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Stone, Levi Huntoon
Age: 0, credited to Northfield, VT
Unit(s): 1st VT INF
Service: comn Chaplain, 1st VT INF, 4/26/61 (4/26/61), m/o 8/15/61, Congregationalist
See Legend for expansion of abbreviationsVITALS
Birth: 1807, Cabot, VT
Burial: Hillside Cemetery, Castleton, VT
Marker/Plot: Not recorded
Gravestone researcher/photographer: David & Gayle French
Findagrave Memorial #: 38156454
Alias?: None noted
Pension?: Yes, 7/17/1890, VT; widow Adaline; 02/11/1892, VT
Portrait?: VHS Collections
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)
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Hillside Cemetery, Castleton, VT
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Levi H. Stone
Reminiscences Of The 1st Regt. Vt. Vols., By The Chaplain, Rev. Levi H. Stone.
The sentiment contained in the following stanzas from "Miles O'Reilly" are a fitting preface to the services of this hour, and if felt by us will aid in rendering the occasion fruitful of good, now and hereafter:
"Comrades known in marches many
Comrades tried in dangers many,
Comrades bound by memories many,
Brothers let us ever be.
"Wounds and sickness may divide us
Marching orders may divide us
But whatever fate betide us
Brothers of the heart are we.
"By communion of the Banner
Battle scarred, but victory Banner
By the baptism of the Banner
Brothers of one church are we.
"Creed nor faction can divide us,
Race nor Nation can divide us
But whatever fate betide us
Brothers of the Flag are we.
"Comrades known by faith the dearest
o Tried when death was near and nearest
Bound we are by ties the dearest,
Brothers evermore to be.
"And if spared and growing older,
Shoulder still in line with shoulder
And with hearts no throb the colder
Brothers ever we will be."
No day of the year, the Sabbath excepted, is more deserving of special, thoughtful, and tender notice than our decoration day.
Periods of our country's history will most naturally come before the thinking patriotic mind. The old thirteen will appear on the canvas protesting and remonstrating against the severe and cruel edicts of the Mother Country, to be answered by demands still more inhuman, till further submission seemed not a virtue, but weakness and a vice. Hence our young Congress after patient consideration of such a movement, and the results that might, and probably would follow, on July the 4th, 1776, adopted that most wonderful paper: The Declaration of American Independence, a document, which for clearness and compactness of statement and fullness and conclusiveness of argument, is not excelled by any state paper in the archives of this or any other nation.
Then of course, followed the revolutionary seven years war, for these upstart and disloyal colonies must be subdued. But what force can be brought against the British lion?
Our government then, was imperfectly organized, with but little power at home, and no credit abroad. Our military composed of farmers fresh from the field and the plough, the mechanic from the shop, and the merchant from the store. Can these compete with the trained armies of England - on the sea and on the land - a military well drilled, well fed and gorgeously clad, and the wealth of the world behind? Against this mighty host our fathers were to contend. Aye more, and against the hired tomahawks and scalping knives of the Indians. But such were the principles of these fathers of the Revolution, such their love of learning, liberty and religion, to be obtained if need be, at sacrifice of property, ease and life, that with them God ordained the defeat of England and the birth and growth of our country; and from its start, after the war though poor, yet we have grown from Washington's administration, through all political changes, from federal to democrat and from democrat to whig, from whig to republican and now democrat again, so that instead of the original thirteen states with three millions of people, we are now a nation of thirty-eight states with a population of sixty millions and territory almost without measure, states and. territories rich in soil, forests and minerals grading from lead and iron to silver and gold, absolutely an over abundance in each and all. iJut an echo from the south. Deluded men have fired on Sumter. The old flag has fallen. Rebels seem to have triumphed.
