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2nd Vermont Infantry
Correspondence
Captain William Henry Bond
Co. A

Compiled and edited by I. J. Nichols
Revised and edited by Thomas Risdon Baine

Following are twenty one letters written by William Henry Bond, the first from Danby, Vermont to his family in Thetford, Vermont before the Civil War and the rest his mother, or in one case to his brother, in Danby. They cover the first two years of his four years in the service. The ones for the last two years are missing but these give enough first hand information to be of great interest. His education was curtailed by his going to work at the age of ten so his spelling was based on sound, for instance, if you give the "A" in" tha" the long sound you have "they". He was conscious of this defect and more than once asked that only the family read his letters. His lack of the use of periods and capitals makes his sentences run together but is not so confusing as it might seem.

His father, Henry William, had apparently died and his mother remarried a "Hobart" who also seems to have died so his letters were addressed Mrs. Betsy Hobart in Danby where she first lived with her son, Edson Bond and later with her daughter, Alvinah, after "Vine's" husband, Harvey Woodard, was killed in the war. The Juley mentioned in his first letter was Edson's daughter and the William mentioned later was Harvey's and Alvinah's son who Alvinah spent her last days with in Watervliet, New York. "Liby" may have been Edson's wife and Edgar may have been the other brother. Inserted before his complete letter of Nov. 4, 1861 is a quite legible first page of that letter.

I. J. Nichols, Chester, Vt., 1991


After inserting these letters on the Vermont in the Civil War Web Page, I have attempted to revise and edit these letters into a form that is a bit more readable without losing the intent and meaning.. I think that, after 130 years, Sergt. W. H. Bond would not object to publishing his letters to the public as they are important to give us a better understanding and appreciation of the Union Civil War soldier.

Thomas R. Baine
Aberdeen, Md. 1998


Danby, April 14, /57

Dear Mother, Brother and Sister etc.

It is a long time since we have heard from you, Brother Edson has moved since you heard from us. He has the house opposite the tavern- a large white house owned by the Widow Lapham. The house had never been roomed and has more barn space than the tavern. Edson is keeping a boarding house. He has ( got) five boarders now, he has had as many as 9 at once. He is rather running opposition to A. E. Lapham, the landlord here. He had had double the number of boarders than they have had at the tavern all a long. he expects 2 or 3 more boarders soon. He has but 1 hired girl like Mother is a helping them at present. Juley is as pretty as you please, can run and talk like a canary bird. She looks like mother used to every day. Maple sugar is worth 10 cts per lb. ( I ) learn a great deal made here this (fall crossed out) spring. Edson and Biby send their love.

Yours Truly,
Write Soon.

W.H.Bond


Courthouse Alexandria, July 22, 1861

Ever Dear Friends,

It is with haste that I pen these lines to you to let you know that I am well and safe after the Battle of Manassas.. I cannot,at this time, give you a full account of the affair but will make some comments on it. We were ordered to be ready to start for the conflict Saturday night at 6 O'clock but the order was countermanded and the time ( was ) put to 2 o'clock Sunday morn(ing) . At that time we were ready to move on but, on account of some blunders on the part of the commanders of the Brigade that was ahead of ours. We had to wait until the sun was an hour high. At this time the Brigadier General Howard, who commanded our division was comprised of 4 Maine Reg(iments) and our one brave Green Mountain Boys, It was about 12 or 14 miles to the scene of the blood. We marched about 4 miles at modest speed and then came the order for quick time.. We could hear one battery, a pouring in the nest of those cursed traitors and the order was given for double quick time which is a good fast run. The troops obeyed this order as well as they could but many of the weak ones had to fall out. More so from the Maine Reg.(iments) as many of them were small weakly boys. On we went through woods and over rivers and fields of grain. We came within about 2 miles of the spot and a scene met our eyes which I cannot describe.-- a church had been fitted out by our troops as a hospital and the hospital wagons were going on the run from the hospital to the field. Here we halted about 5 minutes and threw every thing off from us that we could do away with and started on again as fast as ever. We arrived at the battle field just as our cavalry and Elsworth's firemen waves was retreating in bad disorder. We pushed on and took their place and fired in to them. We mowed them down like grain before the scythe. they stood our fire a few minutes and then retreated and attacked us of the other side of the wood which sheltered them. We rushed on and poured a sure lead hail in to them which fairly stunned them.

