankles. The chain is the size of a large sized cable chain. They are hard ones, no mistake.

Private Charles E. Blake, Letter, March 4, 1864.


I will tell you what we shall be doing from ½ past 8 until 9 o'clock. In the first place the guards will fall in in two ranks in the guard house. Two files on the left will give way and the prisoners will be placed in the interval. They will all march out of the guard house and will stand until the new is formed, and marched on to the ground. The roll of the prisoners will be called and they will be marched back to the guard house in the same manner as they came out. Now, if you get this letter before 9 o'clock you will know just about where I am and what I am doing. Sometimes that guard house is not a very pleasant place. I saw a woman in there this morning, the wife of one of the men in our company, a Mrs. Reed, not a very handsome one, but a good woman, I will bet. She stepped up to look at the prisoners. While she was looking two that were chained together and han cuffed together came along. She looked at them a moment and her eyes filled with tears, and she got out of the house winking pretty fast. I expect that that woman would make but a poor keeper over those prisoners. She would let them all out sure. Well, it does look hard. . . .

I can write nothing more about the disease that has prevailed here than I wrote sometime since. There have been several post mortem examinations and the disease is called cerebello spinela meningitis. Well, I have spelled it as near right as I can. The symptoms are the same as those in Charleston and die in perfectly the same manner. The disease prevailing in Winchester and Piermont is the same. In some places they give the name above and in some the spotted fever and in some cold fever, in some Typhus, but it is the same dreadful disease under whatever name it is called.

Private Charles E. Blake, Letter, March 9, 1864.


The Itch

Guard House, April 17th, 1864.

Dearest Abiah,

The guard house is my place until tomorrow morning at 8 o'clock. That is the time we change guard now. I have been pretty bad off for some ten days with boils. I was a little better for one day, that was my turn on guard, so I have not missed any duty and have not been on the sick list. I did not want the doctor told of my boils. I had the management of them myself. I hope that I have had the last one. I did go to the Doctor sometime since and told him I wanted him to tell me whether I had the itch or not. He said that he thought that it was. He says that most of the men in the first company had it. He gave me some sulphur ointment and advised me to get some yellow dock. I have not taken any yet. I had bought a bottle of sar saparilla but I have not taken it up yet. I think that it is bad for the stomach. I cannot take it all the time anyhow, but have used the ointment, and it tells. The doctor says, take yellow dock, put the ointment on at night and wash with saleratus water. I have not used the latter for the want of the material and an opportunity to use it. Tomorrow when I get off guard, I mean to wash up and go through another course of sulphur and saleratus. I expect to have a place by myself after Monday, have one of the small barracks and sleep there alone. I am very glad of that. I am so sick of the barracks, the card playing and vulgar language. My health has been good, with the exception I have mentioned, though I am somewhat bilious, as usual, in the Spring.

Private Charles E. Blake, Letter to Abiah, his wife.


Eleven Dollars

Lecture.---The audience to listen to the Lecture of Mr. Van Doorn, in the Town Hall, last week, was large and appreciative. He was introduced to the audience by Philip Wells, Esq., in a few words fitly spoken, when the Lecturer gave an account of his European tour taken a few years since. The lecture was evidently well received, and the proceeds were handed over to the Village Women's Aid Society for the benefit of sick and wounded soldiers. Cannot other citizens be induced to lecture for the same noble and loyal purpose?

Vermont Phoenix, March 4, 1864.

Anthony Van Doorn, Esq.'s lecture net proceeds totalled "Eleven Dollars".



Pvt. Alonzo H. Rice

Alonzo Hiram Rice came to Grafton from Chester in 1857 to be schoolmaster of the Eastman School. Though slight of build and only five feet seven inches tall, seventeen-year-old Alonzo proved his bravery long before the Civil War. Forced to take on Eastman's school bullies, one by one, on his first day of teaching, he was the victor in each fight and had no further trouble.

Two years later he married one of his pupils, Minerva Hazen, and they established their home here. Anxious to fight in defense of the Union, he enlisted in 1862 as a private in Company D, 9th Vermont Volunteers, and fought in Virginia and Maryland. For a time he was a Confederate prisoner.

Alonzo was discharged for disability on November 14, 1862, recovered, and reenlisted on June 27, 1863, only to be discharged again because of poor health. After a few weeks at home, he entered Brattleboro Hospital.

In January Minerva, at home in Grafton, received word that Alonzo was dying. Leaving their three small children with a neighbor, she hurried to Brattleboro only to arrive too late to say goodbye. Grief stricken, she brought his body back to Grafton where she learned that in her absence their twelve-week-old daughter, Minnie Maria, had died of diptheria. The baby girl was buried beside her soldier father in the Grafton Village Cemetery.

Tragedy was not yet through with Minerva. Her second son, Charles Hiram, died a little over a year later, also of diptheria. Her first child, Alonzo, Jr., flourished, and Minerva, an expert seamstress, supported herself and her young son, by her sewing.

Minerva owned the first sewing machine in Grafton. When she went out to sew, she put it in her buggy, covered it carefully with a cloth, and keeping one hand on the machine, drove the horse with the other. In 1876 Minerva received a monthly eight dollar pension from the United States government for her husband's war service.

Five Dollars and a Jug of Rum; The History of Grafton, Vermont 1754 - 2000. Grafton Historical Society.

Alonzo Hiram Rice was born on August 20, 1840, the son of Hiram Watkins Rice and Maria Chase. He enlisted in Chester, Vermont on June 27, 1862 and mustered in July 9, 1862. Private Rice was discharged with disability on November 18, 1862 and died at the Brattleboro Hospital on January 16, 1864.

Alonzo Rice married Minerva Orette Hazen on July 2, 1859 in Chester, Vermont. Their son Charles H. Rice was born July 4, 1862 and died March 17, 1865. Minnie Maria Rice was born October 17, 1863 and died January 13, 1864, three days before her father Alonzo.

Alonzo H. Rice, Jr., was born in April, 1860.



At the Hospital in this village, Austin E. Shepard, of Jamaica, aged 30.

Vermont Phoenix, April 1, 1864.

Private Austin Shepard enlisted in Co. I, 4th Vermont Volunteers on August 22, 1861 from Jamaica at the age of twenty-seven. He was mustered in on September 21, 1861 and was discharged disabled on January 18, 1862. Shepard then reenlisted as a subsitute on August 10, 1863 and mustered in that day also, but never reported. Austin E. Shepard died in service at the Brattleboro hospital and is buried in the Village Cemetery in Jamaica, Vermont.


Col. John Steele Tyler, 2nd Vermont Infantry.jpg

Col. John Steele Tyler, Second Vermont Infantry

Died From Wounds Received At The Battle Of The Wilderness


Hospital.---We understand that accommodations for over 1000 patients are nearly ready at the U. S. Hospital in this village. If the fighting should long continue to be as severe as it has been thus far in the campaign, all the hospitals will be full.

Vermont Phoenix, June 24, 1864.


Edwin Joel Cilley


Edwin Joel Cilley, Private, Company D, First Vermont Cavalry was wounded on May 5, 1864 in the Battle of the Wilderness during the bloodiest day for Vermont soldiers in the war.

This is his letter envelope from the Brattleboro Civil War Hospital to John B. Page, Treasurer, State of Vermont, at the National Bank of Rutland, Vermont. The postal cancellation date is June 7, 1864.

The notation written across the envelope upon its receipt in Rutland reads---

Rec'd $
Cr 49 to
Edwin J. Cilley
D Calvy

[Received $ Credit 49 (Dollars) to Edwin J. Cilley D (Cavalry) Brattleboro__]

John Boardman Page was an allotment commissioner during the Civil War, responsible for visiting Vermont soldiers in the field, collecting money from their pay, and distributing it in Vermont to support their families. He was the Governor of Vermont from October 13, 1867 to October 15, 1869.

Edwin Joel Cilley was born in Thetford, Vermont in April 1844. He was the son of Moses Cilley and Lydia H. Richardson. The family removed to Tunbridge, Vermont by 1850.

Edwin Cilley enlisted from Thetford and mustered in on the same day, November 4, 1863. He mustered out from Company C on August 9, 1865. Edwin J. Cilley married Sarah about 1875, and lived in Hanover Township, New Hampshire, where he is buried. He died on February 17, 1924.



Wilder's Daughter

Police Court Record.---Before Justice Tyler.---Orrin A. Kimball and Oliver M. Badger, members of the Invalid Corps, were arraigned for feloniously taking two boxes of honey, the property of Joseph Wilder. The morning after the loss of the honey a love-letter was found within a few feet of the hive from whence the honey was taken, addressed to one of the respondents at the U. S. Hospital in this village, by his confiding sweetheart. The letter led to the detection and arrest of the offenders. It was a model epistle, full of breathing thoughts and burning words, and redolent with passages expressive of the softest and tenderest endearments gushing forth like sparkling bubbles from a fountain. In short it had all the sweetness of seven boxes of honey compounded into one. The exhibition of the letter brought them to their marrow bones---they cried peccavi, paid up and were discharged.

Vermont Phoenix, August 5, 1864.

Hon. Charles Royall Tyler was the presiding magistrate.

Joseph Wilder and his wife Delia Merrifield moved into West Brattleboro in 1854, hoping to find better educational opportunities for their daughters. Their farm was out Orchard Street, just south from East Orchard Street. This land was later owned by Jennison E. Thurber.



Private Tabor H. Parcher of Waterbury, Company B, Tenth Vermont Infantry, writes a long letter [extract] to Sarah his wife on April 3, 1864---

. . .for money or love nor nothing else & such a thing as the clap they are pretty much all free from it thare is not half so meny of them got the clap hear as thare wer at Conrads Ferry or Rockville or eaven Brattleboro that was the rottenest hole that ever was & so it was at Poolesville but the clap is nothing a man can [ ? ] fat on it but I supose it goze harder with women wall I doant know but what I have written enough of such stuff now but before I get through you will hear more of it. I wish I was at home now I believe I would go up the brook & see what them nebraskey women wer made of but I doant believe that I would drink much of [ ? ] rum for I doant like it very well. . .

Private Tabor Parcher was promoted to Corporal on July 5, 1864, and mustered out on May 13, 1865.


U. S. A. General Hospital,

Brattleboro', Vt. Aug. 10, 1864.

To whom it may concern:

This may certify that after an interview of considerable duration, and an examination, at his request, of the mental condition of the bearer, Mr. W. A. Burdett of New York city, during his late visit to our quarters, we, the undersigned, members of the Medical Staff of this Hospital, have failed to detect any symptoms of an unsound mind in Mr. Burdett, and do hereby cheerfully commend him to the favorable considerations of the public, as worthy their confidence and eligible to any employment commensurate with his ablibities.

Story N. Goss, M. D.
C. F. Hawley, M. D.
J. T. Adams,
H. F. Smith,
S. W. Bowles.

In my limited intercourse with Mr. Burdett I have found him a Christian gentleman. I take him for a man of fine parts, and of nice literary tastes. I see no reason why he may not be put in trust of any important interests.

J. Agnew Crawford,

Chaplain, U. S. A.

Vermont Phoenix, August 19, 1864.

The signers listed here include Story Norman Goss, Henry F. Smith, Stephen W. Bowles, Curtis Farnsworth Hawley, and John Agnew Crawford.


Pvt. Philemon A. Bradford


Philemon A. Bradford enlisted with the 30th Maine Infantry in December 1863 at the age of forty-four. He was a descendant of Gov. William Bradford of Massachusetts.

His letter home to Lydia Jane Noyes, his wife, with his three daughters Harriet Jane, Mary L., and Ida Alice, and to his two sons Phillip and Edmond in Turner, Maine is dated February 24, 1864 and posted from Franklin, Louisiana, where he was stationed with Co. A of the 30th Maine Infantry---

Franklin Feb 24 1864

Dear wife as I maid A mistak in
In writing sayen I was in the State of
Indiana and you migt think strang that we
had got away of into that state I is well
be A writing to you as I have nothing else to do
we ar in the state of Louisiana about 130 miles
from New Orleans so when you write direct
to New Orleans Louisiana Co. A 30 Me. Reg
and it will com to us whear ever we be thear
ar an number of negroes about here it is said
theare is 500 in camp on the other side of the river
or Bayou as they call it. I talkt with A number
of them they ar more enteligent then I exspect to
find them they know about what is going on as
well as the whites I can receiv more information from
them then I can get from the whites that belong here
what is not implied by the government an
while the women ar cooking or washing for the soldiers
the children fetch most of the water is curious to see
little girls not so big as Liza caring A pail of water
on her head without toutching it or spiling a drop
I took diner yesterday with the cook had backt pidgeons
fresh leaf corn cake ____ its is quite warm
here after the sun gits up so I am glad to git into
the shade but damp cool nights Thear is no hile to be seen
about here very rich deep soil thear is not any rebel army
anywhear near these The 22 Reg. got into New Orleans
about ½ hour before we did did not git up here
until Sunday I com onto my post about sunrise stay
until breakfast time go down eat my breakfast com back
until noon & stay until 7 o clock it is easy a chore
as any one could wish for Thear is an orange groved
in front of the house whitch I walk in or set under
as I like. Yours in love Philemon A. Bradford

Philemon A. Bradford died at the United States General Hospital at Brattleboro on August 7, 1864 from the chronic disease that claimed so many from his regiment.

Mrs. Lydia Bradford's last letter to Private Bradford is dated August 2, 1864 and begins with these lines, which may never have been read by the intended---


I recived your letter last night
was glad to hear from you once
more but was sory to hear that you
was sick. I hope you have good care
taken of you but you cant have
the care you can at home bein in
a crowded hospitle o how I wish
they would let you come home
where I could take care of you
if i could see you once more
how glad i should be will it be
my last to see you once more i
know that you must be very sick
for you never complane unless you
are prety sick hant ape to give up
un less you are prety sick you wrote
for me to send you a paper Oscar
has gone down to Isaac to see if
he can find one i have got one but
i don't know but you will have to git

a furlough i shall send a paper
ishall cut out a piece and send
it in this letter for fear you will
not git the paper the sick and
wounded have been sent to Augusta
thair are some that will arrive thare
this week some that belong to the 27
Regt. i saw it in a paper down to
Zilphas last Friday i thort perhaps
you might be sent if you wont
able to do duty i heard the 30 Me
Regt was near Richmond i wrote
a letter to you last Sunday
direct it to Washington and thair
is to others that you have not got
i sent to New Orleans befour you left
we are all well the children and
all but you are sick and away
frome home and among strangers
gerome should hav got home bin to
home to or three weeks Alben
Hood is to Augusta Jerus Keen

is at home bin to home some
time he was wounded
Chandler Bailey is at home and
a number of others i sent some
postage stamps in the letter i sent
to Washington the weather is hot
and dry hear Oscar has gut done
haying most we have herd that Jacob
keen was dead I shall send you
12 dollars in this letter you did not
send for but ten perhaps you may
nead it i have got what you sent
home and what came
through the town Treasurer now
do come if thay will let you if
you are well i cant write any
more now write if you don't
come soon


Lydia J. Bradford

For more information contact:

Pejepscot Historical Society
159 Park Row
Brunswick, ME 04011


Adin F. Styles Stereoview, Railroad Yard, Covered Bridge 1860s.jpg

Adin F. Styles Stereoscope, View From Cemetery Hill 1860's

First Railroad Station, Soldiers Arrived Here


The 4th Regiment Musters Out


Fourth Regiment Vermont Volunteers

The 4th Regiment.---The surviving members of the 4th Vermont regiment, who had not re-enlisted, arrived in this village last Saturday, numbering 110 officers and men. They were met at depot by the Committee appointed to make arrangements to give them a fitting reception, and were escorted to the Brattleboro House. S. M. Waite, chairman of the committee, addressed them in a few brief words fitly spoken, bidding them welcome to their homes after their hard and glorious campaign of three years in the service of their country. The veterans partook of a substantial dinner furnished by the liberality of some of our citizens, and were then permitted to go to their homes to return on Thursday of this week to be paid and mustered out of the service.

Vermont Phoenix, Friday, September 30, 1864.



E. E. Phelps, Surgeon U.S. volunteers, in charge.

Remaining Sep. 30 63

Sick. 198
Wounded 130

Total 323


Sick 1323
Wounded 1106

Total 2429

Returned from Furlough and desertion 799

Aggregate 3551


Returned to duty 1157
Sent to General Hospital 717
Furloughed. 920
Transferred to V. R. Corps 56
Discharged, 26
Deserted, 111
Died. 77

Remaining Sep. 30 64

Sick, 254
Wounded 233

Total 487

Total No. of beds in Hospital, Sept. 30, 1864, 893


Private Peter S. Chase


Private Peter S. Chase

Company I, Second Vermont Regiment

Photograph By George Harper Houghton

"On the night of the 23d, by deceiving one of the nurses, I obtained a second dose of morphine and spent one night in delightful comfort, conscious of everything about me, but absolutely devoid of pain."

Mr. Chase and scores of other wounded were moved on a train of flatcars to Aqua Creek during a thunder shower, blankets being the only covering and from there taken by steamboat to Alexandria. The handling in the process of transferring him had broken the leg once more. He was taken on a stretcher from the boat to the Mansion House hospital and there received his first bath and change of clothing and was placed in a real bed. During the 21-days' journey from the battlefield his leg had been broken and reset four times and much of the time the bones were out of place.

About the middle of July a large abcess formed near the wound. The surgeon thought a piece of loose bone was the trouble, but found a piece of bullet. This he has preserved, so he has three of the bullets that hit him, one in two pieces.

Late in September he was removed to the hospital on what are now the fair grounds in Brattleboro. He had not been on crutches long and the long journey caused the wounded limb to swell to exceptional size. He remained in the hospital here until May 16, 1865, when he received his discharge. His leg was two and one-half inches short and for 14 years there was an open wound in the leg. It finally became so bad that Dr. George F. Gale and Dr. C. A. Gray performed another operation and removed a loose piece of bone. In February, 1902, Dr. C. A. Gray and George E. Greene operated again and removed a fibrous tumor caused by the wound. He says that after all of his pain and trouble he has a leg that serves him well, and he has never seen the day when he wished it had been amputated.

Brattleboro Reformer, Saturday, July 18, 1915.

This is an extract from a considerably longer article.

Peter Sewell Chase was born in Jamaica, Vermont on March 25, 1845, enlisted in Weston, and was wounded with a compound fracture to the left thigh at the battle of the Wilderness on May 5, 1864. Chase had been wounded before at Fredericksburg on December 13, 1862. Peter Chase served in Co. I, Second Vermont Volunteers.

During his residence in Brattleboro, Peter S. Chase worked at breaking the ground for a modern hospital, writing this letter for the January 23, 1891 Vermont Phoenix---

Brattleboro Hospital.

