“Baxter and the Civil War”

When the Civil War started in 1861, and calls for recruits for the 1st Vermont Regiment were made, H. H. Baxter provided much of the funding for uniforms and supplies for the troops, and paid for bounties for new enlistees.

During the winter of 1862 – 1863, the 7th Vermont Regiment was formed, and mustered for over six weeks at the Rutland Fairgrounds. This extended stay during the heart of winter required much preparation and effort on the part of Rutlanders, and was executed mainly by H. H. Baxter, including the funding and construction of:

  • A new building for the cooking of meals
  • Conversion of two existing buildings to house 1,000 men (the complement of the Regiment)
    • Supplying those buildings with bunks, blankets and stoves
  • Conversion of another building into a dining haH. Baxter was also very active in administrative support during the war. He served as the Vermont delegate to the Peace Commission in Washington, D. C. (1861), and served as the Adjutant and Inspector General of Vermont from 1859 - 1861.

He was also instrumental in persuading President Lincoln to support the creation of home-state hospitals, to facilitate recovery of wounded soldiers.

H.H. Baxter, in addition to his contributions and efforts during the war, was one of the most prominent citizens of Vermont and the U. S. A. throughout the latter part of the 19th century.

His accomplishments include:

  • Gentleman farmer and breeder of thoroughbred horses and other livestock
  • Provider of a social hub in Rutland, and provider of employment to a large part of the Rutland population
  • Established the Baxter National Bank, from the Rutland County Bank, which he had acquired.
  • Established the Baxter Music Hall (top floor of the Baxter Bank Building)
  • Established the H H Baxter Hose Company, built the hose company building in 1882.
  • Owner of a silver mine, marble quarry, banks and railroad companies (president of the New York Central Railroad).
  • After his death, his wife Mary led a community effort to establish the Baxter Memorial Library, which was completed in 1889, and is today the home of the Rutland Jewish Center.

H.H. Baxter passed away in 1884, and is buried in Evergreen Cemetery.

(More on Baxter at the Fairgrounds stop)

 

Baxter Bank Building (early 1870s)                Baxter Bank Building (2017)