At this critical, the cursed children of Hell raised the Stars and Stripes . This of course made our troops slack their fire as we thought that we was a firing in to a body of our own troops but we discovered our mistake and saw the Hellish trick that had been played on us and we tried again to get the advantage of them. But they had got us just where they wanted us as they had their rifled cannon and bun Mortar mortars placed in the woods just in range of us, But we struggled on and to make it worse, our men got out of powder and could not use our cannon and this is what whipped us. They saw our cannon leaving the field and this then put them to work all the harder. And what was our rifled muskets compared to their rifled cannon and mortars, They fired away at us and the regiment began to leave in confusion, but the Brave Green Mountain boys stood their ground till all other Reg(iments) had left the field. we kept up our fire but many of our men was laid on the ground bleeding without anyone to care for them and some of them complained hard toward their officers and the order was given for us to retreat. then All left but Co. a of Bennington that got in ( the) cover of a hill and loaded and marched up that hill and fired a volley into them which sacked them terribly. They had not expected us to do this and they were exposed to our fire just as we wanted them to be. And we had the satisfaction seeing our guns tel on every man that they armed and we wheeled and retreated in as good order as possible. The rebels tried to out flank us but they could not do it. They followed us 5 or 7 miles but could not do anything with us for we had got too much the start on them. They took some broken down baggage wagons and a few large rifled cannon that the barrel gave out (on) and could not draw but our men spiked them before they left them. We retreated to the place that we left that morning in high spirits and did little think that we should come back in such a style. We laid down and rested an hour or so and then we had orders to retreat as fast as was practical to Alexandria, the distance being some 25 miles. We started about 10 O'clock in the night and got to Alexandria 10 the next morn(ing) and was a tired looking set, I tell you. we spent last night at the courthouse at Alexandria. we have got good quarters here Do not know how long we shall stay here. Our company have lost all their blankets both woolen and rubber. This is all the baggage that we have lost. There is 3 or 4 of our going. There was many killed on the ground but one of them was wounded. A ball passed through his leg. He was picked up and put in a wagon for the hospital. This was the last we heard of them. The other 2 got strayed away from our company but they will probably come around in a day or two. We do hope that the one that was wounded will come out all straight. I cannot tell anything about how many men was lost in our reg(iment) as in all affairs for there don't anybody know yet but Co. A is all right except 1 wounded. It is estimated that we killed 10.000 of the rebels and I think that is low a notch, Will Pierce is all right and so is Clifton and Solomon Wescott. I should like to see what the Rut(land) papers say about the battle. Please to write soon. I will write again as soon as I get more to write . I am writing on the judge's desk in the court house and am writing on paper which I took from the clerk and am using the same pen and ink that he uses. I did not think that I should fill a judges bench so soon. It is rumored that Gen(eral) Butler has attacked the rebels and whipped them out but we have done the most of the whipping and he has probably stopped in and took the ones we should them if we had of had powder for our cannon and our officers had been what they should be. Our Colonel, Colonel Whiten who had command of our Reg(iment) went in the woods and hid . The amount of it is the thing was very badly managed .Bad luck to the Rebels and good luck and better officers to the Union and the Star Spangled Banner. Long may it wave over the land of the free and the home of the brave.

W.H.Bond


To Mother, Brothers and Sisters

Bush Hill, Alexandria, Va. Aug. 2, 1861

Dear friends,

I embrace this opportunity to write to you. I received your kind letter today. It came day before yesterday but as I was away, I did not get it til today/ We are encamped at our old ground on a farms known as Bush Hill. It is on the line of Rail Road from Alexandria to Richmond and is also on the turnpike that runs between these cities. I am very sorry to hear Edson is sick and hope that he will be able to resume his duties at the depot. before you get this. I went last Thursday about 4 miles from he(re) with a brother soldier to guard a house and farm as the boys take the liberty to help themselves to what they want on the farms when they can get a chance to get out of camp. and if the citizen enters a complaint to the officers they are obliged to put a guard on the place to keep them off. I have been on several such guards and like it very much as to generally get fruit and vegetables which we do not get in camp The place that we went to guard last Thursday was owned by two young ladies, one about 20 and the other about 25 years old. The one a place of about 150 acres and have got 3 colored girls and 3 colored men and 2 young darkies that live together in all the peace that you can wish a family to. They have a splendid yard full of fruit trees such as peaches, pears,, plums, apples, cherries, quinces, and lemons,. The lemons trees which grow here are quite a curiosity to us. The large ones that II have seen I s about 10 feet tall and as big around as the largest part of my leg. They hang full of lemons, some very small and others much larger than those you get to the north. We had all the peaches and pears that we wanted while we were there and they fed us first rate. say chickens for dinner, new potatoes and bute cabbage, hoe cake, and white bread, applesauce and milk to go with it.. that is what I call pretty good living, a little better than we get in camp. You want to know what we get to eat in camp. We have plenty of corned beef and plenty of salt pork and a lot of bacon. Once a week we have about 100 lbs of fresh beef. Once a week the company is allowed 75 lbs of meat of some kind every day and 90 lbs of bread. We have had good soft baked bread since the battle as they have got a bakery at Alexandria that bakes for the government. We are allowed 9 lbs of sugar and coffee and tea. We have soup and we buy potatoes so as to have them once a day. We throw in 3 or 5 cents a piece once in 2 or 3 days to pay for them. We have to pay 100 per bushel for them. They are nice new ones and go first rate with our meat. We can get flours in place of our bread when we wish to do so and make mince pudding of it, It goes very good with sugar and molasses on it. The rebel pickets are about 8 or 10 miles from us . They will not be any more fighting for 3 months or till the leaves fall. so they can get a better chance to burn or shell them out of their nest in the woods. The talk is here that they can not hold out for only 3 months. After we were sworn in to the service of the United States. that is that the United States can not hold us but the state of Vermont can hold us 3 years. The idea is that the government could not according to law take volunteers for any longer time than 3 months until the congress said they have a part of a Maine Regiment going home under these reasons. I saw in the paper today that the government was a going to pay the men 20 dollars to take the oath over again but it will be of no use with some of the reg(iment) as the United States has not got money enough to keep them all here. I do not think if one reg(iment) is asked to take the oath that they will do so. They think that they have done their part of the fighting and prefer to have some others try it on and show their love for the Union in a different way than staying at home and talking about it but it may be that they will not have a chance to get home so soon. we can but wait and see what time will bring forth. The Third Vt. Reg. are here . They are encamped about 8 or 10 miles from us.

there was a soldier hung yesterday about 3 miles from us. It was for shooting a woman in the street in Alexandria. the woman stole his money some way and run with it. he told her to stop but she did not and he fired at her and killed her and was hung for it. he was from new Hampshire. Our men have at last all got around but 2. One of them was shot in the thigh, breaking the bone. He was from North Bennington. His name was Andrew Noyse. The other was from East Bennington, His name was William Murphy. He was not hurt at all but was taking care of Andrew Noyse. they started together and came a mile or so when they must have broke their wagon down and was taken prisoners. We do not know any thing more about but hope that they are safe. S. Wescott has not been very well since we had the battle but is getting around now. I am well and tough as a bear. I want you to write often and write long letters. Do not let anybody but Ed's folks read my letter but read them for them if they want to know what I write. Write soon

Yours etc.

