Tag Archives: Piscataquis Observer

Rural recruits knew their “real” captain by sight

Maine’s adjutant general might believe otherwise, but the some four-score enthusiastic volunteers reporting for duty in rural Maine in mid-spring 1861 knew exactly who commanded them. Responding to the Fort Sumter news, young (and not so young) Piscataquis County men had enlisted in a local company by late April. The Maine Legislature had carved the […]

The war left Elihu Washburne’s youngest sister a widow

Left widowed with two children (the youngest only a year old) days prior to Gettysburg, Caroline Ann Holmes did what many similar widows did in Maine during the Civil War; she turned to her family for help. The fact that certain brothers would exert political, economic, and military influence across New England and the Midwest […]

The last letter home, part 2

The day before the 20th Maine Infantry broke camp to head into the Wilderness, Pvt. Alonzo Z. Parsons of Co. B wrote a letter to his father, William, knowing full well that his mother, Eliza, would read it, too. We pick up where Alonzo left off last week. A devout Christian, “I have tried to […]

Fort Sumter and 9/11

As the 20th anniversary of 9/11 approaches, many Americans who were then older than ages 7 or 8 can recall where they were upon learning that terrorists had flown hijacked airliners into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Besides killing 3,000 people, that attack launched a 20-year war that America lost on August 31, […]