Did the 4th Maine lads build a beaver deceiver at Gettysburg?

As its monument and flank markers indicate, the 4th Maine Infantry Regiment fought in and around Devils Den in late afternoon on Thursday, July 2, 1863. The regiment’s left flank apparently straddled nearby Plum Run; surviving 4th Mainers placed the left-flank marker just across that stream in the 1880s. So the current situation beside that […]

Gunboats provide covering fire for 28th Maine funerals at Donaldsonville

Drawn primarily from the 28th Maine Infantry Regiment, some 180 Union soldiers fought off at least 800 attacking Confederates at Donaldsonville, Louisiana in the wee hours of Sunday, June 28, 1863. Donaldsonville stood where Bayou Lafourche flowed into the Mississippi River upstream from New Orleans. In 1862 Union troops and escaped slaves had erected the […]

Fifteen Mainers appear on Confederate-supplied death list

Did the 370 names printed in the Friday June 3, 1864 New York Times indicate that Confederates had committed atrocities against Union prisoners? The NYT editors certainly thought so. “HORRORS OF REBEL PRISON-HOUSES.; Names of Three Hundred and Seventy Union Soldiers who Died in Captivity During a Space of Five Weeks.” screamed the page 1 […]

Remembering the 1st Maine Cavalry at a Virginia winery

An 18-year-old Houlton farmer when he enlisted in Co. E, 1st Maine Cavalry Regiment, Charles C. Putnam charged to glory at Middleburg, Virginia on Friday, June 19, 1863. His memory lives on at a winery nearer Washington, D.C. Standing 5-8, Putnam had black eyes, black hair, and a dark complexion when he joined Co. E […]

1st Maine Cavalry raids with George Stoneman, part 2

Ordered by Maj. Gen. Joseph Hooker to conduct a devastating cavalry raid behind Confederate lines in central Virginia in mid-April 1863, Maj. Gen. George Stoneman and his troopers waited for the incessant rain to stop. It did not. “Saddled and packed before daylight” on Wednesday, April 16, 1st Maine Cavalry troopers “remained ready to move […]

1st Maine Cavalry raids with George Stoneman, part 1

Despite their 14 months in the Virginia war zone, 1st Maine Cavalry troopers had “never met the enemy’s cavalry in any force,” said 1st Lt. Charles W. Ford, a 27-year-old shipmaster from Bristol when he enlisted in autumn 1861 as a sergeant. Until his late January 1863 sacking, Ambrose Burnside had treated his cavalrymen as […]

Maine adjutant general mistakes recruits for dollar bills

Via his General Order No. 94 issued on August 4, 1862, Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton told Maine to recruit 9,609 soldiers to serve nine months in the U.S. Army. The pronouncement ignited a “cash talks, men walk” recruiting spree that angered Maine Adjutant John L. Hodsdon. Keeping his mouth shut while the warm […]

9th Maine Infantry plays musical chairs at Hilton Head

The field staff played musical chairs at the 9th Maine Infantry Regiment’s Hilton Head camp in South Carolina in March 1863. The game began when Lt. Col. Horatio Bisbee Jr. mustered out March 19. Then Col. Rishworth Rich recommended Maj. Sabine Emery for Bisbee’s slot and Capt. Zina H. Robinson for major. Emery, an Eastport […]

The battle has begun to preserve the Manassas Gap Railroad

A battle’s brewing in Virginia over preserving 450 acres of historic land directly tied to the Civil War’s first major battle in 1861, Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson, and Phil Sheridan. And Maine soldiers certainly crossed this land during the war, the earliest units being the 1st Maine Cavalry Regiment and the 10th Maine Infantry Regiment in […]

Recent photos suggest the Little Round Top restoration is winding down

Photos recently released by the National Park Service suggest that the too-long-by-far closure and restoration of Little Round Top may soon end. The NPS closed LRT and its approach roads in July 2022 for a restoration project scheduled to take 12 to 18 months to complete (as advertised then). The project’s complexity obviously made 12 […]