Article 77

The Civil War in Vermont

More than 28,100 Vermonters served in Vermont volunteer units. Vermont fielded 17 infantry regiments, 1 cavalry regiment, 3 light artillery batteries, 1 heavy artillery company, 3 companies of sharpshooters, and 2 companies of frontier cavalry. Instead of replacing units as they were depleted, Vermont regularly provided recruits to bring the units in the field back up to normal strength.

Nearly 5,000 others served in other states' units, in the United States Army or the United States Navy. The 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry included 66 Vermont blacks; a total of 166 black Vermonters served out of a population of 709 in the state.

Vermonters suffered a total of 1,832 men killed or mortally wounded in battle; another 3,362 died of disease, in prison or from other causes, for a total loss of 5,194. More than 2,200 Vermonters were taken prisoner during the war, and 615 of them died in or as a result of their imprisonment.

Sixty-four Vermonters received the Medal of Honor, including Willie Johnston, the youngest person ever to receive this award.

St. Albans, Vermont, is the site of the northernmost land action in the Civil War, the St. Albans Raid. On October 19, 1864, Confederate raiders, under the command of Lieutenant Bennett H. Young, robbed three banks, escaped to Canada, were captured, and put on trial. The Canadian courts decided they were acting under military orders and they could not be extradited back to the United States without Canada violating her neutrality.

There are several facilities in the state that have significant collections of manuscripts and archives of the war, including the Vermont State House, the Vermont Historical Society, University of Vermont Bailey Howe Library, the Bennington Museum, the Sheldon Museum (Middlebury), the Vermont Veterans Militia Museum and Library, and the State of Vermont Public Records Division.

Sources:

Robinson, Rowland E. Vermont: A Study of Independence. Rutland: Charles E. Tuttle Company, Inc., 1975.;
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vermont_in_the_American_Civil_War

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Page last modified on September 27, 2014