Vermont Legislature Honors Historian Howard Coffin
July 2004 MONTPELIER, VT.
A Vermont State Senate resolution
honoring Civil War author and preservationist Howard Coffin was
presented at the State House on May 16. He was cited "for his decade
of literary and advocacy efforts to record and preserve Vermont's
Civil War history."
U.S. Senator James M. Jeffords and former Governor Thomas P. Salmon
were among those paying tribute to Coffin at a reception held in the
State House's Cedar Creek Room. It is named for the large Julian
Scott painting of the Battle of Cedar Creek that is the state's
official Civil War memorial.
Coffin, who had two great-grandfathers in the Civil War, is the
author of three Vermont Civil War books - Full Duty, Vermont in the
Civil War; Nine Months to Gettysburg; and The Battered Stars. Full
Duty was the first history of Vermont in the Civil War published
Coffin has long been active in battlefield preservation, and served
on the national Civil War Sites Advisory Commission and the board of
the Association for the Preservation of Civil War Sites.
"I know of no single individual who has brought forth a single
state's Civil War history and worked so effectively to preserve its
Civil War heritage," said Senator William Doyle, dean of the State
Jeffords said, "Howard Coffin's pressure on me to save the
battlefields has been unrelenting. I have been so pleased to help."
State Sen. Vincent Illuzzi, chair of the Senate Institutions
Committee, related how Coffin, time and again, had come before his
committee with requests for funding Civil War projects and with
resolutions which, after passage, were presented to Jeffords for
Governor Salmon recalled Coffin's years as a political reporter and
talked about his career transition to author and preservationist.
"Vermont Civil War history and the name Howard Coffin are
synonymous," he said.
In his remarks Coffin said that efforts to protect battlefields must
continue. He said that Jeffords, in recent years, has been the most
important person in Congress in the battlefield preservation effort.
More than 125 guests heard the reading of the resolution, which cited
Coffin for his books, the more than 200 talks he has given throughout
Vermont, in addition to radio and television and his work in saving
500 acres of the Wilderness Battlefield.
The citation mentioned Coffin's important role in bringing two Civil
War paintings to the State House, his efforts for the preservation of
Vermont's Civil War military records, and work with the National Park
Service to bring the Civil War history of
It concluded, "...the General Assembly expresses its deep sense of
gratitude to Howard Coffin for his decade of literary and advocacy
efforts to record and preserve Vermont's Civil War history."