W.H.Bond

Send your letters to Washington. Write me what part of Virginia Louise Griffith lives in . Perhaps I may run across him. W.H.B.
We are about 4 miles from Alexandria and in sight of it and Washington
WHB


Camp Tyowad Chain Bridge, D C
Sept. 3, 1861
Dear Mother,

I received your letter in due time and was very glad to hear from you. Solomon is as well as ever and sends his respects to all of you. I am as well as ever. I see by the Bennington Banner that John Palmer is enlisted in the Bennington Co. ( mpany) which is to come in the 4 Reg(iment). I am very sorry that he has done so. This is the worst time that he could come. John is not the right fellow to come here. He will find it worse than working at W.W. & Co. at Dorset. He will find a difference between sawdust there and the rifle bullets from the guns of the rebels, say nothing of the chain shot and grape and canister bomb shell smoke and etc. He will find it hard to step( sleep?) on the ground and he will wish he could have a grist mill to grind his hard crackers as better known as a biscuit. This is no place for John . He will find it hard it march 20 or 25 milers with his knapsack and 40 rounds of powder and ball and his blankets and food to last him 3 or 4 days, sleeping on damp ground in a rain storm . I think he would not like ( it). He don't know what he has to endure. He will have it harder than we did. His Company will be put right into the worst of the battle. The Zouave company is all was in the front. He is as good as, or though he was sick with the fever and ague and he will be good for nothing after he gets here.. His mother must not let him come. They cannot make him come if he is not mustered in the service of the United States. Mark my words if he comes here, he will be sorry for it. He is not the right fellow for this work. He will not like it and if he ain't the sickest fellow after he has been here 2 weeks that ever left Vt. .. then I am not a prophet at all. We are encamped at the Chain Bridge. We send out picket(s) on the other side of the river, fetch in a runaway nigger once a day, or two. There probably will be something done here before long and I hope it will be soon. {giv soon, ?? } I should not have written this letter but for John Palmer but I know just what John is and he had better be in Danby than to be here. If his mother is at the village, I want Vine to go and tell her what I have said about it and if she lets him come, she will have the privilege of reading some of the most piteous letters from him that she ever dreamt of. Write soon. Give my respects to all. Good bye for this time.

W.H.B.


Sept. 12, 1861
Advance Battery of Gen. Smiths Brigade in Va.

Dear Mother,

I write a few lines to you to inform you I am well and did not get hurt yesterday in a little affair that we had down to Tournville. we went out yesterday morning to find a place to build a fort. We got down to Tournville and run on to their pickets . As soon as they saw us they run. We had Griffins Battery of 4 cannon, Co A and F, 2nd Vermont Regiment and 3 or 4 other Reg(iments)... 2 Com( panies) of cavalry Co. A and F have been taken from the regiment. we got over there all right and had got ready to come back and had got some of us started when BANG went some cannon which the rebels had got in to the woods on purpose to fire at us as we came opposite and in range of them. Company A was on the road to Fairfax Court House and away from the rest of them. we saw some rebel pickets coming up the road from Falls Church and they tried their rifles on us but shot over us so as not to hurt us. We went out a little ways and planted our cannon and went at them. We thought if Co A. was between the cannon and the village right close to Louise Griffith's house. I could have hit his house with a stone. We fired at them and they fired at us and so it went for about hour when the rebels thought that Falls Church was a better place than the woods that they was in so they left. we killed an wounded 100 of them. They killed and wounded 9 of us. there was no body hurt in our company. there was 2 killed in the 3rd Vt.Reg. Mrs. Griffith farm looks well . Tournville is splendid farming country. Tell Mrs. Griffith that her fence has gotten several bullets put through it and I guess there is some in the house in the woods towards Falls Church. Give my respects to all. Don't let any body read this letter but our own folks as it is not fit to be seen. Write soon. Direct your letter to Washington.

W.H.Bond


Letter fragment

Camp Griffin
Nov. 4, 1861
Dear Mother,

Yours was received in due time and I was very glad to hear from you and all my friends. I have a slight turn of jaundice but am not very sick and shall be all right in a few days. s Wescott fingers are getting well fats. I think that he will be appointed postmaster for this Reg(iment). y will be to carry the mail about mile once a day and when the mail comes in to pick out each company's by it self. It will be a very good chance for him. I hope that he will get it.. Joseph Minet and the Baker boys, H . Hall John Palmer and all of the rest are all well as far as I know. It is getting quite cold weather here so that a fire feels good in our tents. Captain Walllbridge got back from Bennington yesterday. He has been home after men to fill our regiment. 22 came back with him.

I wrote to Edson week before last and sent him an order for my state pay. 28 dollars of it is due and he is to get it and give it to you to keep for me. I am going to save what I can and if I come back to Vermont, I will put it into land as soon as I get there if I can't buy but 1 acre, I will have that. We shall be paid off in a day or so and I intend to send 30 dollars home in my next letter to you to keep. As I must write some to Vine, I must close.

