Colchester, Vt. -- A massive painting in a modest military museum just outside the gates of Camp Johnson in Colchester, Vt., captures a scene of Vermonters fighting during the Civil War.
“That’s the painting: The Battle of Cedar Creek. Sheridan’s ride,” said Andrew Laramee, a 74-year-old volunteer at the Vermont Veterans Militia Museum and Library.
The 17-foot by 28-foot painting, created by Charles Hardin Andrus of Richford, Vt., in 1890, has been housed at the museum for about a half-dozen years, said Laramee, who lives in South Burlington and spent 43 years in the military.
The painting depicts the Battle of Cedar Creek in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia in fall of 1864 and the role the Vermont Brigade of the Sixth Corps played in winning the battle for the Union Army. After learning Vermonters were in the ranks, Gen. Philip Sheridan is reported to have said: “All right! We’re all right! We’ll have our camps back by night.”
The importance of Vermont’s role in the Civil War and other wars is not lost on Michelle Kapusta, 39, of Underhill, Vt., who was touring the museum with her three children and some of their friends last week. “Their Dad is in the Army and my son is fascinated by this place,” she said. “It’s good for them to know the history - and why we fight for our freedoms.”
To read the article about Vermonter's Civil War legacy and historians who keep those memories alive, click here.