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Hodge, Freeman Orson


Age: 39, credited to Johnson, VT
Unit(s): 5th VT INF
Service: enl 8/30/61, m/i 9/16/61, Pvt, Co. D, 5th VT INF, dis/dsb 4/20/62

See Legend for expansion of abbreviations


Birth: 10/13/1822, Hardwick, VT
Death: 06/22/1909

Burial: Pine Grove Cemetery, Lynn, MA
Marker/Plot: Moss Path,Lot-727,Grave-1
Gravestone researcher/photographer: Heidi McColgan
Findagrave Memorial #: 44045043


Alias?: None noted
Pension?: Yes, 8/21/1890, NH
Portrait?: Unknown
College?: Not Found
Veterans Home?: Not Found
(If there are state digraphs above, this soldier spent some time in a state or national soldiers' home in that state after the war)

Remarks: Father of Freeman E. Hodge and brother of Lyman F. Hodge


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Copyright notice



Pine Grove Cemetery, Lynn, MA

Check the cemetery for location/directions and other veterans who may be buried there.

Freeman O. Hodge



The following is from one who will be recognized as one of the volunteers from Johnson. Though rather lengthy we have no doubt it will be read with interest.

CAMP ADVANCE, Va. Co. D., OCT 3, 1861

I write you at my earliest possible convenience from the "Sacred Soil" of the Old Dominion, now pretty thoroughly occupied by Federal troops, to the exclusion of nearly everything else.

We left St. Albans on Monday the 23d, at 10 o'clock, and at daylight the next morning found ourselves in the "City of Elms". The city at once of busy bustling trade, and quiet retreat, of noisy streets and pleasant residences of vociferous hackmen and gentlemany officials. Such is New haven, in speculating Connecticut. During our passage through our own Green Mountain State, white hands and kerchiefs waved us on, and the pleasant smiles of fair faces., and the hearty "God Bless You" of the hardy yeomanry with their honest hearts, went far to cheer our spirits as we left our pleasant homes for the bustle and din of the theater of war. Our hearts were not altogether sad , followed as we were by the tearful benedictions of our loved ones at home, and the fervent ejaculations of loyal patriotism.Such things have their effect, unimportant as they may seem, and who so sets them as of little or no value is dispising the day of small things which have sometimes "an ending like the great matter the little fire kindleth".

Massachusetts, though we passed the entire length of her line in the night, was well alive at every principal station, with honest men and fair women, all wishing us God speed in righteous warfare, and a safe return. We embarked on board the splendid steamer 'Elm City", about sunrise on the morning of the 24th, and passed down Long Island Sound, arriving at Jersey City about 2 o'clock,P.M.. We took cars immediately for Philadelphia, arriving at Camden at 10 o'clock the same evening, and at Philadelphia at 12, where we found " hot coffee free for volunteers"____Bread, meat, of various kinds,&c,&c are provided in abundance, from a fund contributed, I understand by the ladies of Philadelphia. God Bless the ladies of the city of "Brotherly Love", for their unbounded generosity, and grant them finally an abundant entrance into the heavenly kingdom. After partaking of their hospitality we again entered the cars, and at about 10 o'clock, A.M. found ourselves in Baltimore.," The Monument City". Who tells of her beauty? Monuments and filth, pride and nastiness, most inartistically combined. An intolerable stench of bitumen, gutters, and bad rum, with a decided smell of disloyalty, are pre-eminently its most distinctive features.. I looked in vain during a stay of two or three hours for a " good looking woman"according to the N.E. pattern. They seem to be partakers of the smoky atmosphere of their rocking city.

Leaving Baltimore at about 1 o'clock, we were detained several hours on the way., waiting for one train after another, and only arrived in Washington at nine o'clock in the evening and quartered at the "Soldiers rest", a large building fitted up for the accommodation of soldiers arriving in Washington. Boiled pork and bread constitute our rations, washed down with "camp coffee", which of all sober drinks is most intolerable. At noon the next day we were ordered to Meridian Hill, some two miles from the capital, near where we were then quartered, and were on the move as soon as convenient. Passing through Pennsylvania Avenue, we saw some splendid buildings, but a large proportion of them are,, even in this so-called splendid thoroughfare, much inferior to the better portions of our N.E. cities.

