Gaines Mill: Part II — The 2nd Maine defends Boatswain’s Creek

  As the sun rose east of Richmond, Virginia on Friday, June 27, 1862, Charles W. Roberts knew that his 2nd Maine Infantry boys were “in” for it. The previous day, Colonel Roberts and the 2nd Maine had listened for hours as Confederate troops attacked Union soldiers entrenched along Beaver Dam Creek. A Pennsylvanian division […]

Gaines Mill: Part I — “The nearest run thing you ever saw”

  Looking from Maine in 2016 to Virginia in 1862, we cannot appreciate how, in the words of Arthur Wellesley, Duke of Wellington, in speaking about Waterloo, the Battle of Gaines Mill was “the nearest run thing you ever saw in your life, by God!” George Brinton McClellan had split his Army of the Potomac […]

Recalling BoweryGuard, Rosecramps, and other Civil War personalities

The Punmastah, Robert “Maynard” Kuprovich, shares with “Maine at War” readers this humorous introduction to famous Civil War personalities. Maynard issues this disclaimer: The following list is only intended as wordplay and not to dishonor any names of any heroic Americans. Any resemblance of these to actual persons is just a darned shame. You might […]

Charged up to fight: 4th Maine Battery “sees the elephant” at Cedar Mountain” — Part III

Yelling at his men, Capt. O’Neil W. Robinson Jr. hurtled his 4th Maine Battery across country as they approached a Union firing line about 8 miles southwest of Culpeper, Va. on Saturday, Aug. 9, 1862. Riding on caissons and limbers or running alongside the horse-drawn artillery, the Maine men sweated profusely as they approached the […]

Charged up to fight: 4th Maine Battery rolls toward Cedar Mountain — Part II

After catching a few winks at their camp north of Culpeper, Va. on Aug. 9, 1862, the gunners of the 4th Maine Battery got up and tended to their horses, cannons, and equipment. Led by Capt. O’Neil W. Robinson Jr. of Bethel, the Maine artillerymen expected to “see the elephant” (experience their first battle) on […]

Charged up to fight: 4th Maine Battery at Cedar Mountain — Part I

  Capt. O’Neil W. Robinson Jr. had yet to see a serious “elephant” as his 4th Maine Battery crossed hot and dusty Virginia in July 1862. Robinson, the Bethel attorney whose Democratic Party leanings had concerned Maine’s Republican Gov. Israel Washburn Jr. the previous autumn, had detrained with his battery in Washington, D.C. on Thursday, […]

Maine to New York: “Get your own artillerymen!”

  Reading the report he addressed to Gov. Israel Washburn Jr. on July 18, 1862, you can just “see” the steam venting from the ears of Maj. Robert F. Campbell. The 6-foot, 45-year-old Cherryfield lumberman was livid. Third in command of the 11th Maine Infantry Regiment, he was filling in for the ill Col. Harris […]

Father and son lie in separate unmarked graves in Maine and North Carolina

  Do the father-and-son Mainers who went off to save the Union both lie in unmarked graves? Tracey McIntire of Maryland is not sure where the father lies, but she has visited the burial site of the son — and it’s definitely not marked with his name, no thanks to the Veterans Administration. Henry Herrick […]

Sarah Sampson hurtled three stairwells and the Secretary of State to meet President Abraham Lincoln

  Neither the weariness of her all-night vigil caring for wounded soldiers nor social propriety kept a demure Bath nurse from making her self-appointed introduction to President Abraham Lincoln — — and nor could Secretary of State William Seward. When Oliver Otis Howard took the 3rd Maine Infantry Regiment to Washington, D.C. in early June […]

The “Coward of the County” redeems his honor

Perhaps his shame led William R. Bubar of Eaton Grant (merged with an adjacent township to form Lyndon in 1859) to assume a nom de guerre when he finally joined the war effort. At the request of my sweet wife, we attended the Kenny Rogers concert last December in Bangor. Rogers sang many of his […]