Drums on the Penobscot returns to Bangor August 10-12

The Civil War will come to life as the Bangor Historical Society presents Drums on the Penobscot at the UMA-Bangor campus on Friday-Sunday, August 10-12, 2018.

An American flag and a mountain howitzer mark the outer edge of the Union camp at the 2017 Drums on the Penobscot. The Bangor Historical Society will present this popular Civil War event at the UMA-Bangor campus on Friday-Sunday, August 10-12, 2018. (Brian F. Swartz Photo)

Held in July 2017, the inaugural Drums on the Penobscot drew several hundred visitors to tour a Civil War encampment, meet with re-enactors portraying Union and Confederate soldiers, watch artillery demonstrations and skirmishes, and listen to speakers knowledgeable about specific Civil War topics.

The anchor re-enactor units — Company B, 20th Maine Infantry Regiment and Company, 15th Alabama Infantry Regiment — are returning, and additional units will be represented. The military camps will be open to visitors on Saturday and Sunday.

New for 2018 are Union and Confederate surgeons who will set up medical displays and talk about wartime medicine.

The Bangor Band will perform Civil War-period music during a Saturday afternoon concert, and re-enactors will conduct a skirmish afterwards, to be followed by the arrest and trial of a deserter. You must attend Drums on the Penobscot to learn his fate!

Blaikie Hines, a Midcoast minister who portrays a member of the United States Christian Commission, will conduct on Sunday morning a worship service similar to one experienced by soldiers during the war.

Portraying President Abraham Lincoln, Steve Wood stands beside a Lincoln statue in Alton, Ill. Wood will appear as Lincoln on Aug. 11-12, during Drums on the Penobscot, a Civil War event hosted by the Bangor Historical Society. (Courtesy Photo)

Nicholas Picerno, chairman of the Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation andtyhe nation’s foremost expert on the 1st-10th-29th Maine infantry regiments, will present the program “Tracing Your Civil War Ancestor” at 11 a.m., Saturday, August 11.

Joining this year’s Drums on the Penobscot are President Abraham Lincoln and Mary Todd Lincoln, portrayed by Steve and Sharon Wood of New Hampshire. Steve will portray Lincoln during a special Saturday evening appearance, and the Woods will portray the Lincolns at the military camps on Sunday morning.

Drums on the Penobscot will kick off with the Soldiers at Rest Walking Tour of Mount Hope Cemetery on State Street in Bangor. Encompassing many Civil War personages buried at Mount Hope, this popular tour will start at at the superintendent’s office at 6 p.m., Friday, August 10.

Admission will be free to Drums on the Penobscot, and donations are always welcome.

For additional information, log onto Drums on the Penobscot or call the Bangor Historical Society at 207-942-1900.

Disclaimer: Brian Swartz chairs the Bangor Historical Society committee planning the 2018 Drums on the Penobscot.

Brian Swartz

About Brian Swartz

Welcome to "Maine at War," the blog about the roles played by Maine and her sons and daughters in the Civil War. I am a Civil War buff and a newspaper editor recently retired from the Bangor Daily News. Maine sent hero upon hero — soldiers, nurses, sailors, chaplains, physicians — south to preserve their country in the 1860s. “Maine at War” introduces these heroes and heroines, who, for the most part, upheld the state's honor during that terrible conflict. We tour the battlefields where they fought, and we learn about the Civil War by focusing on Maine’s involvement with it. Be prepared: As I discover to this very day, the facts taught in American classrooms don’t always jibe with Civil War reality. I can be reached at visionsofmaine@tds.net.