Sunderland, Freeman H.
Age: 40, credited to Highgate, VT
Unit(s): 13th VT INF
Service: enl 9/11/62, m/i 10/10/62, Pvt, Co. K, 13th VT INF, m/o 7/21/63
See Legend for expansion of abbreviationsVITALS
Birth: 08/08/1823, Highgate, VT
Burial: Highgate Center Cemetery, Highgate, VT
Marker/Plot: Not recorded
Gravestone researcher/photographer: Tom Ledoux
Findagrave Memorial #: 30230613
Alias?: None noted
Pension?: Yes, 6/30/1880; minor (helpless child), 3/23/1914, VT, not approved
Portrait?: 13th History (left)
College?: Not Found
Veterans Home?: Not Found
(If there are state digraphs above, this soldier spent some time in a state or national soldiers' home in that state after the war)
Remarks: 13th Vt. History off-site
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Highgate Center Cemetery, Highgate, VT
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Freeman H. Sunderland
LAMOILLE NEWSDEALER: APRIL 30, 1863
FROM THE 13TH REGIMENT
We make the following extracts from a letter written by F.H. Sunderland, to his friends in Cambridge, under the date of April 15th.
I received your letter with much pleasure, especially that part expressing your mind in regard to the war and slavery. I hope you have many more such patriotic men in your vicinity. I can truly say, down with the rebellion, and down with slavery, at whatever cost. You may think that because I am down here, that I express such sentiments. Yes, truly it is because I am here, where I can hear with my own ears, and see with my own eyes, and express myself with what I have seen and heard. I consider slavery the most damnable curse, if I may be allowed the expression, that ever a Nation can be afflicted with. This country is naturally the finest on this continent, but to tell the truth this state as far as we have seen, is fifty years behind our native state in the pursuits of almost everything except that of raising negroes, ( rather low business). As for farming, they know but little about I. Schools and religious meetings seems to have been among the things that have been neglected. I have talked with children some 14 and 14 years old, and they say they never went to school, and some do not even know their own age. There are some exceptions, to be sure. By this you will see one of the effects of slavery. The best I can say is: I hope the sympathizers or copperheads will sink away into nothingness and be woefully ashamed, and come out as true patriots should come forth in their might and strength to put down this rebellion.
I believe it is on its last footing, and the monster, treason, is about receiving its death blow. Just say to your copperheads, if you have any, that their words go to strengthen the rebellion, while their friends are here to put it down and sustain Government. Every influence they put forth serves as a weight upon our shoulders. I fear sometimes that there will be great responsibility upon them; that they will be the means of having many a precious life sacrificed. Did they but know the feelings of the boys here, they would tremble on account of their own safety. We consider them our "enemies at home”.
Submitted by Deanna French
FREEMAN H. SUNDERLAND volunteered from the town of Highgate about August 25th, 1862, and joined Highgate company on the date of its organization, September 11th. His age at this time was 40, married, and occupation a farmer, carpenter and joiner. Five feet seven inches tall, a well built, strong and active man, complexion light, blue eyes and brown hair. He was born in Highgate and his education was acquired in the district schools of his native town. Was a man well spoken of by his neighbors, of good habits, honest, faithful and industrious, courteous, a generous disposition and always aimed to do right. While still active, the march, drill and the manual of arms seemed difficult to acquire, and was excused from regular duties in part, and permitted to act as company washerwoman (in this he was a success). He did the washing for Company K and for many others of the regiment, officers as well privates, but Company K boys came first, charging only a small fee for his labor. He had some pretty difficult jobs, especially when woolen shirts and seams of trousers were alive with body lice and nits, as occasionally was the case with the careless. These body lice were called graybacks, and were a kind that few, if any, had had any experience with or heard about before enlistment, but our washerwoman soon learned the only way of exter- mination and save the clothes. He would wash thoroughly, then dash them into boiling water, and then out into cold water as quick as possible, backward and forward a few times, was sure death as he said. His knowledge was the result acquired by repeated experiments. This sudden change was as good as fire and completely cleansed the garments and killed the parasites. Comrade Sunderland had a tent nearby a brook or spring where he successfully and satisfactorily washed and dried for all that applied, and he was kept busy most all the time. He took pains not to mix up the clothing, for only a few of Company K were lousy, and they not long.
Perhaps it would be a little invidious to caU names here as to who enjoyed that distinction; most of you know, especially those who experienced the night exploring by candle light in searching their garments for the cause of so much itching. Some went to Surgeon Nichols and he said, "You have got parasites," and John Mollo, of Company K wanted to know what kind of disease you call him. The doctor smiled and replied, "Lice, body lice." Mollo said, "O; me know now, much no harm, them little fellows, just make scratch all night, some." It was risky to camp even for a single night on an old camp ground, and it was always avoided by our Colonel when he knew. After Gettysburg hattle quite a number of us for the first time discovered a ravenous grayback or two roaming around in search for a company or a tender spot to camp and feast. Surgeon Nichols after the battle of Gettysburg and when the regiment had reached Baltimore by order of Colonel Randall, returned to Washington, visited the several hospitals, gathered up all of our regiment and started with them for Vermont, arriving a day or so after the regiment had reached Brattleboro, among which was Comrade Sunderland, glad and happy to grasp the hands of his comrades and patrons. He was mustered out with the regiment July 21st, 1863, returned home to his family, and resumed his occupation and was for many years a busy man. His son, George, who was with him in Company K, and a few years after the war, was taken sick and finally went to Florida seeking health, but soon died. This was a great sorrow and continuous grief for the father. George was his dearly beloved son, and his death almost broke the parents' heart. Comrade Sunderland has ever lived an honorable and respected life. He Is still quite hale, and active for one so old. I see him often. He lives in Georgia, Vt., about two miles south of St. Albans City. A generous government has paid Comrade Sunderland a pension for many years, and is now receiving $24.00 per month, sufficient to furnish him the necessities and some of the comforts of life. A war time picture and one of later date will be seen on page 415-417, also an autobiographical on page .... See Roster.
Source: Sturtevant, p. 746