Civil War in Southern Vermont

Civil War Drum
Civil War Drum

The monument in Gettysburg honoring the 16th Vermont Regiment reads: 16th Vermont Infantry – Col. W.G. Veazy Commanding – First Army Corps – July 1-2–3-1863 Participated near this point in action of July 2nd. Picketed this line that night – held same as skirmishers until attacked by Pickett’s Division, July 3rd. Rallied here and assaulted his flank to the right 400 years – then changing front charged left flank of Wilcox’s and Perry’s brigades. At this point – captured many hundred prisoners and two stands of colors.”

According to the Mason Family genealogy, one day Herbert Mason “…was mowing grass in the meadow with a scythe when some boys came along and said they were on their way to Brattleboro to inlist [sic] in the Civil War. Father said “Wait,” hung his scythe in a tree, went to the house and went with them.” 

Herbert Mason of Brookline mustered into “I” Company of the Vermont 16th Infantry in the Fall of 1862 to serve for the period of nine months. During that time he kept a detailed journal, and his days at Gettysburg are transcribed below.

July1st: Took up our line of march at about ten in the morning as rear Gd of the chore [sic]. arived at the battlefield at Gettisburg about seven. Our chore had been fighting & driven back by overwhelmming No. about six miles. But were checked at this place. We encamped in line of battle for the night heavy reinforcements came in to night all at last is very quiet. July 2nd: Their is a good deal of skirmeshing this morning and some cannonading in fact it was so till about five in the afternoon. We were ordered in the morning behind the woods to support a battery at five in the afternoon fighting commenced in great earnest. the cannonadeing was tremendous & the fighting was desperate but the enemy was finaly driven from the field. This Regt was sent out on picket after dark our Co had not lost a man.

July3rd: The enemys pickets opened upon us at day light in the morning the fireing commenced on the post I was on. We were orderd to fall back as skirmishers & the enemy opened upon us with cannon killing Willard Piercewe retreated to a revene & deployed as skirmishers where we layed down & the rebs tryed to shell us out blaxeing up a _____ for us but their guns were silenced by our twenty lbs ____ We then amussd ourselves fring at their picketts. hard fighting has been going on on our right but the enemy were driven from the field about on in the afternoon the enemy commenced the most tremendious cannonadeing martial man ever need to witness & fighting commenced in earnest. The enemy charged acrosst the field to take our battery but this Regt charged upon them & took them preisoners. We then halted in the revene & they shelled us a good deal we retreeted back behind a wall & halted for the night but were relieved & came back about dark. Co I lost 2 men killed five or six wounded & three missing. The Regit lost 12 killed & 1 wounded & five Commishioned officers wounded & about twenty five missing. July 4: all is very quiet here to day our forces are throwing up earth works Had some rain to day Our forces are burreying the dead.July 5th: The enemy have fallen back our forces are following them. We are back as Gd for those who are burreying the dead. the loss was very heavy on both sides but the enemy must have lost twenty to our one.

Levi Fuller Chair

Levi Fuller chair
Fuller Chair

This unique Gettysburg chair, part of our Civil War collection, was built of fence rails taken from the field of battle.

The chair was designed by Levi Fuller, 1841-1896, who didn’t serve in the Civil War, but collected battlefield relics afterwards.

He lived in Brattleboro, where he was son-in-law and partner of Jacob Estey, organ manufacturer.

In 1874 he founded the Fuller Battery, of which he was breveted.


Civil War Shadow Box

This is a Civil War shadow box in the collection of the Historical Society of Windham County.

You can click to see a larger view of the contents.

Civil War Shadow Box
Civil War Shadow Box