Tag Archives: Rockland

20th Maine: A warrior goes to glory, a bastard to prison, part 3

As the 20th Maine fought at Little Round Top, Pvt. George Washington Buck stood in the Co. H firing line. Buck had been a sergeant until the regiment’s bastard quartermaster, 1st Lt. Alden Litchfield, had physically assaulted the sick Buck in camp and then reported him for insubordination. The 20th Maine’s colonel, Adelbert Ames, had […]

Maine sailor helps capture a blockade runner

The blockade runner that a Maine sailor helped capture off Cuba became an American warship. A Rockland merchant captain, E.C. Healy, joined the Navy as an acting master and wound up aboard the USS Somerset, a side-wheel ferry launched at a Brooklyn, New York yard in early 1862. Measuring 151 feet in length and 32 […]

The 4th Maine’s Johnnies Come Marching Home, part 2

When the steamer carrying the homeward-bound 4th Maine rounded Owls Head at 3 a.m., Saturday, June 25, Rockland church bells started pealing, the Halfway Point battery “opened a salute,” and a minute gun fired continuously at the steamboat wharf, Vose observed. Aboard the inbound steamer, “every man was anxious to once more set foot on […]

The 4th Maine’s Johnnies Come Marching Home, part 1

Not even a sumptuous meal could keep the 4th Maine Infantry’s hard-bitten veterans from deserting in late June 1864. Losing 184 men during “the battle of the Wilderness,” the 4th Maine continued taking casualties as the Army of the Potomac battered itself bloody throughout May and into June. Twenty-three soldiers went dead or wounded “near […]

Maine naval officer fights on the Mississippi

When the Lincoln Administration announced its intent to blockade Confederate ports, the U.S. Navy sorely lacked the ships and men to stopper every coastal wharf from Tidewater Virginia all the way around to Brownsville, Texas. Gearing up to meet the demand, the Navy bought ships galore. Recruiting qualified officers was not as easy, as Rockland […]

Thanks a Sock

A physician’s wife knew not whose toes her socks would cover in winter 1863, at least not until a letter arrived from a grateful 4th Maine Infantry officer. Mary J. Germain, married to Dr. Charles N. Germain of Rockland, knit some socks — “stockings” was the correct term — that winter. She probably knit the […]

Firefighters’ Last Call

During their “regular monthly meeting” held in Rockland on Monday, October 5, 1863, firefighters from Dirigo Engine Co. No. 3 honored three fallen comrades with a mid-19th century version of “Last Call.” Rockland was wicked young then, formerly East Thomaston and incorporated as a town only in 1848 and as a city only in 1854. […]

July 3 ceremony rededicates 4th Maine monument in Rockland

ROCKLAND — Approximately 100 people gathered at Winslow-Holbook-Merritt American Legion Post No. 1 on Limerock Street on Monday, July 3 to rededicate the monument consecrated to the 4th Maine Infantry Regiment in 1932. With the sun shining that gorgeous evening, a steady southwesterly breeze stirred the flags and swept away the bugs. Directed by Marlene […]

Young Rockland soldier saves the flag at the Devil’s Den: Part II

Screaming the famous “Rebel yell,” thousands of Confederates rolled east toward Houck’s Ridge and the Devil’s Den at Gettysburg around 4 p.m., Thursday, July 2, 1863. They rolled back a skirmish line comprising the 2nd U.S. Sharpshooters and marksmen from the 4th Maine Infantry. The fighting surged toward Devil’s Den and the valley (soon to […]

Mutineers could drive an officer crazy

Deserters were not the only man-made plague that drove Maine officers crazy during the Civil War; independent-minded Maine soldiers might mutiny, too, if they so decided. Patriotic fervor swept the Midcoast in mid-April 1861. A business partner with Hiram Berry, Elijah Walker sold coal and lumber in Rockland, recently split from Thomaston and designated the […]