Rosa Blach letters  1894-1896
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Collection Scope and Content Note

This typescript consists of extracts from the diary of Major Richard Bailey Crandall, pertaining to his service with the 6th Vermont Infantry Regiment during the Civil War. From January 1, 1864, to June 5, 1864, Crandall wrote brief entries about his daily activities, with a few gaps. In mid-January and early February, Crandall discussed his social activities while visiting friends and family members in Montpelier, Vermont, and New York City. In New York, he remarked on his pleasant friendship with a woman (identified by the initial "L"); he wrote about his romantic feelings for and correspondence with L. throughout the remainder of his diary, often wondering whether she reciprocated his sentiments. In early April, Crandall spent 10 days' leave in Washington, D.C., where he described members of the House of Representatives. Crandall often attended religious services and otherwise commented on his faith. His diary contains a few brief religious and patriotic poems.

The majority of Crandall's entries concern aspects of military life, such as camp life, picket duty, and leisure activities; he occasionally referred to academic debates and prayer meetings. By early May, he wrote primarily about his regiment's movements and encounters with Confederate forces. The diary contains brief descriptions of Crandall's participation in the Battle of the Wilderness, the Battle of Cold Harbor, and several skirmishes; he often recounted his regiment's movements during the fighting and reported on casualties. By mid-May, Crandall and other soldiers were exhausted by the constant fighting, though he maintained his commitment. He made his final entry on June 5, 1864, two days before his death. The volume includes two additional entries made by one of Crandall's parents on June 7 and June 17, 1864, regarding his death at the hands of a Confederate sharpshooter and his burial.

The original diary is located at the Vermont Historical Society.

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