Alumnus Documents Vermont's Civil War History

Governor Douglas accepts book from President Schneider
On January 24, Norwich University President Richard Schneider presented Vermont Governor James Douglas with a signed copy of, "They Could Not Have Done Better," by Robert G. Poirier, Norwich Class of 1966.

About the Book

"They Could Not Have Done Better," by Robert G. Poirier '66, chronicles the Civil War heroics of The 3rd Vermont Infantry and their Commander, Congressional Medal of Honor winner Thomas O. Seaver, Norwich Class of 1859. Published by Civil War Enterprises (Newport, VT.), the extensively researched and handsomely bound volume contains numerous archival photographs, maps and an exhaustive bibliography.

George Benedict, Vermont's preeminent Civil War historian, referred to the character of the soldiers of the Vermont Brigade with these words, "They were so often put in where the hardest fighting was to be done, that they stayed when others fled, and that they did not know when they were beaten--if they ever were beaten."

The following excerpt is from a review of the book by Tom Ledoux, creator and webmaster of the Vermont in the Civil War web project:

The Third Vermont Infantry regiment was the second three-year unit recruited in Vermont and part of one of the more famous brigades of the Civil War, the First or "Old" Vermont Brigade. Of a total of more than 1800 men who served in its ranks, 362 died in combat, from disease or in Confederate prisons, 20% of its aggregate. More than 23% of its members were wounded (428) and 78 were taken prisoner. Six members of the Third Vermont were awarded the Medal of Honor, more than any other Vermonter regiment.

The 3rd Vermont fought in nearly every major battle in the eastern theater, from Lewinsville on September 11, 1861, to the breakout at Petersburg, on April 2, 1865. Most often their history is intricately combined with that of the brigade, but at Lee's Mill and Finksburg, they stood out. The history of this regiment and its parent brigade is long overdue.

Poirier's third book, "They Could Not Have Done Better" is a great addition to the annals of Vermont's proud military history. Purchase price is $25, which includes shipping and any relevant taxes.

You may order a copy by contacting: