The Collection of Dispatches to and from Governor Fairbanks
Scope and Content
This collection is made up of a large number of telegraphic dispatches and some letters to and from Governor Erastus Fairbanks primarily during the period of April 1861 through October 1861. These materials show Vermont rushing to meet her promise of doing her full duty for the Union Army. They are a fascinating look at nuts and bolts of a small agrarian state going through the mechanics of raising, training, equipping and forwarding a proportionately large number of her young men and boys to aid the Union cause. Before these men could go on to form one of the premier fighting brigades of the Army of the Potomac, The First Vermont Brigade, they had to be equipped, trained and officered. These dispatches show, in part, how that was done. Some specific items of interest are: May 1861 War Department General Orders #15 & #16 detailing the organization of infantry and cavalry regiments, May 1861 letter from Secretary of War Simeon Cameron regarding the selection of officers, June 1861 letter from the Sanitary Commission regarding women nurses, June 1861 correspondence establishing the United States Sharp Shooters or U.S.S.S. as they came to be known, July 1861 correspondence regarding the commissions of Edwin Stoughton and William F. Smith, July 1861 correspondence between Governor Fairbanks and Lieutenant Governor Levi Underwood regarding a disagreement between them, August 1861 authorization for the State of Vermont to raise 1 cavalry regiment and 2 artillery batteries of six guns each, August 1861 dispatches regarding the mustering out of service of the 1st Vermont Volunteer Infantry Regiment, August 1861 order to raise 1 company for the United States Sharp Shooters, September 1861 dispatch from the Secretary of War advising the Union states not to equip any more men in gray uniforms. Some of the important historical figures mentioned in this collection are: Abraham Lincoln, Winfield Scott, Simon Cameron, Lewis A. Grant, Edwin Stoughton, William F. Smith, G.F. Davis, Governor Andrew of Massachusetts, Dorthea Dix, Redfield Proctor, General Meigs and Hiram Berdan.
- 05/1860 - 10/1861
Language of Materials
Collection is open for research.
All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Fairbanks Museum and Planetarium Archives.
Erastus Fairbanks held the office of Governor of the State of Vermont in 1852 and 1861, serving in the latter as the first of three Governors during the Civil War. Additionally, he was the head of E. and T. Fairbanks and Co, the platform scale business he started with his brothers in St. Johnsbury, Vermont, and served as President of the Passumpsic River Railroad. Following the fall of Fort Sumter, in April of 1861, President Abraham Lincoln requested 75,000 troops, of which Vermont was expected to raise one regiment. When asked by an embattled Lincoln, "Washington is in grave danger. What may we expect from Vermont?" Governor Fairbanks responded, "Vermont will do its full duty".
.25 linear feet (14 folders) 8 oversize folders
This collection is made up of a large number of telegraphic dispatches and some letters to and from Governor Erastus Fairbanks primarily during the period of April 1861 through October 1861.
For current information on the location of these materials, please contact the Fairbanks Museum and Planetarium Archives.
- Inventory of the The Collection of Dispatches to and from Governor Fairbanks, 05/1860 - 10/1861 (bulk 04/1861 - 10/1861)
- Unverified Full Draft
- Processor: Tony Pare and Peter Yarusewicz.
- Language of description