The Patent Office shows a good front, and is being enlarged the present season, judging from appearance of workmen and material in close contiguity to it. A little farther on is the "White House", which every American is anxious to look upon. The splendid walks, so beautifully shaded, surrounding it, are really worth looking at, as also the bronze statue directly in front of it, of Jackson, I believe, of colossal proportions, surrounded with graveled walks and pleasant shades.

Arrived at Meridan Hill there was some little delay in pitching our tents, and the thing was not fairly done even at 9 0'clock in the evening, We were quartered near several other regiments, on the ground in the rear of Columbian College. We all supposed we were stationed for a few days at least, and were consequently much surprised at the order in the middle of a very heavy rainy forenoon the next day, to strike tents, and start for Chain Bridge, to join Smith's command. We get started finally at about 5 P.M., and on through the mud, which in rainy times is almost omnipotent here, for weary miles through Georgetown, and on up to the Potomac till within a mile or more of Chain Bridge, when we left the river road and up the hill to the right in a direct line back back by the hill towards Washington a mile or more. This was after dark please do not forget. Here again we faced to the right about nearly, and on the line of the Aqueduct which supplies Washington with water, plodded our weary way through the mud nearly ankle deep for a mile or two, when in the darkness we turned to the left at nearly a right angle, and in a few moments found ourselves at Camp Lyon on the Maryland side of the Potomac, at the end of Chain Bridge. On across the bridge and up the hill past Fort Ethan Allen, the then home of the Vt. 3r, we turned into our blankets ( those of us who had any), on the ground in the open air, at 12 o'clock at night, and slept. For myself I found the hospital of the 3d, in which my brother is one of the nurses, got a cup of cold coffee, some bread and cold boiled mackerel, laid down on my rubber, inside the tent, borrowed his woolen blanket and spread it over me, and slept well. This was at 1 o'clock at night. I was more fortunate than many of the boys, for they got never a mouthful of supper, and many of them had put their knapsacks on board the baggage wagons and they had stopped where we turned off the river, and did not follow us till morning, so that they had many of them no blankets save their rubbers. I being connected with the hospital department, started in one of the two ambulances containing some 20 of our sick , but as some of the boys fell out of the ranks unable to travel, and fell into the ambulance, I fell out and into the ranks with friend Stetson, who fell out of the carriage about the same time, leaving my knapsack as a pillow to one of the sick---- After we left the river the drivers of the ambulances turned their faces again toward Washington, and actually drove back all the way with my poor boys, and came on in the morning with them somewhat exhausted, you may well guess. My knapsack was stolen after I left the ambulance, probably in Washington, and I was left without any woolen blanket, or a change of shirts or drawers. Footings &c.. I have neither thread, pins, needles, towels, or in fact anything else, and how I am to get them I do not know.

We are encamped near Fort Ethan Allen, now occupied by the 4th Vt. Regiment, while the 3d are encamped between them and us, and across the road from the 3d are the 2d encamped.. I saw M. Atwell of the 2d, one of our Johnson boys. His health is not good, though I believe the general health of the regiment is good.----The Morgan Guards of the 3d are in good condition, only like everybody else here, they look a little Indian like in color---Excepting a few cases of diarrhea, and a few cases of measles, which have commenced to make their appearance today, the health of the regiment is good. Captain Benton is looking well, but Lieut. Stiles is unable to remain here, and proposes to return home as soon as possible, The boys in Company D will be sorry to loose him I assure you. Assistant Surgeon Shaw and Ward Master Hawley, both men of the right stamp, assisted by good and competent nurses, have all been over worked on the journey, but are still up to scratch.. I need not say to those who know Stetson, that he was everywhere; if any man was sick, there was Stetson; if he was only wearied or exhausted, and needed a little rest, there was Stet, ready to smooth his pillow. If any man was drunk and thought he was sick, there was Stet, ready to come the "balmy" over him. Was there a cup of coffee to be made, or a chicken to be fricasseed, there was Stet again. Generally useful and a "good fellow", in the extreme is Stetson.

