Maine’s Unknown Soldier rests at Gettysburg

Ironically made from granite quarried at Hallowell in Kennebec County, the New York State Monument rises more than 94 feet above the Gettysburg National Cemetery, not far from its Baltimore Pike entrance. Erected to honor New York’s approximately 6,700 battle of Gettysburg casualties, the monument also incidentally serves as a landmark for anyone seeking the […]

New novel explores the 9th Massachusetts Battery, a Mainer, and guts and glory at Gettysburg

The heroes involved in the July 2, 1863 sacrifice made at Gettysburg by a Massachusetts artillery battery — and the Mainer who ordered the sacrifice — exquisitely come to life in Hold At All Hazards, the latest Civil War novel by former Navy officer and retired business executive David H. Jones. He blends eyewitness historical […]

Sumter’s 9/11 aftermath: Penobscot Bay reacts to war

As happened after the 9/11 attacks in 2001, the Fort Sumter assault briefly united loyal Americans against an outrage committed against their country and upon their fellow Americans. Events taking place in Stockton and Belfast in coastal Waldo County that last full week in April 1861 exemplified Mainers’ response to the nation’s first 9/11-style disaster. […]

Sumter’s 9/11 aftermath: An editor visits the hometown recruits

On Sunday and Monday, April 28-29, Bridgton Reporter editor Enoch Knight visited “the various companies of the [1st Maine Infantry] Regiment now about leaving for the seat of war. “Our readers will remember that almost every town in this vicinity [western Cumberland County and adjacent Androscoggin and Oxford counties] has its sons there,” Knight wrote. […]

Sumter’s 9/11 aftermath: Old Hancock County speaks

The Fort Sumter attack sparked patriotic fervor never before seen in eastern Maine. Ellsworth-area residents rallied “for the Union” at 7 p.m., Tuesday, April 23. Gathering “in the Square, near the Post Office,” a “large assemblage” watched as rally organizers selected Arno Wiswell as the event’s chairman (a typical mid-19th-century practice). Likely standing so he […]

Sumter’s 9/11 aftermath: The 12-pounder editorial broadside

“Civil War!!” The double exclamation points hurled an editorial broadside into Down East Maine on Friday, April 19, 1861 as a pro-Union newspaper tore into “the traitorous crew in the cotton States” — and excoriated another regional weekly that lined up solidly with Jefferson Davis. Nathaniel Knight Sawyer (a.k.a. “N.K. Sawyer”) published and edited the […]

Bangor Public Library schedules “Passing Through the Fire” lecture

I invite you to join me in the Minsky Lecture Hall, Bangor Public Library, from 6-7 p.m. on Thursday, October 14 for a program about my new book and Maine’s best-known Civil War soldier, Passing Through the Fire: Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain in the Civil War. This free program will feature a PowerPoint presentation about Chamberlain’s […]

Sumter’s 9/11 aftermath: “We fondly imaged ourselves soldiers”

When Confederates fired on Fort Sumter, “we were all young. The most of us had seen nothing of the world,” said 20-year-old Charles Amory Clark, whom no one in April 1861 would mistake for a warrior. Born in Sangerville on Jan. 26, 1841 and raised in that rural Piscataquis County town, Clark stood 5-7½ and […]

Sumter’s 911 aftermath: “Speak well of the land we love”

The Fort Sumter news stunned and confused many Americans, who in turn scanned the newspapers to learn the battle’s facts and how the Lincoln Administration would respond to Southern effrontery. But each individual assuredly thought, “How will this affect me?” At Bridgton bordering Long Lake in western Cumberland County, Bridgton Reporter editor Enoch Knight eschewed […]

Sumter’s 9/11 aftermath: A shell explodes in central Maine

Few Confederates shelling Fort Sumter into submission probably thought about the war that their idiocy had started. As with Pearl Harbor and 9/11, there quickly came a military response to an attack on Americans and American property. “When the rebels fired on Fort Sumter, their shells traveled remarkable distances; one flew north and exploded under […]