The second article in Vermont's constitution, originally written in 1777, abolished slavery, making it the first state to do so. Vermonters were early participants in the abolitionist movement.
"At the beginning of the war, no Northern State was less prepared for war than Vermont. Except in the feeble existence of four skeleton regiments, her militia was unorganized, the men subject to military service not being even enrolled. Some of the uniformed companies were without guns, others drilled with ancient flint-locks; and the State possessed but five hundred serviceable percussion muskets, and no tents nor camp equipage."