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3rd Vermont Infantry
Lizzie Chase Letter to her Father
Springfield, Vermont - April 23, 1861
I have just received your letter and hasten to answer, as I want to tell you about the war spirit in Springfield. I was going to write you this afternoon anyway, if I had not heard from you, to tell you about the great meeting they had here last night. Wives, Mothers and daughters were invited to attend and I am thankful Grandmother was well enough so I could go. The town hall was packed and ever so many on the outside could not get in. First they chose officers: Hon. Joseph Colburn president, C.A. Forbush vice president, and Lawyer Veazey secretary. The most influential men of Springfield were on the stage, Judge Closson, Hamlin Whitmore, James Lovell, Lawyer Veazey, Henry Safford, Edward Ingham, Mr. Shepardson (Democrat), Judge Porter, Rev. Mr. Chickering, Rev. Mr. Picknell, Baptist minister from North Village, and ever so many spoke, and well too. Oh! If you could have heard Lawyer Veazey I would have given anything. I wish I could remember every word to write it. The last was, "We want a company of sixty-four from Springfield, I head that list. Sixty-three names are wanted." He was cheered between each sentence of his speech. Just before Mr. Ingham spoke they got the dispatch of Baltimore news, then he said, "We have talked enough, now let us do something." Fred Carin, who has been bound to go from the first, went around with the paper to sign, passed it around and talked to them and so did everyone that spoke encourage the volunteers and how many men, mostly young men, do you think signed? Fifty-five, and C.A. Forbush had a paper for those who could not go to contribute and how much think you was put down? Over twenty-three hundred dollars. Some paid one hundred, some fifty, twenty-five, ten and five. All said more if needed. I must tell you this is not the first of the volunteering, though it is the first meeting. Before they thought of having a company from here, twelve from this town, eight from here, four from the North Village, joined the Cavendish company and started this morning. The street was full, the boys that went, they are about twenty years old, all cried and so did nearly every man in the street to say nothing of the ladies. The boys are sorry they could not go with this company, but cannot change.
They fired the large cannon, played Yankee Doodle and cheered repeatedly. Mr. Albee presented them with a handsome flag which they carried. But the best of all I have saved till the last. Last evening, the first part of the evening, who do you think went on to the stage and spoke? George Washburn! Such prolonged cheers, it seemed as if they never would stop, but they did at last and he said that he had always supposed till today that he was true to his country, but this afternoon he had heard th at there were stories that he was a taitor. He was a democrat and went against Lincoln with all his might and when he heard his party was beaten he expected to submit as it was for the Union and never was for anything else. Some time ago a seceding man wrote to him if he did not go for the seceding states they should take away his office. His answer was as short, as he could give it. "You may take the office and go to the devil."
I can't remember all he said, but at last said again he did not know that he was a traitor to his country till today, he had heard it, had been written to on the subject by men there present and says he, "Those stories are false as the very devil." He then gave his name for twenty-five dollars and sat down amidst tremendous applause.
They had three resolutions last night: First, they would now have no party feeling, but all united; Second, I have forgotten; Third, they pledged their sacred honor to protect and aid the families whose heads had gone to war. Mr. Veazey made a last appeal, said his friends at home in New Hampshire had tried to persuade him if (he) must go to the war that he would come and go from New Hampshire, but he chose to go with the Green Mountain Boys, and hoped none would be wanting in this company, but each one would be ready to go with him and he added if they have a drop of traitor's blood he wanted it tried by southern steel.
Rev. Mr. Chickering closed the meeting with prayer and the benediction. I heard ever so many say there never was such an audience here before. Fred Crain and Mr. Veazey are around today getting signers. Tomorrow night they meet to drill and see about the uniforms. I did wish so many times last evening that you were here, you would have been proud of your native state. Messrs. Colburn, Parks, Woolson and Dana and many others gave one hundred dollars. Most everyone gave something and those who did not perhaps will. There is great excitement and many feel badly because their friends are going. Fred Crain, Edward Hall, Mr. Veazey, Horace Floyd and Mason Walker are the oldest men, Oscar Tuttle is going as Captain of the Proctorsville company. They cheered last night for every man who put his name down and three times three for the ladies of 1861, of whom I claim to be one.
From your affectionate daughter,
To W.G. Veazey
Boston April 24, 1861
At the request of Mr. A.G. Fullam of your place I forward you herewith, for Fiske & Co's expense, a "Colt Revolver" which I am informed it is your desire to use in the services of our country. Spelling the invasion of a traitorous army of our own citizens.
It gives me great pride to hear of the (patriotism) of the people of my native town in volunteering to shed their blood in so noble a cause. I understand that the promptitude with which a company has been formed is due in a great measure to your own patriotic efforts.
I pray that through the aid of this and such peacemakers the insurgent army may soon be confounded and subdued or extricated.
