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Cargill Family Papers

Identifier: mss-087

Scope and Content Note

The collection contains several folders of correspondence, most of it addressed to Elmina Cargill. Much of the correspondence is from her brother George, and there are also many letters from her friend Jeanette Lowell of Haverhill, MA, and her friend John Campbell of South Ryegate. Also included are many of George Cargill’s collected poems and songs. The letters from George are an excellent source for the reflections that an ordinary soldier would have about the war, and his letters and collected poems testify to his great belief in the Union cause. Many of the songs are Union army songs and those would certainly be of interest to anyone researching that subject. The letters from Miss Lowell highlight the changes in a long-distance friendship over several years. Miss Lowell is notable because she worked outside the home in a hat shop. Also in the collection are account books, a war conscription notice and miscellaneous scraps. The diary of Ezekiel Skinner of Plainfield, a Civil War corporal in company G, fourth Vt. regiment is also included. The inclusion of the diary in this collection is a bit of a mystery since he did not serve in the same regiment as any of the Cargills and he is not from the same area as any of them.


  • 1863-1885



Collection is open for research.

Publication Rights

All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Curator of Manuscripts.

Biographical Note

The earliest record of the Cargill family in Vermont is of Ithiel Cargill settling in Brunswick in 1799 and building that town’s first sawmill and gristmill. Around 1820, his sons Ithiel Jr. and John forged a path through the forest to Wenlock (which later became Brighton and its largest settlement came to be known as Island Pond.) Ithiel was killed by a falling tree but John stayed on and later owned a mill and a farm there. The rest of Ithiel Sr.’s descendants left Brunswick for Morgan but it is John’s descendants in Island Pond who have left behind the most records.

Eunice and Charles Cargill of Morgan had a son, Benjamin, who served as a substitute in the Civil War. This soldier of company B, second Vt. regiment died of wounds on August 12, 1864. He is buried in Arlington national cemetery in Virginia.

The Island Pond branch of the family was also involved in the Civil War. Pvt. George Cargill, son of William Cargill and Sylvia (Walter) Cargill was in company E fifteenth Vt. regiment and later in company G seventeenth Vt. regiment. He was killed in action on May 12, 1864. He is buried in the national cemetery in Fredericksburg, Virginia. His siblings were Elmina Jane Cargill, Susan Cargill, Sylvia Cargill and Loella Cargill. George left behind many letters to his sister Elmina (known as Mina), as well as several copies of poems and songs.


0.4 Linear Feet (1 box)

Language of Materials



The collection contains several folders of correspondence, including a number of letters from George Cargill documenting his service during the Civil War. Also included are many of George Cargill’s collected poems and songs. Also in the collection are account books, a war conscription notice and miscellaneous scraps.


Library Research Annex; contact for access.

Guide to the Cargill Family Papers
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Repository Details

Part of the University of Vermont Libraries, Special Collections Repository

Silver Special Collections Library
48 University Place, Room B201
Burlington Vermont 05405 U.S.A. US
(802) 656-2138
(802) 656-4038 (Fax)