Vermont at Gettysburg
July, 1863 and Fifty Years Later
REPORT OF THE ADJUTANT GENERAL
To the Vermont Gettysburg Commission:
I have the honor to submit the following report covering transportation arrangements and the disbursement of the fund appropriated by the Legislature of 1912 for the celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg.
On or about March 1, 9113, the following circular was published in all the newspapers of the State and distributed to all Grand Army Posts:
GETTYSBURG CELEBRATIONState of Vermont Makes Appropriation
to Pay Transportation of Veterans.
Veterans Desiring to attend Must Notify the Adjutant General
The Legislature of Vermont has made an appropriation (not to exceed $10,000) to pay the transportation of all honorably discharged soldiers of either army in the Civil War, now residing in Vermont, to and from Gettysburg, Pa., to attend the peace celebration to be held on the battlefield of Gettysburg, July 1 to 4, 1913, the fiftieth anniversary of that battle. The Governor has appointed Col. H. W. Allen of Burlington, apt. Frank Kenfield of Morrisville, and Col. W. H. H. Slack of Springfield, commissioners to have charge of the celebration for Vermont.
The United States Government and the State of Pennsylvania have made provision for the entertainment of Veterans during their stay at Gettysburg, including lodging and food, in a large camp which will be established for that purpose. The State appropriation is only available for transportation, and Veterans will have to furnish their own subsistence en route to and from the celebration. There will also be established I the camp a field hospital, in charge of Medical Officers of the U. S. Army, suitably equipped to care for any who may be taken sick in camp.
In view of the hardships necessarily incident to the journey, sleeping and eating in tents, change of climate, food and water, the Commissioners feel obliged to caution all Veterans who are not in good physical condition not to undertake the trip.
All details connected with the notice to Veterans, issuing transportation, etc., are in the hands of Lee S. Tillotson, the Adjutant General, St. Albans, Vermont, and all Veterans desiring to attend the celebration should send their names and addresses to him at once and before April 1, 1913. Printed blank applications and circulars of information will then e sent out by Gen. Tillotson..
By order of the Commissioners,
LEE S. TILLOTSON,
The Adjutant General
Editors of Newspapers will please publish the above as an item of news.
In response to the foregoing, over 1,500 letters were received from Veterans who signified their desire to attend the celebration.
In the meantime the matter of transportation and rates was taken up with the transportation companies and it was found that the New England Passenger Association, in whose territory the movement was to originate, had adopted a special rate on the basis of a fare and three-fifths for the round trip, which, as will readily been see, was a comparatively small reduction from the regular rates. The route adopted, on approval of the Commission, was the Central Vermont route via New London, then via Norwich Line boat to Jersey City, thence Pennsylvania Lines and Western Maryland. This route was selected so as to give the Veterans a night's rest on the boat, and it was also cheaper than any all rail route. On account of the fact that the Norwich Line boats could not land at the Pennsylvania pier in Jersey City, it was necessary to secure a special ferry boat from New York to Jersey city and return at an additional expense of $50 each way.
On April 1, 1913, the following Bulletin was published and sent by mail to all Veterans who had then, and who afterwards signified their desire to attend the celebration, together with a printer form for application.
STATE OF VERMONT
The Adjutant General's Office,
St. Albans, April 1, 1913.
Bulletin No. 1.
The following information with reference to the Gettysburg celebration is published for the benefit of all concerned.
1. Dates. The celebration will take place July 104, 1913. The Vermont Veterans will leave the State Saturday, June 28, 1913, arriving at Gettysburg, Sunday afternoon, June 29, 1913; returning, leave Gettysburg Saturday, July 5, 1913, arrive home Sunday, July 6, 1913.
2. Routes and Stop-overs. Arrangements have been made for a special train to start from St. Albans at about 9 o'clock A. M., June 28, to run via Essex Junction, Montpelier, White River Jct., Bellows Falls, and Brattleboro to New London, Conn., without change, arriving there about 10 o'clock P. M. Veterans living off the main line of the Central Vermont Railway will travel on regular trains to the most convenient junctions point and transfer to the special train. The schedule of the special train will be so arranged as to make convenient connections from other lines. Veterans living on the line of the Rutland Railroad will be given the option of traveling via Albany and New York over the Rutland and New York Central lines, joining the party at Jersey City, provided they will pay the additional expense, if any. There will be little or no difference in the fair either way. From New London, Conn., the party will travel by boat to Jersey City. The boat will leave New London about 11 o'clock P. M., June 28, arriving at Jersey City, about 7 o'clock A. M., June 29. From Jersey City the party will travel via special train over the Pennsylvania Railroad to Gettysburg, arriving at Gettysburg in the afternoon of the same day, June 29. Returning the tickets will be good until July 15, with stop-over privileges.