From your ever dear son,

W.H. Bond

Dear Vine,

As I am afraid that you think that I don't care enough for you to write you, I have come to the conclusion to write a few lines to you to keep you good natured. I tell you Vine, what it is. I should like to step in and take dinner with you. I have come to the conclusion that there can't nobody cook as well as you can. I should like one of your boiled dinners and I hope that I can have a chance to have one soon. I want to fight this thing on and go back to Vermont. I mean to save 4 or 5 hundred dollars and buy land. With it so as to raise potatoes,cabbage, and so on and I want you to cook them for me Won't we have high times? Tell Harvey to stay in Danby and do the best that he can to make every cent count and when I come back, we will buy a farm try that kind of living. That is what I am going to do any way .If it takes a leg to duty . Give my regards to all the inquiring friends. Write as soon as it is handy. tell Harvey to write and you must write all. Tell me all the news. I want to know what is going an at Danby. you must write 2 sheets full between all 3 of you. Mr Griffith is at his house. He boards to one of his neighbors. he is getting corn out of the rebels just as they got it out of him. When we came this way, some of them run and left their corn. he is a cutting it and fetching it to his place to make up what they took from him.

Yours Truly, W.H. Bond


Camp Griffin, Va.
Nov. 22, 1861
Dear Mother,

It is with pleasure that I answer yours of that which was received in due time. I am well and should have written to you before had I not been waiting for us to be paid off. we were paid off last Wednesday. There is a man here from Vermont who is appointed by the state of Vt. to carry to Vt. what money we want to send. he gives us a receipt which we can send to the person who is to draw the money and then get it at the bank. I send you a receipt for 25 dollars. You will let someone that is a going to Rutland take it and you must write an order to show that you want that person to draw it and anybody can get the money out of the Rutland bank. Do not send for the money for a week or two as this man will not get to Vt. till all of the Vt. regiments are paid off. You must have Edson see to it for me. the state of Vermont owes me for 5 months pay which is 35 dollars. I think that I have sent 30 dollars to you and this 25 dollars will make 90 dollars. I should have liked to send you 10 dollars more this time but it is impossible for me to do so. The first of January, the state of Vermont will owe me 14 dollars more and I can send home 25 dollars more which will 1 hundred and 29 dollars. So you can see I shall the 100 dollars when I am 21 years old- if I have spent a good deal for nothing. I suppose that Edson has got that money from the state and given it to you if there is any thing wrong about the order I sent him. I want him to write to me about it and I will have it straightened out so he can get the 7 dollars at the end of every month of the select men of Danby. All the Danby boys are well . I do not need anything. If I did I would let you know about it. I am in a great hurry and can not write any more at this time. I will write to Harvey and Vine soon. Mr. Griffins has rented his house and is a boarding to one of his neighbors. He is well. Give my regards to all.

Yours Truly,

W.H.Bond

Later--- I forgot to say anything about S. Wescott. He is well and has got a good job in the bakery. he is in charge of the bread and deals it out to the company. his hand is well and he is in good spirits. he sends his love to you all.

Good bye once more,
W.H. Bond


Camp Griffin, Dec. 7, 1861
Dear Mother,

I received you letter yesterday and was very glad to hear from Danby. I an well and in good spirits. You did not say in your letter anything about a check that I sent you in my letter of the 22 of November, the check was for 25 dollars on the Rutland Bank. It was for money that I sent home by the agent sent here from Vermont to carry the money home for the Vermont boys. You must send that paper that I sent you to the bank by some one that is a going to Rutland and you must write an order saying that you want the man that you send by to draw the money open it and then any one can get the money out of the bank. I do not want you to be in any hurry but to send by the neighbors when it is handy to you to do so. I am glad that you have seen Mr. Barret about the state pay and I want it fixed so you can draw what is due me and then draw the 7 dollars a month after right a long without any trouble. I wrote a letter to you last week and sent a letter in it to you that Capt. Wallridge got for me from AlexanderYoung. He said in it that he had a letter from you and that you said that I was sick in the hospital and that you wanted him to find me. This is all not so. I have never been very sick much less in the hospital . I would like to have you explain it in your next. I received another letter from him in answer to one which I wrote to him in answer to one that I sent to you. he did not write anything of importance but said that he and Mary was well and that Mary was in Washington with him. I should think that Vermont would be a better place for his wife. I wrote to Edson last Monday. I have not got that letter that you say that Edson wrote to me. I do not think that there will be any fighting in this part of the country this winter as we are all of our fighting this winter. I do not mean that we are going into winter quarters but we are fixing our tent for cold, snowy weather. We have had no snow yet but the ground freezes up and thaws daytimes. We have got a small sheet iron stove in our tent and it keeps us warm as toast. we got the stove in Washington and paid 5 dollars for it and the pipe. There is 12 of us in this tent. the tent in a large round one,. The stove is in the center of the tent. we have all of us got bed ticks sent to us from Vermont that are just large enough for us. We put poles through the sides of the ticks and lay the ends of the poles into crotches drove into the ground so that our beds are up about a foot from the ground. we lay with our feet towards the stove and I do not know but I sleep as well as I ever did. There is a griddle on the stove so we can use a spider or a pot to cook with. Perhaps you would like to know the names of my room mates- Waldo Barras of East Dorset and Henry Norton of Bennington, Spencer Hathway, John Haydwood, Martin Hardwood........