The boys from Johnson in the 3d are looking well and hardy. Fifer Scott especially, does not look like the little boy he did a month ago. Corporal Fletcher says the contrast between the life of a student and that of a soldier is a wide one, but he is not sorry he enlisted. In deed, I find no regrets existing in the minds of any. The universal feeling is among the soldiers, that the rebels need and must have a lesson they will remember, cost what it may, and though they themselves are laid on the altar, should be the sacrifice, they have no other thought than this. We have left our wives and children, fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, and all our many friends, and all the endearments of the domestic circle, and all the comforts and luxuries of home.. We see no love-light of the gentle eye of woman, we hear no prattle of innocent children with their merry laugh-----our eating, drinking and sleeping arrangements are quite different from those in our own homes, but seldom a word of complaint is uttered by any man.. The country demands the sacrifice, and the true soldier yields without a murmur to the call. My country first, afterwards myself, is in his language.

I have no means of knowing the number of men in the immediate vicinity under arms, but there are a large number of regiments encamped in site from here----- The sound of martial music can be heard in one direction or the other at nearly all hours of the day. We predict the final close of the war before the expiration of the year from the fall of Sumter. The men are somewhat impatient of delay, and anxious to move forward.

I have already mentioned Assistant Surgeon Shaw, and have only to say in addition, that he is in good favor with the men in the regiment; competent, and in the absence of the Surgeon who is sick in Vermont, has been very hard worked, having had double duty to perform.. At the time of the march from Washington through the mud, his horse having not yet arrived, he marched the entire distance, and finally lay down in his blanket as same as the soldiers, and as tired as they , "under the broad canopy of heaven", as the town meeting orators say.

Lieut. Sumner has not complained any as yet of ill health, but Sergeant Tice looks rather thin. While we are on the whole very well satisfied with our camp fare, we remember our style of living at Keeler's and Dutton's, sigh momentarily for our easy beds and plentiful and luxurious tables, and turn again to our dry bread and coffee, and salt junk, and lay our appetites with soul and body on the altar of our beloved country. Shall she ever be truly free? Shall this unholy spirit of rebellion ever be crushed out, and peace raise her dazzling head o'er the ruins of an internecine and fratricidal war? Shall the right triumph over gigantic wrong? By the memories of our fathers, greatly good; by every holy hope, in the name of truth and justice, Yes!



Camp Griffin, Va., Oct. 17, 1861

I write you today, to inform you, and through you, the friends of the Vt. Regiments at home, that the entire command of Gen. Smith has taken an advanced position some three miles from Chain Bridge, West. The move was made the 9th and 10th, inst., and we are now camped on the eminence at east of Lewinsville, distance about one mile, and nearly in sight of the rebel pickets. The position we are now occupying is an important one, as giving a long, clear range for the guns --- a much better than at Chain Bridge. Gen. McClellan has been here this afternoon, and Mott's Flying Artillery have been practicing with shot and shell for an hour or two. The whizzing of the hasty messengers must be anything but pleasant to the ears of the enemies of our country.

The health of the 5th is good as yet, tho' the measles are having their "run". There are also a few cases of bilious fever. Co. D. had 7 men sick in hospital, besides one (Franklin Bailey of Wolcott) left the Brigade Hospital the 12th, inst., sick with fever: I hear he is getting better. Of the seven in the hospital, five have the measles, J. Burns, P. Miles, Geo. Garvin, M.D. Emerson, and H. A. Davis; T. Abbott, and perhaps some others sick in quarters with measles, and A. Bugbee, phthisic, and E. Guptill, fever, make up the 7 in the hospital. Lieut. Stiles is looking better than when I last wrote you. The boys from Johnson are comfortable, both here and in the 3d, as also are the Stowe boys.

Capt. Benton, here, as at home, is pretty sure to see all that is moving, and generally respected throughout the entire regiment. His boys get looked after, and it is a matter of remark that Co. D. is the best behaved company in the regiment. We in the hospital (as attendants) are comfortable, tho' Stetson has been sick for some days; he is better now. We are all busy, early and late; we have some 20 in hospital.