3. Accommodations en route. Arrangement will be made to have lunches or meals served on the special trains and boat to all who desire to purchase the same. Berths in state rooms on the boat can be secured at from fifty cents to $1.00 each, two or three people in a room. For those who do not purchase berths, mattresses will be provided free of charge, which can be spread upon the floors of the cabins. All expense of meals en route, and state room berths will have to be paid by the veterans themselves. The Adjutant General will have state room accommodations reserved I the names of those who indicate a desire for the same.
4. Return Arrangement. It is expected that the majority of the party will return via special train leaving Gettysburg Saturday morning, July 5, to Jersey City, thence via boat to New London, arriving at New London Sunday morning, thence via special train to Vermont, making connections with regular trains so that all can arrive home Sunday, July 6. The same accommodations as to berths on the boat and meals en route will be available as for the going trip. Those who desire to do so may return independently over a part or the whole of the journey, provided they pay the extra expense, if any.
5. Tickets. Railroad tickets will be issued to each individual for the round trip, going and returning by the same route. These tickets will be good returning until July 15, with stop-over privileges, on all trains or boats of the lines over which the tickets are issued.
6. Accommodations at Gettysburg. The veterans will be quartered at Gettysburg at a large camp. It is understood that those from each state will be quartered together, and so far as practicable arrangement will be made to accommodate veterans who desire to be quartered near each other. Subsistence while at Gettysburg will be furnished. The camp will be fully equipped with cot beds, blankets, dishes, and everything possible will be done to insure the comfort and protect the health of the veterans. A camp hospital will be established for the care of any who may be taken sick. None but veterans will be taken care of in the camp, and the committee has been advised that the accommodations at Gettysburg are so limited that it will be unwise for relatives or friends of veterans to go to Gettysburg at that time. The railroad rates and transportation accommodations are open to the public, however, and if any relatives or friends of veterans desire to go to the celebration they are at liberty to do so provided they pay their own expenses, but the committee cannot undertake to secure accommodations for them at Gettysburg.
7. Appropriation limited. The state appropriation is limited to $10,000. The average rate for transportation from Vermont points to Gettysburg and return will be approximately $20.00 for each person. It will therefore be seen that the appropriation will only pay the transportation of about 500 veterans. The Adjutant General has received notice from about 1000 veterans now living in Vermont who desire to attend the celebration. The law making the appropriation does not authorize the committee to make any discrimination as to the veterans who will be given the benefit of the free transportation. It is available to all honorably discharged soldiers of either army of the Civil War now residing in Vermont. The only thing the committee can do is to apportion the appropriation among those who are entitled to it, and if the number of applicants is larger than the appropriation will take care of it, it will be necessary for those who go, to pay the deficiency out of their own pockets. From present indications it seems that this deficiency will be from 25 percent to 50 percent or from $5.00 to $10.00 for each person. For this reason the application blanks require each applicant to state how much, if any, of his transportation he is willing to pay himself. It is thought that many veterans who are financially able, will be willing to pay a part or even all of their transportation, in order that others who are not able to pay, may be taken care of.
8. Additional information. More detailed information as to the exact time of departure of trains will be sent to each applicant later. Any other information not contained in this circular will be furnished on applications to the Adjutant General.
By order of the Vermont Gettysburg Commission
LEE S. TILLOTSON,
The Adjutant General
In response to Bulletin Number 1, nearly 1,000 applications were received. It then became evident that the appropriate was not large enough to cover all the transportation expense of those who wished to go, and on May 26, 1913, by direction of the Commission, the following Bulletin was published and sent by mail to all Veterans who had filed applications.
STATE OF VERMONT,
The Adjutant General's Office,
Bulletin No. 2
St. Albans, May 26, 1913.
