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Quilty Family Civil War letters

Identifier: C-120

Scope and Contents

The approximately 80 letters, many of which were written at the battlefront, are detailed in their descriptions of camp duties, food and disease, building bridges and corduroy roads, rifle pits, marching and fighting. In one letter, George Quilty mentions the creation of a "colored regiment." Many of the letters from home to the Quilty brothers describe conditions in Vermont. Some of the battles mentioned in the letters include Antietam, Bull Run, Burkleysville, Williamsburg in the Peninsular Campaign, Wells Harbor and Lee's Mills, Vicksburg, New Orleans and Baton Rouge.

Also included in this collection are pension and enlistment documents, and a land deed.

A number of letters are written to Eliza from Hammond [L. Brackenraid?], who was in the 2nd Vermont and was fighting in Virginia in 1862. There are also several letters to Eliza from William [McKeand?], who also served in the 2nd Vermont.


  • Creation: 1854-1896


Language of Materials


Conditions Governing Access

Open for research without restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

For permission to publish materials, contact: Special Collections & Archives Middlebury College Phone: (802) 443-2387 Email:

Biographical / Historical

The Quilty Family Civil War letters were primarily written by Benjamin Luke Quilty (Rutland, VT), Lt. John A. Quilty, and Goerge A. Quilty, to their sister Elizabeth (Eliza) Quilty of Brandon, VT. John Quilty served in the Vermont 2nd Battery Light Artillery from December 1861 until he resigned his commission in August 1862. George Quilty was a drummer with the 7th Vermont Regiment from February 1862 until October 1862, when he was discharged due to disability. He then joined the 9th Vermont Regiment in August 1864 and was mustered out in June 1865. Benjamin "Luke" Quilty fought with the 7th Vermont primarily along the Gulf coast.


1 Box


The letters are arranged chronologically by sender. Folder 1 contains miscellaneous Quilty Family correspondence (primarily letters received by members of the family. Folder 2 contains letters written by Benjamin "Luke" Quilty. Folder 3 contains letters by William [McKeand?]. Folder 4 contains letters by George A. Quilty. Folder 5 contains letters by John A. Quilty. Folder 6 contains letters by Eliza Quilty. Folder 7 contains letters by Hammond [L. Brackenraid?]. Folder 8 contains pensions, enlistment documents, and a land deed.

Many letters are undated. See accompanying folder of materials provided by John McHenry for more information on the Quilty family.

Folder 1: Letters to the Quilty family, 1854-1871; Folder 2: Luke Quilty letters, 1860-1863; Folder 3: William [McKeand?] letters, 1861-1862; Folder 4: George Quilty letters, 1861-1864; Folder 5: John Quilty letters, 1861-1865; Folder 6: Eliza Quilty letters, 1862; Folder 7: Hammond letters, 1862-1864; Folder 8: Pensions, enlistments, and deeds, 1860-1896; Folder 9: Supporting material from John McHenry

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The Quilty family letters were gifted to Middlebury College by John McHenry, great-grandson of Benjamin Luke Quilty (see supporting documents from McHenry in box).

Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the Middlebury College Special Collections & Archives Repository

Middlebury College
Davis Family Library
110 Storrs Avenue
Middlebury Vermont 05753 United States