New book titled Maine at War Volume 1 covers an exciting 18-month period

For Civil War buffs everywhere, we are pleased to announce the May 1st release of Maine at War Volume 1: Bladensburg to Sharpsburg.

Experience Maine’s involvement in the first 18 months of the Civil War as told by the men and women who left the Pine Tree State to defend and preserve the Union. Gleaned from diaries, letters, newspaper clippings, regimental histories, the Official Records, and the Soldiers’ Files at the Maine State Archives, the stories of ordinary Mainers come alive as the war splits the United States.

At 492 pages (including the bibliography and index), Maine at War Volume 1 takes the reader from the villages, towns, and cities of Maine to battlefields stretching from Maryland and Virginia to Georgia and the Gulf Coast. Among those traveling far from home for the first time are farm boys, mechanics, loggers, and clerks who encounter unforeseen adventures in the camps, at sea, and on the firing line.

Representing Maine’s best, ordinary citizens transition to warriors amidst the noise and terror of battle, and merchants and sea captains lead their amateur soldiers into the fight to save their country.

At home, women sew clothing and knit socks for “the boys,” ship care packages to the regimental camps, and write letters to let their men know they are not forgotten. Answering the call of duty, some women become nurses caring for sick and combat-mangled Union soldiers, sometimes right at the front.

Illustrated with 313 photos and images, Maine at War Volume 1 puts faces to the names and brings reality to the locations. The reader joins the soldiers on the march and in the battle.

Come and meet these Mainers, initially strangers when I tramped my first battlefield (Gettysburg) in 1989. Since then, on treks across Maine and as far afield as the Peninsula, South Mountain, Charleston, Fort Pulaski, Chancellorsville and Fredericksburg and The Wilderness, Annapolis, Harper’s Ferry, Bentonville, Antietam, Cedar Mountain, Fort Fisher, and Middletown in the Shenandoah, I have crossed paths (sometimes repeatedly) with many Maine at War characters.

Among them are Elijah Walker, nurses Sarah Sampson and Isabella Fogg, Oliver Otis Howard, Charles Tilden, John L. Hodsdon, Israel Washburn Jr., John Mead Gould, Jonathan Prince Cilley and the hell-bent-for-leather troopers of the 1st Maine Cavalry Regiment, and the Bradys (father and son) and the hard-fighting lads of the 11th Maine Infantry Regiment.

Please, let me introduce you to my friends from Maine.

Published as a soft cover by Maine Origins Publications (an imprint of Epic Saga Publishing of Brewer), Maine at War Volume 1: Bladensburg to Sharpsburg is available online at Amazon and all major book retailers, including Books-A-Million and Barnes & Noble.

The price is $30.00.

Brian Swartz can be reached at He enjoys hearing from Civil War buffs interested in Maine’s involvement in the war.

Brian Swartz

About Brian Swartz

Welcome to "Maine at War," the blog about the roles played by Maine and her sons and daughters in the Civil War. I am a Civil War buff and a newspaper editor recently retired from the Bangor Daily News. Maine sent hero upon hero — soldiers, nurses, sailors, chaplains, physicians — south to preserve their country in the 1860s. “Maine at War” introduces these heroes and heroines, who, for the most part, upheld the state's honor during that terrible conflict. We tour the battlefields where they fought, and we learn about the Civil War by focusing on Maine’s involvement with it. Be prepared: As I discover to this very day, the facts taught in American classrooms don’t always jibe with Civil War reality. I can be reached at