The news to the nation is like the shock of an earthquake. Are we going to pieces? Is the history of a free government coming to be admired and imitated by other countries, about to be blotted from the records of the world? No, God has not so ordered. To preserve our country intact, is the sworn duty of the president, hence Abraham Lincoln calls upon the loyal states for aid, for this is an instance where force is to be arrayed against force. Preaching and praying though good and wise, are not the means to be used exclusively in replacing the iron band which should hug the revolting states to their places. How promptly the states responded to the president's call, history has informed you. If any country in any age has shown more of self sacrifice than was shown here, we know not when nor where itxwas. Really men seemed to count not their ease and lives that our united country might be perpetuated. Wearying marches, hunger and death, more or less, were to be expected, but who should be the victim could not beforehand be known. Pope's idea was a stimulating shield. He says:
"Heaven from all creatures holds the book of fate
All but the page prescribed their present state.
From'brutes what men, from men what spirits know,
Or who could suffer being here below?
The lamb thy riot dooms to bleed today,
Had he thy reason, would he skip and play?
Pleased to the last he crops the flowery food,
And licks the hand just raised to shed his blood.
O blindness to the future thus kindly given,
That each may fill the circle marked by Heaven."
Ignorance and hope imparted courage. Insult to the nation's flag, a flag hitherto respected in all nations and on all seas, added nearly madness to courage. How rapidly the army was made up to the required numbers and readily filled with new recruits, when vacancies occurred, I need not dwell to inform you. Of the character and valor of officers and men, of their general intelligence, skill, courage, and success in battles, achieving victory after victory, till the climax of victories came, in the surrender of Gen. Robert E. Lee, with his misguided rebel host, I have no occasion to speak. Their deeds have been set forth by orators and poets, in story and in song, and to their sparkling eulogies, we heartily respond, in a loud Amen. But you will indulge me with a moment, while I allude to several things interesting to me and others of the 1st Vermont Regiment. Much might be said very justly of its superior make up, including as it did many from the learned professions, students from colleges and seminaries, intelligent farmers and mechanics. But we will not be guilty of fulsome contrast.
John Walcot Phelps, was commissioned 1st colonel, by Governor Erastus Fairbanks, May 2,1861. Col. Phelps was a graduate of West Point, and had served in the war with Mexico. His military experience and high toned patriotism and morality rendered him a suitable person for the position. Peter T. Washburn of Woodstock was commissioned lieutenant colonel. This regiment left Rutland May 7th, passing through this town, as many of you will remember, arriving at Fortress Monroe on the 13th.
We were soon removed to " Newport News," a point on the shore of James river. As other regiments were coming to the same point, Col. Phelps was made commander of the "Post" and Lieut. Col. Washburn acted as colonel; of both of these officers I can speak in high terms. To their chaplain they were very courteous, Col. Phelps as commander on his feet was always at home. But on horse back seemed fearful. The horse sent to him was too full of mettle and spirit, so he would mount occasionally an old plug of a thing and curl his heels to its side like a boy, unused to riding, and in fear of falling off. The appearance was comical. He was humane and cared tenderly for his men. Once we were at breakfast, a messenger came for a physician; said Surgeon Sanborn, let him wait till "surgeon's call." Col. Phelps straightened back in his chair, and said, I have seen the time when I could not well wait, a surgeon is needed when he is needed. The rebuke was felt and heeded. Once after a sermon from his chaplain from the text, "Show thyself a man," in which effort was made to fortify men against the evils of the camp so far from the "keeping influences of home," Col. Phelps said " officers and soldiers, we have had good instruction, let us heed it. We are Vermonters. When we left our homes, we brought our character with us. Let us behave so, that if we return we can take our good name back with us. 'Fall into line.'"
These sentences, were like a nail, driven by a master's hand. Coming from an officer, they were doubly impressive.
On a certain afternoon, some of our men conceived it smart, and perhaps right to go out on a foraging excursion. By and by they returned with a horse and an old wagon, loaded with various household articles, such as old chairs, a pot and kettle, an old fashioned spinning wheel, a few dead, thin, small hogs and a half-dozen halfgrown goslings such as no one but a starving person would think of eating. Said Col. Phelps, what idea stimulated to this act? The pigs and geese you would not eat, the wheels we have no use for, we are here to teach our Virginia friends good manners and the value of order and law, but such deeds will strengthen them in acts of rebellion. No more of this, sergeant cause this load to be returned at once.