We are rather some of our friends in Lamoille will send us a little butter, and a crumb or two of cheese. A little maple sugar would be acceptable I'm sure. Anything in this line for our use in hospital service, might be directed to John N. Stetson. This is for use of hospital attendants. We have no such luxuries except we buy them of the sutler, and butter is at 30 cts and cheese at 20 cts per pound, is a little tough. I'm sure somebody will send us something, soon. We have no surgeon yet but Assistant Surgeon Shaw is still busy, and thus far has been very successful in his practice.

Of the sick in Co. D, I might say that with exception of Bugbee they are all doing well. If anything transpires of interest to you, I will write you again.

Camp Griffin, Va., Oct. 18, 1861

I write you to correct a mistake in my letter of last night, as well as to make some addition to it. I learn that the battery employed yesterday was not as I stated, Mott's, but Ayer's, and that the crowd of visitors who surrounded it were no less personages than the Prince De Joinville and suit and the Princess Cloth??a. I neglected to speak of them yesterday I think. It is a rare occurrence to see a woman here at any rate, but the advent of a fair woman, is one of the things to be remembered. Since my letter of yesterday, there have entered the hospital some 15 men, nearly or quite all of them with the measles, and all doing well. There are 4 from Co. D. Sergt. Tice is looking better then two weeks ago.

Work! Work! Is the portion of the soldier in the present campaign, if in no other, There are forests to be felled, batteries and earthworks to be constructed, roads to build, streams to be bridged, advances to be made, and the mighty mass of humanity concentrated in the army of the Potomac, rests not from its labor day or night. Fair or foul, wet or dry, it is all the same in point of duty. The Country calls; and labor with its ten of thousands of willing hands, comes promptly to the rescue. The soldier in this campaign, tho' wet to the skin, and suffering with hunger, overwork and exhaustion, are invariably ready to do duty for "one hour longer." And while the soldier is thus busy, and suffering for the good of the country, it is surprising that they as should be so careless of their hardly earned wages, and spend, as to many of them do, recklessly, the money really needed by their friends and families at home. Those who have no families forget that their wages carefully husbanded, may, in after years, be the first step, towards independence, in a financial sense.

The sutler with his tempting array of poison things: --- (I ought to have said pies and things), takes from him a large portion of his wages, leaving him not only so much poorer in purse, but absolutely worse in body than before. Cider, perfectly guiltless of apples, even in its best days a villainous compound, worse even than gun powder for the soldier, is retailed to him for five cents per glass. Cakes of doubtful character, and perishing fruit, not at all doubtful swell the list; all voraciously eaten, and freely paid for. The consequence is a place on the surgeons call at half past seven, A.M., symptoms, profuse diarrhea, pain in the abdomen, weakness and inability to do duty, with restlessness and night-mare. "Treatment" off duty, Opium, Tannin Laudanum, salts, cathartic pills, rambling over three or four encampments, spending more money at the sutler's. The next morning the symptoms are much the same, only more aggravated, and the poor victim is entered on the Register, "in hospital." This is no funny sketch, and no exaggeration; it is literally true. Such cases occur almost daily.
I for one am glad to see the old familiar face of the Hon. Joseph Poland, sent here by Gov. Fairbanks, on an important mission. Such a man on such an errand, is truly apropos. An honorable appointment, for an honorable man. He may, and should be, the medium through which thousands of dollars should be sent into Vermont from the Brigade at the next payment. The money thus forwarded, will not only be so much actually added to the wealth of the state, but so much want and actual necessity relieved in the families of soldiers. Add to this, the temptation to gambling removed, and the argument is ours, to say nothing of the habits of saving encouraged and strengthened, and the moral bearing of such habits, not only on the man, but on the entire community.

Stetson says: ---"Give the friends of Lamoille an invitation to send us out in that package they propose sending us, a few dried berries, a request I would gladly make, did not my extreme modesty forbid it, after having asked so much of them in my letter of yesterday." There are rumors of advance to be made, but how much reliance is to be placed on it, I do not know.

