Life in the Florida swamps

For the 11th Maine Infantry boys accustomed to relatively tame reptiles and bugs back home in the Pine Tree State, duty in the northeastern Florida swamps proved eye-opening. Boarding the steamer “Boston” at Beaufort, S.C. on Thursday, June 4, 1863, … Continue reading

Bangor tinsmith left his family to fight with the 2nd Maine

The Civil War life and times of a New Brunswick- or Ireland-born tinsmith have been recalled in a book released late last year by a descendant. Researched and written by great-great-grandson David A. Cyr, “Henry Granville: A Civil War Soldier … Continue reading

The Crater sent a monster home to Turner: Part 3

  Moments after a Confederate bullet struck him in the face, 2nd Lt. James J. Chase tumbled downslope to sprawl among his 32nd Maine Infantry Regiment comrades. Vaguely seeing Capt. Joseph Hammond beside him, Chase said, “Captain, I must die.” … Continue reading

Young officer paid terrible price when 32nd Maine charged The Crater: Part 2

  When the Union mine dug beneath a Confederate fort atop Cemetery Hill at Petersburg failed to explode on schedule on July 30, 1864, 17-year-old 2nd Lt. James J. Chase of Turner fell asleep. “I was soon wrapped in slumber, … Continue reading

17-year-old lieutenant waited for a Union mine to explode: Part 1

  The massive explosion that shook James J. Chase awake at Petersburg followed him home to Maine. Hailing from Turner, the 16-year-old Chase joined the war effort in August 1863. Showing talent and leadership capabilities, he received a commission and … Continue reading

Spring gales almost sank the 2nd Maine Cav

Two terrifying ocean storms almost turned a Confederate dream into reality in early spring 1864: wiping out some 300 Maine cavalrymen before they ever fired a shot. In mid-March, troopers from three 2nd Maine Cavalry Regiment companies — A, B, … Continue reading

Maine’s ‘Heavies” charged to the gates of hell: Part II

For a brief moment in mid-June 1864, Union troops could have swept through the wide-open doors of Petersburg to capture that Virginia city and its key railroads. Confederate troops would have fled Richmond, and the Army of the Potomac might … Continue reading

Maine’s Band Box Soldiers’ endured veterans’ scorn: Part I

  There stands at Petersburg National Battlefield a name-laden monument to a shattered regiment, the 1st Maine Heavy Artillery. Located slightly off the beaten National Park Service path, the monument honors the “604 brave members who fell charging here” on … Continue reading

Confederate torpedoes could not sink John Crosby for long

To paraphrase Psalm 107, Orland sailor John K. Crosby literally “went down [in]to the sea in ships” twice, but Confederate subs and torpedoes could not keep this “old salt” sunk for long. Born in Cutler on May 9, 1831, Crosby … Continue reading