What has become of that beautiful picture that was so cheerfully sketched by the artistic hand of Rev. C. O. Day and presented to our town in such an eloquent little speech! The picture then given of a model little hospital, just suited to the needs of Brattleboro, and the surrounding towns, was one worth framing as a memento of the union meeting held on Thanksgiving day, 1890. Will the good people of Brattleboro allow this project, then so auspiciously introduced, to sleep on undisturbed! Who will write his name in the history of Brattleboro by the side of that of Geo. J. Brooks, by giving a suitable amount for the erection of a hospital, perhaps on the vacant lot by the side of the Brooks library! My visionary eyes see $5000 in another corner, gathered in a way other than that pointed out by Mr. Day. Let everyone who will give $25 for the erection of a hospital be given a certificate that shall entitle him to three months' free treatment in the hospital in case of need; such contributors to be entitled to the same rights and privileges as other patients who cheerfully obey the rules and regulations of the institution. Brattleboro has many orators and writers able to arouse the whole community, and when her people really wake up to business they always overcome every obstacle, and find plenty of money and willing hands. We are not wanting in schools to educate the young, we have a free library filled with useful books, the churches for religious training and an asylum for the unfortunate. Now let us build a hospital for the care of those sufferers who lack suitable care at home or have no homes to care for them. Then will future generations rise up to call us blessed.

P. S. C.

Peter Chase refers to the Rev. Charles O. Day from the Centre Congregational Church. The Brattleboro Memorial Hospital was in full operation when Peter S. Chase died on September 16, 1927.

During this year 1891 Peter S. Chase was writing his "Reunion Greeting; Together with an Historical Sketch, and a Complete Descriptive List of the Members of Co. I, 2d Regt., Vt. Vols., in the War for the Union, 1861-1865, with Final Statement of the Regiment. (Brattleboro, Vermont: Phoenix Job Printing Office, 1891).



Recent Losses Of Vermont Soldiers.

We gave last week a partial Report of the casualties among our Vermont troops in the recent battles in Virginia. From later Reports we are able this week to give further information. Col. M. Warner of the 11th Vt. Vols. who was commanding the Brigade in the absence of Gen. L. A. Grant has made an official Report of the casualties of the Brigade at the battle of Winchester, September 19th, from which we learn that the

2nd Reg't had 3 men killed and 29 wounded;
3rd Reg't 2 officers 24 men wounded, 4 missing;
4th Reg't had 1 man killed, 1 officer 14 men w'nded;
5th Reg't had 6 men killed, 1 officer 21 men w'nded;
6th Reg't had 5 men killed, 3 officers 43 men w'nded;
11th Reg't had 2 officers 6 men killed, 5 officers 80 men wounded and 6 men missing.

Total.---2 officers and 21 men killed, 12 officers and 211 men wounded, and 10 men missing.

Among the killed we find the following: 6th Reg. Co. D, Chas. Blake, C. P. Upham, Westminster.---11th Reg. Co. G, Capt. Chas. Buxton, Rockingham.

Among the wounded are the following: 4th Reg. Co. I, James P. Cragin, Halifax, hand severe; Royal M. Austin, Townshend, hip slight; 5th Reg. Co. G, Thomas Edwards, Brattleboro, ankle; 6th Reg. Co. F, Geo. E. Green, Newfane, shoulder, slight; 11th Reg. Co. F, Corp. Geo. A. Peeler, Vernon, abdomen dangerous; Corp. Isaac H. Sibley, Dummerston, face and arm slight; Corp. Sylvester P. Smith, Wilmington, side slight; Franklin N. Knight, Dummerston, leg severe; Densil M. Streeter, Vernon, leg slight; Co. G, 2nd Lieut. Ezra A. Turner, Rockingham, face slight; Sergt. Henry A. Scott, Townshend, shoulder slight; Corp. Carroll N. Wetherbee, Rockingham, abdomen, severe; Color Corporal Henry P. Stocker, Jamaica, thigh slight; Ambrose H. Burgess, Grafton, elbow severe; Chas. L. Churchill, Townshend, arm severe; Henry Kellogg, forehead slight; David P. Goddard, Londonderry, arm and side slight; Co. K, 1st Lieut. Edward A. Todd, Brattleboro, shoulder slight. We have given these names as the men were from this vicinity.

In the Engagement Friday, Sept. 30th.

The list of casualties in the 17th Regiment, is given by Lyman E. Knapp, Capt. Commanding, after Col. Cummings fell, dated at Head Quarters, Oct. 4, 1864.

Commissioned Officers wounded and missing, __________3
Enlisted men killed, ______________________________4
__ " ___ " __ wounded, ___________________________41
__ "___ " __ missing, _____________________________29

Total _____77

Among these we find none belonging to this vicinity except Col. Cummings, and Alexander G. Allen, Brattleboro, missing.

The list of casualties in the 9th Vermont Regiment, September 29th and 30th, is given by J. D. Livingston, Adjutant, in a Report dated at Chapin's Farm, Va., Oct. 2, 1864.

The number of killed was ______________________7
_ " ___ "__ " __ wounded, ____________________38
_ "___ "__ "__ missing, ______________________13


Among the killed we find Leroy L. Bryant, Wardsboro, and Albert E. Newton, Whitingham: and among the wounded, Sergt. Sylvester C. Burlingame, Dummerston, leg severe; Corp. Edwin R. Smith, Wardsboro, head severe; Denny E. Mason, Brookline, back slight; Harrison K. Bacon, Dummerston, leg slight.

Vermont Phoenix, October 14, 1864.


The Hydro-Oxygen Microscope

Exhibition.---We call attention to the advertisement in our paper to-day of Prof. Starr's Exhibition at the Town Hall next Saturday evening. Having had the pleasure of witnessing one of his exhibitions with his Hydro oxygen Microscope at the Hospital, we can say that whoever attends it will see very wonderful sights, be much instructed and amused, and will be well compensated.


Vermont Phoenix, October 28, 1864.

Did surgeons at the U. S. General Hospital in Brattleboro gaze upon these animalcules with a "wild surmise" for the slowly emerging germ theory?


U. S. Hospital.---A detachment of eleven wounded men, some very severely, and all Vermonters, came to the U. S. Hospital in this town last week. A detachment of 70, all convalescents, was sent from the Hospital to the front on Tuesday, the 6th inst. There are now 475 men in the Hospital, many of them wounded at the battles of Winchester and Cedar Creek. One man---Dodge of Dummerston---died last week.

Vermont Phoenix, December 6, 1864.


Capt. Robert B. Arms


Robert Bruce Arms was born in Brattleboro, Vermont on September 21, 1834 to Hinsdale and Theda Arms. He enlisted in the Union Army on August 28, 1862 as Captain, commissioned into Company B 16th Vermont Infantry on October 12, 1862 and was mustered into service eleven days following. Arms and his company spent much of the winter at Fairfax Courthouse and Fairfax Station. They helped repulse Pickett's Charge on July 3, 1863 at the Battle of Gettysburg, and Arms returned there 26 years later with members of his regiment for the dedication of the Vermont monuments. Less than a year after he enlisted, Robert B. Arms was mustered out of service on August 10, 1863 in Brattleboro, Vermont. Following the war, Arms aided veterans in their pension claims, and served several years as Deputy Collector. His obituary reports that he died on March 5, 1901 of Bright's disease, leaving behind his son, Robert A. Arms, a brother, and his second wife.




Killed in the battle of Cedar Creek, Va., Oct 19th, Geo. E. Ormsby of Townshend, Co. H, 8th Vt. Regiment, aged 22 years.

Also wounded in the same battle, Albert O. Evans of Windham, Co.H, 8th Vt. Regiment, who was removed to the U. S. General Hospital at Brattleboro, where he died from the effects of his wounds Nov. 9th, aged 20 years.

The above were brothers, both enlisted at the same time and served two years and reenlisted at New Orleans for three years more. They have one brother left who is serving in the same company and regiment. Thus out of three brothers two of them have sacrificed their lives for their country. All of them were promising young men and bravest of the brave.

A. S.

Vermont Phoenix, December 9, 1864.

George E. Ormsby is buried in the Winchester National Cemetery in Virginia. His cenotaph stands in the Oakwood Cemetery in Townshend, Vermont.

Albert O. Evans is buried in the Oakwood Cemetery in Townshend, Vermont.


Jacksonville, Whitingham, Vermont

Jacksonville.---The following articles were sent by the Ladies' Soldier's Aid Society of Jacksonville, to the U. S. A. Hospital at Brattleboro, in November:---7 bedquilts, 6 pair slippers, 3 pair woolen stockings, 3 shirts, 1 dressing gown, 4 small pillows, 5 small pillow cases, 20 linen napkins, 3 linen towels, 1 comfort bag, 1 paper pins, 7 rolls bandages, 2 bundles old linen, 4 do. old cotton, 5 bed-pads, 2 cotton sheets, 2 linen do., 17 pounds dried apples, 2 1-2 pounds dried blackberries.

M. A. Hodgdon, Sec'y.

Vermont Phoenix, December 16, 1864.

The subscriber may be Moses Austin Hodgdon (1817-1889) of Ware, New Hampshire, or possibly his close relative.


U. S. Hospital Surgeon E. E. Phelps has at his own request been relieved from duty at the Hospital in this place and has gone to Louisville, Ky., to have charge of a Hospital in that city. He has done a good work here, having in a great measure built up a first rate Hospital which he leaves in excellent condition.

Assistant Surgeon S. W. Bowles is now in charge of the Hospital; and the medical staff consists of Chaplain J. Agnew Crawford, A. A. Surgeons N. G. Brooks, C. F. Hawley, L. D. Ross, H. F. Smith, and Jos. Draper.

---A squad of 14 from various places came to the Hospital last week.

---41 convalescents were sent to the front on Tuesday the 27th. 34 patients were sent to Montpelier on the same day, and 13 to Burlington.

---There are now in the Hospital 315.

Vermont Phoenix, December 30, 1864.


The surgeons named in this article are Stephen W. Bowles, Lucretius D. Ross, Henry F. Smith, Joseph Draper, Curtis Farnsworth Hawley, and Nathaniel Grout Brooks---

Assistant Surgeon Lucretius D. Ross,14th Vermont Regiment.jpg

Assistant Surgeon Lucretius D. Ross

Dr. Curtis Farnsworth Hawley.jpg

Surgeon Curtis Farnsworth Hawley

"During the war he had a valuable experience in the hospital at Brattleboro."


Frederick H. Fessenden

Another Brattleboro Boy Gone.---Frederick H. Fessenden of this village, was killed in battle near Nashville, Tenn., on the 16th of Dec., and his brother-in-law, Edward F. Wright, was severely wounded in the head. In a letter which has been handed us, from a gentleman in Milwaukee, Wis., connected with the Christian Commission, and who had known young Fessenden and was near by at the time of his death, says "he was a gallant soldier of his country, and what is better a fearless soldier of Jesus. I had got acquainted with him a few days before, and no finer young man did I meet among the thousands of our army." He was struck by a ball in the forehead, and with the exclamation to Mr. Wright, "good bye," instantly expired. His age was 27 years, 11 months and 10 days.

Vermont Phoenix, December 30, 1864.


Hospital Aide, Private Augustus Paddock


Private Augustus Paddock, First Vermont Cavalry

Just Before The War

Augustus Paddock was born in Craftsbury, Vermont on June 25, 1838 to James Augustus Paddock and Mary Phelps. Private Paddock mustered into Co. I, First Vermont Cavalry on September 26, 1862 and was wounded on April 1, 1863.

He was transferred to Co. G, 2nd and 24th Co., 2nd Battalion Veteran Reserve Corps on March 29, 1864, and served at the U. S. General Hospital in Brattleboro. In early May 1864 Augustus Paddock sent a letter to his parents in Craftsbury---

I have just come from our usual game of quoits, after dinner, and will try to answer your kind letter that was received last evening. I suppose that this quoit pitching will do but very little toward putting down this wicked rebellion, but it is all the style here now. The steward has been over to take a game this afternoon, & even the Surgeon is out often pitching. There are but 78 men here now, consequently very little to be done at either offices . . .I do so hope Grant will be successful and this cruel war be closed soon. The sad news is that a Mr. Holt of Co. B., 4th Vt. Regt. died this afternoon of small pox. He is all rotten with it, or his body is, I should say. . .

After Vermont soldiers had arrived at Brattleboro from the Wilderness, Cold Harbor, and Spotsylvania battle slaughters, and the beginning of the Petersburgh trench warfare, hospital aide Augustus Paddock wrote a different description home one Sunday evening---

The surgeon is having beds enough put up to accommodate 1200 men. There are but four hundred here now, but more expected every day. . .It is very hot here today but when I think of the poor boys in Va. I do not feel like complaining much. . .I do not go away from the hospital at all, but just stay & do all I can to make the wounded men compatible.

By August 11, 1864 Private Paddock is reporting that---

This hospital is full and more too, over 1200 here now.

On August 16, 1864, Surgeon in Charge Edward E. Phelps wrote to Commissioner Holbrook---"In reply to yours of the 12 & 13 inst. would say that we now have 129 vacant beds. . .our whole number of beds now is actually 1150 but we manage to accommodate 1200 when hard pressed."

The wounded hospital aide in the Veteran Reserve Corps finally mustered out from Brattleboro on July 3, 1865.

Augustus Paddock married Mary Hill Dustin of North Craftsbury on March 13, 1866. They had six children, Anna Maria, Laura Matilda, Carolyn Augusta, Henry Augustus, Mary Crafts, and Frederick Augustus.

Augustus Paddock died on July 16, 1906, aged sixty-eight, and is buried in Craftsbury Common Cemetery.


Private Samuel B. Holt's Smallpox

The sad news is that a Mr. Holt of Co. B., 4th Vt. Regt. died this afternoon of small pox. He is all rotten with it, or his body is, I should say. . .
Private Augustus Paddock, Hospital Aide

Private Samuel B. Holt of Morristown, Vermont probably spent his last days in the camp pest house in the pine woods clearing east of the barracks line, visited there by the hospital aide Augustus Paddock, before his death on the afternoon of May 4, 1864. The small pox victim was buried in the nearby "barracks cemetery" and never sent north by train to Morristown.

Samuel B. Holt was born on August 6, 1827 to Samuel B. Holt and Sarah Ladd from Chelsea, Vermont. He had a younger sister named Hannah L. Holt. Samuel enlisted as a substitute for P. C. Day of Morristown.

The Lamoille Newsdealer for May 24, 1864---aware that Samuel B. Holt was not to be buried in his native north country---quoted from Jeremiah 31, verse 12,

They shall come again from the land of the enemy.


Prospect Hill Cemetery



At the United States Hospital, Brattleboro, Dec. 5, 1864, Charles L. Dodge of Dummerston, member of Co. K, 9th Vt. Vols., aged 18 years.

Vermont Phoenix, January 6, 1865.

Private Charles L. Dodge was born on October 5, 1847 and enlisted at age seventeen from Dummerston on December 14, 1863. He was mustered in on January 7, 1864. He was mortally wounded in action on September 19, 1864 during the Third battle of Winchester, less often called Opequon. Soldier Dodge is buried in the Greenwood Cemetery in Dummerston, Vermont.

Doubtless family visitors or friends from Dummerston came to visit Charles Dodge during his last days at the U. S. General Hospital in Brattleboro.


Surgeon Edward E. Phelps

We learn that Surgeon E. E. Phelps has been relieved from duty at Brattleboro and ordered to Louisville, Ky., for which place he started on Monday. We do not know who is to take his place, but are sure it will be hard to fill it. Surgeon Phelps has fairly built up the U. S. Hospital at Brattleboro, and accomplished a great deal of work.

The above from the Burlington Free Press is but a just compliment to Surgeon Phelps.

No medical officer of the State has labored more faithfully and honestly in the discharge of his onerous duties than Dr. P. His Hospital has always been a model of regularity and military discipline, the patients not having been allowed to forget that they were still soldiers, although in Hospital far from their regiments. The Doctor contemplates making the Southwest his future home, principally from a desire for a milder climate. We are sure he will be fully appreciated as soon as his merits are known, and we heartily wish him health and success.


Vermont Phoenix, January 6, 1865.


We have been favored by the politeness of a gentleman at the U. S. Hospital in this place with a letter published in the Courier and Freeman at Potsdam, N. Y., written by a person who has spent some time at the Hospital here. The letter is an interesting one, but too long for insertion entire on account of other matters. We give the closing paragraph. The letter is dated at Camp Hell, near Petersburg, Dec. 10, 1864:

"I cannot close without speaking of the kindness and attention which I have received at the hospital at Brattleboro, from the hands of all concerned in its management, and can say, truly, that it is an excellent place to recruit when one's health has failed from fatigue and exposure incident to soldier life. I believe it to a well managed institution, and recommend it to suffering soldiers. My health has improved a great deal since going North, and I gained over forty pounds in flesh while at Brattleboro. We St. Lawrence county boys join in our regards for you and your paper, and would be glad to see it a frequent visitor in our camp.---It is late and I must close, hoping I have not wearied your patience by so long a letter,

Yours, &c.,

James L. Montague."

Vermont Phoenix, January 13, 1865.

U. S. Hospital.---On Friday, 6th inst., 28 men were sent to the front from the Hospital in this place.---The Chaplain desires to acknowledge the receipt of several valuable books for the Hospital Library, from Miss E. Higginson and Miss Wells.---Surgeon Phelps is now in charge of a Hospital at Louisville, Ky. He is also appointed to attend sick officers in the city. He presides in a board appointed to examine officers as to their physical fitness for duty in the field. Those applying for medical commissions in colored regiments are also examined by him.

Vermont Phoenix, January 13, 1865.


The Hospital Chapel

The chapel connected with the U. S. military hospital at this place was dedicated with appropriate religious services, conducted by Chaplain Crawford and Rev. G. P. Tyler, D. D., on Sunday evening last. The chapel is furnished with settees, procured by the ladies of this village.

Vermont Record, January 17, 1865.

The Hospital chapel site was within the elbow formed by the present day streets Atwood and Sunny Acres. When viewed from the parade ground, the chapel stood in back of the Assistant Surgeons' house and the Officer of the Guards house.



Chaplain John Agnew Crawford

Rev. John Agnew Crawford, D. D., was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on June 24, 1822 to Rev. Samuel Wylie Crawford and Jane Agnew. Samuel was a professor at the University of Pennsylvania. The Rev. J. Agnew Crawford was ordained in 1847 in the Reformed Presbyterian Church, or the Covenanters.

Rev. Crawford married Susan Munro Gilbert, the daughter of Rev. Eliphalet Gilbert, President of Delaware College, in August 1853.

John Agnew Crawford was a specialist in Greek poetry, and also published "The Martial Element Essential to a Complete Character" and several diverse papers and sermons.

