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VHS - Reunion Society Collection
Captain Thomas B. Kennedy
Transcript of a reply letter to Capt. Thomas B. Kennedy from the regimental surgeon while Kennedy was recuperating at home from a leg wound incurred at the Battle of Cedar Creek on Oct. 19, 1864, with the bullet remaining in his thigh. The regiment was encamped in winter quarters near Petersburg Virginia in preparation for spring assaults on Petersburg and Richmond which ultimately resulted in Lee's surrender at Appomattox.
Camp near Petersburg Va
Jan 14th 1865
Your very welcome letter of the 4th mail was received in due season after date and perused with much interest.
I am glad to learn that you are getting well with so little shortening of your leg and am in hopes that you will get up with a useful limb. [As regimental surgeon, it would have been the writer's decision not to operate on the leg, which decision probably saved Kennedy's life.]
Capt. Kinney who was wounded at the same time has returned to the Regt and reported for duty.
The Major called the line officers together a few nights since for the purpose of voting for someone for Major. A paper was circulated the next day for Capt. Sperry who received eight out of twelve; this gave him the majority. But yesterday some clamored that the case was not properly represented and withdrew their names, but I understand that the major is going to give them another trial, candidates Sperry and Bushnal (sic). Sperry will doubtless get it whether he receives the majority or not at the 2nd ballot.
We regret very much that you are not here to take a part in electing a major for the gallant old 6th Vermont, or what would be quite as satisfactory kept still while others voted.
Please excuse my brevity as I have not time to write any more at present.
The officers all send their best regards. Your Company is tough and rugged except Corp. Gould who has been unwell for a few days. Hoping to hear from you when you get a little leisure and will bid you good night.
6th Regiment officers mentioned:
Capt. (later Major) Edwin R. Kinney (Burlington), Co. G. At the battle of Cedar Creek, the regiment was commanded by Capt. Kinney until he was wounded, at which time Capt. Sperry took command. Kinney had previously been wounded on 4/16/62 at Lee's Mill, the regiment's first engagement.
"The Major" who called for election of his replacement was Sumner H. Lincoln (Hartford VT), who was being promoted to Lt. Colonel.
Capt. William J. Sperry (Cavendish), Co. C. As predicted by the writer of the letter, Sperry was selected for promotion to Major. He was later awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for his services in the assault on Petersburg.
Capt. Henry N. Bushnell (Waitesfield), Co. H.
Edwin Phillips (Tinmouth VT) volunteered as a private, but became regimental surgeon in 1863.
The "unwell" corporal was Enos M. Gould (Ludlow), Co. E, which had been combined into Co. K.
Transcribed by: Edward Daniel, Rockville MD, October 13, 2003
See also, Captain Kennedy's biography