With Maine’s bicentennial only a few months away, join us in erecting the first monument erected in the Shenandoah Valley to the Maine soldiers who served there during the Civil War.
The Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation (of which I am a member) is raising funds to erect a Maine monument at the Third Winchester battlefield, located at Winchester, Va. Fought in September 1864, the battle involved several Maine units and saw Phil Sheridan’s Union troops defeat the Confederate army commanded by Jubal Early.
Sheridan and Early fought at nearby Cedar Creek that October, too, and that Union victory ended the Valley’s role as “the breadbasket of the Confederacy.”
Some 2,000 Mainers participated in the autumn 1864 campaign, and almost 500 of them were killed or wounded or went missing. Among the units involved Sheridan’s campaign were the 1st and 5th Maine artillery batteries, the 1st Maine Veteran Volunteer Infantry, and the 12th, 14th, and 29th Maine infantry regiments, all three of which were shipped to Virginia from Louisiana to reinforce the Army of the Potomac.
“Men from Maine fought and died gallantly on the battlefield of Third Winchester. A monument to those men on that field of valor is long overdue,” said Nicholas Picerno, chairman of the SVBF Board of Trustees.
No Maine monument has ever gone up in the Shenandoah, so the monument planned for Third Winchester will be the first. The subbase will be engraved with “Maine” on all four sides, and the tablet, standing 42 inches tall by 24 inches wide on each side, will identify the Maine units that fought in the Valley in ’64.
One side will bear the Maine state seal and the phrase, “Dedicated To The Gallant Men From The State of Maine Who Served In Major General Phillip Sheridan’s Army Of The Shenandoah At The Third Battle Of Winchester.”
The monument will be placed on terrain where Mainers fought during the battle.
The four-sided monument will cost $16,000, of which $7,500 has already been raised. “A Virginian has recognized their heroism and has pledged a matching grant of $4,000 to honor soldiers from Maine with a monument,” Picerno said.
So all donations will be matched $1 for $1 for the $4,000 grant, thus raising a total of $8,000 and making the Maine monument a reality.
“I urge folks from Maine to contribute to the Maine Monument Fund so that they, too, can illustrate their reverence for men and ancestors who gave the last full measure of devotion and consecrated the land upon which the monument will be placed,” Picerno said.
Please, help keep the memory of these 2,000 brave Mainers alive by supporting the Maine Monument Fund. You can contribute by mailing a check to: Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation, Attn: Maine Monument Fund, P.O. Box 897, 9386 S. Congress St., New Market, VA 22844
You can also contribute by texting MAINEMEN to 41444 and filling out the secure donation form.
For more information, please, contact Peter Dalton at email@example.com or 540-325-0787.
Thank you very much for your support.
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 can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. He enjoys hearing from Civil War buffs interested in Maine’s involvement in the war.