Rev. John Crawford had a famous younger brother---Assistant Surgeon and Brigadier-General Samuel Wylie Crawford. Dr. Samuel Crawford graduated from the University of Pennsylvania Medical School in 1850 and served in the United States Army as an Assistant Surgeon beginning in 1851.

Dr. Samuel Crawford was the surgeon on duty during the bombardment of Fort Sumter, during which battle he helped to direct the firing of several artillery pieces. This experience changed his career.

Chaplain J. Agnew Crawford observed his brother Samuel advance in his now straight-forward military career, including the eight months which he spent recuperating from a right thigh wound before returning to his command.

At the Battle of Gettysburg, Crawford did not arrive in time to reinforce Col. Strong Vincent on Little Round Top, but shifted to the west for a minor conflict along Plum Run in what the soldiers called "The Valley of Death".

Rev. John Agnew Crawford was installed as pastor for the Falling Springs Presbyterian Church in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania on July 10, 1867 and served until his resignation on December 3, 1886. He was Pastor Emeritus from January 1, 1887 until his death on September 19, 1907.


Sanitary.---Mrs. Dennie W. Farr of this village, has been appointed agent of the Sanitary Commission for Windham County. She is making arrangements for lectures in various towns in the county soon to be delivered. The Commission will send a person well acquainted with the objects and doings of the Commission, and the wants of our sick and wounded soldiers to deliver this series of lectures, and in other ways to forward the benevolent objects of the Commission. Due notice will be given of the time when and the places where the lectures will be delivered.

Vermont Phoenix, January 20, 1865.


U. S. Hospital.---Within a week about 20 men have arrived at the hospital. Some of these reported from furloughs and some came from hospitals in New York.---The Chapel connected with the hospital was lately dedicated. The services were conducted by the Chaplain, J. A. Crawford, who preached from Ezekiel xi, 16: "Yet I will to them a little sanctuary," and by Dr. Tyler, who followed with some remarks and a prayer. A number of ladies and gentlemen were present from the village.---The soldiers propose to give, shortly, an entertainment in the Town Hall---to consist of tableaux, camp and battle scenes, &c. It will be quite a novel thing in its way, and we bespeak for our soldier boys a full house. The proceeds to be devoted to the library.---The Chaplain desires, on his own behalf and that of the men, to thank the ladies of the village for the valuable present made them of 30 settees for the Chapel. There was nothing so much needed, and the kindness shown will not be forgotten.

Vermont Phoenix, January 27, 1865.


The soldiers at the Hospital desire to acknowledge with gratitude the reception from E. A. Dwinell of two volumes for their library, "A Tour in the Rocky Mountains," and "A Treatise on Health." We are glad to furnish the library with copies of our weekly and semi-weekly issues. Will not other newspaper publishers throughout the State do likewise?

Vermont Record, February 3, 1865.

There cannot be a greater testimony to the homesickness of the wounded soldiers at the Brattleboro hospital, than this simple request for library copies of home town newspapers.

The generous donor referred to is Aaron E. Dwinell (1809--1869), a prominent local Brattleboro merchant. The typographical error reads "E. A. Dwinell".

The Carousal

The Soldiers at the U. S. Hospital in this place were paid off on the 1st inst., and several of them have already spent or lost the most of their money in nightly carousals. We hear that one soldier is minus $50, another $100, and several of smaller sums. These convivial chaps are not, however, fair representatives of the inmates of the Hospital, as we are very glad to know. If there were fewer opportunities in the community for soldiers to get led astray it would be more to the credit of Brattleboro as a town of wholesome morality.

Vermont Record, February 6, 1865.


The Military Exhibition

The military exhibition held at the Town Hall last evening for the benefit of the library at the Hospital was every way a fine affair and worthy of the immense audience which attended. Every corner of the Hall was crowded, and the receipts, above expenses, amounted to the handsome sum of $230. Much praise is due the managers for the promptness with which the long programme was carried out; everything moved neatly and effectively. The tableaus, pepresenting scenes in the soldier's life, were all finely done, but we must make special mention of those representing a series of bayonet charges, seven scenes, and the two called, "The Scouts at Night," and the "Drummer Boy of Shiloh," this last being accompanied by a song. They were thrilling pcitures, and brought us face to face with the exciting reality. This effect was not lessened, by the knowledge that the brave boys in them had rehearsed them on the battle field. The dialogue, "Discretion is the better part of Valor," was capitally performed and hit hard some of the commissioned gentry who bluster in camp and skulk in the field. The farce, "Romance under Difficulties," was highly enjoyed by the audience. The character of Diggles was performed with a relish and rollicking abandon extremely amusing. The singing was very pleasing. We congratulate all concerned in the entertainment, upon the taste and ability displayed, and wish they may receive abundant enjoyment from the library they will be able to purchase. By general request, another exhibition will be given next Tuesday evening with an almost entire change of programme. The brave fellows are worthy of another full house, and will doubtless get it.

Vermont Record, February 3, 1865.


The Soldier's Exhibition.---"By request," the soldiers connected with the U. S. General Hospital, in this town, gave a second exhibition on Tuesday evening last. The attendance, though not so large as on the former occasion, was such as to encourage "the boys" greatly. Had those in the gallery taken seats below, every seat on the floor would have been filled.---The thing was a decided success, and too much praise cannot be accorded to the soliders who prepared and gave the entertainment. The programme was new. We thought several of the tableaux and scenes superior to those of the previous evening. Some of these were called for and were well rendered. Our old friend, the "Quack Doctor," was on hand again with his wondrous medicine. Our "regular physicians" must look out or their occupation will be gone. The "Zouaves" looked well in their scarlet uniforms, and did well. The "Johnnies" will doubtless remember them---though not with affection. As to the singing, we have the authority of Gov. Holbrook for saying that it was excellent. The young man Vesper, who forgot his piece---doubtless through embarrassment---more than atoned for his failure by the excellent rendering of his part in a subsequent one. His maimed condition proves that, though he may have feared the gaze of the audience, he had no fear of the foe. We rejoice in the success of our brave boys. They have talents as well as pluck. Sure we are that our citizens will long remember, pleasantly, the "Soldier's Exhibition."

Vermont Phoenix, February 10, 1865.

Owen R. Vesper enlisted from Royalton at age eighteen on June 1, 1861 and mustered in on July 16, 1861 as a Private in Co. F, 3d Vermont Volunteers. His "maimed condition" is from the battle of the Wilderness on May 5, 1864---almost certainly a bullet wound. Confederate and Union artillery alike could not be used under battlefield conditions in northern Virginia.

His father Oramel H. Vesper enlisted in this same Company F on September 17, 1861 and mustered in on the same day. Oramel died with disability on September 24, 1862. His widow Mary A. Whitcomb buried him in the North Royalton Cemetery.

Owen R. Vesper reenlisted on December 21, 1863 and was transferred to Co. K on July 25, 1864. He mustered out on June 27, 1865. Owen Vesper married Etta and lived in Springfield, Massachusetts, working as a watchman at the Armory.


Valedictory at the Soldiers' Exhibition in Brattleboro, Feb. 7.

By G. P. Keeler.

Permit me now, in the closing exercises of our evening's entertainment, to express our gratitude to kind friends, and loyal patrons for their sympathy and presence, and for more respectful attention to our efforts than our feeble abilities, unaided by associations dear to every heart, can claim. Associations originating in patriotism, the noblest virtue of a noble nature. In the love you bear to your firesides, your homes and your cherished land. The burden of our noble fathers' life-long toil and the dying pledge of their affectionate regard. Such associations have been our inspiration, and could we claim success, we would attribute it to that, rather than to our own merit. We are soldiers who left the cheerful scenes of civil life, and the social joys of our own hearth-stones, to defend our nation's flag and our nation's honor. Lured not from the vales and hillsides of our Green Mountain State by the seductive waft of war's wild pleasure, nor yet fascinated by the vague picture imagination might conjure up of the stern realities of the battle field; but in answer to the call of duty, and in response to the imperative mandates of necessity.

Traitors, in an hour of maddened frenzy, fired upon the nation's flag, and strove to subvert the national government, and with polluted hands to tear the sacred fillets from the fair brow of the Goddess of Liberty. But the soldier's strong, right arm has intervened, and our starry flag shall triumph; for memory of the loved ones left behind, shall serve that arm in the day of battle, and the assurance of their sympathy and approbation shall make every duty a mere pastime.

But we would not prolong the exercises which may be already deemed tiresome. Our efforts, though feeble, have not been without an object. The soldier is not always on the long tiresome march, nor yet confused by the din of battle; there are other contingencies in his ever varying life equally painful. The dull monotony of camp and garrison life, and the long hours of languish and covalescence, in the sombre wards of the hospital. To procure mental aliment for those monotonous hours, through the sympathies of an ever generous public, has been our object, in our two evenings' entertainment. Our expectations have been no more then realized, for, judging from past kindnesses, what might we not expect from the citizens of Brattleboro? In every enterprise calculated to show your love of country and your attacment to her toiling and devoted soldiers, in every enterprise instituted for the relief of the sick, wounded and suffering, you have nobly taken the lead, and incited others by your precept and example. Since the establishment of the institution which we represent here this evening, your favors have been gratuitous and unnumbered. Whenever you have beheld the necessity, you have rendered material aid. You have already contributed to fill the shelves of our library, that we might not want for mental nourishment and intellectual pleasure. You have fitted up for us a chapel wherein to meet for spiritual worship. Know, then, that the soldier appreciates your kindness, and that in coming years it shall be treasured up as sacred mementoes of the past, and cherished as the bright flowers and golden fruits of our summer months, to be enjoyed in the autumn and winter of our old age.

Vermont Record, February 10, 1865.

Private George P. Keeler delivers this valedictory. He was born in Burlington on February 4, 1843 and enlisted from Irasburgh into Company F in the Eleventh Vermont Regiment. He was wounded on June 7, 1864, and mustered out on May 13, 1865.


A Card from the Soldiers.

The soldiers who were employed or interested in the late Military Exhibition desire to express thus publicly their thanks for the generous appreciaton of their efforts. It was not without some apprehensions that the affair was undertaken. The result has shown the groundlessness of these, and revealed a sympathy with us in our soldier life which is very grateful and cheering. The whole amount received was $366.55, a sum far in advance of our most sanguine calculations. This will be appropriated to the purchase of books for our Library and fitting up our chapel.

And we shall never make use of the one, or worship in the other without a freshened memory of those whose kindness has shown itself in such a substantial way. To Mr. Franks of Brattleboro our thanks are due for the attractive posterns which called attention to our Exhibition, and also to all those who have by their exertions in selling our tickets contributed to the success of the Exhibition.

Vermont Record, February 10, 1865.

U. S. Hospital.---Fourteen men arrived at the Hospital in this place on Friday last, all Vermonters; and last Wednesday one reported himself here from Andersonville, Georgia. On Thursday morning 25 left for the front.

Vermont Phoenix, February 10, 1865.


Forwarded To The Front

The following men were forwarded to duty via New York, Thursday, Feb. 9, from the United States General Hospital at Brattleboro.

Bates, F. H.,-----------private, co. H,---------8 Vt.
Bissell, L. W., ------------"---------H,---------8--"
Burke, Geo.---------------"--------K,---------11--"
Bailey, H. L.---------------"---------A,---------10--"

Chase, John L.,-----------"---------G,---------6--"
Capron, Stephen,---------"---------G,--------17--"
Chapin, Nelson,-----------"---------K,---------17--"

Dyke, Chas. O.,-----------"---------H,---------6--"

Fuller, Philo F.,------------"---------F,---------5--"

George, Chas. S.,---------"---------E,----------5--"

Hooker, Edw. T.,-----------"---------A,---------8--"
Headle, Levi,---------------"---------E,---------2 Mass.
Harris, Chas. D.,-----------"---------M,---------11 Vt.
Holmes, Horatio,-----------"---------H,---------10 "

Johnson, Lewis L.----------"---------G,---------11 "
Johnson, Edw. H.,----------"---------E,---------11"

Keach, John,----------------"---------B,---------11 "

Marston, Wm. L.,------------"---------L,---------9 "
Masner, John,----------------"---------I,---------11 Ct.
Mansfield, James,-----------"---------F,----------4 Vt.

Nokis, John,----------------corp.------A,---------17 "

Sibley, Isaac H.,-------------"---------E,---------11 "
Sothick, I. M.,----------------"---------I,----------9 "
Slason, Geo. F.,----------private,-----B,----------9 "
Sharron, Geo., W.,----------"---------B,---------1 cav.,
Smith, Clarke W.,------------"---------H,---------1 "

Tice, Geo. W.,--------------corp.------K,--------10 Vt.

Wilcomb, C. W.,---------private,------K,---------10 "
White, Geo. A.,--------------"---------H,----------8 "
Wright, Orin,-----------------"---------G,---------11 "

Vermont Record, February 10, 1865.


Transfers For Artificial Limbs

The following soldiers were transferred, Feb. 11th, from the United States General Hospital in Brattleboro to St. Joseph's Hospital, New York City, to procure artificial limbs: Edward Boden, private, I 1st Vt. Cav.; Prosper D. Clark, corporal, B, 3d Vt.; Joseph W. Fletcher, private, I, 8th Vt.; Edward A. Gallup, private, L, 11th Vt.; Marcellus Hunt, sergeant, D, 3d Vt.; Isaac Rounds, private, I, 2d U S S S. Albert P. Keyes, Co. D, 10th Vt., has been discharged the service.

Vermont Record, February 14, 1865.


Arrivals At U. S. Hospital, Brattleboro

List of sick and wounded received at the U. S. General Hospital Brattleboro, Feb. 13, 1865, from Hampton, Virginia.

No. ------------------------------------------Rank. ---------Co. ----------Reg't.

1 - - - -Adams, Everett, T.
2 - - - -Alexander, Samuel C.
3 - - - -Broulette, Joseph
4 - - - -Bissell, Edward B.
5 - - - -Bissonette, Lewis
6 - - - -Cobb, George W.
7 - - - -Castle, William H.
8 - - - -Dupray, Joseph
9 - - - -Dearborn, Allen J.
10 - - -Durkee, John A.
11 - - -Dumas, Peter
12 - - -Emerson, Hollis M.
13 - - -Emerson, Moses
14 - - -Gilman, John
15 - - -Grout, Joel
16 - - -Gardner, Wm. H.
17 - - -Kent, George F.
18 - - -Kendall, George H.
19 - - -Morse, Ira E.
20 - - -O Brien, Charles
21 - - -Pierce, Alfred
22 - - -Paya, John
23 - - -Richardson, Wm. T.
24 - - -Rindge, Nehemiah W.
25 - - -Standelift, Josiah
26 - - -Sherman, Albert
27 - - -Thurston, George R.
28 - - -Trowbridge, Seymour
29 - - -Waters, William
30 - - -White, Alphonzo E.

Vermont Record, February 18, 1865.


The following soldiers were transferred from the Brattleboro Hospital, Feb. 23, to Knights Hospital, New Haven, Ct.:

Range Willber, Co. K. ----------------8th----------Cavalry
Clements Danforth, Co. F,---------- 11th------------ "
Jackson Henry, Co., G ---------------6th------------- "
H. B. Stevens, Co, H.---------------- 12st.------------"

Vermont Record, February 24, 1865.

The Hospital.---Nineteen men were sent to the front from the U. S. Hospital on Wednesday last, and on Thursday four were transferred to New Haven, Conn.

Vermont Phoenix, February 24, 1865.


Departures from the Hospital.

The following soldiers were forwarded, Feb. 22, from the U. S. General Hospital, Brattleboro, via New York City, for duty with their regiments:

Blodah, Theopolis-----------------private,---------A,------9th-------Vt.
Eaton, Addison F.-------------------"-------------H,------10---------"
Clarke, Simion-----------------------"-------------G,------11---------"
Chittenden, Linus----------------corporal,--------M------11---------"
Caneda, Thomas-----------------private,---------E.-------8---------"
Dutton, Jasper-----------------------"-------------H,------10---------"
Davis, William------------------------"-------------H,------11---------"
Gale, David---------------------------"-------------I-------4-----------"
Gilman, John-------------------------"-------------D-------6----------"
Godfrew, Andrew--------------------"--------------I-------17---------"
Heath, John--------------------------"--------------K------10---------"
Maranville, Wallace--------------drummer,---------E-------9---------"
Mosher, Richard-----------------corporal,---------H,-------11--------"
Perkins, Charles------------------private,----------B,-------2---------"
Plumley, William----------------------"-------------G,-------8---------"
Royce, Alva----------------------------"-------------I,-------2---------"
Styles, Jeremiah----------------------"-------------D,-------8---------"
Scott, Samuel------------------------- "-------------E,------8---------"
Warner, Lenard K----------------corporal.----------E,-------3---------"

The following have been discharged:

Romell Whitney,-------------------Company G,----------------11th Vt.
George Remick,-----------------------"------A,-----------------8th Vt.
Levi H. Raymo,------------------------"------F,-----------------11th Vt.

Vermont Record, February 24, 1865.


Tribute To Confederate Courage

Apparently winter's back is broken; but we are cautious about saying so, for the old Viking may prove to have as many backs as the rebellion, and get them broken as often without yielding. Nevertheless the weather is mild and springy, and we shouldn't wonder if the arbutus buds began to stir in their sleep.

Vermont Record, February 24, 1865.


Ladies' Soldier's Aid Society

The Brattleboro Ladies' Soldier's Aid Society forwarded to the Sanitary Commission Rooms in Boston in November, one barrel containing 28 pairs cotton drawers, 7 flannel drawers, 15 pair socks, 4 pair carpet slippers, 4 cushions, 1 pair German do., 4 cotton shirts, 4 bottles blackberry jam, 2 do. tomato catsup, 2 do. blackberry cordial, 1 bag dried apples, 1 do. do. pears, 1 keg pickles, 1 bag dried blackberries, 1 do. currants. One barrel was forwarded January 13, and another February 10, containing together 23 flannel shirts, 7 pair cotton flannel drawers, 5 pair cotton drawers, 8 pair flannel do., 12 pair carpet slippers, 1 pair German do., 17 pair woolen socks, 1 bag dried blackberries, 1 do. apples, 1 do. currants, 2 handkerchiefs, 2 pair mittens, 1 keg pickled cabbage, 12 checker-boards, (made gratuitously by Mr. Smith,) 14 sets checker-men, (by Mr. Retting,) 6 tactic boards, (made by Frederick Meade,) 9 sets tactic men, (made at Hospital,) 12 setts Chinese puzzles, 6 Chinese puzzle books.

Mary P. S. Cutts,

President S. A. S.

Vermont Phoenix, February 24, 1865.

The John Retting family were German cabinetmakers in Brattleboro who also helped to construct covered bridges in Windham County.