These instances illustrate the principles of Col. finally General Phelps. I have frequently met him since the war and found him the same earnest, warm friend. The last time in Brattleboro when rods away, discovering me on the street he hastened towards me and with extended hand: Chaplain I am glad to see you. Please dine with me to-day. I am at the "Brooks House." He was a good scholar in Latin, Greek and French. He was universally esteemed for his integrity and if he had enemies, it was because of quite determined opposition to secret societies and more especially to Freemasonry. He died last winter in Guilford, his native town I believe.
Col. P. T. Washburn was a graduate of Dartmouth College, and a lawyer of high standing. He possessed naturally a military turn, was a good and I fully believe conscientious commander; and what could not be said of all in his position, he was thoughtful of the rights and wishes of his chaplain. Like this: "Chaplain, what are your purposes about service this Sabbath?" "Well, Col., I have thought if pleasing to you, we would have our service in connection with dress parade." The Colonel replied "that will please me and others. Then the entire regiment will be present" The regiment in hollow square gave me a better audience than can be found in any town in Vermont.
In Oct., '61, Col. Washburn was elected adjutant and inspector-general of Vermont in place of General H. Baxter and was continued in office till 1866, when he declined further election. His work in this department was admirably done, showing himself, an accurate accountant, a skillful organizer and a sincere patriot; subsequently he was elected governor of the state and died in Woodstock during his term of office, which was completed by Lieut. Governor Hendee.
Mr. President I am overstepping the limit of time allotted me, and will therefore ask indulgence but for a moment. I allude to but one person more and he a private, and to him, because of the lesson of patriotism in the narrative. I allude to Benjamin Underwood of Bradford, and member of Company K, Bradford. He was the son of a widow and aged 23 years. He was tall, a fine figure and a color bearer. He hesitated about going to the war, but the company desired him to go. He felt since the oldest son he must remain and manage the farm. Said the good, godly mother, Benjamin, if Capt. Andrus and the company wish you to go, I think you had better go. It may be your duty, to help defend our common country, as well as others, I and the younger boys will manage the farm. This consent and advice settled the question.
He was exposed to measles as was supposed, on his way to Rutland, the place of "rendezvous," was sick and on his arrival at Fortress Monroe, went immediately into hospital, and died in a few days. He was buried away out among the pines where others before him were laid. The march to his burial place, with arms reversed, was solemn in the extreme. His mother's and brother's grief was taken up by all and his company was in tears. He was tenderly lowered into his grave, a short address and prayer by his chaplain, the firing of the military burial salute, and all was over. But the mother and son are now where strife and grief are not known.
Source: John M. Currier, Memorial Exercises held in Castleton, Vermont, in the year 1885, (Joel Munsell's Sons, Albany, 1885), pp. 39-44.
Rutland Daily Herald, Jan. 25, 1892:
Castleton - Rev. Levi H. Stone died in this village Sunday morning after an illness extending from last Monday, when he attended to his usual home duties. He was the second of a family of 10 children, and was born in Cabot December 10, 1806. Of the seven sons four were Congregational clergyman in Vermont. Of the 10 children four of them survive Mr. Stone. His father, Col. John Stone, a farmer, was unable to give his children the educational advantages that he desired, and Mr. Stone never had school advantages, his education being got entirely by home study and in the district schools. He was for several years in his younger days teacher of district schools and also singing schools. He early took up the temperance cause, and even before he was 21 years old spoke upon the subject. After he came here to live he was for some time agent of the Vermont State Temperance society. In 1831 he experienced religion in his native town and united with the church there. In 1836 he was ordained as its pastor, remaining as such nine years. He was afterward pastor of the Congregational church in Glover 10 years, in Waitsfield one year, Northfield eight years, his last pastorate being in Pawlet, where he was settled five years. He had lived in this village 21 years. In 1849 the honorary degree of A.M. was conferred upon him by Middlebury college. Mr. Stone went out as chaplain of the 1st Vermont regiment, and about a year ago was granted a pension. His seven sons and two daughters survive him. The funeral will be held at the Congregational church Wednesday afternoon at 2 o'clock. C.F. Stone of Laconia, N.H., arrived here at an early hour Sunday morning, about 10 minutes after his father died.
Contributed by Jen Snoots.