Old Zack and the upgraded Civil War monument

Civil War memory lingers to this day in Sherman, the Maine town that sent the highest percentage of its men of any Northern municipality to help save the Union from 1861 to 1865. Between the Washburn Memorial Church and the veterans’ monument in Sherman Mills (the town’s built-up section) stands a small cannon mounted on […]

Small Maine town emptied out to help save the Union

To the aptly named Sherman, Maine goes “the undisputed honor of being the Banner Town in the United States” by summer 1865, according to late 19th-century historian May H. Spooner. And how had this small town located amidst the rolling hills in southwestern Aroostook County earned this distinction? By sending “113 soldiers” to help preserve […]

Canadians in blue portray a particular 20th Maine company

Larry Burden lives in historic and scenic St. Andrews, New Brunswick, located across Passamaquoddy Bay from Robbinston. He’s a retired Royal Canadian Mounted Police sergeant with a passionate interest in history and the Civil War — and he portrays an enlisted soldier in Co. I, 20th Maine Infantry Regiment. Company I’s members are all Canadians […]

Murder most friendly in the Bluegrass

Friendly fire killed a Mainer in central Kentucky in summer ’64 — and he wasn’t even a soldier. Born in Wells in York County on July 3, 1836, Judson Littlefield was one of nine children born to Ivory and Eunice (Hobbs) Littlefield. According to Ancestry.com, Ivory may have been born in Wells or in Chesterville […]

26th Maine: “The men were worthy of their officers”

When the War Department authorized Maine to raise several nine-month regiments in late summer 1862, the 26th Maine Infantry Regiment coalesced around 10 companies recruited in specific counties. Jasper N. Gray, a 27-year-old Ellsworth mechanic, recruited exclusively in Ellsworth in Hancock County, hence the nickname “Ellsworth company” given to what became Co. C, 26th Maine […]

Gardiner reporter went one 24th Maine comment too far

As Gardiner residents staged a proper “When Johnny Comes Marching Home” celebration for their city’s Port Hudson veterans, a local reporter nitpicked about a particular matter. He was fortunate that the weary soldiers did not hoist him on their bayonets. Mustered for nine-months service in mid-October 1862, the 24th Maine Infantry Regiment reached Augusta on […]

Gardiner on the Kennebec provided recruits for Co. I

Veterans who had endured Port Hudson’s hell patiently listened as two politicians — one a minister just as long-winded as any elected Maine official — welcomed the weary warriors home. Then they finally got to eat. And a local newspaper reporter criticized their perceived (and collective) lack of appetite. Commanded by Col. George Marston Atwood, […]

New biography explains why Strong Vincent was “The Lion of Round Top”

Erie, Pennsylvania historian Hans G. Myers brings to life an overlooked Gettysburg hero with his new book, The Lion of Round Top: The Life and Military Service of Brigadier General Strong Vincent in the American Civil War, but readers must look past another officer altogether to learn about the warrior who led the 3rd Brigade […]

The dentist turned chaplain turned newspaper correspondent

Another minister might have studied this particularly rambunctious flock and muttered, “Lord, God, what have you gotten me into?” But the Reverend John Kent Lincoln, a brand-spanking new minister and seminary graduate, looked upon the same slightly unruly “sheep” as needing a shepherd, particularly a shepherd who could also pull infected teeth. On August 4, […]

Free chowder and summer sun lured thousands to Fort Popham in 1862

Bad wartime news could not stop a shindig held in Phippsburg on Friday, August 29, 1862. Second Manassas raged in northern Virginia as people converged on “the mouth of the Kennebec river, on the spot anciently called the peninsula of Sabino” to observe “the 255th anniversary of the planting, by Sir George Popham and his […]