Tag Archives: Boston

Politicians’ anti-war resolutions angered returning Port Hudson veterans, part 2

As a Boston & Maine Railroad train carried the 21st Maine Infantry Regiment toward home on Friday, August 7, 1863, Col. Elijah D. Johnson and his surviving officers read the resolutions passed two days earlier during the Democratic State Convention held in Portland. History does not record who read the resolutions aloud on that rattling […]

Politicians’ anti-war resolutions angered returning Port Hudson veterans, part 1

Angered by resolutions passed during the Democratic State Convention held in Portland in early August 1863, “life long Democrat” Col. Elijah D. Johnson and his battle-hardened 21st Maine Infantry veterans organized an ad hoc meeting, discussed the situation, and “unanimously adopted” their own resolutions counterpointing the Democratic ones. The fact that the Maine lads held […]

Thomas Jackson was alive and well in Maine

Under his Bernard Bee-administered moniker “Stonewall,” Thomas J. (for “Jonathan”) Jackson of VMI and Lexington became a wartime celebrity. Revered in the South (which, like the North, lacked “winning” generals), Jackson ran amuck on the Valley, defeated just about every Union general he fought, and scared the bejeebers out of the Lincoln Administration whenever he […]

The 7th Maine Infantry’s “gallant remnant” goes home

Portland raised a ruckus for one battered Maine infantry regiment in October ’62. With disease, the Peninsula Campaign, and their heroic and shot-to-pieces Antietam charge behind them, the 7th Maine’s survivors numbered around 350 men, with perhaps 150 fit for service by early October. Bestowing a rare wartime honor, Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan ordered […]

I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day, part 1

The Civil War literally and figuratively scarred Henry Wadsworth Longfellow — and caused him to write a poem that became a Christmas song. The famous poet is a native Mainer, being born in Portland to Stephen and Zilpah (Wadsworth) Longfellow on February 27, 1807. The Maine Historical Society owns and operates the poet’s childhood home […]

The 5th Maine Infantry’s “galvanized Rebel” — Part II

After Confederate troops captured William Frederick Irwin of the 5th Maine Infantry Regiment at Spotsylvania Courthouse in mid-May 1864, he was soon shipped to a prison camp at Salisbury, N.C. “This was a nasty place,” according to Maine historian Curt Mildner. The prisoners suffered from malnutrition, lack of clothing and shelter, disease, and sadistic guards […]