Very Truly Yours,
C. Horace Hubbard
Camp Baxter St. Johnsbury
June 11, 1861
My Dear Sir,
I write to return my thanks to you for the last of your many favors to me. I also write in behalf of the others who have been so timely and kindly remembered by the people of Springfield. Our little town in his response to the call of the President, has acted worthy of the cause in which we are engaged and of the ancient fame of our state. In doing the favor to us, which your communication announces, you place us under dire obligations.
You may rest assured we shall do our best to be worthy of the positions we occupy and the regard our town has manifested for us. Seven companies have already arrived and three more will be here this week. We can't tell yet when we shall leave the state. Our quarters are the fairground buildings. We are fast getting initiated into camp life.
My bed has been a board with a blanket without straw. The privates have straw in abundance. Our food is bread and meat and beans. Occasionally butter and potatoes. Coffee for a drink. Reckon the boys don't find the change from Springfield so desirable after all. But I like it very much. So far as I can learn, the Springfield Co. carry off (well) on drill and general appearance. Our music has done about all the playing for the regiment. Our drummer does all the beating for the roll calls and is by far the most accomplished one on the field. The general health of the company is good. We passed surgical inspection today. Two were thrown out. The remainder were highly complimented. Col. Hyde is Commander now and will go with the regiment in some capacity. He is very faithful and efficient and a favorite already. Want of time forbids a longer letter, but Mr. Crain will go home tomorrow and give you particulars.
Very Respectfully Yours,
W. G. Veazey
November 21, 1861
Judge Porter Sir,
I have received a letter from Mr. Leach saying he has received my money from the state which is certainly very cheering to me. I also received 2 letters from you expressing your kind wishes for me for which you have all of the gratitude that I can think of.
The Vermont Division was at Ball's Cross Roads yesterday. There was 90 Regiments there besides the artillery and cavalry, making 70 thousand soldiers besides the spectators. Business is going well with the campaign. No mistake the troops are in fine spirits, news has come into camp today that Gen. Banks has crossed over the Potomac today. At any rate the cannon are booming wonderfully today while I am writing this letter, I should think about ten miles from here by the sound. The lovely days of Indian summer with their genial air, warm sun and clear skies continue. Each day appears more beautiful than the preceding and the beauty of the nights is beyond all description. The stars nowhere shine with a clearer and purer light and when the moon nearly at its full rises above the sea and floods with light, the surrounding country of tents of soldiers and patriots batteries and forts lighting up dim shores of the Potomac and the Chesapeake, all confess that nowhere can the picture be equaled and the nights are as favorable as the day for the landing of stores, material substance and the thousand and one articles that are necessary for our operations here and what is best of all I do not think one hour of this propitious weather has been lost on such days as when we have a big review and a division drill. I have the charge of about 2 hundred men, 5 bands of 24 each and 20 men of field music, to each regiment, marching at the head of the column of the division of the whole Vermont brigade, having 70 thousand troops to be reviewed by the President, Secretary Seward and Chase, the Prince De Poinville, his two sons, General McClellan and his staff. It is certainly quite an imposing scene amid the hurrahs of the multitude and booming of the cannon of the batteries and artillery. We are in a beautiful farming country here. Not a rail nor post to be seen for miles around here having all been burned. Burned by the soldiers for firewood. They will go half a mile and lug rails on their shoulders to cook with and keep fire nights if there is plenty of other wood close by. The parade yesterday was on about 3 hundred acres on the plantation of the rebel General Lee. A beautiful place indeed. Everyway land, buildings and water and fence and all pertaining to it in plain light of Washington and Alexandria. The Potomac and the Chesapeake about 10 miles from our camp.
The place is now in the care of General McDowall of the Federal army who is Brother-in-law to General Lee so you can see what a nice thing secession is. When the Grand Calvacade went round the first time it was a regular Tippacanoe time, the 2nd it was done in fine military style. I sit up evenings all the way from 4 until 11 and rise precisely at 5 in the morning. My duties are hard and severe, but my health is fine, not having missed a roll call for 6 months nor been called in question as to my duties. I believe the excitement of camp life is very congenial to my temperament. I am truly thankful for a letter from any of my friends or acquaintances. Hoping that the day will soon dawn to see this country at peace, North and South, East and West.
Dear Sir accept my best wishes for your welfare. But give the best respects I ever had to Frederic at any rate. My good wishes to all the Springfield people, friends in particular and enemies too.
Your Obedient Servant
Seymour O Cook
Springfield's Southern Ties
Did You Know?
Braxton Bragg, Commanding General of the Confederate Army of Tennessee and a controversial figure due to his stormy relationship with his subordinates has a Springfield tie.
Bragg's family was located here as early as 1803. General Bragg's Father and Grandfather were born at the Bragg home near the Commons. Bragg's descendants continue to live in this area.
Contributed by Amanda Page, Comtu Falls United States Sanitary Commission, and Springfield Historical Society.