Zenas H. Bliss, of Calais, Vermont, enlisted as a private on June 24, 1862 in the 9th Vermont Infantry Regiment, Co. I. He was promoted to 5th Sergeant at Chicago in January, 1863, to 4th Sergeant at Yorktown in June, 1863 and to 3rd Sergeant at Newport Barracks, North Carolina, in November, 1863. In August, 1864, he passed General Casey's board, and was commissioned Captain of Co. K, 28th U.S. Colored Troops. He was mustered at Poplar Grove Church, September 18, 1864, and served with that regiment until discharged in January, 1866 at Indianapolis, Indiana. He was present in action at Winchester, Harper's Ferry, Suffolk, Virginia, Newport Barracks, North Carolina, and the capture of Richmond. In June, 1865, he was ordered to the Texas frontier with the 25th Army Corps, and was on duty with Russel's brigade at Corpus Christi.
This collection contains correspondence between Zenas H. Bliss, Harry A. Morse, and John W. Martin, of Calais, Vermont, during the Civil War. Most of the letters are written by Bliss, who served with the 9th Vermont Infantry Regiment, and the 28th U.S. Colored Troops. He writes of camp life and the passage of regiments past his post at Fort Tyler. After the surrender of the 9th Vermont, he writes of his time in Chicago. His final three letters are written from Virginia and describe the movements of the 9th Regiment and the health of Calais men. As well, he writes to discourage Harry from enlisting until he is older.
There is one letter written by John W. Martin to Harry A. Morse, dated February 4, 1863, in which he describes the health of the Calais boys and relates an incident in which a member of his company was wounded in the hand by his rifle misfiring.
The collection also includes documents relating to Zenas H. Bliss' transfer out of the 9th Vermont Infantry Regiment and his commission as captain in the U.S. Colored Troops. There are also three commissions filed in MS Size D, as well as a color photocopy of a muster-in roll for Zenas H. Bliss as captain of Company K in the 28th U.S. Colored Troops.
- Transcriptions (pdf)