Volunteers dedicate new 1st Maine Cavalry monument, part 2

Portraying members of the 1st Maine Cavalry Regiment, Steve Bunker (left) of Gray and Caleb Horton stand by the regimental monument dedicated at Middleburg, Va. on June 22, 2019. (Joe Joe Bordonaro photo)

Seeking a place to site a 1st Maine Cavalry Regiment monument in northern Virginia, Steve Bunker of Gray “wanted to do something at Aldie,”where the regiment charged Confederate troopers defending a stone wall on June 17, 1863.

He envisioned “at the very least a small stone at the stone wall … but the property owner wasn’t interested.”

Another 1st Maine Cavalry re-enactor suggested looking at Middleburg, the next town west on Route 50 where Maine troopers fought on June 19, 1863. “Middleburg was probably a bigger fight for the 1st Maine,” Bunker said.

The 1st Maine Cavalry Regiment monument dedicated at Aldie, Va. on June 22, 2019 bears the names of the 17 Maine troopers killed during the cavalry fights at Aldie and Middleburg. No Maine men were killed at Upperville. (Courtesy Steve Bunker)

Assisted by the American Battlefield Trust and other preservation organizations, local residents “managed to save the site” in Middleburg, he noted. Chris Wilson, a 1st Maine Cavalry re-enactor “who lives down there,” contacted Tracey Gillespie, a leading Middleburg battlefield proponent.

They were looking to take over the battlefield from the American Battlefield Trust,” and Gillespie “was very open to us doing something there,” Bunker said. “We suggested, ‘Why don’t we put a marker there?’

It turned out Tracey had lived in Lexington, Mass. for some time,” and her husband was involved in history, Bunker noted. “It was obvious we were all on the same page.”

Route 50 (John Mosby Highway) runs through Middleburg, a prosperous northern Virginia town where Confederate and Union cavalrymen fought on June 19, 1863. (Brian F. Swartz Photo)

The four volunteers who set in place the new 1st Maine Cavalry monument at Aldie, Va. were (clockwise from upper right) Chris Wilson, Mike Schiebe, Jimmy Ford Bey, and Steve Bunker. (Courtesy Steve Bunker)










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 visionsofmaine@tds.net.