Tag Archives: Portland Daily Press

“Sprechen sie Deutsch” in Portland?

A Maine newspaperman failed to ask all the pertinent questions when handed a most mysterious human-interest story in late January 1865. Four Portland-area newspapers sent “attaches” to visit Camp Berry in Cape Elizabeth on Wednesday afternoon, January 25, 1865, according to the Portland Daily Press. The papers included the pro-Republican PDP and its arch rival, […]

The origin of the phrase “seeing the elephant”

Throughout the Civil War, soldiers on both sides often referred to their first experience in combat as “seeing the elephant.” A novice soldier would express his desire to “see the elephant,” effectively wishing himself to be baptized by hostile fire so he could become a veteran. Then he could write home, “I have seen the […]