Abe Lincoln will visit Bangor for the first time August 11-12

Civil War re-enactor Steve Wood will portray President Abraham Lincoln during Drums on the Penobscot: A Civil War Experience, slated to be held at the UMA-Bangor campus on August 10-12. Steve will appear in a special Saturday evening program, and he and his wife, Sharon, will portray President and Mrs. Lincoln at the encampment site on Sunday morning. (Courtesy Photo)

Although his first-time vice president, Hannibal Hamlin, was a familiar face around Bangor during the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln never visited the Queen City while in office.

That’s about to change as the Bangor Historical Society brings Drums on the Penobscot: A Civil War Experience to the UMA-Bangor campus on Friday-Sunday, August 10-12, 2018.

Building on the success of Drums’ inaugural appearance in 2017, this year’s event will feature Abe Lincoln’s first appearance in Bangor as re-enactor Steve Wood brings the 16th president to life on Saturday and Sunday. Hailing from Claremont in New Hampshire, Steve has portrayed Lincoln since 1995. His wife, Sharon, portrays Mary Todd Lincoln; the Woods belong to the Association of Lincoln Presenters, which recognized them as the Best Abraham and Mary Lincoln Team in 2003 and 2006.

Steve will appear in President on the Penobscot: An Evening with Abraham Lincoln, slated to take place at 6 p.m., Saturday, August 11 at the Bangor Waterfront. Tickets are $35 apiece for BHS members and $40 for the general public and can be purchased at the event or online at www.bangorhistoricalsociety.org.

Hors d’oeuvres will be served.

Steve and Sharon will portray Abe and Mary Lincoln while visiting the Drums on the Penobscot camps at UMA-Bangor from 10 a.m.-12 noon, Sunday, August 12.

Drums on the Penobscot will kick off at 6 p.m., Friday, August 10 with the 6 p.m. Soldiers At Rest Walking Tour of Mount Hope Cemetery. Participants will meet at the superintendent’s office off State Street. Tickets are available at http://www.bangorhistoricalsociety.org/purchase-soldiers-at-rest-walking-tour-tickets/.

Set up along Texas Avenue on the hill overlooking Maine Avenue (the “main” route through Bangor International Airport), the Confederate and Union camps will open at 9 a.m., Saturday and Sunday. Artillery demonstrations and skirmishes are set for both days.

On Saturday, Civil War author Peter Dalton will speak at Eastport Hall at 10:30 a.m., Saturday, about fund-raising efforts to place a Maine monument at the Third Winchester Battlefield in the Shenandoah Valley. Nicholas Picerno, chairman of the Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation, will present the program Tracing Your Civil War Ancestor at 11 a.m., Saturday, August 11.

The Bangor Band will perform Civil War music during a 1 p.m. concert next to Eastport Hall on Texas Avenue. A skirmish will take place nearby at 2 p.m., and afterwards a captured deserter will be tried by a military tribunal, which will decide his fate.

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

Portraying a member of the United States Christian Commission, Reverend Blaikie Hines will conduct at 9 a.m., Sunday a worship service similar to one experienced by soldiers during the war. Visitors can meet President and Mrs. Lincoln from 10 a.m.-12 noon, Sunday, and a skirmish will take place at 12:30 p.m.

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.

If you enjoy reading the adventures of Mainers caught up in the Civil War, be sure to like Maine at War on Facebook and get a copy of the new Maine at War Volume 1: Bladensburg to Sharpsburg, available online at Amazon and all major book retailers, including Books-A-Million and Barnes & Noble. —————————————————————————————————————–





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.