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3rd Vermont Infantry


From a soldier only identified as "O"




OCTOBER 18, 1861


Since our arrival at this place nothing of importance has taken place. The pickets of the opposing forces are daily in sight of each other, but very little firing is done, and what is done is all on the rebel side. Yesterday, by way of amusement, one of our batteries dropped a number of shells among the enemy, but their effect is not known here.

It is anticipated that another advance will be made by our forces soon; and the prevailing opinion seems to be that it cannot be made without a collision with the enemy, for if successfully made by our forces, it will put them in possession of a chain of hills of great military importance.

The health of the regiment is about the same. Last Sunday there were but four-hundred and thirty-one men out of the whole regiment reported for duty. By the way, the article in "the Calendonian" Oct. 11, entitled "The Third regiment--Its Condition and Wants", states the case exactly as it is, Private George Garner of company E. died in the regimental hospital, of fever, last week; and Oscar Snow of company H. died in the hospital at Georgetown, this week.

It is rumored in camp that our regiment goes to Vienna tomorrow.





SEPTEMBER 28, 1861


Everything remains quiet in camp. Save the occasional encounters of the opposing pickets, there has been but little stir since my last. Last Tuesday, however, we had a little brush with the enemy. In the morning of that day a detachment of troops, consisting of the 79th New York, a part of the Vermont 3d, the 19th of Indiana, a Wisconsin regiment, Griffin's battery, a portion of Mott's battery, and about 80 cavalry, in all making a force of some 5,000 men, marched towards Lewinsville to take possession of some corn, hay and grain that had been deserted by some rebel farmers. Six pieces of artillery were planted on a hill about a mile and a half from Lewinsville, and were supported by some 3,000 infantry. The wagons were then loaded with forage and started back, when a large force of rebels was discovered---some four or five regiments of infantry, one of cavalry, and six guns---- which immediately opened fire on our lines, but their range was not good and they did but little injury.---Mott's and Griffin's batteries immediately opened upon them, and after a twenty- five or thirty shot and shell were thrown by our artillery the enemy retired. But one man on our side was injured. We brought off ninety loads of forage, and captured one prisoner. He says he is an aid to Col. Stewart.

Last night five regiments arrived here after dark---the Vermont 5th among them; and today two regiments of infantry--one from the Vermont 4th---and two regiments of cavalry came in. It is surmised that some important move is to take place, as our regiment has just received orders to have everything ready for a march. We have had extremely cold weather for the past week.---The health of the regiment continues poor. We were paid yesterday for the first time since leaving Vermont. No time to write more now.





Thinking that a short letter from the camp of the 3d Vt. V.M. would be of interest to your readers, I improve a few spare moments to give you some account of their journey, from the time their leaving St. Johnsbury. Being one of them, you can rely on what I write as being nearly quite correct.

After leaving St. J. we proceeded directly down the Connecticut River to New Haven,Ct. It was one continual ovation the entire route. Ladies and gentlemen vied with each other to see who would do the most for the Vermont boys. Provisions were given them in abundance---not only for their present need, but their haversacks were filled that they may not want for food while on their way to Dixie land. We arrived at new Haven at 10 o'clock p.m., and immediately embarked on board the steamer Elm City, reaching the wharf at jersey City at 6 0'clock next morning, and remained on board the steamer until 3 o'clock p.m., when we took the cars again. At Burlington and Camden, N.J., the female part of the population was almost wild with excitement, and ran along by the sides of the cars to shake hands with and bid a "good-bye" and "God bless you", to "the Vermonters'. At Camden we took the ferry boat to the Quaker City, and while on board fifteen rounds of ammunition were served to each man in the Springfield and Wells River companies, and on landing the guns were loaded, We then marched to a building with large signs on the outside reading, "Refreshments Free To Volunteers", and received a splendid supper. We again took the cars at 1 0'clock at night, and started for Baltimore, at which place we arrived about 3 0'clock p.m. Friday, and immediately fell into line and marched through the city, the Springfield company acting as van, and the Wells River company as rear guard to the column. We were detained at the depot until nearly mid-night for the want of cars to take us to Washington. Freight cars were at last procured, and we started again; it was impossible to get any others, there were so many troops moving. Between Philadelphia and Washington we met eleven three month's regiments returning home.

We entered Washington at 4 0'clock Saturday morning and went into a church for barracks, where the soldiers slept for two or three hours, and then went about the city 'till 12m, when orders were given to be ready to march as soon as possible. We started and marched three hours and twenty minutes, stopped but twice, and made eight miles, and I can safely say we were a tired lot of boys. Your correspondent got less than three hours sleep from the time the tents were struck at Camp Baxter, Wednesday morning, until 11 0'clock Saturday night The regiment is now encamped at the end of a long Chain Bridge on the Potomac above Washington eight miles,and is the advance of the federal army in this direction. There is a Maine regiment just below us, a U.S. Cavalry company and an artillery Co. There are twelve cannon mounted on the breastworks and in the field adjoining---two 68 pounders and one 48 pounder, and the rest are smaller guns. The rebels have an encampment of 10,000 men in Vienna, which is 9 miles from here, and there are no federal forces between us. With the exception of pickets sent out from this camp. The boys were awakened last night by firing in the direction of the other camp; and the guard stationed around this camp assert that they heard the bullets whiz by them. It is stated that the regiment stationed just below us have lost 17 men since the 21st--either killed or captured by the rebels. I have no time yo write more, but probably shall write again.


JULY 29,

Our picket shot a rebel last night, and the company of U.S. Cavalry below us captured two. A Captain and two privates that were in the engagement at Bull Run and taken prisoners there escaped from the rebels and came to camp this morning. One of them is badly wounded in the arm. While in Philadelphia I heard it often remarked that the 3d was the most orderly and best regiments that had passed through that city; and in fact we received the same name everywhere we went. An old U.S. officer said it was the best that had yet entered Washington.


Submitted by Deanna French.