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R. Dutton Silsby Civil War letters, 1862-1863.
Silsby, R. Dutton 1829-1894.
Library Call Number Copy Material Location
Vermont Historical Society Library  MSA 521  Manuscript  Vault-Manuscript 

Personal Author : Silsby, R. Dutton (Russell Dutton), 1829-1894.
Title : R. Dutton Silsby Civil War letters, 1862-1863.
Physical Description : .25 linear feet.
Summary :

The collection is made up of photocopies of transcribed Civil War letters between R. Dutton Silsby and his wife Marinda of Moretown, Vermont. The bulk of the correspondence is from Dutton to his wife, but some of the return letters have also been included. The collection includes a letter by daughter Martha describing her childhood in Vermont. Martha was the transcriber of her parents' letters. The collection also includes excerpts from the letters typed by Edward G. Longacre.

Dutton Silsby's letters give a very good description of Army life and what the war meant to the civilian population in Virginia. Most of his service was involved in guard duty along the Potomac, and he did not see a great deal of combat, but he did have one experience that he described in detail. While on a foraging venture near Fairfax Station in May of 1863, he was captured with two other men, taken to Gainsville for two days, and then paroled. He expected to be sent to Annapolis to the parole camp for future exchange, but that never happened, perhaps due to the short time he had remaining in his enlistment. For the rest of his service he was not able to participate in combat, both because he had not gone through the exchange process, and because he faced a possible court martial for "informally accepting a parole without the consent of a commissioned officer." Included is a very detailed letter Dutton wrote about his visit to Mount Vernon. He also describes, in detail, his duties and what it was like to live in the various camps where he was stationed.

Marinda Silsby's letters to her husband contain information about how she is coping with running the farm, opinions on the war, and news of other Waitsfield soldiers.

Reproduction Note : Photocopy. Lincoln, NE: Nebraska Historical Society.
Location of originals : Original letters formerly at Nebraska State Historical Society; P.O. Box 82554, 1500 R Street, Lincoln, NE 68501
Biographical or historical data :

Russell Dutton Silsby was born in Waitsfield, Vermont, on April 8, 1829, the son of Asaph Silsby (1800-1884) and Betsy Currant Gibson Silsby (1802-1829). By 1860, Dutton was living on a farm in Moretown, Vermont. He had married Marinda Brown Mason in Acworth, N.H., on September 9, 1852, and they had seven children: Ithiel, Martha (b. 1854), Mary (b. 1855), Ellen (b. 1858), Elizabeth (b. 1865), Horace (b. 1868), and Herbert (b. 1873). Dutton served as a Sergeant in Company B, 13th Vermont Volunteers Infantry. In the 1880 census, Dutton is living in Morgan, Iowa, and daughter Martha is in Marvin, Iowa. Dutton died May 1, 1894, in Iowa.

Personal Subject : Silsby, R. Dutton (Russell Dutton), 1829-1894.
Silsby, Martha, b. 1854.
Silsby, Marinda (Marinda Brown Mason), 1833-1889.
Corporate Subject : United States. Army. Vermont Infantry Regiment, 13th 1862-1863. Company B.
Subject Term : Soldiers Vermont Correspondence.
Gettysburg, Battle of, Gettysburg, Pa., 1863.
Geographic Term : United States History Civil War, 1861-1865.
Vermont History Civil War, 1861-1865.
Mount Vernon (Va. : Estate)
Moretown (Vt.) History Sources.
Added Author : Silsby, Marinda (Marinda Brown Mason), 1833-1889.
Silsby, Martha M., b. 1854.
Longacre, Edward G., 1946-
Electronic Resource : Click here for full text finding aid.