[The rest of the letter is missing------]


Running the Blockade

Headquarters 2nd Vermont Reg't
Co A
Camp Griffin Jan 29. 1862

Dear Mother,

I received your kind letter in due time. I was very glad to hear from you and to hear all my friends in Danby were well. You do not know what pleasure it gives me to read a letter from Danby. When I get to thinking of Danby and those that are there, it does not seem that I have been away from Vermont so long. It is more like a dream to me than the stern reality that it is. It does not seem that I passed the inter in Virginia in a thin canvas tent, that I have been in 3 battles where the bullets flew like hail and that I have been away from Vermont 7 long months. It does not seem more than 2 or 5 months, and when I say that these 7 months have passed off so soon. I can not help but think that they have passed off pleasantly. Every thing considered, it seems more like reading an exciting book. I cannot realize the place I am in . it does not seem that I am a soldier, that I shall soon be in line of battle, shooting at men, that I can load my gun and take aim at men and fire with as good grace as Icould take a cat by the legs and dash its brains out against a stone yet this is all so strange as it may seem. I do not think that we shall move on for 60 days or so as it is too muddy to move artillery. The winter is passed if I can call it winter. I have not seen the snow deeper than 1 inch that came in the night and went away when the sun came and they will be planting potatoes here in 15 or 20 days. Does it look like Danby like planting potatoes the middle of February? As soon as it gets settled weather so that we can lay out nights with our tents., we shall move on a piece . It will probably be towards Bull Run. I do not think that McClellan wants to move but the papers and politicians are crying "What are all the men of the Potomac kept still? why don't they do something now. I have confidence in McClellan. If they all say "Fight", he will have to do so . If he knowed that he will get whipped, he knows when to pitch in to them and if they will let him alone, he will take Bull Run and Manassas when it is time to do so but to pacify a pack of politicians, he will move on a piece. I do not think that we shall pitch in to Bull Run but move on to Centerville and wait the move of thing south. We was paid off last week. I sent 20 dollars to Vermont. It is in the hands of the Treasurer of the State and subject to my order. If you think that it is best to put my money in the Rutland bank, do so when you have enough from the state to make 100 dollars. I think that I have sent 55 dollars to you with the 42 dollars, you have 97 dollars. There is a month's pay due the 29th of this month. When you get it, you can put 100 dollars in to the bank if you like. Do just as you think best about it. If you put if in to the bank, have it in my name. I shall let the money that I send to Vermont after this stay in the Treasurer's hands as it draws interest there and is safe as it can be anywhere. The Danby boys are all well. Orange Emerson came to see me last week. He looked well. John Curtis came to see me. He stayed with me some time. I was very glad to see him. I have not been to see Mrs. Griffith yet but shall go soon. I can not think of much more to write this time. I wrote Edson last week. I send you some postage stamps. Give my regards to all my friends. S. Wescott is well. He is in the regimental bakery to work. He has got a good place. It is very muddy and is quite warm. Alvina and Harvey and William must consider that this is to them as well as you. Tell Harvey that I expect to winter farther south next winter. You will think that this is a long letter. You must write one as long to me and it will be all right. You must excuse all the bad writing and spelling. Good bye for this time.

W.H.Bond
Co. A, 2nd Vt.Vol
Camp Griffin, Virginia

Mother
Sister
and Brother
and etc.
Danby, Vermont


Camp Griffin, Va.
Feb. 23 1862

Dear Mother,

I received your kind letter in due time and was very glad to hear that all my friends in Danby was well. I am well and in good spirits. We have had glorious news for the past few days and I hope and pray that it will not stop here but that it will be victory on victory till this rebellion is no more, till it is crushed from the face of the earth and those vile traitors that caused this wicked rebellion are punished according to their deeds of wickedness. They must and will triumph and I prophesy that 3 months from this time it will be so. Our cavalry brought in 10 rebels yesterday. One of them tried to run away but he was followed by a small piece of lead and he stopped. He is not dangerously wounded but will be all right in 2 or 3 weeks. He is in our hospital and doing well. I wrote Edson last week and to C.F. Bond. I sent a letter that I got from C.F. Bond to Edson when I wrote last to him. There is more fighting to do and we have the men and army to do it. I care not how soon we are called on to meet the traitors. Our Army on the Potomac are situated by the late victories and want a chance to distinguish their own names and if bone, muscle. gun powder and lead will do it, it will be done. We can not move at the present as the mud is very deep and it is impossible to move artillery. It will probably be 3 or 4 weeks before it will be settled weather and perhaps longer. It is quite warm and rains all of the time and has done so all winter. I am glad that Harvey has enlisted and hope that it will all turn out for the best S... W... is well and sends his regards to all the boys from Danby as well. Give my regards to all.

W...S...B


Clouds Mills, Va.
March 8, 1862

Dear Mother,

I write a few lines to you to let you know that I am well and all right side up encamped in the woods with out any tents, 5 miles out of the city of Alexandria. waiting to go some where- I don't know where S... W.... and all the Danby boys are all well. I will write the next chance I get. Give my regards to all.

Yours on the run, Corporal W.H. Bond
Co. A. 2nd Vt. Vol.


