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The Carl Braun Collection

A summertime acquisition of what would under most circumstances be an ordinary request for an early discharge from service, turned out to be much more than that. Along with the letters from the soldier in question and his brother, various endorsements and dispositions bear the signatures of some Vermont Civil War notables.

Signatories include Vermont's Governor Frederick Holbrook, Colonel Wheelock G. Veazey (commanding the 16th Regiment), Brigadier General George J. Stannard (commanding the 2nd Brigade) and Brigadier General J. J. Abercrombie (commanding the division) and Major General Samuel P. Heintzelman (commanding XXII Corps/Department of Washington).

The 16th Vermont was part of the "Second Vermont Brigade" and was attached to General Reynolds' First Corps, Army of the Potomac, in late June of 1863, immediately following this exchange of correspondence. It was on the field all three days at Gettysburg, yet suffered only light casualties.

                      Wilmington, Vermont. June 5, 1863

Col. Wheelock G. Veazey --

        Sir-I address you to solicit your assistance to

procure the discharge from service of my brother

William H. Tyler of company B, in your Regiment. The

case is this-a few months previous to his enlistment he

had made an arrangement with Father to remain at

home and take care of him and his property in his old

age. But when the call was made for the 300,000 militia

men, he realized that it was for him and every other 

young man in Guilford, and responded to it. Father was

then seventy-two years of age and quite inform. He

owned a large farm and considerable other property and

would be left with no one with him but an unmarried

daughter in full health, and hired help, and William

being his dependence, he reluctantly and from a sense of

duty consented to let him enlist, hoping to be able to see

to his affairs until his return. But about four weeks since

Father was taken suddenly and dangerously ill and

erysipilas which has thus far baffled the skill of his

physicians to control. Dr. Warren, his present physician,

is now of the opinion that he will ultimately recover, but

it is a dangerous disease and may suddenly terminate 

fatally. Father is very anxious to have the discharge of

his son from service procured if possible, not so much

because he needs his care and oversight over his

business, as because he feels apprehension that he shall

not live till his son's term of service expires. He is

inclined to regard this as his last illness, and at his age

and with this disease, his recovery is, to say the least,


        I have stated this case, sir, aware that similar

ones are frequently presented to your notice, yet hoping

that in some respects you may deem it as an unusual one

and one worthy of your consideration and influence. I

have presented the case to his Excellency Gov. Holbrook,

who will have the great kindness to endorse this letter

and forward it to you.

                I have the honor to be, sir,

                Very Respectfully Yours,

                       James M. Tyler

(On the back of James Tyler's letter is the following)

State of Vermont

Executive Chamber

Brattleboro; June 8th, 1863

To Col. W. G. Veasey,

        The within applications comes from a highly

respectable source, and its statements are undoubtably

reliable. If anything can be done about the discharge of

young Tyler, I hope it may be done.

                        Very truly &c.

                        Fredk. Holbrook

                        Gov. of Vermont

(Having received his brother's letter, endorsed by Governor Holbrook,
William Tyler pressed his case.)

Camp at Union Mills, Virginia

June 14th, 1863

To. H. O. Peabody

Adjutant 16th Regt. Vermont Vol. Militia.


        I have the honor to ask that I may be discharged

from the Military Service of the United States, for the

following reason, viz,

        My father who is seventy two years of age has

been taken dangerously ill and is not expected to live and

my attendance at home is greatly needed.

        I would refer you to the annexed letter and

application endorsed by Gov. Holbrook of Vermont for

full particulars.

                  I am Sir, very Respectfully

                         Your Obdt. Servant

                          William H. Tyler

                          Private Co. B 16th Regt.

                          Vt. Vol. M.

(Endorsed at bottom of page)

Approved and Respectfully forwarded.

       Robt. B. Arms

               Captain Co. B 16th Vt. Vol. Militia

(From here the case moved with amazing speed through the various echelons of command, and while William may have been surprised at how quickly it came, the decision surely disappointed him.)

Appved & Resplly forwarded

              W. G. Veazey

              Col. Comdg Regt

Head Quarters 2 Brigade

Abercombies Division

Union Mills June 15/63

Approved and respectfully forwarded

               Geo. J. Stannard

               Brig Gen Commg

HdQrs Abercrombie's Division

       June 16th 1863

Disapproved and respectfully forwarded

               J.J. Abercrombie

               Brig Genl


Head Quarters Dept. of Washington

               June 17th 1863

Respy. Returned to Brig. Genl. Abercrombie comdg.



By Command of 

Maj. Genl. Heintzelman

  Carroll H. Potter

  Capt. & AAG

Head Quarters

Ambercrombies Division

Centreville June 20, 1863

Respectfully returned

        By order of

Brig Gen Abercrombie.

               J.A. Slippen


Source: Transcript of an original manuscript from the collection of Carl Braun, Windsor, Vt.

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