The Hospital Library

The soldiers at the Hospital have just made a large addition to their library with part of the funds recently raised by their exhibition. The library now numbers nearly seven hundred volumes, and from a recent inspection we judge it to be made up by a most judicious selection. Travels, fiction, biography, history, poetry, and heavier dissertations are happily mingled and the taste of each soldier cannot fail of being suited. What a blessing this library is to them, only those can appreciate who have been in the same weary, patience-trying circumstances.

Vermont Record, March 3, 1865.

Private Rinaldo Nathan Hescock was in charge of the U. S. General Hospital reception room, the library, and its reading room.


Assistant Surgeon Brooks has resigned his position at the General Hospital in this place on account of the continued illness of his father. He goes into private practice near Charlestown N. H. The Dr. has given great satisfaction in the preformance of his duties and his departure will be much regreted.

Vermont Record, March 10, 1865.


The following men were received at the U. S. General Hospital, March 15, from Frederick City, Md.:

Henry S. Cook, Co. G, 11th Vt.
George Cook, Co. F, 1st Vt. Cavalry.
James Carney, Co. G, 1st Vt. Cavalry.
Willard Dunklee, Co. G, 8th Vt. Vols.
Elisha French, Co. B, 8th Vt. Vols.
Emory Hall, Co. I, 8th Vt. Vols.
Alonzo H. Mills, Co. D, 8th Vt. Vols.
Edw. M. Woodbury, Co. C, 1st Vt. Cav.

Vermont Record, March 17, 1865.


Capt. Nickerson.---The services of Captain Nickerson, 24th Co., 2d Battalion, V. R. Corps, being required at the General Hospital in this place, he has been relieved in the command at St. Albans by Capt. P. D. Blodgett, Co. G, 2d Reg't, V. R. Corps, by order of Maj. Austine. At the termination of the General Court Martial at Burlington Capt. N. will rejoin his company.

Vermont Phoenix, March 17, 1865.

Captain Nickerson returned to the front from the U. S. General Hospital with thirty-two men under his command.


U. S. Hospital.---A few days since a squad of nineteen men came to the Hospital in this place from Hospitals in Philadelphia and New York.---There are now in the Hospital here 215 men.---Miss Lizzie Higginson lately presented several valuable volumes to the Hospital Library, for which she has the hearty thanks of the soldiers.---The unassigned men of the first Brattleboro V. R. C. have been ordered from the barracks here to St. Albans.

Vermont Phoenix, March 24, 1865.

The V. R. C. is the Veterans Reserve Corps.


Governor Smith Hospital

In accordance with instructions from the Surgeon General, the General Hospital in this town will be hereafter designated, the "Governor Smith U. S. General Hospital," as a compliment, to his Excellency Governor J. Gregory Smith of this State.

Vermont Record, April 4, 1865.

Governor John Gregory Smith "was particularly solicitous in caring for the Vermont soldiers at the front during the American Civil War, and his many deeds of kindness won him many enthusiastic and life-long admirers".


A correspondent sends us the following: It is reported that the U. S. Military Hospital at this place is to be designated as the "Governor Smith" General Hospital, a compliment well deserved, no doubt, but one which will meet with little approbation among those who know that permission for the establishment of the Hospital, as well as its successful completion, as about the first State Hospital allowed, was only gained by the untiring efforts of Ex-Gov. Holbrook, aided by others equally devoted to promoting the comfort of disabled Vermonters.


Vermont Record, April 4, 1865.


The Surgeon's Request

Levi H. Raymo, of Company F, 11th Vt. and Samuel Center, of Company B, 3d Vt., will receive papers of much importance to themselves by sending their present Post Office address to the Surgeon in charge of U. S. General Hospital, Brattleboro, Vt.

Vermont Record, April 7, 1865.

Levi H. Raymo was wounded on June 4, 1864 and had been in the Hospital since August 31, 1864. He was discharged with wounds on February 21, 1865. Private Levi Raymo was born in Barnet, Vermont, enlisted in Craftsbury, and died on October 2, 1916, buried in Newport, Vermont.

Samuel Center enlisted and mustered in at age twenty-eight from Chelsea, Vermont on August 14, 1863 as a subsitute, and served as Private in Co. B, 3rd Vermont Volunteers. He was wounded on June 12, 1864 and after his stay in the U. S. General Hospital, was discharged disabled on February 2, 1865.


Sergeant George P. Moore

A Serious Accident.---A bad accident happened to Serg't George P. Moore on Monday afternoon last. In firing the big guns at the barracks in this village in honor of the fall of Richmond, Serg't Moore had his right arm from the elbow downward, blown to atoms by the premature discharge of one of the guns. Mr. Moore was in the act of swabbing out the gun, when the cartridge man in his insane haste to do things quick, threw in the cartridge just forward the swab, and of course fire was communicated to the powder, and away went swab and arm, pitching Mr. Moore heels over head, burning his face and otherwise severely injuring him. So much for carelessness.

Mr. Moore's case is a hard one. He was, we understand, a prisoner at Andersonville, Ga., where our soldiers died by inches from starvation and abuse, and has been at the Military Hospital in this village but a short time; and now, after all he has suffered, to be struck down in such a way is indeed a hard case. He belonged to Co. A, 11th Vt. Vols. He has a family residing at St. Johnsbury.

Vermont Phoenix, April 7, 1865.

A sad accident occurred Monday afternoon, while a cannon was being fired near the U. S. Hospital, in this town, in honor of the capture of Richmond. Sergeant George P. Moore of Co A, 11th Vt. Heavy Artillery, was swabbing out the gun, when it was prematurely discharged and his right hand above the wrist, was blown off. The bones were badly shattered and his arm was amputated just below the elbow. The cause of the accident has been variously stated but we understood that a cartridge had been placed in the gun unbeknown to Moore and when he commenced to swab it the cartridge exploded. He had served nearly three years and was only a short time ago released from a rebel prison. He lived in St. Johnsbury, before enlisting and has a family.

Vermont Record, April 8, 1865.

Sergt. George P. Moore, who lost an arm and an eye, while firing a salute in this town on receipt of the news of the evacuation of Petersburgh, has opened a small grocery store at St. Johnsbury.

Vermont Record, October 3, 1865.


Dr. Stephen W. Bowles.jpg

Dr. Stephen W. Bowles

Letter To Hon. Justin S. Morrill, Member Of Congress

April 18, 1865

Assistant Surgeon Stephen W. Bowles

Stephen Wallace Bowles was born December 21, 1835 in Machias, Maine to Stephen Jones Bowles and Elizabeth Thorndike, and removed to Boston, Massachusetts. He graduated from Williams College in 1856, the College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York City in 1859, then studied with the internist Armand Trousseau, and others in Paris.

During the war, Assistant Surgeon Stephen W. Bowles served for three and a half years, on the hospital staff in the field, and later at the general military hospital in Brattleboro. He died in Springfield on February 12, 1895 and is buried in Mount Auburn Cemetery.

Dr. Stephen Bowles married Elizabeth Belden, the only daughter of the late Dr. Chauncy Belden in West Springfield on October 12, 1859. In Brattleboro, after the war, for two years, his office stood at the corner of North Main Street and North Street.

Frederick Ward Putnam listed Dr. Stephen W. Bowles in "The Naturalists' Directory: Containing the Names of Naturalists in North America and the West Indies (Salem, Mass.: Published by the Essex Institute, 1869) under the department "Microscopy".


Private William Henry Peck, Assistant Surgeon Stephen W. Bowles

William Henry Peck, born in England, resided in Danville, Vermont with his wife Emily Augusta Robbins and three children. He enlisted in Woodstock on January 5, 1864 as a private in the 4th Vermont Regiment, Co. "C". He was twenty-seven years old, a farmer, standing five feet nine inches, with blue eyes, brown hair, a light complexion, and most significantly, athsma. William Peck left Brattleboro on the train bound for Washington, D. C. on January 12, 1864.

Assistant Surgeon Stephen W. Bowles, in his report dated April 18, 1864, describes the wounds that William Henry Peck suffered at the Battle of the Wilderness, the conical rifle ball that glanced into his scalp and the left side of his forehead, leaving a depressed scar and taking the hearing from his left ear and part of the sight from his right eye---

Peck's statement of his injury and subsequent treatment is roughly corroborated by official records. He was admitted to the 2nd Division, 6 Army Corps Hospital, Army of the Potomac, sometime between May 5th and 7th with a "rifle ball wound, head, slightly." He was transferred from this regimental hospital to Columbian College U.S.A. General Hospital, in Washington, D.C., where he was admitted 11 May 1864. From here, he was transferred to the U.S.A. General Hospital, in Patterson Park, Maryland, and admitted 15 May 1864. Finally, he was transferred to the U.S.A. General Hospital, in Brattleboro, Vermont, where he was admitted June 7th, with a "Simple G. S. flesh Wound of scalp" caused by a "conical ball" and received at "Wilderness, May 5. 64." Henry Peck was furloughed home from the hospital on 27 June 1864. He was readmitted three weeks later, however, suffering from asthma. He was discharged from the hospital - and from the army - on 14 January 1865. His "Certificate of Disability for Discharge," dated 27 December 1864, contains this description from S. W. Bowles, A. A. Surgeon, U.S. Army.

This man has suffered from asthma in a severe form for the past nine months following an attack of Bronchitis incurred while on a hard march. He is unfit to perform the duties of a soldier. I certify, that I have carefully examined the said William Henry Peck of Captain Farr['s] Company, and find him incapable of performing the duties of a soldier because of Asthma in a marked a painful degree & to such an extent as greatly to impair his health, strength, activity &
constitution & greatly impede him in laboring for his subsistence. The cause or origin of this disability was in my opinion the casualities of the service. His degree of disability is three fourths. He wishes to be discharged. He is not fit for the V. R. Corps.


Thirty Six Guns At Sunrise

Cannon were fired at sunrise, and every half hour until sunset, from "Hospital Hill" to honor the assassinated President Abraham Lincoln---

All places of public business will be closed to-morrow at noon, and remain so until the close of the funeral services to be held, at that hour, in honor or President Lincoln, at the Centre Church. Rev. Dr. Tyler will preach a funeral discourse. The various religious congregations in town are expected to unite with that of the Centre Church in these services. Major Austine is hourly expecting orders from the War Department in regard to the firing of guns. If the orders arrive to-day, half-hour guns will be fired to-morrow from sunrise to sunset.

Vermont Record, April 22, 1865.

The Civil War was cruelly and cynically planned and promoted for decades before Fort Sumter, by the Bank of England and its agents, which sought to split the all-too-powerful, and essentially Christian, United States into two nations.

Two divided, and therefore weaker, nations which could be separately, and all the more easily, corrupted for the vastly greater profits to the Bank of England.

The Bank of England's financial agents, and agitators, who were resident in the United States in both the North and the South, were clearly seen by many loyal Americans as the traitors that they were. Agents like Judah P. Benjamin escaped to England from the devastated American nation barely in time, cheating their so richly-deserved hangman's rope.

President Abraham Lincoln was assassinated for his partially-successful role in resisting the malevolent Bank of England and its agents in New York City, who offered Lincoln a series of loans with highly usurious rates ranging from twenty-four to thirty-six per cent, to bankroll the Union in the conflict.

President Lincoln then issued the famous debt-free and patriotic "Greenbacks" currency, which infuriated the temporarily out-witted Bank of England.

Rev. George Palmer Tyler of the Centre Congregational Church in Brattleboro, literate and politically sophisticated, understood the Bank of England's financial and political role in our Civil War tragedy, and approached this matter in his memorial service, delivered on April 19, 1865.

George Palmer Tyler's eloquent tribute to the fallen President's courage in defying foreign domination by the Bank of England, and to Lincoln's now less-known, self-confessed Christianity, was entitled The Successful Life; A Discourse, On the Death of President Lincoln.

Soldiers at the United States General Hospital and from throughout Windham County attended this Discourse by Rev. George P. Tyler. One reporter from the Vermont Record observed Brattleboro that day---

On Wednesday the town universally exhibited signs of sorrow and mourning. All places of business were closed at noon for the remainder of the day, and the fronts and windows of private and public buildings were very generally draped with flags in mourning, festoons of white and black cambric, and in some cases, sprigs of evergreen.

A simple black ribbon at the doors of some smaller houses, and the elaborate displays on some public buildings were alike significant.

A salute of thirty-six guns was fired at sunrise from Hospital Hill, and half hour guns during the day. The soldiers and many civilians wore crape upon their left arm. Religious services were held at the Center, St. Michael's and Unitarian churches. The galleries, pulpits, and pillars of the churches were heavily draped with flags and festoons of black and white.

At St. Michael's church, the rector Dr. Porter, read the impressive burial service, and made appropriate remarks. At the Unitarian church, the pastor, Rev. Mr. Frothingham conducted the services, delivering an earnest and beautiful address.

At the Center church the services were opened by an organ voluntary, and the singing of the choir by "Rest, Spirit, Rest." Rev. Mr. Sherwin of the Baptist church read the 109th Psalm, and prayer was offered by Rev. Mr. Chandler of the West Brattleboro church. The pastor, Rev. Dr. Tyler, preached from 2 Timothy, iv, 7-8, "I have fought a good fight" &c.

He remarked that he did not strive to deepen the public feeling, but to turn it to good account. He dwelt principally upon President Lincoln's success as a statesman and a christian; as the former, all detractors have finally been compelled to praise him; as the latter, he has left an example to all, and to young men especially, showing that integrity and uprightness can both co-exist with a public life and be successful. The eulogies pronounced by the speaker upon the President's character were many and earnest.

A portrait of Mr. Lincoln was suspended in the alcove behind the pulpit and surmounted with a wreath of laurel. A handsome boquet of arbutus flowers and another of white roses and evergreen were placed in front of the pulpit.---The demonstrations of public mourning throughout the day were such as our town has never before seen, and such as it is not likely to see for long years to come.

Vermont Record, April 25, 1865.


Departures From Gov. Smith Hospital.

The following men were forwarded for duty via New York City, April 24.

Alex G. Allen, F, 17
Dawson Burt, K, 10
George Colby, H, 10
Wm. H. Castle, H, 9
John A. Durkee, I, 9
Peter Dumas, K, 9
Sgt. Geo. M. Dearborn, G, 9
Allen J. Dearborn, G, 9
Moses D. Fox, E, 11
Chas. D. Hall, I, 4
Emory Hall, I, 8
Oramel Kendall, A, 9
Frank E. Miner, I, 4
Paul B. Mills, I, 8
Jos. A. Pitkins, B, 3
Alfred S. Pierce, K, 9
Edw. W. Vine, E, 5
Cyrus M. White, H, 8
David F. Wyman, K, 1 Cav.

Vermont Record, April 25, 1865.


Arrivals.---About fifty sick and wounded soldiers have arrived at the U. S. Hospital in this village within a week, and a squad of twenty have been sent to the front.

Vermont Phoenix, April 28, 1865.


Arrivals At Governor Smith Hospital.

The following soldiers were received at Gov. Smith Hospital, Brattleboro, April 22, 1865:

Geo. A. Bingham, E, 4
Jas. S. Boswell, E, 1 cav.
J. Bissett, A, 5
Dennis Bissonett, K, 17
Gifford M. Bridge, G, 17
Zimri Brownell, E, 10
Benj. F. Coburn, C, 1 cav.
Eugene L. Chapell, B, 5
Sergeant Ralph W. Carpenter, E, 11
Henry Campbell, B, 5
Patrick Conley, F, 5
Henry E. Campbell, G, 10
John H. Deboll, B, 11
Charles L. Doto, B, 11
Henry W. Dows, A, 2
Corp. Prentice E. Dow, B, 11
Addison F. Eaton, H, 10
Sergt. Carlton Felch, C, 3
Charles F. Fisher, 3 Vt. Battery
Henry A. Grover, E, 11
Corp. B. J. Grinell, B, 5
I. A. Holtham, I, 1 S. S.
Chas. W. Horton, H, 5
Birney Hilton, B, 17
N. W. Hazelton, H, 6
Corp. Edw. R. Higgins, A, 11
John Harker, K, 17
Corp. Emory Howard, G, 11
Warren W. Kerr, I, 8
Peter Kenedy, C, 11
Bissell Leazer, 3 Vt. Battery
Henry LaValley, C, 17
John H. Lewis, C, 10
A. I. Mattison, E, 10
Corp. Geo. W. Nichols, E, 11
Josephus Phipps, recruit 8
Chas. E. Porter, G, 10
Edward A. St. Louis, L, 1 cav.
Royal M. Sherman, D, 10
Edward Tatro, D, 11
Wm. W. Vose, K, 2
Luther Wilson, B, 11
Elijah Winship, G, 11
Malvin A. Wilson, K, 8
Chas. M. Wing, B, 1 cav.
Felix G. Cole, A, 4
Geo. W. Hamilton, E, 8

Vermont Record, April 25, 1865.



Phillip Wells And Harriet Electra

On May-day afternoon there will be a children's fair on the grounds of Philip Wells, Esq. The The proceeds of the fair will be given to the wounded soldiers at the Hospital. Children and their friends will be welcome. If the afternoon is stormy, the fair will take place on the succeeding day.

Vermont Record, April 28, 1865.


The chilly rain on May Day somewhat dashed the pleasure of the children interested in the Soldiers' Fair, which came off at the house of Philip Wells, Esq. But a very lively party of the little folks and their friends came together to admire and purchase the innumerable pretty things offered for sale. On the following afternoon the weather was sunny, and the fair was completed out of doors, with a large number of children and their friends present. Mr. Wm. C. Bradley, Jr., made a very neat speech to the little folks, who had a capital time in return for their self-imposed labor. The net proceeds, which are to be expended for the comfort of the soldiers of the Hospital, amounted to forty-two dollars. Little Hattie Wells, who originated the project, has excellent cause to be happy at the fine success of her benevolent plan.

Vermont Record, May 5, 1865.

Little Hattie Wells was Harriet Electa Wells, born on November 14, 1857, making her seven and a half years old. She was the daughter of the widowed Phillip Wells, cashier of the Vermont National Bank, and Elizabeth E. Harrison her mother who died on February 8, 1860.

Phillip Wells lived in a house that stood just north from the Central School in a grove of linden trees, that had been built by Daniel P. Kingsley. An S-curved path led from the house to the gateway, with a distinctive rustic fence built by Sewell Morse. There was a Catherine's Wheel in the pediment of this Greek Revival house.

General John Wolcott Phelps bought this house from Phillip Wells in 1867. He then named it "The Lindens", and lived there for almost twenty years. When the new High School needed more grounds, Gen. Phelps sold his house to School District No. 2 on July 13, 1882. The house then became an Intermediary School for eighty or ninety students.

This house was removed, piece by piece from Asylum Street, to the south side of Grove Street in May 1884. It stands there now.


