Send an autographed copy of Maine at War to your favorite Civil War buff this Christmas

As a jack-in-the-box entertains two young drummer boys, Union soldiers crowd forward as Santa Claus dispenses presents in a Federal camp at Christmas 1862. (Library of Congress)

With the holidays looming just beyond the Halloween horizon, a personally autographed copy of Maine at War Volume 1: Bladensburg to Sharpsburg is the perfect present for the Civil War buff on your gift list.

Released this spring by Epic Saga Publishing, Maine at War Volume 1 tells the story of Maine’s involvement in the first 18 months of the Civil War, as experienced by Maine men and women who answered the call to defend and preserve the United States.

Featuring soldiers, civilians, nurses, and politicians from the far corners of the Pine Tree State, Maine at War Volume 1 draws on diaries, letters, regimental histories, newspaper articles, eyewitness accounts, and the Official Records to bring the Civil War to life in a story-telling manner that captures the time and period.

Join the Maine boys on the road to the front. Meet Oliver Otis Howard, the West Pointer who makes so admittedly a poor first impression on the 3rd Maine Infantry Regiment that Governor Israel Washburn Jr. all but begs the Kennebec Valley boys to accept their new commander. Washburn and his hard-working adjutant general John Hodsdon almost pull their hair out as the Lincoln Administration dithers and dallies over Maine’s expected wartime contribution.

Unafraid to express his opinion about incompetent generals, acerbic Rockland merchant Elijah Walker rises in rank from captain to colonel within 10 months and leads his 4th Maine Infantry through the Peninsula Campaign. After a cannonball flattens him in the Shenandoah Valley, Thomaston lawyer Jonathan Prince Cilley rises from the dead like a Phoenix from the ashes to resume his war against the Confederacy.

Middle-class housewife Sarah Sampson of Bath accompanies her husband to war with the 3rd Maine Infantry and becomes a nurse passionately dedicated to her patients. Isabella Fogg, a Calais seamstress, and Harriet Eaton, a Portland minister’s widow, also serve as volunteer nurses as the war drags onto the bloody fields of Antietam.

Meet the kids from Maine seeking adventure and glory far afield. Badgering his parents until they let him enlist, 18-year-old Ira Gardner of Patten heads for the Gulf Coast. While performing their serious military duties, the young Charles Clark and Abner Small occasionally let their youthful exuberance lead them into trouble and verbal admonitions by senior officers. All three youngsters experience combat at its worst.

From a bone-chilling Maine winter to the Louisiana heat and humidity, from the Georgia mud to the Virginia dust, Mainers transition quickly from civilians to soldiers and meet their Southern enemies on multiple battlefields as Maine at War Volume 1 unfolds across 492 pages (including the bibliography and indices).

Containing 313 photographs and illustrations, Maine at War Volume 1 also graphically brings the war to life and matches faces to the names.

To order a personally autographed copy of Maine at War Volume 1, send a check for $36.65 (including $1.65 for the Maine sales tax and $5.00 for shipping and handling) to Visions of Maine, 183 Main Road North, Hampden, ME 04444.

Please, clearly indicate to whom you would like the autograph to be dedicated and any special message you would like conveyed.

Merry Christmas from Maine at War!

Brian Swartz can be reached at He enjoys hearing from Civil War buffs interested in Maine’s involvement in the war.

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