Josephus W. Voodry letters  1861-1863
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Collection Scope and Content Note

This collection consists of 4 letters (16 pages) that Private Josephus W. Voodry wrote to his sister (1 item) and to a "Sarah," a female friend (3 items), during his service with the 3rd Vermont Infantry Regiment, Company G, between 1861 and 1863. He discussed military life, his eagerness to participate in battle, and an August 1863 visit to the battlefield at Gettysburg.

In his early letters, Voodry expressed his disdain for the Confederate cause and his eagerness to participate in battle, a sentiment somewhat lessened by the time he wrote his final letter in August 1863. In his letter of October 12, 1861, he commented on hearing shellfire and on visits from General George McClellan and Napoleon III. On January 9, 1862, Voodry stated that his unit had not yet engaged in battle and that he had not seen much blood beyond having a tooth pulled that morning. Voodry's final letter, written on August 9, 1863, contains his description of the Gettysburg battlefield shortly after the fighting.

Each letter is written on stationery with a printed letterhead:

  • August 10, 1861: Red, white, and blue. Woman holding an American flag, accompanied by a four-line poem.
  • October 12, 1861: Red, white, and blue. "The Shield of Liberty," accompanied by the dates 1776 and 1861.
  • January 9, 1862: Purple. Soldier standing in front of tents, resting his arm on the state seal of Pennsylvania.
  • August 9, 1863: Red, white, and blue. Patriotic shield in front of a five-pointed star, with the words "North," West," East," and South."
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