Forty-two dollars, being the proceeds of the children's fair held on May-day at the house of Philip Wells, Esq., was, on Wednesday, handed to Rev. J. Agnew Crawford, the chaplain of the hospital, to be expended by him for the relief of any wounded soldiers who may be needy.

Vermont Record, May 12, 1865.


Phillip Wells Residence Adjacent To Central School

Sold Later To Gen. John Wolcott Phelps


The Hospital.---A detachment of 18 men for New York and the front, left the Hospital last week in charge of Chaplain Crawford.---The soldiers desire to express their acknowledgments to Col. Miles of the Military School, for a generous supply of tobacco. Also to Mrs. Miles, for ten dollars left with the Chaplain for their use.---Thanks are due also to Mrs. Julia Burns of Centreville for bouquets, and for her interest in decorating the Chapel.

Vermont Phoenix, May 5, 1865.


American House Auction

Pursuant to instructions from the Provost Marshal General, the following articles of Camp and Garrison Equippage will be sold at Public Auction, in front of the American House, Brattleboro, Vt., on Saturday, May 20th, 1865, at 2 o'clock P. M. viz:

566 FORKS.

The above named articles are all new, and have never been used.


Lieut. U. S. Army.

Charles Chapin, Auct'r.

Vermont Record, May 16, 1865.


Supply Hut And Patients

Civil War Hospital, Brattleboro, Circa 1864, Elbridge J. Knowlton, 4th Vermont Regiment Co. E, Veterans Reserve Corps.jpg

Supply Hut, Civil War Hospital, Brattleboro, Vermont In 1864

Private Elbridge J. Knowlton, 4th Vermont Infantry, Co. E, Veterans Reserve Corps

Fifth Soldier From The Left

Quartermaster Ansel Lin Snow Is Officer Seated At Center

Private Elbridge Julius Knowlton is standing fifth from the left in this photograph taken at the United States General Hospital in Brattleboro. He served in Company E, Fourth Vermont Infantry, and then in the Veterans Reserve Corps from May 15, 1864. Knowlton mustered out on September 21, 1864.


Pvt. Elbridge J. Knowlton

For nearly twenty years Elbridge Knowlton was Superintendent of the Prospect Hill Cemetery Association, until his death on October 2, 1908.





Capt. Dennie W. Farr


Capt. Farr---Our neighbor, Dennie Farr, who went from here about a year since as 2nd Lieut. in Company F, 4th Vermont Regiment, is now at home on a furlough, on account of sickness. He looks feeble yet, but is recovering. On the promotion of Wm. C. Holbrook, Farr was made 1st Lieut. of the said Company and served under Captain Brown till a short time since, when he was made Captain of Company C. All say he is "a good fellow and a good officer."

Vermont Phoenix, September 25, 1862.


Resignation Letter - December 25, 1862


Capt. Addison Brown, Jr. -- First Lieutenant Dennie W. Farr


Letter Requesting Permission For Wife's Visit To Camp


Mrs. Farr, who left town a few days since to procure the remains of her husband, Capt. D. W. Farr who fell in the Wilderness battle, sends word to her friends that she has been successful. His remains were found and identified, without much difficulty and they are expected to arrive here in a few days. A ring was found upon one finger that Mrs. Farr had placed on it before Capt. Farr left home.

Vermont Record, May 30, 1865.


The Captain's Charm, From His Wife



John C. Moss Engraving Company, New York

Your affec Son

Dennie W Farr.

Dennie W. Farr was born on January 7, 1840, on an old Chesterfield, New Hampshire farm, to Worcester Farr and Abial Kneeland. He was commissioned Second Lieutenant in Company F, Fourth Vermont Regiment on September 7, 1861, then promoted to First Lieutenant on January 19, 1862 and promoted to Captain of Company C on August 13, 1862.

Dennie Farr and his family were Universalists and often came to Brattleboro to hear the popular Rev. Addison Brown. On July 31, 1863, soldier Farr married Mary Hannah Brown, the daughter of Addison and Ann Elizabeth Wetherbee.

Dennie Farr was one of the first Union soldiers killed in action in the Wilderness in northern Virginia on May 5, 1864. He was waving his sword to encourage the troop advance when he was struck in the head by a minie ball. Captain George Blood French described his death to Mrs. Farr, who brought the remains back for burial in the cemetery near West Chesterfield.

Mary Brown Farr Dunton was born on July 5, 1842. She was eighty-eight years old in 1930 and living in the Brattleboro Home For the Aged. She died in Chesterfield in 1935.

Capt. D. W. Farr.---We stated last week that Mrs. Farr, widow of Capt. Farr, Co. C, 4th Vt. Vols., who was killed by a ball through the head at the battle of the Wilderness, May 5, 1864, had gone, accompanied by her brother and sister-in-law, the widow of the late Lt. Col. Brown, to Virginia, to obtain and bring home the remains of her husband. The party went from Washington to Fredericksburg by boat and wagon, and thence 13 miles to the Wilderness attended by a guard, over many a field made historic by the bloody battles fought thereon. They found the grave without difficulty. It had not been disturbed, but evertything was as when left by the friends who buried him on the night of that dreadful day of battle. The spot had been carefully described, the body buried as decently as circumstances would admit, and a board placed at the head of the grave with the Captain's name cut thereon, and a drawing sent home at the time of his death, so designating the spot that it could be readily found. The body was disinterred, put into a coffin with a metallic lining, and made air tight with cement. A ring placed on his finger by the hand of affection was recovered, thus rendering the identity of the body certain. The party returned to Fredericksburg on the evening of the same day they left there, and the body was sent home from Washington by express, arriving here on Monday last, Mrs. Farr and her friends having arrived on Saturday of last week.

The body on arriving at the depot here was taken charge of by the members of the Columbian Lodge of Masons, of which he was a member, and conveyed to the house of his father-in-law, Rev. A. Brown, where it remained until Wednesday. On the afternoon of that day it was borne to Chesterfield, N. H., his native place, attended by a funeral cortege consisting of his relatives, friends, and members of the Lodge. The funeral services were in the church in the west part of the town, near his father's residence, and the cemetery. The services in the church were conducted by Rev. F. Frothingham of this village, and consisted in the reading of selected passages of the sacred Scriptures, prayer and an appropriate and touching address. The house was filled with friends and acquaintances of the deceased, who came to pay their tribute of respect to the remains of one whom they loved and honored. From the church the body was borne to the grave, and there with Masonic honors and the usual services of the Order, all that was mortal of the brave and noble soldier was committed to its final place of repose. The service at the grave was conducted by C. A. Miles, and was beautiful and impressive. Capt. Farr was 24 years of age; lived a pure life, sustained an unblemished character, was a brave and faithful officer and soldier, left behind him a blessed memory, having offered himself a sacrifice in the cause of his country---the cause of freedom, justice and right.

Vermont Phoenix, June 2, 1865.


Dennie W. Farr

Capt. Dennie W. Farr.jpg


Sargent Luke W. Kendall

Serg't Luke W. Kendall.---The party that went for the remains of Capt. Farr also obtained the body of Luke W. Kendall of this town, who was killed at the battle of the Wilderness, and buried near the grave of Capt. Farr. Serg't Kendall belonged to Co. F, 4th Vt. Vols. His remains were sent to Orange, Mass., where his widow now resides. The graves of the following persons killed at the same battle were found near that of Capt. Farr: Capt. J. W. Carpenter, Lieut. Wooster, both of the 4th Vt.; Capt. R. O. Bird of the 6th Vt.; Col. Newton Stone, 2d Vt., and Serg't E. Renaldo of the 5th. And at the hospital of the 2d army corps were found the graves of the following: Capt. Geo. D. Davenport, Lieut. David Sweet, Abraham Lovell, Robert Cornish and S. S. Marshall of the 5th Vt.; E. P. Barnes and E. F. Burnham of the 3d, and Levi C. Allen and Joseph E. Eaton of the 6th.---Capt. Orville Bixby of the 2d regiment was also buried here, and his body was disinterred at the same time with Capt. Farr's and forwarded to South Royalton.

Vermont Phoenix, June 2, 1865.


Roscoe Fisher

Returned.---Roscoe Fisher of this town who enlisted in Co. F, 4th Vt. Regiment August 1861 has recently returned home after a hard and checkered experience. He was in all the battles in which that Regiment was engaged till June 23, 1864 when he was taken prisoner near Petersburg, with several others in the same Company. He was held a prisoner at Petersburg, not at Libby Prison, Richmond, for a time, and then taken to Danville, afterwards to Andersonville where he was confined about eight months, and finally was paroled in April, 1865 and came home by the way of Memphis, St. Louis, &c. He describes the sufferings of the prisoners at Andersonville as being dreadful in the extreme, worse than any description of them yet given. While at Andersonville Mr. Fisher was for the most of the time nearly destitute of clothes having nothing but a coat, and pants with one leg; was kept on the poorest and scantiest fare, cob meal, beans occasionally, meat a part of the time, rats and mice for a rarity, without the means a good part of the time of cooking his food and was obliged to eat it raw, and often without salt.

F. Klinge and Everett Alden of this town were prisoners at the same time and have arrived home. Mr. Fisher states that while he was at Andersonville 14,538 of our soldiers died.

Some of the poor fellows were reduced to such misery that they would crawl beyond the lines for the purpose of being shot by the guard, to put an end to their miserable existence.

Vermont Phoenix, June 2, 1865.

Ferdinand Klinge enlisted on August 22, 1861 into Co. F, 4th Vermont Regiment, and was discharged with the disability chronic diarrhea on January 3 or January 6, 1863. Klinge reenlisted on February 20, 1863 and served at the General Hospital in Brattleboro as a nurse, orderly, and clerk until rejoining his regiment in June 1864.

Ferdinand Klinge was captured on the Weldon Railroad and taken to Andersonville, and paroled from prison on April 28, 1865 and mustered out on May 23, 1865. The Brattleboro Directory for 1871 lists him as a machinist. Klinge later lived in Northampton and finally Easthampton, Massachusetts, where he died on August 4, 1921. Ferdinand Klinge is buried in Prospect Hill Cemetery.

James Everett Alden was born on February 26, 1839 in South Hadley, Massachusetts and married Hannah Richardson on November 16, 1860 before enlisting on August 21, 1861 in Co. F, 4th Vermont Regiment. Alden was promoted Corporal, then Sargent and First Sargent on May 5, 1864.

On the Weldon Railroad Everett Alden was taken prisoner on June 23, 1864 and imprisoned at Andersonville---

"When we left the Andersonville prison it was on the 17th of April 1865. As the Confederacy was about to collapse 4000 prisoners remained here. We were placed on box cars and carried into the swamps of Florida, and paroled near Lake City and turned loose at Baldwins, Fla. to reach Jacksonville the best we could, a distance of 20 miles. Over this space were scattered this remnant of half starved, half dead, half clothed prisoners buoyed up by the hope of seeing their home and friends once more. These poor weak but brave men braced themselves up for one great struggle. A good many reached Jacksonville but not all. For the next few days the ambulance did its work by bringing in those whose strength had given out, and others who had given their lives in this one great effort and died by the wayside."

James Everett Alden testified at the trial of Henry Wirz.

He died in Springfield, Massachusetts on November 26, 1921.


In observance of the day as recommended by the President, services were held at the Chapel of the U. S. A. Hospital at this place on the afternoon of Thursday June 1st, and although the number of sick able to attend has been much diminished of late, by the prompt discharge of all men who came under the recent order of the War Dep't the Chapel was well filled by the addition of some of its friends from the village, who are always made welcome by the Officers of the Hospital.

Vermont Record, June 6, 1865.


U. S. Hospital.---There have been twelve admitted to the hospital in the last week.---Patrick Courtney of the 9th Vt. regiment died last Sabbath evening of consumption. His remains were sent to his home in Chelsea.---Dr. N. G. Brooks, formerly one of the acting Assistant Surgeons in this hospital, is at present in town.---Two companies of the Veteran Reserve Corps on duty here, were ordered to Burlington on Tuesday last---to remain during the mustering out of the troops.

Vermont Phoenix, June 16, 1865.

Patrick Courtney enlisted from Chelsea, Vermont at the age of forty-four on December 26, 1863 and mustered in on January 6, 1864 as a Private in Co. I, 9th Vermont Volunteers. He died of consumption on June 11, 1865 and is buried in the Old Cemetery in Chelsea, Vermont.


Pvt. Henry C. Dawson


Henry C. Dawson served with the 10th Vermont Infantry, Co. "E", as a private after mustering in on September 1, 1862. He was wounded at Petersburg on April 2, 1865 and mustered out on June 22, 1865. Henry Dawson died on August 17, 1906 and is buried in the Brattleboro Retreat Cemetery, formerly called the Asylum Cemetery.


Railroad Accident.---A sad accident, attended with loss of life and many bruises and wounds, occured to the "owl train" on Tuesday morning, June 27th, on the Vt. Valley Railroad about one mile north of Dummerston depot. A severe rain during Monday night had washed down gravel from the bank on the side of the road, covering the track to the depth of a foot or more at a point in the road where there is a sharp curve. . . .

The forward car contained soldiers and citizens, the soldiers mostly belonging to the 10th regiment, and coming from the hospital in Montpelier to be mustered out here. . . .One man, supposed to be Geo. R. Grant, Co. B, 8th Vt. regiment, was killled immediately, and we hear another has since died. . . .

Col. Mead of the 8th Vt. regiment, was also considerably hurt, and many others. The cars were both plunged into the water and it was with much difficulty that the passengers were rescued; but it is understood that all got out. The citizens injured were taken to the houses in the neighborhood, and the soldiers were brought to the U. S. Hospital at this place. . . .

Vermont Phoenix, June 30, 1865.

Pvt. George R. Grant was taken to the "barracks cemetery" at the U. S. General Hospital in Brattleboro. Several days later, several of his friends came to exhume this soldier for burial in the Northfield Falls Cemetery. Grant was eighteen years and eight months old, described as being five feet four inches tall, with blue eyes and red hair, the son of Joseph Grant and Mary Coburn.


Chaplain Crawford's Woodbury Morgan Horse


We call attention to the notice in our advertisment columns, headed "Strayed."---Everybody has noticed Chaplain Crawford's beautiful mare. She was formerly owned by W. F. Richardson. Her present owner is very much attached to her and his friends are all anxious that she may speedily be found.

Vermont Record, July 25, 1865.

The horse stolen from J. A. Crawford, Chaplain at the U. S. Hospital, was brought back and placed in the pasture from which it was taken, after an absence of a week. It bore marks of hard usage, but the Chaplain thinks himself fortunate in getting it again even under such circumstances, as he has lost two horses by theft within the last year and a half---the rebels taking them in one of their raids into Pennsylvania.

Vermont Record, August 8, 1865.


---Cyrus Gleason Esq., of Brattleboro, while helping to remove a building upon the Camp ground last Thursday was severely injured by the falling of said building. Dr. Horton, who attended him informs us that he sustained a fracture of the ankle and although still confined to his bed is doing well. Mr. Gleason is nearly 60 years of age.

Vermont Record, August 9, 1865.

Dr. Charles W. Horton conducted his practice from the second-story office on the south east corner of the old Blake Block.


The Congregational Church Choir

The choir of the Congregational Church gave a concert at the U. S. Hospital on Wednesday evening, to a select party who had gathered there on the invitation of Chaplain Crawford. The room was tastefully decorated and the music was excellent.

Vermont Record, August 11, 1865.


The United States Hospital in this town is to be closed on Wednesday and all of the inmates, some 50, are to be taken to Sloan Hospital at Montpelier.

Vermont Record, August 22, 1865.


U. S. Hospital.---We understand that orders have been issued to discontinue the United States Hospital in this place, and to transfer the patients to the State Hospital at Montpelier. They have in part already been sent thither, and the remainder will go soon.---What disposition is to be made of the buildings and furniture we are not informed.

Vermont Phoenix, August 25, 1865.

The last fifty patients from Brattleboro were transferred to the Sloan hospital in Montpelier.


Veterans Reserve Corps


Unknown Soldier At Brattleboro

Veterans Reserve Corps

The Veterans Reserve Corps was organized at Brattleboro on August 11, 1863, designated then as Co. "G", 13th Regiment. This active reserve was commonly called the Invalid Corps. On September 27, 1864 this designation changed to 24th Company, 2nd Battalion. It was mustered out by detachments from August 1, 1865 to December 1, 1865.



Pvt. Luisde Leon Ballou

Luisde L. Ballou was born in Bristol, Grafton County, New Hampshire on December 4, 1842, the son of Hosea Ballou and Cynthia P. Sanborn. He died in Alexandria, New Hampshire on January 18, 1908.

Luisde enlisted August 12, 1862 as a Private. He mustered in with Company C, 12th Infantry Regiment of New Hampshire on September 5, 1862. On January 23, 1865 Private Ballou transferred to Company D, 3rd Regiment of the United States Veteran Reserve Corps.

On July 6, 1865 Luisde Ballou was discharged from Company D, 34d Regiment United States Veteran Reserve Corps at Brattleboro, Vermont. Luisde was a farmer in Alexandria until 1898 when he then relocated to New Hampton, New Hampshire. He never married.

Ballou, Luisde L., enlisted from Alexandria, Aug. 12, '62, in Co. C, 12th Regt. He passed unscathed through the battles of Fredericksburg and Swift Creek, but at the battle of Drury's Bluff, Va., May 16, '64, he was struck by a minie ball which entered the neck at the right ear, and came out at the back of the neck, carrying away a part of the spine. The flow of blood was so profuse it was supposed that this alone would cause death in a few minutes. Capt. James W. Saunders, his company commander, bound a handkerchief about the wound, placed him in a reclining position against a stump, and left him, unconscious and, as was supposed, at death's door. A little later, he was carried to the field hospital where Surgeon Hadley B. Fowler hastily dressed his wound. Two days later, he was sent to Hampton Hospital, thence to Point of Rocks Hospital, and the next day to Fortress Monroe. There he lay on one side for eight weeks without being moved. From Fortress Monroe, he was sent to the West Philadelphia Hospital which had at that time ten thousand beds. From May to December this soldier could not raise his chin from his chest, and six months after the wound was received, three pieces of bone were removed from the spine. Jan. 23, 1865, he was transferred to Co. D, Veterans' Reserve Corps, and was discharged July 6, '65, at Brattleboro, Vt. Mr. Ballou is now living on the east side of the Pemigewasset, but all these years has been a great sufferer, nearly incapacitated from labor.

History of Bristol, New Hampshire, Vol. I, p. 216.


Veterans Reserve Corps Border Guard

This extract from an article in the New York Times describes Capt. Nickerson's 115 Brattleboro hospital convalescents from the Veterans Reserve Corps, garrisoning the Canadian border---

Later advices from the parties who are pursuing the raiders, under Capt. Newton, Capt. Conger and Lieut. Strainhan, confirm the news of the capture of nine of the freebooters and $50,000 of the stolen bank bills.

