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Joseph Spafford papers, 1859-1864.
Spafford, Joseph, 1837-1866.
Library Call Number Copy Material Location
Vermont Historical Society Library  MSC 9:3-5  Manuscript  Vault-Manuscript 

Personal Author : Spafford, Joseph, 1837-1866.
Title : Joseph Spafford papers, 1859-1864.
Physical Description : 6 folders.
Summary :

Civil War letters of Joseph Spafford of the 4th and 16th Vermont Regiments, written to his mother and sister, M. Jane Spafford, in Upper Falls (a village in Weathersfield), Vermont, and to a friend, Homer White, in New York City, 1859-1864. In his letters, Joseph Spafford writes of camp life, including information about men from Weathersfield and surrounding towns. In a letter dated January 2, 1862 and marked confidential, Spafford writes very frankly about officers and the politics of promotion. He also writes of an opium user with the initial C. In other letters he describes troop movements, and gives information on sickness in the Regiment. He also writes of having his picture taken and of receiving newspapers and other items from home. In one of his letters while in the 16th Regiment, he describes how some soldiers collect souvenirs from battlefields, including human remains.

There are five letters dating from 1859 and 1860 and one letter written after Spafford's Civil War service in 1864. In one letter dated 1859 he writes to Homer White of John Brown's execution and the political tension between Democrats and Republicans. He also drew a pen and ink letterhead depicting a devil with the words "Three cheers for Gov. Wise and Our Country." Two of the 1860 letters were written by Joseph's mother, Marianne Spafford, to her daughter, Jane. describing life in Weathersfield, Vermont and family news. The other three letters were written by Joseph while he was painting houses in Springfield, Vermont. In a letter dated September 30, 1860, he talks attending meettings of the Wide Awakes and of a demonstration in Walpole, New Hampshire. The letter dated November 20, 1864 gives details of a planning exhibition of plays in Weathersfield.

Included in the collection is an unidentified soldier's photograph (probably Spafford), and a printed act of the legislature to furnish tourniquets to Vermont Civil War troops.

Biographical or historical data :

Joseph Spafford was born in Weathersfield, Vermont on November 12, 1837, the son of John and Marianne (Hemenway) Spafford. He enlisted in the 4th Vermont Regiment, Co. C, on August 16, 1861, and was discharged May 10, 1862 for disability. He then was commissioned 1st lieutenant in Co. E of the 16th Regiment, September 1, 1862, and was mustered out August 10, 1863. He died on April 25, 1866 in Weathersfield, Vermont.

Joseph's sister, Mary Jane Spafford (known as Jane), was born on January 12, 1839. She married Nelson Francis Craigue (December 24, 1835-February 11, 1916), an officer in the 4th Wisconsin Cavalry, on July 23, 1863.

Homer White was born in Weathersfield, Vermont on March 9, 1837, the son of George and Electa (Cushman) White. He graduated from Union College in 1861 and studied law at the University of the City of New York. He was ordained as an Episcopal priest in 1870. He died in Randolph, Vermont on January 19, 1919.

Personal Subject : Spafford, Joseph, 1837-1866.
Spafford, Mary Jane, b. 1839.
White, Homer, 1837-1919.
Corporate Subject : United States. Army. Vermont Infantry Regiment, 4th 1861-1865.
United States. Army. Vermont Infantry Regiment, 16th 1862-1863.
Subject Term : Soldiers Vermont Correspondence.
Geographic Term : Vermont History Civil War, 1861-1865.
Vermont Politics and government 19th century.
United States History Civil War, 1861-1865.
Weathersfield (Vt. : Town) History Sources.
Weathersfield (Vt. : Town) Social life and customs.
Genre/Form : Photoprints.
Added Author : Spafford, Marianne.
Spafford, John, b. 1810.
Electronic Resource : Click here for transcripts and scans of the letters.