Yours Truly,

F.O. Hodge

LAMOILLE NEWSDEALER, December 16, 1863


MR. EDITOR: --- Yesterday was a day of considerable importance here, in as much as is witnessed the crowning of the dome of the Capital with the bronze statue of freedom. Cannons were fired at all the forts surrounding the city, in honor of the occasion. The statue itself is 19 feet high, and 300 feet from the ground on the east side, and 375 feet on the west. The new dome ordered for the capital several years ago, having been in the manufactory at Munich, ever since, unpaid for, have at length arrived. A very substantial orthodox, republican looking bronze door. The work on the Capital as well as the Treasury extension goes steadily on. President Lincoln has been confined for a few days with varioloid small pox. He is improving, and out of danger. The buildings for the use of contrabands at Arlington, of which I wrote you, are finished, and today the village was formerly inaugurated by the presence of dignitaries, speeches, singing by a choir of colored juveniles, and a good time generally.

Wm. Potter, a member of Co. D, 11th Vt. Volunteers, from Belvidere, died in Regimental hospital yesterday morning.

The public pulse beats high in view of the late success of the federal arms, and the general impression seems to be that “Secession’s going down.”

Hastily yours,
F.O. Hodge



JUNE 16, 1864

MR. EDITOR: I write you from this point, thinking perhaps a few lines from the hard-fought battlefields of Northern Georgia, in the late successful advances of the Union forces might be interesting to your readers. I am at present connected with the U.S. Military R.R. Construction Corps, whose headquarters are at Chattanooga,Tenn. It is our business to follow the track of the retreating rebel army, and rebuild the bridges they burn to retard pursuit. So closely do we sometimes follow, that they are but fairly out of a location till we are in. As for instance, at Resaca, after the battle there, they had only been gone seven hours, when the construction Corps were on the ground with timber to rebuild the still burning bridge. Their dead were still lying in heaps unburied. At Kingston they had been gone only a few hours when the shrill whistle of the locomotive dragging in its train, timber, tools, and men, rang so loudly as to be heard by the still lingering, and reluctantly retiring rear-guard. We are a terrible trouble to them, as the bridge they burn today to keep back supplies from our pursuing hosts, is rebuilt tomorrow, and the massive engine and train of Alexandrine length, heavily laden with forage for man and beast, and with hardy men in blue, by thousands, pass in hourly succession over what but yesterday was a yawning chasm, black and charred and burning. At such times there is but little light, breakfast being eaten at 3-30 in the morning, and supper at 8 P.M. Thirty minutes allowed for dinner only. After supper we often go to our work for three to four hours. In this way is the river spanned---every man working with a will. When there is no bridge to build we take life easily, but in an emergency, day and night are both pressed into service.

In proof of this, I mention the facr, that the bridge here, called High Tower Bridge, over the Etowah river which was finished on last Sunday the 11th, was 70 feet from the bed of the river to the track, and 650 feet long, requiring 22,000 feet in length of hewn timber 12x12 inches, besides the ties and braces of smalle timber. The square timber reduced to board measure would be 264,000 feet. Yet this was feamed, raised, the track laid, the engine across, in six days and a half. Ten hours in a day’s work, and when we work more than that we draw extra pay. Work, on Sunday, too, in such cases, counts a day and a half, so it loses its power as a day of rest. It is necessary that the work be done, and more, upon the completion of the bridge here, the corps under the personal direction of Col. W.W. Wright, military governor of the road, saw their locomotive over the road to Altoona, Ackworth, Little Shanty, Big Shanty, and on to the 28 mile stone from Atlanta; outside our pickets, and within easy range of the rebel Parrotts on the hill in front. Here a prolonged and defiant whistle aroused the woods, and the Johnnies from their reveries, after which we retreated in a dignified manner, and as is usual in such cases, “ in good order”.

LAMOILLE NEWSDEALER, December 24, 1864

From The West
Nashville, Tenn., Dec. 1, 1864

MR.EDITOR: --- I write you from this “noisy front,” for, however quiet it may be in the extreme front, the second line from the front is one of necessarily one of bustle and noise. Here are plenty of men in blue, camps and bivouacs, parks of artillery and cavalry, pickets, commissary stores, and wagon yards, with their full complement of horses and white drivers; mules and darkies; and here let me remark that the two latter seem, by their peculiarities of their individual nature, to be singularly adapted to each other.

