Russell, Charles H.
Age: 18, credited to Bennington, VTVITALS
Birth: 1843, Bennington, VTADDITIONAL INFORMATION
Alias?: None notedDESCENDANTS
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Charles H. Russell
Charles H. Russell, Co. "A", Fourth Vermont. (Bennington, Vt.) Being one of those Benningtonians who enlisted soon after the Union defeat at First Bull Run in early July, which foretold the war's long and difficult future, Russell enlisted in a three-year regiment, survived the long and disappointing adventure under Gen. McClellan known as the Peninsular Campaign that ended as a "draw." In early 1863, when the North struggled on dangerously close to disaster under McClellan's inept replacements named Pope and Hooker, Gen. Lee decided to invade the North through Pennsylvania, hoping to capture Washington and end the war. That led to the crucial battle at Gettysburg, won for the North by an army led by an untried newcomer named Meade who did everything right except to seize the offensive next day. Lee knew he was getting off easy and went sadly back to the South. Meanwhile, fighting deep in the South on the great river, Gen. Ulysses Grant with another army was winning his memorable campaign to take Vicksburg that made him the Union's chief general. The war should have ended then on terms restoring the Constitution plus emancipating the slaves, but while most Rebels could return to the Union, they refused to live among black people unless they were slaves. Lincoln and Grant therefore prepared for next spring's great offensive to capture Richmond and end the war on Northern terms. Pvt. Russell and the Sixth Corps, including the two Vermont brigades, wintered northeast of Richmond, waiting for spring. But Charles Russell caught an unknown disease and died Dec. 19, 1863.
Contributed by Linda Welch, Dartmouth College.