Considerable excitement still prevails, though all apprehensions of any further danger at present from the marauders is entirely removed.

Capt. Nickerson, of the Veteran Reserve Corps, is garrisoning the border with 115 convalescents from the hospitals at Brattleboro.

The Capture of Nine of the Rascals

Confirmed $50,000 Recovered

Death of a British Officer.

The New York Times, October 21, 1864.


Mustered Out

From the Camp-Ground.

U. S. Barracks, Brattleboro, Vt.,

November 9th., 1865.

This morning will be remembered by the members of the 3d V. R. C. as a day of great joy. About 9 o'clock A. M. the welcome news flew around that the boys were to be paraded. The officers were all on the qui-vive, flying around in every direction with very long faces. At 10 o'clock the men belonging to the two companies were paraded; one Company, G, consisted of 2 commissioned officers, 2 sergeants, 1 corporal and 1 private; the other, Co. D, consisted of 3 commissioned officers, 2 sergeants, 3 corporals and 32 men. When the order was read out it stated, that those who wished to remain in service would step two paces to the front. Out of the company stepped two men, who wished to remain; one whose time expires tomorrow, and one whose time expires on Monday of next week. The rolls were turned in and made out just as quick as ever pen could make them. Some of the gentlemen who wear frying-pans on their shoulders seem to be perfectly demoralized.

Members in very reduced circumstances.

Vermont Record, November 10, 1865.

Veterans Reserve Corps = V. R. C. = Very Reduced Circumstances.

This reference to the Veterans Reserve Corps, and to its soldiers' mostly enforced retirement from battle, is a typically light, sardonic, and standard soldiers' humor so shared---and so clearly earned---by the letter writer.

Another contemporary fashion in humor which extended far beyond Camp Holbrook, resulted in a variety of inappropriate objects being perceived, and so described, as presenting themselves upon the shoulders of individuals who were deemed to be lacking in intelligence, experience, and common sense; hence, the frying-pan. More soldiers' humor.

This soldier expresses---after his fashion---his happiness at the prospect for returning to his home from Camp Holbrook---alive---and from this conflict which so clearly defined our American identity.

On Wednesday afternoon, September 12, 1906, a great marker to commemorate this camp ground was dedicated on this long pine-shrouded plain. The monument from Dummerston granite, cast in bronze, is certainly not a more worthy, yet it is a more permanent expression for this anonymous soldier's joy at his desired release---


"Mustered Out"

Soldier With Bandaged Head

Cartridge Case And Fixed Bayonet

Waving His Papers

In the lower right corner of the "Mustered Out" bronze panel appears the name "Allen G. Newman, Sc." This stands for Allen George Newman, Sculptor.

Dr. Henry D. Holton of Brattleboro in his dedication speech on the Valley Fair grounds on September 12, 1906, informed his twelve hundred listeners that---

The granite block is from Dummerston, the inscription on the bronze tablet is from the pen of the Hon. G. G. Benedict, the historian of Vermont in the Civil war. The bronze figures--mustered in and mustered out--were designed by a citizen of Brattleboro, and the drawing for the model was also by a resident artist. This plain is forever memorable by reason of being where most than ten thousand loyal patriot sons of Vermont were mustered into the national service and went forth to give their lives if necessary to preserve the Union.


September 12, 1906


Monument With Flagpole Enclosure

Original 1906 Location

Horses And Paddock In Background

Monument Dedication Flowers, 1906.jpg

Dedication Flowers 1906


Walter J. Parker Eating Saloon

A soldier on a bender Sunday evening, fell over the bridge by Dwinell's shop and landed in the water and gravel below. He escaped with a cut on his forhead and a few other slight bruises.

Vermont Record, October 17, 1865.


W. J. Parker, late of the 8th Regiment, Vt. Volunteers, has bought out and is refitting the eating saloon near the bridge in this Village, which we understand he proposes to run without rum. We commend the change, and would naturally suppose from the situation it might be run more economically with water.

Vermont Record, October 31, 1865.


The building by the bridge which for several years has been used a saloon under a great number of different proprietors, has at length been turned to a useful purpose, Orcutt & Baker of Conway, Mass., having opened a fish market there which will prove an accommodation to our citizens, as they have fresh fish every day. Heretofore we have been limited to once a week.

Vermont Record, June 21, 1866.

Walter J. Parker was the son of Josiah K. and Caroline Harding, enlisting at age eighteen from Putney, Vermont on December 9, 1861. He mustered in as Corporal on February 18, 1862 in Co. I, 8th Vermont Regiment. Parker reenlisted on January 5, 1864, reduced, served as Musician, and mustered out on June 28, 1865.

Later in Putney, Walter Parker worked as a barber. He died on November 23, 1879 at the age of thirty-four, and is buried in the Mount Pleasant Cemetery in Putney.


We learn that Wm. Thurston, a returned soldier, in a row at a saloon in this Village on Saturday night, was suddenly pitched into the street, and his collar-bone broken, and also received some other injuries. He is now boarding at the Revere House, at the expense of the town, under the care of Dr. Frost.

Vermont Phoenix, November 14, 1865.

William Thurston served with the 14th Maine Infantry.


We have heard great complaints, especially from the ladies, on account of the growing disorder of the streets at night. The noise made on last Saturday night, at the very center of business and travel, is described as being indecent in the extreme, profane, foul, and disgraceful to the village. If we do not pay taxes enough to have such a nuisance abated, let us have them increased,---a constant war-tax is preferable to such disorder.

Vermont Record, November 14, 1865.


Archibald B. Semple, Esq., Surgeon

Assistant Surgeon Semple, U. S. A., has been relieved from duty and ordered to California on his own application. Surgeon Jaynes, from the Montpelier Hospital relieved him, to attend the disposal of the public property. Dr. Semple is an excellent officer and leaves behind a good reputation for strict attention to his duties, and has won the good wishes of all with whom he has come in contact, both officially and socially. Success and happiness attend him in the distant field to which he has been ordered.

Vermont Record, November 11, 1865.

Dr. Archibald B. Semple published an article concerning the rheumatic neuralgia in the first volume of "The Lancet" in 1847.


Hospital Steward William K. Rice

W. K. Rice, who has been connected with the U. S. Hospital in this place from the commencement, as Hospital Steward, has just been transferred to the De Camp U. S. Gen. Hospital at David Island, New York Harbor.

Vermont Record, November 21, 1865.

William Kingsley Rice enlisted at age twenty-two at Brattleboro, as Private in Co. B, 16th Vermont Volunteers, on August 28, 1862, and mustered in on October 23, 1862. He was discharged on February 17, 1863 in order to enlist as Hospital Steward for the U. S. General Hospital in Brattleboro.

After the war W. K. Rice became a pharmacist working in Springfield, and later at Pittsfield, Massachusetts. In Pittsfield, William Rice is remembered for having helped build the Coliseum on North Street, later the St. Joseph's Convent. He died on December 8, 1918 and is buried in the Pittsfield Cemetery.


Comes A Pennsylvania Sister

Sometime since the close of the war, two ladies came up to the Brooks House and asked for Colonel Austine. One of them had lost a brother in the war. He was sent from the Washington Hospital to a Northern State Government Hospital, and she had been everywhere trying to find a trace of him and of where he died, to Ohio, New York, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania (his own State), to Burlington, Montpelier, and lastly to Brattleboro. Colonel Austine told her that some Pennsylvania boys had died and were buried here. He took her the next morning to the graves, and she found the right one. She wept, and then looking up, with her eyes full of tears, she said

At last my search is ended. I thought to take my brother's body home if I ever found him, to rest with his own kin, but this is such a lovely spot. The mountains and river seem so much like his own Pennsylvania. I shall leave him here to rest till the morning of the Resurrection. I am quite content, now that I know.

Abby E. Estey

Wife of Governor Levi K. Fuller.

"Some Reminiscences Of Brattleboro During The Civil War".

A paper read before the Brattleboro Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution during 1913, and reprinted in the 1928 book "Addresses".


"Another stone marks the resting place of a veteran who was wounded at Gettysburg. A sister searched for his body, and after a time she found it at Brattleboro, and was sorrowfully content.".

Brattleboro Reformer, June 23, 1893.

The newspaper reporter was talking with Col. William Austine personally.


Five Pennsylvania soldiers are buried now in the United States Soldiers' Cemetery within the boundaries of the Prospect Hill Cemetery. Their names are Abram Westermeyer, Alexander Walls, Hiram Carter, Isaac Rhodes, and Daniel Myers. All died at the U. S. General Hospital from disease during the month of August 1864, with the single exception of Daniel Myers, who died on December 6, 1864.

Considerable information is given for eighty-eight soldiers who died at the U. S. General Hospital during 1864, but Alexander Walls is the only Pennsylvania soldier about whom there is no family information in the Brattleboro records---except that he was eighteen years old when he died from chronic diarrhea on August 12, 1864.

Alexander Walls is the missing soldier and brother who fought at Gettysburg.

Alexander Walls was born on September 23, 1846 and was christened on April 18, 1847 in Crooked Creek Evangelical Lutheran in Kittanning Township, Armstrong County, Pennsylvania. His father Johann Friedrich Wahl was born in Germany, his mother Susanna Dormeyer in Pennsylvania. His older sisters were Margaretha and Helena, and the younger, Susanna.

Private Alexander Walls enlisted in Co. K, 63rd Pennsylvania Infantry, transferred to Co. K, 99th Pennsylvania Infantry, and finally transferred to Co. K, 105th Pennsylvania Infantry which was known as the Wild Cat Regiment.

From 2 o'clock until 4 o'clock in the afternoon of July 2, 1863, at Gettysburg, the 105th Pennsylvania Infantry moved across the Emmitsburg Road, was outflanked, changed front facing south, lining up along a lane at right angles to the Emmitsburg road.

The 105th fell under sharpshooter attack immediately upon moving to support the attack in the Peach Orchard, were placed near the Klingel farm house, suffered Confederate artillery fire and an attack by Lieutenant-General James Longstreet. A counterattack by the 105th late in the day recaptured three artilley pieces.

While defending their Pennsylvania lands and holding the Union center, the Wild Cat Regiment had twenty men and officers killed or mortally wounded in action, one hundred and eight men and officers wounded, and nine men missing.

Private Alexander Walls died from his wound and subsequent disease. He is buried in the Soldiers' Lot in the Prospect Hill Cemetery in Brattleboro, Vermont.


Col. William Austine may not have taken the two women from Pennsylvania to the Prospect Hill Cemetery, especially if they arrived within two years after Lee's surrender.

Soldiers who died in the hospital were given an honorable military burial in the barracks cemetery, "near the barracks" according to Col. William Austine---at the eastern extremity of the camp grounds. These grounds are now the Department of Public Works along the Fairground Road.

Later the United States purchased a 50-foot by 30-foot lot in Prospect Hill Cemetery for $100 and subsequently reburied the interments from the barracks cemetery at the Soldiers Lot at Prospect Hill Cemetery.


Deaths At United States General Hospital In Brattleboro.


Kirkley, Thomas, January 12


McCloud, Edward, 17, January 13
Cerebro Spinal Meningitis
Woodbury, Vt.


Wheeler, Warrington, 23, January 23
Derby, Vt.


Hammer, Christian, 60, January 23
Cerebro Spinal Meningitis
Qualecook, C. E. [Canada East]


Phelps, Lewis P, 17, January 25
Cerebro Spinal Meningitis
Williston, Vt.


Knowles, James, 28, January 27
Cerebro Spinal Meningitis
Rutland, Vt.


West, Whipple, January 28
Cerebro Spinal Meningitis
St. Johnsbury, Vt.


Bradley, John E, 22, January 30
Cerebro Spinal Meningitis
Highgate Falls, Vt.


Pierce, Solon W, 23, February 5
St. Johnsbury, Vt.


Tyrrell, Jesse D, 39, February 7
Jay, Vt.


Amidon, Truman, February 12
Typhoid Fever
Shaftsbury, Vt.


Hill, James E, 24, February 14
Cabot, Vt.


Colburn, Almon J, February 14
Chronic Diarrhea
Glover, Vt.


Jennison, Francis A, 33, February 15
Jamaica, Vt.


Woodard, William O, 18, February 16
Inflammation Larnyx


Somers, Warren W, 17, February 17
Inflammation of Lungs
Barnet, Vt.


Powell, William G, 18, February 21
Charlotte, Vt.


Tenney, William, 18, February 26
Vershire, Vt.


White, Charles O, March 5
Intermittent Fever


Eason, Charles A, March 7
Typhoid Fever


Cleveland, Henry G, 20, March 24
Royalton, Vt.


Shepard, Austin E, 29, March 27
Newfane, Vt.


Rice, Cyren O, April


Partton, Albert, 18, April 22
Chronic Diarrhea
Holland, Vt.


Holt, Samuel B, May 4
Small Pox
Morristown, Vt.


Myers, Daniel, 40, June 12
Wounds & Diarrhea
Dunksville, Pa.


Hogaboon, Orin, 29, June 14
Wounds & Typhoid Fever


Whitney, Charles B, 20, June 16
Wounds & Typhoid Fever
Lee, Me.


Grover, Martin E, June 19
Wounds & Typhoid Fever
Ludlow, Vt.


Wadleigh, John, 23, June 22
Wounds & Diptheria
Chester, Vt.


George, William S, 33, July 8
G. S. Wound of Chest
Berlin, Vt.


Dillingham, Henry, 18, July 12
Typhoid Fever
Ludlow, Vt.


Sargent, Lemuel B, 28, July 11
Townshend, Vt.


Gassett, Albert, 23, July 15
Chronic Diarrhea
Ludlow, Vt.


Blanchard, Joseph, 48, July 20
Fairfield Center, Vt.


Packard, Alanson E, 42, July 22
Typhoid Fever


Clark, Orman G, 20, July 28
G. S. W. Right Arm Amputated


Boutwell, Augustus A, 23, August 2
Chronic Diarrhea
Moretown, Vt.


Westermeyer, Abram, 44, August 2
Chronic Diarrhea
Philadelphia, Pa.


Carter, Hiram, 14, August 2
Typhoid Fever
S. Auburn, Pa.


Rolliston, George, 26, August 6
Intermittent Fever
Salem, N. H.


Watson, Edgar, August 7
Typhoid Fever
Boston, Mass.


Kershaw, James, 17, August 11
Chronic Diarrhea


Northrun, William, August 12
Chronic Diarrhea


Walls, Alexander, 18, August 12
Chronic Diarrhea


Miller, Frederic, August 12
Chronic Diarrhea
New York


Holbrook, Alex W, 22, August 16
Chronic Diarrhea


Henebury, Walter, 44, August 16
Chronic Diarrhea
S. Boston, Ms.


Garvey, Henry, 31, August 18
Chronic Diarrhea
Boston, Ms.


Magoon, Henry C, 16, August 19
G. S. W. Sur. Ext Sev.


Palmer, David S, 33, August 19
Chronic Diarrhea
Haverhill, Ms.


Sturdevante, John H, 20, August 20
G. S. Fracture Tib. Knee Joint
St. Albans, Vt.


Spooner, Albert, 20, August 20
Chronic Diarrhea
Barre, Mass.


Rhodes, Isaac, 27, August 21
Chronic Diarrhea
Westmoreland, Pa.


Crane, Albert I, 24, August 22
Chronic Diarrhea
Whitney, Me.


Leonard, Marshal W, 18, August 23
G. S. W. Up. Ext Sev.


Colbridge, Charles, 23, August 23
Chronic Diarrhea
Turrill, N.Y.


Mayo, Henry, 46, August 26
Typhoid Fever


Hone, Alfred, 19, August 28
Chronic Diarrhea
Burlington, N. J.


Walker, Erastus, 16, August 28
Chronic Diarrhea


Murdock, Calvin A, August 29
Chronic Diarrhea


Toothaker, Ephraim, 21, August 30
Chronic Diarrhea
E. Troy, Me.


Williams, Elijah, 28, August 30
Chronic Diarrhea
Medina, N. Y.


Emerson, Andrew A, 16, August 4
Acute Diarrhea


Russell, Sylvanus, 20, August 21
G. S. T. W. Upper Ext


Bradford, Philemon, 44, August 8
Chronic Diarrhea


Dorton, John, 40, September 2
Chronic Diarrhea
Norwalk, Ct.


Clutter, Henry, 43, September 2
Chronic Diarrhea
Sardinia, O.


Stevens, George, 34, September 5
Chronic Diarrhea


Perrin, Cyrus, 43, September 6
Chronic Diarrhea
Goshen Gore, Vt.


Allen, Albert H, 20, September 14
Chronic Diarrhea


Johnson, J H, 36, September 15
Chronic Diarrhea
Stratton, Vt.


Clark, John, 18, September 16
Chronic Diarrhea


Hall, Henry J, 26, September 29
E. Cambridge, Ms.


Bailey, Bentley, 25, October 15
Chronic Diarrhea
Ferrisburg, Vt.


Dunn, Charles, 24, October 18
Chronic Diarrhea
Woodford, Vt.


Simonds, Harlow, 24, October 18
Diabetes, Chester, Ms.


Clapp, Alonzo D, 18, October 29
Chronic Diarrhea


Clark, W W, 23, November 3
Chronic Diarrhea


Evans, Albert C, 20, November 9
Simp G. S. Flesh W. Up Ext
Windham, Vt.


Olden, Daniel, 47, November 8
Readsboro, Vt.


Hatch, Zenas, 22, November 11
G. S. W. Up Ext


Hardy, Charles H, 19, November 14
Simp G. S. W. Up Ext
Bethel, Vt.


Dodge, Charles N, 17, December 5
Debility From Hiamatic Dis


Baker, Alonzo, December 15
Chronic Diarrhea


Bills, Allen, 17, December 29


Holland, Leroy, 19, December 29
Debility From Hiamatic Dis


Lothrop, Josiah, 62, December 30

Births Deaths Marriages, Volumes 1 & 2, 1857-1867, Brattleboro.

Entries are all in 1864.

Eighty-eight deaths are entered on ledger pages 120-122.

Family information recorded is omitted here.

Ledger entries were certified by George A. Hunt, District Clerk.

G. S. W. = Gun Shot Wound

Ext = Extremity, wound to the arm or to the leg.

Sur = Surgery

Hiamatic = Haematic, relating to the blood and blood poisoning.

Rubrola = Rubeola or Measles

Up = Upper, as in Up Ext, indicating shoulder, arm, forearm, wrist, and hand.

Tib. = Tibia

Sev = Severe

Pyaemia = a blood poisoning

George W. Ingall was a civil employee at the U. S. General Hospital who died and was buried initially at the barracks cemetery. He was reinterred in the Soldiers' lot at the Prospect Hill Cemetery and remained there for some considerable time until his removal by relatives or friends.


