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9th Vermont Infantry

Harper's Ferry

Memories of the Ninth Vermont at the
Tragedy of Harper's Ferry, Sept. 15, 1862.


This paper is another of the "Memories" of the Civil War, written many years ago, while the tents were yet fresh in my mind, to fill out the gaps in my war letters. I have called it the tragedy enacted at Harper's Ferry, September 15, 1862.

It is not too exaggerated a term to use where 12,000 brave and patriotic Americans, only too willing to serve their country, were bound hand and foot by an incompetent commander and, in spite of indignant protest, handed over to the enemy.

It was a cruel tragedy to the Ninth Vermont, a new regiment which, in its ardor to answer the call of Mr. Lincoln for help in May, 1862, had swept down from the Green Mountain valleys, the first of all the regiments under that call to reach the front, one thousand eager, ardent young mountaineers fired with a lofty ambition to rival the renown already won by the regiments of the Old Vermont Brigade.

George J. Stannard led us, later to become a major-general with two well-won stars and an enviable fame.

If I could have anticipated the honor of being invited to read two papers before this Commandery, I should naturally have changed the sequence and read the story of our day of defeat and humiliation first, and that of our.

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