Camp in the Woods, Va.
6/62
Dear Mother,

I write you a few lines to let you know that I am well and since I wrote you last a part of the Army of the Potomac have been sent to Fortress Monroe in a steamer from Alexandria. We stayed at the fortress one night and then went out to Newport News from thence to Big Bethel. The rebels left Big Bethel as we approached and we have been following them ever since. We took a place called Young's Mills yesterday. There was about 50000 of them there but they left as we came in sight of them. We followed them about 5 miles yesterday and camped last night in the pine woods to spend the Sabbath today. I am well. S. Wescott is well and all the Danby boys. You must not feel bad if you do not hear from me as often as you have as it is impossible to send letters. I will write as often as I can . Give my regards to all. We are about 25 miles from Fortress Monroe and 8 miles from Yorktown and about 55 miles from Richmond. We are on the James River at a place called Hardwick. We pick up from 3 to 10 Rebels per day that cannot run as fast as the rest. I should like to tell you about Fortress Monroe and the Union Gun, the Iron Clad Steamer Monitor. Big Bethel and a hundred things that I have seen of interest but have not got time. Direct your letters to Fortress Monroe. Give my regards to all.

Yours Truly

Corp. W.H.Bond


Camp of the 2nd Vt Reg. near Yorktown, Va.
April 14, 1862

Dear Brother,

I improve this opportunity of writing a few lines to you to let you know that I am in the land of the living and all right side up with care. We are encamped in front of the Rebel line of fortifications which run from the York to the James rivers a distance of 7 miles. The same rebel soldiers are at this place that were at Manassas. They left Manassas for this place. The Forts are built with in range of each others guns so that if they are drove out of one they can go to another and fight and they have rifle pits and earth works of every kind to cover them when in an engagement... I have been within 100 rods of their forts at three different points in the line . I could distinguish their bars and stars, could tell the color of the clothes of the guard on the fort and hear them talk quite plain.. The rebels have command of the York and the James rivers from here to Richmond. This is now the best position that the rebels have and they will not have it long as we are ready to relieve them from the responsible duty of guarding the York and James Rivers from here out to Dixie. There is fighting between our scouts and the Rebels everyday. There is places where our advanced guard are not over 150 rods from the Rebel forts. The Rebels are in the open lots and we are in the woods. Our boys are all right as long as they keep behind the trees,. I am well and fat as you could wish for, All the Danby boys are well. S Wescott is well and

[..... the rest of the letter is missing]


Camp of the 2nd Vt. Reg.
July 18, 1862

Dear Mother & Sister,

Yours of the 13th is at hand. I was glad to hear from you. I am well. S Wescott is well. He is hustler and waiter for Maj. Walbridge, formerly Capt. of this company. S.W. has got a good chance and does not have to expose himself to the Rebels. he sends his regards to all.. I wrote a letter to Mr. Bradley and told him all about Henry. he is at Richmond and is wounded. Willard Bennitt, a young man from Manchester was shot in the head and died a little while after. he was a friend of mine. He fired at W.W. & Co. with me all the time that I worked there. I thought as much of him as I would a brother. The Vermont Brigade can not muster but 1500 men for duty. think of it, 1500 out of 5000. Our officers are most all resigning. I do not know what they will do with the few worn out men that is left. I got a peck of new potatoes of an old rebel outside the picket line day before yesterday and paid $1.50 for them. I got a ham through the kindness of a friend in the quartermasters department and we had a good time of it. yesterday 4 of us finished it all at 3 meals. I wrote Edson 5 days ago and sent for a box of maple sugar, spruce gum and so on . It will cost about $25 .00 for what I have sent for. I want you to give E.B. the money to pay for it and have him send it as soon as he can. I shall sell enough of the sugar so that what I want will not cost me anything. Vine and Liby can send me something good to eat but do not send anything that will not keep 5 or 6 days. Put a paper of pins and two large sise needles in and a little linen thread. Start the box soon. I send 3 pictures. Keep them safe, if I live to come home it will be a pleasure to look at the pictures of the generals that I served under. The Danby boys are all well. I put my last P.S. stamp on this letter. I have been promoted from 8 Corps to 6 Corp. I wrote a letter to Thetford yesterday. I received a letter from Edgar 3 weeks ago. have Edson pay the express on the box as far as he can and pack the things so that they will not break. Tell him to get some old hup iron and put around the ends of the box and to send a bill of the things in the box and write me a letter with a bill in it as soon as he sends the box. Tell him to send all I sent for if he can get the things with out regard to cost. Tell Edson to do it up brown and that you will pay Edson for his trouble. if there is any dried fruit that you can get, that would be nice stewed up and sweetened. I think that would make hard crackers taste good. Send a large piece of Danby Cheese- 6-8 lbs.

Yours in haste,

W.H.Bond


Camp near Alexandria, Va.
Aug. 27, 1862
Dear Mother,

I haste to write a few lines to you to let you know that I am well and all right. Smith's division is in Alexandria. Don't know how long we shall stay here. Not long. Direct yours to Washington instead of Fort Monroe. Write soon.

W. H. Bond in haste
Camp of the 2nd Vt.


[letter in pencil]

Dec. 10, 1862

Dear Mother,

Yours is at hand. I was glad to hear from D.C. I am sad to learn that W has broke his arm and hope that it will be well soon. His childish days ought to be days of gladness for they were the happiest days of my life. may his not be so rough. I am as well as usual except a bad boil on the cords of my neck which is sore as it can well be. We have been on the march for the past two days and expect to cross the river tomorrow. We shall cross a pontoon bridge to the left of Fredericksburg. we are to be paid today. You cannot think of how I pity Alvinah. I hope that her lot will not be as hard as yours has been. S.W. is well and sends his regards to all. Please say to Ellen White that her letter arrived all right and that I have not got ink to answer it with but will as soon as I can. When you write again, let me know how much money you have paid to Edson in all for those boxes and so forth. if you want money to use, take mine and use it Will Alvinah get the 7 dollars a month yet and how is Harvey's wages etc? I think that Alvinah is entitled to a pension etc. Please write about it . Write soon and oblige, for a letter from home is a God send. Give my regards to all

Yours Truly,
Sergeant W. H. Bond

PS There is a man in Company C by the name of Peese from Weston or Danby. He Known you and Alvinah. His wife died a spell ago. I think his wife was sister to Mont Hobart. he introduced himself to me as a old friend to you and Alvinah. What and who is he? Do you know him, if so write.