Governor Frederick Holbrook.jpg

Governor Frederick Holbrook

Frederick Holbrook established the U. S. General Hospital.


The Old Camp Ground.


Civil War Hospital Site As Windham County Agricultural Park

Beers Atlas Map 1869

The camp-ground was laid out in the winter of '62 and the barracks were occupied at different times by the 10th, 11th, 12th, 13th, 14th, 15th and 16th regiments. The 8th had what were known as "knocked down" houses, being built of wood, and some of the buildings were taken south with the regiment. There were some 50 or 60 barracks, enough for the accommodation of three regiments. They were built under the supervision of Gov Holbrook, and two or three still remain on the grounds. At the close of the war quite a number of these barracks were removed and transformed into cheap tenement-houses. Gov Holbrook, Dr Lyman of Royalton, and Surgeon E E Phelps of Windsor, who was afterward in charge of the hospital, went to Washington in the winter of '62 and interceded with President Lincoln and Secretary Seward for the establishment of a government hospital in Vermont. The president had doubts of the expediency of such action but finally granted the request with the understanding that the state of Vermont should furnish the buildings and bedding, the government agreeing to supply the hospital stores. Brattleboro was chosen as the most convenient place for a hospital, which was the first to be established in the United States, and which afterwards became a United States hospital, the government taking full charge. Soldiers from every state in the Union north of Mason and Dixon's line were sent there, and at the time of Grant's campaign in the Wilderness, when they were sending back from the front every soldier not fitted for duty, there were as many as 1100 men at the hospital at one time.

According to the records of George E. Greene of Brattleboro, who was hospital steward for 2 1-2 years, no less than 4000 patients were treated at the hospital. Gov Holbrook reasoned that men would recover more rapidly in their own state, hence many Vermonters were brought back to Brattleboro from the front for treatment. The old barracks which stood on the brow of the hill on the east side of the camp-ground were moved back to the side of the present fair buildings to give place to the hospital. It is a fact that there were more recoveries in this than in any other hospital subsequently established. Only a score of men were buried in Brattleboro whose bodies were unclaimed by relative or friend, their graves being in the village cemetery surrounded by a hedge of green and cared for by the government. Besides the three or four barracks now standing, the old tree under which so many men were mustered into service is a living reminder of the veterans' camp fire.

Brattleboro Reformer, August 17, 1894.

Old Camp Ground Mustering Tree Circa 1913.jpg

Valley Fair Circa 1913

Old Mustering Tree, Civil War Monument, Flagpole, Horse Paddocks


Brattleboro's Veteran Pharmacist

George E. Greene, Civil War Hospital Steward.jpg

George E. Greene

He decided to answer the call of his country rather than his own private desires and on Oct. 9, 1862, enlisted in Company I, 16th Vermont Volunteers. It was his intention to go into active service but before the regiment was sent to the front a place was found for him where he could render far more valuable assistance than in the ranks.

Through the personal efforts of Dr. E. E. Phelps, surgeon in charge of the United States general hospital at Brattleboro, he was transferred to the hospital corps. February 17, 1863 he was discharged from the volunteer service and on the same day was enlisted as a hospital steward in the United States army. Until the close of the war Mr. Greene performed his duties at the hospital with a singleness of purpose and devotion that called forth the warmest praise from his superior officers. A large part of his work was in going to New York to meet the wounded soldiers returning from the front and caring for them while en route for the military hospital at Camp Governor Holbrook on what is now the Valley Fair grounds. He was made chief hospital steward and served in that capacity until the hospital was closed. In the work of bringing the soldiers home he was particularly effective as he was able to minister to their needs as well as a trained physician and was a man to meet the problems of every emergency and decide them in the best way. In taking the soldiers from the trains to the hospital every kind of a vehicle was pressed into service. Mr. Greene was honorably discharged Sept. 14, 1865.

George E. Greene, Pharmacist, Civil War Hospital Steward.jpg



A public sale of medical and hospital supplies at the U. S. General Hospital in this town, has been ordered by the govemment. It will commence on Tuesday, Nov. 7th, and will continue until everything is disposed of. Among the articles to be sold are 2500 blankets, 4000 linen sheets, 1800 hair pillows, pillow cases, counterpanes, hair, straw and husk mattresses, 1200 iron bedsteads, &c.

Vermont Record, October 31, 1865.


The sale of the United States property at the General Hospital, in this place, took place on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, 7th--9th inst. Most of the articles of value, and which our citizens hoped to have a bid at in accommodating lots, were bid off in mass by speculators from Albany at very low prices. One thousand iron bedsteads went at 25c. each, and the blankets, all but a few lots, at 2.30 each. The matrasses and other goods we understand went proportionably low.

Vermont Record, November 11, 1865.


Auction.---We understand that from 300 to 400 cords of wood are to be sold at auction, on Saturday, Dec. 2d, at the barracks in this village, in lots of not less than 5 nor more than 10 cords.

Vermont Phoenix, November 24, 1865.


Assistant Commissary John S. Adams

First Lieut. John S. Adams, who has been stationed at Brattleboro during the past two years, on duty as Assistant Commissary of Subsistence and Ordnance Offices, was relieved on the 27th ultimo, by order of the war department, and has joined his regiment,---the 13th, Vet. Res. Corps, at Galluaps Island, Boston Harbor. In the performance of his duties, Lieut. Adams proved himself a very faithful and efficient officer, and the "boys in blue" who received rations from him, can testify to the fact that he spared no pains to procure for them the best quality of food that could be obtained in the market and, in addition to this took care that they had plenty of it. Would that many of the surgeons in command of the U. S. General Hospitals had adhered more closely to this rule in their treatment of the poor sick and wounded ones under their charge.

Vermont Record, December 1, 1865.


Forges His Discharge Papers

A man named Johnson was put in irons at the Barracks in this place on Monday morning, the 8th, according to orders received from head-quarters, and sent to Boston to be courtmartialed. His crime was the forging of discharge papers for himself, having as he alleged, lost the genuine ones. It is rumored that he had found a woman in Guilford so foolish as to advance him money on his forged papers, but this we cannot vouch for. While he was walking from the Barracks to the Depot, his wrists being ironed, his hands uncovered, and the cold intense, his fingers were badly frozen.

Vermont Record, January 9, 1866.


Frozen.---A soldier by the name of Johnson had his hands badly frozen on Monday morning, Jan. 8th, in passing from the Barracks in this village towards the Depot.

Vermont Phoenix, January 12, 1866.


The barracks' detailed soldier guard decides to freeze the fingers from the forger, who used his fingers to fashion his release from his service---after the war---so that all becomes justice, and Johnson's punishment---frozen fingers---fits the crime---forgery.

Chaplain Francis C. Williams speaks, and warns, in his "Discourse" about the brutalizing effects of war. Here is his case in point, illustrated and shown, not during the War Between the States, but during the months following---specifically, in January 1866, with Johnson the forger.

But in these cases
We still have judgment here, that we but teach
Bloody instructions which, being taught, return
To plague th' inventor. This even-handed justice
Commends th' ingredience of our poisoned chalice
To our own lips


Civil War Hospital Buildings Auction 24 January 1866.jpg

Government buildings for sale.---By reference to our advertising columns, the public will take notice that, by order of the Q. M. General, U. S. A., Captain F. O. Sawyer, Asst. M., will sell at public auction on the 24th day of January, 1866, all the buildings connected with the Hospital, proper, at this post.

Vermont Record, January 12, 1866.


All the Hospital Buildings in this place were sold on the 24th according to announcement for something over $3,000, which is considered a good sale, being within about $400 of the estimate of Capt. Sawyer. They were chiefly purchased by the Trotting Course Company.

Vermont Record, January 26, 1866.


Auction Sale.---The Hospital buildings in this place, belonging to the United States, were sold at auction on Wednesday last. The principal part of the best buildings, twenty-one in number, were bought by the Windham County Park Association for $2318.50. The remainder were sold to various individuals, and the amount at which the whole were sold is, $3065.30.

The bids were lively, and the prices higher than buildings of a similar character have brought at other places where sales have been made.

Vermont Phoenix, January 26, 1866.


The Chaplain's House

At the Government sale of hospital buildings, David E. Downer purchased the building occupied by the Chaplain. He has moved it to a lot near the Canal street school house, and will fit it up for a dwelling house. T. Conner also purchased one of the buildings and has moved it to his lot near the Mazeppa engine house.

Vermont Record, February 16, 1866.


Thomas O'Conner owned the Irish worker's tenement known as "the Omnibus", formerly known as "the Compact house". This large building stood on the east side of the lower South Main Street hill, just above the joining with Canal Street.

David E. Downer was born on July 19, 1835. Before the war he went West and settled a claim near Dubuque, Iowa. Downer enlisted from Shaftsbury, Vermont on August 14, 1861 and was mustered in on September 21, 1861 as Corporal in Co. A, 4th Vermont Regiment. He was then reduced.

Wounded at Marye's Heights on May 3, 1863, David Downer was transferred to the Veterans Reserve Corps on April 20, 1864, and on his partial recovery served as a nurse at the United States General Hospital in Brattleboro. He was mustered out on September 20, 1864.

The Chaplain's House stood on the east side of present Atwood Street, a little distance south from the Fairground Road, at the beginning of the long line of hospital buildings which stretched almost due south from there.

David Downer married Julia Bardwell soon after the war. The Bardwell family came from Whately, Massachusetts, through Colrain, to a farm in Guilford, Vermont. The stream flowing through the pond immediately south of Camp Holbrook was called "Bardwell's Brook" for this extensive family.

Civil War veteran Downer worked in the Estey shops before taking up the stone mason trade. David Downer took the contract and did almost all the heavy stone work for the Canal Street School, and laid the stonework for several water reservoirs in Brattleboro. He served in the first Number 4 Engine Company volunteer fire brigade.

For the first five months of the Civil War, Lyman Eels and his son Henry Eels owned the land which became the William F. Richardson Farm. The Eels were the next neighbors to the Bardwells. Lyman died on September 11, 1861, and his son Henry lost the farm and enlisted as a Private in Co. D, 16th Vermont Regiment.

Henry Eels is listed as a patient at the U. S. General Hospital on January 25, 1863. It is possible that his neighbor Julia Bardwell visited him in the wards. Perhaps Julia met her future husband, David E. Downer, either in the wards or in the Hospital Chapel.

The 1869 Beers Atlas shows two lots owned by "E. Bardwell" close by the three-year-old red schoolhouse standing on the westward corner of Elm and Canal Streets. This was Ebenezer Bardwell.

David E. Downer died on January 13, 1908 and is buried in the Prospect Hill Cemetery.


Second Lieutenant Sylvester C. Burlingame

Sylvester Burlingame, a worthy young man, late Lieutenant in the 9th Regiment, Vermont Volunteers, belonging to this village, met with an unfortunate accident this forenoon. He was shackling cars at the Depot, when his right arm was caught and the bones so severely fractured that amputation above the elbow became necessary; which was performed by Drs. Bowles and Ketchum.

Vermont Record, March 2, 1866.


Accident.---On Friday morning of last week, Sylvester C. Burlingame, while engaged in shackling freight cars at the depot in this village, had his right arm severely crushed, rendering amputation above the elbow necessary. This young man will be remembered by out citizens as a volunteer in Co. F, 4th Reg't Vt. Vols., in 1861. Serving in this company, as private, until discharged for disability, he offered his services again, two months after his discharge, in Co. K, 9th Reg't, also raised in this village. In this company he served as Sergeant for the full time of his enlistment, and was mustered out as 2d Lieutenant. Since returning from the war, young Burlingame has been employed in various ways in our village, until about two months ago he went to work on the Vt. Valley Railroad, as brakeman on a freight train. That he should suffer the loss of his right arm so soon, after having escaped the perils of four years service in the army, where his record for bravery was attested by all, seems peculiarly sad; and it leaves him, with his family, without the means of present suppost, and with limited means of obtaining a livelihood when he shall have recovered from the immediate effects of the accident.

A commendable effort is being made to secure a sum of money for the present necessities of the family, and the response on the part of our citizens has been very liberal. The subscription paper is in the hands of Mr. Herbert E. Taylor, a former comrade in arms, and the money is made payable to Charles L. Mead, for the benefit of young Burlingame. Any persons who may be interested in this enterprise, who are not called upon, can leave their money at the Savings Bank, and it will be promptly applied for the relief of the family.

Vermont Phoenix, March 9, 1866.

Sylvester C. Burlingame was born March 30, 1843 and enlisted from Dummerston, Vermont on August 27, 1861 and mustered in on September 21, 1861 as Private in Co. F, 4th Vermont Volunteers. Burlingame was discharged with disability on March 5, 1862 and reenlisted May 27, 1862.

Sylvester Burlingame was mustered in on July 9, 1862 as Sergeant in Co. K, 9th Vermont Regiment. He was reduced on June 23, 1863 and promoted Sergeant on August 1, 1863. Burlingame was wounded at the battle of Chapin's Farm on September 29, 1864, the Vermont Phoenix newspaper for October 14, 1864 describing his wound as "leg severe".

Sylvester Burlingame was commissioned 2nd Lieutenant on December 30, 1864. He was mustered out on June 13, 1865.

Sylvester Chapin Burlingame worked as a night watchman for the village of Brattleboro and also for the Estey Organ Company following his railroad brakeman accident. He married Nancy Ellen Pratt. He was a great lover of base ball.

On December 16, 1903 while sitting in a chair at his home chatting with a neighbor about 8:30 in the morning in Connecticut, he cried "I'm going" and soon died.


Work has begun in earnest upon the grounds of the Windham County Park Association. Cyrus Gleason of this village is moving the buildings, and Mr. Doolittle of Hinsdale, has several teams at work on the track.

Vermont Record, April 12, 1866.

Possibly several of these barracks were taken down to the recently-improved Vernon road running along the west side of the railroad tracks. This area became known as "the Patch", for the Irish custom of planting kale or cabbage patches.

Another Irish settlement lay along a fair stretch of Elliot Street. This area was called "Little Limerick". Cyrus Gleason lived here with his family.

Thomas O'Conner lived on Pine Street and operated the Irish tenement called "the Omnibus", formerly called the Compact house, which stood on the east side of the lower South Main Street hill, opposite present Eels Court.

The first Catholic church in Brattleboro was on present Spring Street. Patrick Lillis purchased this building for $1,000 in early November, 1866 and fitted it for tenements.


John Wesley Wade

---Mr. John Wade, a one armed veteran, who kept a small provision stand during the Fair, was robbed of about $60 on last Friday by a man who had been helping him. We think a man must be hard up who would rob a poor soldier. Mr. Wade is in destitute circumstances from the loss he has sustained, and any contributions to him and his family will be thankfully received.

Vermont Record, September 15, 1866.

John W. Wade was thirty-two years old when he enlisted on August 22, 1861 from Jericho, Vermont. He mustered in on September 16, 1861. For wounds received on December 14, 1862, Private Wade was discharged with disability on February 11, 1863.

Lucy Letitia Sanders, born in Brattleboro on August 28, 1846, married John Wesley Wade in Lowell, Massachusetts on August 25, 1865. The Wade family with four boys and four girls grew up in Leon, Wisconsin, and neighboring towns in that county.


The Last Tenants

---A half-breed by the name of Edwards, who formerly resided in this place, and who for a period of 20 years has haunted this vicinity at stated intervals, committing such crimes as arson, larceny, etc., but who has always escaped the punishment he so well deserved, put the finishing stroke to his damnable deeds last week by proposing . . .

Vermont Record And Farmer, July 23, 1869.


---Saturday evening about 11 o'clock an alarm of fire was sounded. The machines being promptly taken out by the firemen it was soon discovered that the fire was confined to an empty barrack near the Fair Ground. The barrack was the one recently occupied by Edwards, the infamous half-breed, whose acts we referred to some time since. Probably some one becoming indignant at the idea of the building having been polluted by the presence of such a wretch, set fire to it. This is not right however. Incendiarism is excusable under no circumstances.

Vermont Record And Farmer, August 6, 1869.


Revere House Coach Pole Wagon Children.jpg

Photograph By George Harper Houghton


U. S. Army Hospital Registers, Vermont, 55 Volumes.

National Archives, Washington, D. C.

Register 43, "Sick & Wounded, Brattleboro".


Sedgwick Post.jpg

Personal War Sketches

Grand Army Of The Republic

Presented To

Sedgwick Post No. 8


Department Of Vermont


Levi K. Fuller



Civil War Hospital Issue.jpg

U. S. Army General Hospital Issue

Civil War Surgeon's Case


Brattleboro Memorial Hospital - The Inheritance

Rev. Charles O. Day from the Centre Congregational Church, speaking at the Union services held Thanksgiving-Day at the Town Hall---

Mr. Day then went on with suggestions in regard to the collection about to be taken, which, it is hoped, will bear abundant fruit in the near future. It was proposed, he said, that the surplus, over and above expenses, should be set apart as the beginning of the "Brattleboro Hospital Fund." The need of a hospital, forcibly urged by ex Gov. Holbrook at a Professional club meeting last spring, has been increasingly felt, and is receiving more and more attention. The experience of towns like Northampton, North Adams, Concord and others enforces the arguments. Points of advantage would include: Better facilities for the care of accidental injuries, such as railroad casualties; of cases of illness among those away from home; or without adequate home resources; hospital privileges for cases in remote parts of the county; peculiar and dangerous cases in the village, which can better be treated in such a place; better equipment for cases in surgery; an establishment for training nurses; possibly laboratory privileges for scientific investigation by local physicians along the new lines of study; and other benefits. The union meeting adopted, by a vigorous and unanimous vote, the proposal to start the movement at that time. Mr. Oscar Marshall was elected treasurer of the enterprise. The collection was then taken, and netted at least $20, as the nucleus of the fund. The case of our magnificent asylum property, which has grown to half a million of value out of an original gift of $10,000 may be cited as a marked instance of splendid results from small beginnings.

Vermont Phoenix, November 28, 1890.

Ex-Governor Frederick Holbrook in May 1890, speaking before the Professional Club in Brattleboro, stressed the need for a new local hospital. The following fall, at the Union services for Thanksgiving Day, the Rev. Charles Orrin Day of Centre Congregational Church presented his drawing for the proposed hospital, and merchant Oscar Marshall was elected Treasurer for the newly established Brattleboro Hospital Fund.


A Discourse,

Prepared for the Hospital of the Eighth Vermont

Regiment in New Orleans, September, 1862.

By Rev. F. C. Williams.

John xi. 3: "He whom thou lovest is sick."

What a pang does this message from the camp cause in the soldier's home! How severe is his trial who lingers under the hand of sickness in a military hospital! A sick soldier, far from home and friends, must be a sufferer in mind even more than in body. To lighten the inevitable burden, to comfort the sorrow that cannot be avoided, I describe "the army hospital as it should be."

