A brother dead, a brother dying, and a Mainer’s promise kept at Cedar Creek: Part II

Did a letter written by a Bangor lieutenant at least partially heal the broken heart of a Georgia father? Launching a successful early morning surprise attack on the Union Army of the Shenandoah on Oct. 19, 1864, Confederate troops initially routed the Union divisions camped near the meandering Cedar Creek some 20 miles south of […]

A brother dead, a brother dying, and a Mainer’s promise kept at Cedar Creek: Part I

Approximately 18 months after two sons vanished during the Battle of Cedar Creek in the Shenandoah Valley, William H. Rogers of Quitman in Brooks County in Georgia received a letter from Maine. The letter was from a Yankee lieutenant, Lagrange Severance, not someone upon whom Rogers could look favorably. After reading the letter, Rogers may […]

Reports of My Death are Greatly Exaggerated: Joshua Chamberlain

Selden E. Connor had already earned his brigadier general’s stars when shot and seriously wounded at The Wilderness on May 6, 1864. Back home in Maine, the promotion seemed a proper reward for a man who soon gave his life for his country … according to inaccurate reports. Despite attempts by generals Gouvernor K. Warren […]

Reports of My Death are Greatly Exaggerated: Selden Connor

The news struck Kennebec Valley residents like a lightning bolt: Selden Connor, long associated with the vaunted 7th Maine Infantry Regiment, was dead, shot and mortally wounded on May 6, 1864, during the Battle of the Wilderness. “Gen. Seldon (sic) Connor, late of the 19th Maine … died last week in Washington,” reported the Daily […]

Civil War veteran Jewett Williams receives full military honors in his hometown — Part II

  The clop-clop-clop of horses’ hooves alerted Pvt. Jewett B. Williams of Hodgdon and Co. H, 20th Maine Infantry Regiment that his waiting was over on Saturday, Sept. 24, 2016. About 1½ centuries since leaving his hometown and 94 years since dying in Oregon, Jewett  was ready to come home for good — and the […]

His hometown of Hodgdon extends a hero’s funeral to Jewett Williams – Part 1

Jewett B. Williams, late of Co. H of the 20th Maine Infantry Regiment, received a hearty welcome as he came marching home to his native Hodgdon on Saturday, Sept. 24. Approximately 200 people greeted Jewett — he’s on a first-name basis in this southern Aroostook County town — as he rolled into Hodgdon Mills thunderously […]

Volunteers honor Jewett Williams during a September 17 memorial service at Togus

Gathered between a Confederate re-enactor’s tent and the brushy edge of a mown field at the Togus VA Hospital complex in Chelsea, some 30-35 people gathered to conduct a memorial service for Pvt. Jewett B. Williams on Saturday, Sept. 17. The service took place as part of the Maine Living History Association encampment held at […]

State official’s comment stirs commenter firestorm in Jewett Williams’ burial controversy

Quotes attributed to the director of Maine’s Bureau of Veterans Services in a Bangor Daily News article posted online at 6:16 a.m., Wednesday, September 14 have generated a commenter-fuelled firestorm. Written by Abigail Curtis and headlined “Dispute arises over Maine Civil War veteran’s final resting place” (http://bangordailynews.com/2016/09/14/news/state/dispute-arises-over-maine-civil-war-veterans-final-resting-place/) the article discussed the reasons why the cremains […]

After saving their country, heroes came to Togus from everywhere to live and to die

As the 150th anniversary festivities take place at the Togus VA Hospital in Chelsea this weekend (Sept. 16-18), modern patients and visitors can be forgiven for not knowing exactly why a veterans’ hospital was established at this remote (by mid-19th century standards) place in the first place. The reasons — there actually are 5,373 — […]

Would Jewett Williams like chicken McNuggets with his Happy Meal?

An inquisitive 4-year-old Mainer wonders if Jewett Williams, the Maine Civil War veteran whose peripatetic journey from Oregon to Maine has garnered attention internationally, would like chicken McNuggets from McDonald’s. If not, would Jewett at least want a Happy Meal? A few days before Jewett arrived at Kittery, Maine Patriot Guards ride captain Mike Edgecomb […]