Howard Coffin is a seventh generation Vermonter with six ancestors who served in Vermont Civil War regiments. He has given more than 300 talks on the Civil War in Vermont alone, and leads tours of Civil War battlefields. A member of the Vermont Sesquicentennial Commission, he was appointed by the U.S. Senate to the Civil War Sites Advisory Commission and served on the boards of the Association for the Preservation of Civil War Sites and the Civil War Trust. Long involved in historic preservation, he delivered the keynote address dedicating the Vermont Monument on the Wilderness Battlefield. Coffin and Vermont U. S. Senator James Jeffords led efforts to add 500 acres where the Vermont Brigade fought to the Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park.  His books include Full Duty: Vermonters in the Civil WarNine Months to Gettysburg; The Battered Stars; and Guns Over the Champlain Valley and Something Abides: Discovering the Civil War in Today’s Vermont.  Coffin lives in Montpelier, Vermont.


The Vermont Brigade

Sunday, September 22, 3:00 p.m. American Precision Museum, 196 Main St, Windsor, VT (802)674-5781
Experience the 150th anniversary of the Civil War at Windsor’s American Precision Museum with Howard Coffin, Vermont’s foremost Civil War historian and author.  Howard Coffin will talk about the Vermont brigade, which was the only Union brigade made up of regiments from a single state that served throughout the war. And they were the best!  This is their story.

Union Victory at Gettysburg: Vermont at Picket’s Charge

Monday, October 14 2013, 7:00pm – 8:00pm – Civil War Sesquicentennial Lecture Series, Cornwall Public Library, 395 Hudson St‎., Cornwall, NY 12518
Pickett’s Charge was the culmination of the Battle of Gettysburg. Taking place on July 3, 1863, the third and final day of battle, it involved an infantry assault of approximately 15,000 Confederate soldiers against Union Major General George Meade’s troops’ position along Cemetery Ridge, manned by some 6,500 Federals. The assault would take the nine brigades of Confederate soldiers over three-quarters of a mile of open ground susceptible to cannon fire the entire time. The ill-fated assault resulted in over 6,000 Confederate casualties and marked the end of the battle of Gettysburg as well as Lee’s last invasion of the north.Part of the Civil War Sesquicentennial Lecture Series — Program supported by a grant from the New York Council for the Humanities and the Cornwall Public Library Foundation.est! Coffin will tell their story.  Sponsored by Vermont Senator Peter Galbraith, Townshend 

Vermont Academy of the Arts and Sciences Conference

October 26, 2013, 8:30 am – 3 pm.

Howard Coffin will be the featured speaker at a conference on  “Vermont in the Civil War: 1863″ to be held at the Saint Albans Historical Museum on .  The conference registration is at 8:30am and the start time is 9am.  The day-long event, organized by the Vermont Academy of the Arts and Sciences (VAAS), will bring together nationally-known scholars, Civil War buffs and local experts.

“It is an event for the whole family,” said VAAS President Connell Gallagher. “In addition to attending presentations about Vermont during the Civil War and St. Albans at that time, people will also have a chance to learn about the oldest standing RC church in Vermont and hear an organ recital at the Church of the Immaculate Conception. There will be guided historical tours of St. Albans and of the Museum,” he added.

Howard Coffin will focus on 1863, the year of the passage of the Emancipation Proclamation and of the Battle of Gettysburg. He will place Vermont’s participation in the war within this framework. This well-respected historian, whose ancestors served in Vermont Civil War regiments, is the author of numerous books including Full Duty: Vermonters in the Civil War (1993) and Something Abides: Discovering the Civil War in Today’s Vermont (2013). Coffin’s talk is co-sponsored by the Vermont Humanities Council.

The event is free and open to the public.  The conference runs until 3pm.  A box lunch can be ordered in advance for $5.00. Contact Connell Gallagher or (802) 899-3034

See more at:

Sunday June 30th, Howard Coffin spoke at the Gettysburg Visitor’s Center at the Gettysburg National Military Park Museum and Visitor Center in Gettysburg, PA about the Vermont Attack on Pickett’s Charge. The talk was followed by a Book Signing in the Visitor Center Lobby at 2:30 pm.  Watch C-SPAN coverage of the events on C-SPAN3.

Thursday, July 4th, Howard Coffin spoke at the Calvin Coolidge Museum & Education Center during the Calvin Coolidge birthday celebration.

Saturday, July 27th, Howard Coffin spoke at the Bookstock Literary Festival in Woodstock, VT.  Howard will discuss Something Abides: Vermont Civil War Stories and Places. The book lists more than 3,000 Civil War sites that survive throughout the state. With this book, the reader can recreate what Vermont was like 150 years ago.

Something Abides
Full Duty
Nine Months to Gettysburg
The Battered Stars
Guns Over The Champlain Valley

Books signed by Howard Coffin may be ordered by phone, email or using the contact form.  Coffin will ship them for an additional $5.00 per book.

Tell him how, and for whom, you would like them autographed.