At best, it must be a grievous scene. With skill, tenderness, and a Christian spirit filling it, there remains the stern fact of complex human misery abiding there; but without brotherly sympathy and religious principle hallowing it, no more wretched and terrible place can be. Blessed is that regiment which has a hospital worthy of our cause and of our faith. Let us see what must compose it. Suppose everything in location of the tent or building, in hospital supplies, and in sanitary regulations, to be complete; suppose the Government officials, the Sanitary Commission, and Village Soldier's Aid Societies have contributed all that recent invention and womanly thoughtfulness can furnish for a hospital as it should be, whom do we find within it wards?

I. The Surgeons. From them the tone of the whole establishment is taken. Skill in their profession, fidelity to their medical duties, I take for granted; but beside these, there are other essential requisites. We all have an idea of what a good physician at home would be. Many of us can look longingly back to the well-remembered friend who has attended our sick bedside, who is our doctor, and who, we devoutly believe, understands our constitution, and can cure us if anybody can. Add, then, for the army surgeons, to the good family physician, a special measure of sympathy and gentleness. For their danger is of unconscious harshness of manner, and apparent indifference to the claims of the suffering human mind. There are obvious reasons for this tendency. The number of patients is very large, and a monotonous sameness exists among them. Each has his iron bedstead---so many beds in so many rows---so many to each nurse; and as the surgeon passes on from pulse to pulse and from tongue to tongue, after some fifty have looked feebly or wildly up into his eye, what wonder if it grows cold, and seems hard, and wanting in that kindlhy expression every patient longs for, which is so beneficial to the sick man, and which he is so sure, when he is at home, to find on his doctor's face. This is the surgeon's danger---to foret that the soldier is a suffering man, with a soul brim-full of hopes and fears, trembling for the look and word of encouragement far more than if surrounded by loved and loving friends. He has been anticipating that word for hours; it has come, to cheer him for hours more; or to leave him sad, disappointed, and sick at heart. This is no fancy, but daily fact.

Besides the care which orders the proper treatment, there must be the indescribable but indispensable sympathy at whose control sorrow leaves the wounded breast. I know the exhausting drain thus made on the surgeon's vitality. I have felt the mysterious fatigue of sharing and cheering the anguish of the sick. After comforting, as best you may, man after man, passing from one to another for an hour or more, your own body trembles, your brain grows giddy, and your heart sick. "Virtue has gone out" from you, however little may have been gained by those to whom you have ministered. Now, be sure nature will soon protect herself from such loss by hardening your sensibilities, unless you increase your faith and cheerfulness and courage, to meet the demand of those who will to-morrow look so eagerly into your face, listen so keenly to your tone, and either detect your emptiness, or drink from the full spring of your kindly spirit.

II. The nurses. Let them be numerous enough, and persons of steady character, intelligence, and tact. Beside these pre-requisites, every nurse need a strong consciousness of the sacred nature of his office; for familiarity tends to wear away the full sense of responsibility. It tempts the most conscientious to forget the power and duty of benefitting the soul of the convalescent or dying patient. Sick men of the best type are apt to be discontented, childish, and fretful; then there are vicious, deceitful, thankless and reckless ones to be served. The pain of the meekest sufferer wearies the constant watchers; the complaining voice of the unreasonable wears upon the spirit, and there comes into the hospital company a strong temptation to selfish indifference. The nurse is called on to see to the safety, cleanliness, comfort, and treatment of those in his charge---to give them what they ask, to do for them what they wish, when the desires are harmless---this of course; but more than this, he must think for his patient, anticipate his needs, suggest wishes, not disturb him with questions, but fill up the half-realized deficiencies. This must be the work of friendly, brotherly feeling. A sick man does not know what he wants, does not know that he wants anything, till he finds the relief of what you do unasked. Nine men in ten, when asked, "Can I do anything for you?" will answer, idly, or sadly, "I don't think of anything;" and yet, turn his pillow cool side up, put the wet cloth wrung out again on his forehead, a draft of water, a fresh handkerchief, and see the satisfaction coming over the mind too languid to know why or where it suffered. This tenderly watchful spirit we all have known at home from mother, sister or wife, must now quicken the hospital nurse if he would hasten the recovery, lessen the distress, or, in many cases, save the life of his brother soldier.

Throughout the army there is developed an unnatural hardness of spirit, selfishness, meanness, roughness; not a natural but an unnatural depravity appears, the natural result of our unnatural circumstances. It come not from military causes, not because ruin and death are to be inflicted on our fellow-men, but from the disjointed social condition in which an army is. It is not good for one man to be alone. It is not good for many men to be alone, without the presence of women, without children, without the saving power of home. I have heard a keen observer say he never knew an association, of whatever character, of gentlemen exclusively, which did not degenerate in tone, become less gentlemanly, less manly, because women were absent. This tendency works strongly in a regiment, from the total absence of all womanly influence, and from the constant intercourse, without privacy, of men; and it creeps even into the hospital, where its fruit is most bitter. The danger is that the patients lose personality in the nurse's mind. It is only No. 27, or a Company A man, the present occupant of that cot, the exhibition of such a disease. That he has parents of family, that he has hopes or fears, that he has anything but a suffering body, may be as much neglected as if the ward were a car on some grand railroad route, and the nurse were the conductor checking the way and through passengers according to the regulations. A neat, orderly, systematic, well-supplied institution is a monument of skill and fidelity; and it cannot be, at the same time, mechanical and utterly soulless, overlooking and crushing the sensibilities, always sacred, and now morbidly exposed to suffering. The order, outward comfort, and care require a tender, personal interest, going beyond professional routine to individual brotherly kindness. Let no one say this is impossible. It must and can be done. This is no public charity; these are not hired assistants; these are not strangers; but all are brethren, devoted to one cause, voluntarily serving one another. Beside, the nurse of to-day may be the patient of to-morrow, and soon depend on the attention of him he now attends; so that the highest and strongest motives, except those of a family, call us to forbearing, self-sacrificing sympathy. But human nature is weak, and no nurse can maintain a proper attitude of mind without rest and recreation. Change of scene is necessary. To have a hospital quiet, to exclude foolish jesting and impatience, and to preserve the considerate temper common humanity claims, each nurse must be relieved, not only to take his meals and sleep, but must go out to refresh his mind, relax entirely the strain, and forget his hospital work for the time. Then the set, depressed, and wearied air which more or less pervades a whole camp when not actively employed, and which is especially unfitting a nurse gives place to cheerfulness and hope.

III. The patients. They may be classed as the feeble sick and the strong wounded. It were better, for many reasons, to have these two classes distinct from each other; it is, however, seldom practicable. They are very different in condition, and need very different advice. You, my brother, are weak and helpless under the attacks of disease, and from the effect of medicine. You must patiently penitently lie in the Lord's hands, commit yourself and yours into his care, and wait his holy will. You must endeavor to trust in your nurse in all the little details of your sickness, and rely on his judgment and affection; confide in the surgeon and his assistants; feel that the best is doing that can be; and remember that some disagreeable things are necessary, and that there are reasons you do not see for what seems hard and heartless. Remember you have now a privilege to use for yourself and for others---for yourself, to reflect, and repent, and resolve in this quiet season, before you go again into the battle of busy life. You will go back a much better or a much worse man---more reckless and vicious than ever, or with renewed principles and purified soul. Precious are the hours to the soldier lying on the field after a day's march and fight, silently preparing himself and his arms for the renewal of strife; so are the hours of sickness to your wavering character, for on their use depends the triumph or defeat of the soul. And it is a privilege you are to use for others. You contribute daily to the common welfare of the hospital. He who lies next you helps or hinders you, does he not? He has been such a comfort or such an annoyance to you, whenyou perhaps were too feelbe to express your gratitude or your resentment. Realize that you in turn, are a bessing or a burden to all around. I have seen a whining man, forty years of age, whose disease was slight, and whose pain was trival, torture the wretchedly suffering ones who could not escape him, by his unmanly complaints of the food, the nurses, the flies, the weather, the government, and all concerned. And I have seen a dying boy of seventeen, racked with pain, full of tearful longings for home and his mother's care, who by his brave cheerfulness and self-command, was a source of gladness to us all; his patient, hopeful word cheered the faint-hearted, and rebuked the repiners; and when he died, it was as if a light had gone out and left the shadowy ward-room dim. Forget, then, yourself as far as you may; suffer fladly for the good cause; and help others to do the same. Comfort others, and you shall be comforted.

You, my brother, are maimed or wounded. You have endured terrible pain; you are weak; you may have lost a limb which never can be restored; or you have a wound never to be thoroughly healed; or you will soon be up and strong again, and well as ever. In either case, I have to remind you of duties, as well as to give you my hearty sympathy. Think, you have been spared in the time of peril; you have been permitted to act for the righteous cause; your wounds are reasons for life-long pride; the country has a pension as a mark of honor for some of you as long as you live, and every one henceforth will look upon you, not with compassion, but respect. You are permitted to wear the unmistakable badges of service, which, though deserved by the sick and the dead, they cannot show. I do not forget your present trial, as you are obliged to lie idle after being used to such activity, and are compelled to be so utterly dependent on another for every little convenience of life. But, when you look back, and when you look forward, you can surely afford to be patient. Your mind is not weakened by disease, or confused by medicine. Is not that a reason for rejoicing? Certainly you can endure without repining the cross you have such strength to bear. You can, and you do! I have seen hundreds of you, each with his different wound; and I have heard no unworthy murmur, and no regret at having risked life, and sacrificed strength or limb for Liberty and Union in the land. My only fear is, lest, in the transitory and undiscriminating applause and honor you receive for the courage and fidelity your wounds witness, you forget the true approbation of your own conscience before God, tested by which all you have done seems of so small account.

In the hospital is presented to us all the prospect of death. Look that probability in the face. You left home with the plain anticipation that you might never return. Your mission was one of danger. You offered your lives at the call of your native land, saying: "It is sweet to die for one's country." Should you die here in the hospital, you will have equal honor as if you had fallen in the fight, and you will have had this great advantage---I mean, these precious hours of preparation, and the kind offices of brethren here, which are denied to those who meet an instant or lingering death upon the bloody field. Use, then, these hours; disarm death of any terrors it may have, by hearty repentence, by confession and reparation if you have any to make, by patient endurance of pain, and by painful resignation to His will who will care for those at home now dependent upon you, when he calls you out of this world into his nearer presence.

And finally, the hospital surgeons, nurses, patients, all depend upon the home. The whole camp is fed in its spirit from the home. Every mail comes freighted with spiritual food. The hospital particularly relies upon that blessed support. The sick have their welcome and appropriate visitors. The chaplain should be there daily, and he as well known to every patient as the surgeon is. The officers, too should visit their sick men, showing an interest in them, and knowing their condition. This gratifies and strengthens the separate patient, and unites companies with their commanders by a spirit which will show itself in the hour of battle, and make them stand and succeed, because united. But, beside all such influences from without, there must come those fresh impulses from far-off friends, and kin and nearer than kin, whom no time or distance, we know, can cause to forget us. Send to the hospital, then, dear friends at home, cheerful, encouraging words, and the strengthening, protecting tokens of family affection. Keep the camp near the home. Let not time and distance break the constant communication. Send not sympathy only, lest we be weakened, but also animating thoughts, patriotic and Christian ideas to refresh and inspire us anew. A soldier is often weary and dispirited; he too often forgets, in the pettiness which infests a camp, the sacredness of his work; he too often loses, in the midst of temptation, the full, firm faith he needs. Brought down to the hospital, a sense of these deficiencies rushes over his mind, and always his thoughts revert to his home. Then comes the precious letter, not only better than medicine, but blessed beyond comparison when it brings hope, loyal courage, and righteous trust. The fainting spirit is full of longings for the familiar scenes of childhood. The shady spots, the pure cool springs, the meadow and garden, every room at his father's house, every mark of his mother's care and love, the dear faces, the loved voices, every gesture, every step, at work, at meals, at rest---all these things come up as he lies in the quiet of his cot; and very tender grows his spirit, very susceptible to noble impulses from home.

Send such the deep, true feelings of the heart, which are so often suppressed in the family, because too deep for speech; let the pen utter them freely. I have seen a suggestion that can each letter have a pinch of tea, or a few peppercorns in it to refresh the tired soldier. It is not a bad idea, though tea and pepper are more plenty here than some other luxuries. But send us also some moral preventatives and tonics for the soul, which will not cost extra postage, which cannot be too plenty among us.

Send, with your affectionate hopes and tender sympathy, always some expression of loyalty and faith; and though it be no more than a grain of mustard-seed, it will fulfill the promise, and remove a mountain load of discouragement and doubt gathered upon our minds. Send us thus your needed aid, and we, surgeons, nurses, sick and wounded, will endeavor so to fill our places and meet our trial, that they among us who are permitted to return to our duties in the camp may go back better soldiers than ever before, and that they who go hence into the eternal world may enter there in penitence and peace.


All these were honoured in their generations, and were the glory of their times. There be of them, that have left a name behind them, that their praises might be reported. And some there be, which have no memorial; who are perished, as though they had never been; and are become as though they had never been born; and their children after them. But these were merciful men, whose righteousness hath not been forgotten. With their seed shall continually remain a good inheritance, and their children are within the covenant.


The Veteran In A New Field, 1865, Winslow Homer.jpg

The Veteran In A New Field

Winslow Homer, 1865


As Toilsome I Wander'd Virginia's Woods

As toilsome I wander'd Virginia's woods,
To the music of rustling leaves kick'd by my feet,
(for 'twas autumn,)
I mark'd at the foot of a tree the grave of a soldier;
Mortally wounded he and buried on the retreat,
(easily all could understand,)
The halt of a mid-day hour, when up! no time to lose
--yet this sign left,
On a tablet scrawl'd and nail'd on the tree by the grave,
Bold, cautious, true, and my loving comrade.

Long, long I muse, then on my way go wandering,
Many a changeful season to follow, and many a scene of life,
Yet at times through changeful season and scene, abrupt,
alone, or in the crowded street,
Comes before me the unknown soldier's grave,
comes the inscription rude in Virginia's woods,
Bold, cautious, true, and my loving comrade.

Walt Whitman


Lithograph Military Register, 9th Vermont Regiment, Co. K.jpg

9th Vermont Infantry, Company K

Military Register Color Lithograph By A. Hoen & Co.

Veteran Soldiers Reunion, Elijah Wales, Quartermaster General.jpg

Captain Elijah Wales, 2nd Vermont Infantry, Co. C.jpg

Captain Elijah Wales

2nd Vermont Infantry, Company "C"

Civil War Soldiers Reunion, August 1875, Brattleboro.jpg

Vermont Soldiers Reunion, October 1886, Devil's Den, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.jpg

Vermont Soldiers Reunion, October 6, 1886

Devil's Den, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania

Aerial Photograph, Old Valley Fair Grounds.jpg

Old Valley Fair Grounds

Civil War Soldiers Lot, Memorial Day 1930, Vermont National Guard Salute.jpg

Civil War Soldiers Lot, Prospect Hill Cemetery

Memorial Day Morning 1930

Salute Fired By The Headquarters Company, Vermont National Guard

Photograph By Lewis R. Brown


Civil War Camp, Brattleboro, 1861, 1st Vermont Volunteers, Photographer George Harper Houghton.jpg

First Vermont Volunteers Camp At Brattleboro 1861

George Harper Houghton, Photographer, In Detail


Silas W. Richardson, Coming Home

Silas W. Richardson, 2nd Vermont Infantry, Co. A.jpg

Silas W. Richardson

Silas W. Richardson, 60, died Saturday evening at his home on Oak Street after an illness of 15 days with brain trouble caused by a wound which he received in the war. Mr. Richardson had been in ill health several years in consequence of his wound. He went to New York in November, 1899, and was treated at a hospital, receiving temporary benefit. After the last recurrence of the trouble he improved slightly, but it was known that he could not recover.

Mr. Richardson was born in Stamford, this state, April 20, 1842, and was a son of Jonathan and Elizabeth Richardson. On August 16, 1862, at the age of 20 years he enlisted in company A, Second regiment, Vermont Volunteers, serving three years. He was hit twice by the enemy's bullets in the fight at St. Marye's Heights, May 3, 1863. Charging up the heights with the Vermont Brigade, he encountered a squad of rebels, and in the exchange of shots he was struck and knocked down by a glancing ball. He rallied, but was again struck, the ball entering the right side of his face and making its exit behind the ear and near the base of his brain. He was left on the field for dead, but was removed soon afterwards and recovered after a long struggle between life and death.

He was transferred from the field hospital to the hospital in Brattleboro, and after his recovery he was detailed by Col. William Austine to work in his office as an orderly. He was transferred to the Veteran Reserve Corps, and was mustered out July 1, 1865.

After the war he came to Brattleboro, where, on March 20, 1866, he married Miss Lydia A. Simonds. He was employed for a long time by the Estey Organ company, being for several years foreman of the iron room, but for the past 12 years he had served as the town liquor agent. He is survived by a widow and one daughter, Ada, wife of Leslie Scott of New York city. He also leaves a brother, Waldo Richardson of Brattleboro, and a sister, Mrs. Dudley Crosier of Guilford. Mr. Richardson was a member of Sedgwick post, G. A. R., Columbian lodge of Masons, and of the First Baptist church. He was a good soldier, a faithful and efficient employe and a respected citizen and neighbor, and in his home life kind and affectionate.

The funeral was held at the house at 1:30 o'clock Tuesday, Rev. H. R. Miles officiating. The burial was in Prospect Hill cemetery, the bearers being W. H. Vinton, E. H. Putnam and F. F. Gleason, selectmen, and H. E. Taylor, J. P. Elmer and E. R. Thayer.

Vermont Phoenix, May 9, 1902.


Silas W. Richardson was finally attended by Dr. James Conland at the house on the northern corner of Oak and Williston Streets. He died by "cerebral hyperemia from arteria schlerosia". His parents were Jonathan H. Richardson, farmer, and Elizabeth D. Ames in Stamford, Bennington County, Vermont.

Silas Richardson married Lydia Ann Simonds on March 20, 1866. Their daughter Ada Maria Richardson was born on February 11, 1867. Besides the Estey Organ Company, Silas worked for the Bickford Knitting Machine Company, and the Brattleboro Tool Company, and was a charter member of the Fort Dummer Colony of Pilgrim Fathers.

Silas W. Richardson enlisted on August 16, 1862 and mustered in to Co. "A", Second Vermont Infantry as a private on September 15, 1862. He was wounded at Marye's Heights on May 3, 1863. Private Richardson transferred to the Veterans Reserve Corps on May 1, 1864 and mustered out on July 1, 1865.

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Ada M. Richardson

David A. Henry Photograph


Research by Thomas St. John

For her cheerful and long labors in hospital corridors and wards

dedicated to

Barbara Hainsworth St. John

January 24, 2011

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