I’m waiting here for a chance to get to Chattanooga, but I must confess I see no immediate prospect of the consummation of my ardent desires. Hood, with his veterans is emphatically in my way; his line of works being about two miles from the city --- so near in fact that with his guns of long range, the city might easily be reached. The frequent skirmishes are plainly seen, and every movement easily distinguishable from the tops of houses here. On Thursday last a certain brick house between the picket lines, having become a resort for rebel sharpshooters to the no small annoyance of our pickets received a salute from Fort Neglee, which created quite a sensation there. Such a “gitting” We lying immediately under her guns, could see the sudden agitation and hasty scattering caused by about half a dozen well directed shots from loyal guns.

There has been no snow yet in this vicinity of any amount --- none at all but once, till yesterday, which was a stormy day; rain, hail, and sleet. This morning the snow and ice are about an inch deep, and quite cold. All the fences are suffering from the cold and the shade trees are suffering extermination in this quarter of the city. All the shade trees in the Catholic burial ground are used up for fires for the suffering soldiers; wood being the one thing needed. Private yards and public reservations will soon be utterly stripped. Out-buildings are also being torn down. How late this state of things will continue it is impossible to predict. Be it longer or shorter it will end with a fight. It would create no surprise should it happen at any time, and may I be here to see it, cannot, however, be long, as at present Chattanooga is completely cut off from all communication with any considerable depot of supplies; and all the inhabitants, soldiers and citizens are dependent on northern supplies.

The papers of today are rather bitter on Gen. Thomas, that Hood is so long allowed to menace the city, but all in good time, there is no doubt there will be a satisfactory demonstration. Quite a sensation was created here Wednesday of this week, by the appropriation of the trained horses of Howe’s circus, driven by military authority, for cavalry service. Upon application by Gen. Thomas the horses were returned to the ring, but not until they had been branded on the shoulder with U.S. The cavalry men were in extecies while they were in possession of the new horses. One, while leading along the trained horse. “Gen Grant” declared this; “this dollar circus is played out, and we will have a circus of our own.” The Gen., however, did not see it, and no amount of persuasion or force could induce him to enter the service. He would not go --- he would not stand up with a strange rider. It was emphatically “no go.”

After the fight I will try to write you again. 

Hastily, Yours truly.

F.O. Hodge (4)


MARCH 20th, 1865

MY DEAR NEWSDEALER: --- I have not forgotten that I promised to write you whenever anything of interest to your readers occur.

And now, at this late hour my letter must be very brief. This is to be made a depot of supplies for the army under Gen. Schofield, that is to operate on the route to Peace jointly with the main army of the “ Great Flanker”, who is steadily approaching the defenses. of the rebellion, behind which is that “Last Ditch“. Peace?, Yes Peace. Haven’t “Peace negotiations” been being made for the last four years? Saying nothing of the “Sanders- Greely’ treaty, leaving entirely out the abortive “ Blair- Stephens” conference, and treating as though they had never been made the thousand- and- one unofficial and wordy declarations that Peace was approaching, that treaty through intervention, or any other cause. .Hav’nt official propositions of peace been made, and terms dictated time after time’ at sundry times and divers places, at the mouth of the cannon, and the point of the bayonet? The proposition made at Donelson, No. 10, Vicksburg, all through Tenn., Georgia. Louisiana, Antietam, Gettysburg, the Wilderness, Shenandoah, and the entire coast, are coming at last to be properly considered by the southern people, the southern army, and the dishonored leaders of this cursed rebellion. The terms offered, though severe, and arbitrary were the only fitting ones in such an emergency. If the punishment is severe, it is only because the character and magnitude of the offence demands it Peace! YES! THE VICTORY!

Yours &c

F.O. Hodge

Co. F., 2d Div. Carpenters; P.O. Box 400; New Berne, N.C.

Written For The Newsdealer; New Berne, N.C.

A small town situated at the confluence of the Neuse & Trent rivers, containing with its environs a population of 12600 darkies, besides a few resident white citizens, soldiers, sailors, constructionists, and other employees of the government; captured by the Federal Army under Burnside in March, 1862; a place of considerable maritime and strategic importance; distant from Beaufort by rail 50 miles, in an almost perfectly level position of territory; ancient, but in good repair, comparatively; on the Moorehead & Goldsboro R.R., with 4 churches ( now used as hospitals), with depot, storehouses, and wharves sufficient for the ordinary business of the town.

Submitted by Deanna French.