Sergeant W.H. Bond


Camp 1 mile from Falmouth
Jan 25, 1863 in pencil

Dear Mother and Sister,

I improve this opportunity of writing a short letter to you. I am well etc. and hope this will find you the same. We left Belle Plain the 20th and tried to get across the river but it commenced raining and the army of the Potomac got stuck in the mud and are a going back to the old camps as fast as they can. It takes 16 horses to a cannon etc. Hope that the mud will continue the remainder of my enlistment.
Jan 25/63 ( same letter)

We moved back to White Oak Church. the attempt to cross the river was a bad go. The army got stuck in the mud - all sorts. It was the hardest march that I ever had from Falmouth back to White Oak Church, a distance of 7 miles. I got your letter today with the ten dollars all right. I am glad that the box is under way. I think that we shall stay here till I get it. We soon expect to go back to the landing. I hope we shall. S. Wescott is well and sends his regards to you all. Mr. Pease is in the hospital with a lame back. He did not go with the regiment when we left the Landing. The men are deserting all sorts. The army is about used up. it seems that General Burnside can not do anything with the army. The army is down on him. I do not think that he will ever do anything with it. but hope things will come out all right. Send the box as soon as possible.

Yours Truly,
Serg. W.H.Bond


Camp of the 2nd Vt Reg.
March 25 /63

Dear Mother,

I have written a long letter to Edson today and as it is rainy so that we can't drill, I will write you a short letter. I am well and have enjoyed the good things that came in the box. I have got part of the butter and a part of the ham left. I hope that Alvinah has started for Lowell and is not waiting for me to come home for if I should not come, I should hate to have her wait. The weather is quite warm about like May in Vermont. Gary Emerson came over to see me yesterday. His Reg is encamped about five miles from us. He is to work in the Commissary department of his Regiment.. He is well and looks the best that I ever saw him. He tells me that he is the only one from Danby that is with his regiment. They are all in the general hospital. Now this general hospital is all a sham. These men who stay in there are no better than deserters. they go there and stay there. I never knew one of them to come back to their regiment. The amount of it is they are sick of this war and want to keep as far from it as they can. We have got 8 of this kind in Co. A. They are what the soldier calls played out pimps. I think that the name is appropriate for them. They ought to be drummed out of the army and have the letter D branded on their -------- or some other good place. I suppose that there is good sleighing in Danby. I have not seen a sleigh in 2 years but have seen plenty of Southerners. Rather more that I want to again. I would like to know what has become of all the people of Danby and what is a going on there. Perhaps I shall come and see for myself. Where are you a going when Alvinah goes to Lowell etc.. I want to know all your plans. If you are not afraid to trust me. Have you heard from Watervaliet of Thedford lately? Solomon Wescott is well and sends his regards to all. Mr. Pease has got a lame back yet is well other ways. Do you suppose you would know me if I should come home. I do not think that you would. Those who used to know me in Vermont say I look better than I did in Vermont. I have written you a long letter so good bye for this time.

Yours Truly,

Serg W.H. Bond


Camp of the 2nd Vt Reg near Falmouth, Va
March 29th, /63

Dear Mother,

I write you a short letter today thinking it will be the last chance that I shall have to write from this camp. We have had orders to be prepared for a march. We have sent overcoats and everything that we can get along without to Washington. The furlough order was countermanded yesterday so you may give up all hopes of seeing me till next winter. You don't know how I wanted to come home but all is for the best. May God give me the strength to Battle for the right till this rebellion comes to an end.

Yours in Haste.

Serg . W.H. Bond


Camp of the 2nd Vt. Regt.
April 7th, 1863

Dear Mother,

Contrary to expectation I write you from this camp. Gen. Hooker has been to Washington. When he came back, he countermanded the order. The Corps was reviewed by General Hooker. last week President Lincoln is reviewing the Army. He reviewed the Cavalry Corps yesterday and was to review the 6th Army Corps today but did not. Probably will tomorrow. They are giving furloughs again. Perhaps I shall come home in the course of 60 days. Why in the world don't some of you write to me? I have written 4 letters home and have not received one in return. Has Alvinah started foe Mass? Where are you staying? I wrote to you about a week ago . Did you receive my letter? Write as soon as you get this.

Yours Truly

Serg. W. H. Bond
Co A. 2nd Vt. Regt.


Camp near white Oak Church, Va., April 11, 1863

Dear Mother,

I received your letter last night. I was very glad to hear from you. It had been a long time since you wrote me. I had begun to be afraid that something was the matter with some of you. I would like to have some of you write me as often as once a week. Take my money to pay the postage. I would rather you would than not. Solomon Wescott is well. He is to work in the officers mess as cook and so will be out of danger.. I think that is what he likes. Mr. Pease is with his company yet. He can not do anything on account of his back. He hurt it when he was at the landing a lifting bags of grain out of a boat. I don't think that he will get so as to do duty. he may never be well again. He might get his discharge but he thinks it is better to get the 20 dollars per month than to go home and not be able to do any thing.. Stimson of the 30th N.B. Regiment was up to see me today. He looks well. His time His time is out the first of May. His father lives over by Mr. Pembers. John Palmer is well and all the Danby boys. You write about the letters from the 14th Reg to Mr. Williams and others. the 2nd Vt. had a good April Fool played on them. There was a First Sergeants call and orders for the men to get up at 12 o'clock at night and wash their feet. Some of them did it. I did not let them catch me though.