1. The Pennsylvania Commission and officers of the War Department who have undertaken to provide quarters and subsistence for the veterans at Gettysburg during the coming celebration must have definite information not later than June 5,1913, as to the number that will attend. It is also necessary for the Vermont Commission and the Adjutant General to have time to arrange the details connected with the transportation. It is therefore necessary to fix a time limit for the filing of applications. This limit was fixed at May 1, 1913, but it has been found possible to extend the date to June 5, 1913, and the committee will consider all applications which have been or may be received up to that date. After June 5, 1913, no applications will be considered, for the reasons above given.
2. At the date of this circular over 900 applications have been received. The appropriation is $10,000. It is estimated the $500 will be necessary to pay for printing and postage and other necessary expenses, leaving $9,500 available for transportation. This appropriation is equally available to all honorably discharged soldiers of the Civil War now residing in Vermont, and the committee has no authority to discriminate between veterans.
3. The appeal to the veterans to contribute toward their transportation brought comparatively few unconditional offers of assistance. Many indicated a willingness to pay a part of their own expenses provided all did the same, but the unconditional contributions offered fall far short of making up the deficiency. Many veterans claim that a large number who have applied will not go when the time comes, but there is no way in which the committee can know this, and the committee cannot legally incur obligations beyond the amount of the funds available.
4. The committee has decided that the only solution of the problem is to first divide the available funds equally among those who have filed applications, and require those who wish to go to agree to pay the balance of their transportation. In the end, those who go and pay a part of their transportation will be reimbursed to the extent of the funds available.
5. In order that the committee and the Adjutant General may have definite and final information, and that all may full understand the situation, this circular is being sent to all who have filed applications whether they have already indicated a willingness to pay part of their transportation or not.
6. The amount which the committee can now safely promise to allow each applicant from the appropriation is $10.. The railroad fares range from about $24.00 in the extreme northern part of the state, to about $15.00 in the extreme southern part. The amount which each veteran will have to reckon on paying out of his own pocket will vary from $14.00 to $5.00 according to the location of his railroad station It is not practicable to give the fares from each station in this circular, but from the following list of fares from a few central points the veterans can ascertain approximately wheat the rates are:
Derby Line, $23.65 Newport, 23.20 Hardwick (via Cambridge Jct., 23.18 Morrisville (via Cambridge Jct.), 22.32 Cambridge Jct., 21.40 St. Albans, 21.30 Burlington (via Troy), 21.10 Burlington (via New London), 20.10 St. Johnsbury, 21.05 Rutland (via Troy), 17.95 Rutland (via New London), 18.75 Montpelier, 20.10 Wells River, 20.10 White River Jct., 18.10 Windsor, 17.40 Bellows Falls, 16.25 Bennington (via Troy), 15.65 Brattleboro, 15.05
7. If you decide to go and accept your allowance of the transportation under the conditions specified above, an order on the railroad company will be sent you for the amount of your allowance from the appropriation which you will present to the ticket agent at your station in exchange for your ticket, paying the balance direct to the ticket agent. Do no send any money to the committee or to the Adjutant General.
8. Notify the Adjutant General immediately on the enclosed postal card, whether you will go, and whether you will accept the transportation under the conditions specified in this bulletin. It you do no return the card so as to reach the Adjutant General by June 5, 1913, you will be considered as having withdrawn your application, and it will receive no further consideration.
By direction of the Committee
LEE S. TILLOTSON,
The Adjutant General.
A time limit for receiving applications was fixed because it was absolutely necessary that the transportation companies and the Pennsylvania Commission have definite information far enough in advance to enable them to make suitable arrangements for our accommodation. As a matter of fact, however, all applications were considered and filed without respect to the time when received, and several Veterans who made no application at all, but who, when the time came, decided to and did attend, were allowed to share I the appropriation.
In response to Bulletin Number 2, 661 Veterans signified their intention to attend the celebration, to all of whom transportation orders for $15.00 each were sent.
Five hundred and twelve transportation orders were turned in by Veterans to the railroad companies and by them sent in to this office for payment, consequently that is presumed to be the number of resident Vermont Veterans who attended the celebration.
Source: Vermont at Gettysburg: July, 1863 and Fifty Years Later. Rutland: Marble City Press, The Tuttle Company. 1914