At This Place in History, Vermont Historical Society executive director Steve Perkins takes us to the site of Camp Holbrook in St. Albans.
“The name comes from the Governor of Vermont at the time.” explained Perkins. “So, we’re talking September 1861. War is only a few months old here with the Civil War. And the Union is calling all states to contribute troops.”
Camp Holbrook was one of many muster sites around Vermont, mostly situated around train depots.
“One thing to know about Vermont is that we contributed more troops to the Union cause per capita than any other state.” Perkins said, “So, the impact of the Civil War on Vermont was immense. All of its young men, basically, were gone for like 5 years. And many of them didn’t come back.”
The Camp Holbrook site was home to the 5th Vermont infantry regiment.
“The 5th Vermont became part of the Vermont brigade and that brigade fought at Gettysburg, it fought at Cold Harbor, it fought at Cedar Creek.” said Perkins. “These are all big battles in the Civil War and this one regiment lost a tremendous amount of men. So, they sacrificed a lot for the Union cause. All from this area of northwestern Vermont. And that’s what this sign is remembering.”
Perkins says Camp Holbrook was used once more in 1864 after the St. Albans Raid as a base for the frontier cavalry.
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