The weather is warm and pleasant. Things look as though we were to stay here for some time. I think that I shall come home soon, that is in 3 or 4 weeks but it is impossible for me to tell anything for certain I shall come if I can. You mist not look for me till I write you when I am coming. Why does not Alvinah go to Lowell? is little William a going to school? I want that Alvinah should have him go to school all of the time and have him learn all that he can. I hope and think that there will be some way for him to have a good education.

I will try and answer some of your questions. I am trying to be a different man from what I was a boy. I have learned to love my testament. I have learned to pray to God and I hope that I may be a Christian. I have learned not to take the name of the Lord in vain. I have learned to like the society of Christians and to pray to their God of heaven and earth to make me what I should be, to help me do right, and to save my soul through Jesus Christ who died to save sinners. Amen.

Mother, pray for me that I might be a true Christian, that I might so live that I shall not be afraid to die. I have got a good many good little books that I should like to send you. I shall send one at the same time that I send this letter. Mr. Hall was over to see me the first of April but I was out on picket guard and did not see him. Edson had not written me in some time. When he did he wanted to know when I was coming home, that he had something to say to me but if I was a coming home, he would wait. How does he get along? How does he stand in regard to his house? Can he ever pay for it? What kind of wife has Ira Palmer got? If she is like her brother, she is a fine woman. The last time I saw Mr. Pease, he told me that his little girls were well and wanted me to give his best regards to Alvinah and you. He seems to be a good kind of a man. He has not drank any spirit since he came into this regiment and the boys in his company like him. He is in Co, I . Captain Walbridge is now Colonel ofour Regiment. he has not been captain since last summer. Our Captain's name is Wm. H. Cady. He was our lieutenant. Direct yours to Serg. W.H.Bond. Co A, 2nd Regnt, Vt. Vols., Washington DC. there is no need of putting on the Captain's name. What do they think about the draft in Danby? Something has got to be done. Either another army must be raised or the rebels have gained their independence. I sometimes think that all will have to come before this war can be brought to a close. I think that some of the men of the North would like to have the rebels have their independence. they are not willing to sustain the President. they ought to be drafted and put in the front of the army and get acquainted with the rebels that they like so much. I have written you a long letter and hope it will find you all well. Give my regards to all. Tell Little William to be a good boy and go to school and learn all that he can.

Write soon,
Yours truly,
from you son,
Serg. W.H. Bond.


Camp Near White Oak Church, Va.
April 2, 1863

Dear Mother.

Yours of the 15th is at hand. I expect to be in Danby the last of this week to answer it in person. my furlough will be sent to division headquarters today. I think that I shall get it so as to start the 22nd or the 25th. it will take me 2 or 3 days to come. I am well and thinking about Danby. S. Wescott is well and sends his regards to all. Mr. Pease is about the same. his back is no better. we are under marching orders. they might not approve my furlough at division headquarters on that account but I think it will go through all right. if it does not I will write you this week.
Please give my regards to all.,

Serg. W.H.Bond


NO MORE LETTERS

However it will please you that he was granted fifteen day furlough.

Following is a biographical article of him published in Danby' Southern Vermont Mirror but first a few notes of interest. His records give no particulars but show that he was a "prisoner of war for nine days" They also state that he was wounded, Aug. 21, 1864. He was proud of his war record but did not like to talk about it. His wife once asked him of his war experiences. He responded, "War is Hell" and would say no more.

Albert Congdon in an article published in the Rutland Herald, May 18th 1932 entitled DANBY HEROES AT THEIR BEST wrote. "Capt. Wm. Bond was not at his best as our hotel keeper, but when, as a young private, he volunteered to try and save a wounded officer. A sharpshooter's bullet had hit the colonel or major who lay badly wounded on a rise between the lines. Two Union men had been killed beside him as they tried to attempt his rescue and William Bond, at his best, was a young fellow in blue uniform crawling along the ground dragging the wounded man after him by means of a crooked ramrod hooked in his clothes."

He was on a twenty day furlough when he married Alice Griffith, April 1, 1865. On June 29, 1865 he applied for a thirty day furlough to recover his health but did not get it because he was discharged with his regiment sixteen days later on July 15.

In 1880, he received his pension based on physical infirmities resulting from his service in the war. After his death in 1909, his widow received a pension of $12 gradually increasing to $50 per month paid quarterly to her death in 1928.

When Marble Lodge of Masons was chartered in Danby after the war, he was senior Warden and Second Master. He joined the chapter Council and went on to become a Shriner. He was a member of H. V. Vaughn Post No. 79 of Danby of Grand Army of the Republic ( G.A.R.) whose last member, Eugene Mcintire, died in 1931.

William and Alice Bond are buried in Scottsville Cemetery in Danby. Their huge white marble gravestone has engraved on it:

Capt. Wm. H. Bond, Cop A, 2nd Vermont Vols, R.A,
2nd Brig., 1st Old Vt. Brigade, 2nd Div.,
6th Corp, Army of the Potomac
From 1st Bull Run to Appomattox
1861-65 War of the Rebellion


See also Captain Bond's obituary.