Howard Coffin’s fourth book on Vermont Civil War history, Something Abides: Discovering the Civil War in Today’s Vermont, has just been published. Coffin researched surviving sites in all Vermont’s 251 towns and cities including homes of Civil War soldiers, hospitals, drill fields, cemeteries, halls where abolitionists spoke and war meetings were held, monuments, homes where women met to sew for the soldiers, factories that made war materials, war resistors’ homes, Underground Railroad sites, and more.  The book lists some 2,500 Civil War sites that survive throughout the state. James McPherson, Pulitzer Prize-winning Civil War historian, in his foreward to the book, says, “In his writing, Howard Coffin has taken us to Gettysburg and the Wilderness and Cedar Creek and Petersburg and other fields where Vermonters fought and died. And now he takes us to hundreds of places in Vermont where these soldiers came from and where their families and friends worked to support them and hoped, often in vain, that they would return home safely. Something Abides took six years and 150,000 miles of travel to compile. The result is commensurate with the effort.  It is a tour de force.”

Howard Coffin leads two tours with Green Mountain Tours this season.

July 24, 2013 – Carillon Cruise on Upper Lake Champlain

We’ll travel from St. Albans, Vermont down the Champlain Valley to Larrabee’s Point. We’ll then take the Carillon Cruise past Fort Ticonderoga and Crown Point to end up at Basin Harbor. We’ll have a rare view of the route taken by the Americans who fled Ticonderoga seeking independence in 1777 with the British in close pursuit. We’ll visit the Macdonough shipyard in Vergennes, Vermont, where ships were built for the American Revolution. We’ll enjoy commentary by Howard Coffin, and discuss his book ‘Guns Over the Champlain Valley’. The tour includes lunch at the Basin Harbor Club, admission to the Carillon Cruise, and transportation.

See this link for more information:  Carillon Cruise-2013

October 19, 2013 – The  St. Albans Raid Tour and Commentary

The Confederate Raid on St. Albans, Vermont on October 19, 1864 was the northern-most land action of the Civil War. During this one-day tour we’ll see the St. Albans Museum, and then walk about the town where a force of 22 rebels stole more than $200,000 from three banks. We’ll see the hotels where the raiders stayed before the assault and many other sites. Then we will drive north through the beautiful farm country of Franklin County following the route of the raiders on their escape to Canada. At Sheldon, we will stop at the covered bridge that the Confederates tried unsuccessfully to burn down. We will see the site of another bank the rebels tried, but failed to rob and the home of the Vermont soldier whose horse was stolen by them. We’ll follow the raiders across the Mississquoi River at Enosburg Falls.  We will also discover a connection between the raid and General Robert E. Lee.  In addition to to the commentary by Howard Coffin, the package includes admission to the St. Albans Museum, lunch and transportation.

See this link for more information:  The St. Albans Raid-2013

Howard Coffin’s private collection of Civil War related artifacts is on display at the American Precision Museum in Windsor through 2014. Titled “Full Duty”, the exhibit is shown in conjunction with “Arming the Union,” the museum’s depiction of the role played by Windsor gunmakers in supplying arms to the Northern armies during the Civil War. Howard Coffin is available to lead tours of his exhibit.

Items from the Coffin collection are also on display, in a rotating exhibit, at the Vermont State House’s Cedar Creek Room throughout the Civil War Sesquicentennial, which concludes in 2015.

Click here for more information: The Civil War Collection of Howard Coffin.

Howard Coffin has delivered more than 400 lectures on Civil War history, throughout Vermont and at Gettysburg, Fredericksburg, Charleston, and other historic locations. Coffin’s subjects include Vermont at Gettysburg, the Battle of Cedar Creek, Lincoln as Commander and Chief, Vermont Morgans in the Civil War, Vermont and Human Freedom.  He also lectures on military sites along the Champlain Corridor that include Ticonderoga, Saratoga, Plattsburgh, Bennington, Crown Point and others.  In addition, Howard is listed in the catalogue of The Vermont Humanities Council Speakers Bureau.

Howard Coffin history tours are fun and informative, with Coffin delivering a lively dialogue as he leads participants to the hallowed ground where the battles took places. Modern comfortable buses are equipped with video equipment to show history films while traveling between sites. Frequent stops are made to walk the historic landscape. Accommodations are in comfortable hotels serving fine food. Everyone becomes friends on a Coffin tour. Howard Coffin has led bus tours to historic sites for more than a decade. Destinations include Gettysburg, Antietam, Richmond, Petersburg, the Shenandoah Valley, Fredericksburg, Manassas, the Virginia Peninsula, the Champlain Valley, the Richelieu River forts, the Wilderness and Spotsylania. His five and six day tours include Grant’s 1864 Overland Campaign; the Peninsula Campaign; the Shenandoah Valley campaign of 1864; Richmond, Petersburg, and Lee’s Retreat to Appomattox; the Burgoyne Campaign, and others.  Green Mountain Tours sponsors his tours, or you may contact him here to arrange your own tours with Howard Coffin.

Howard Coffin’s signed limited edition prints depicting the Second Vermont Brigade’s attack on Pickett’s Charge at Gettysburg are available online. A professional artist designed the print and Coffin has written a text. These beautiful and colorful prints, with map, battlefield photo, and portraits of key military figures, are suitable for framing. Coffin signs each print, personalizing them if requested. $35.00 per print plus $5.00 shipping.  Contact him here to order prints.

Howard Coffin

Howard Coffin


Something Abides

Something Abides


Full Duty

Nine Months to Gettysburg

Nine Months to Gettysburg

The Battered Stars

The Battered Stars

Guns Over the Champlain Valley

Guns Over the Champlain Valley

Other Activities

Book Signings

School & College Appearances

Customized Tours

Vermont Speakers Bureau