Confederates trap the 7th Maine in an Antietam apple orchard, Part III

Ordered by Col. William Irwin to take the depleted 7th Maine Infantry Regiment and charge Confederate skirmishers hiding among haystacks at the Piper Farm near Sharpsburg, Maj. Thomas Hyde rode out with his 170-or-so heroes to make a suicide charge shortly after 5 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 17, 1862. The Maine lads marched south and “crossed […]

The 7th Maine were to find their Balaklava at Antietam, Part II

The 3rd Brigade commanded by Col. William Howard Irwin absorbed casualties from Confederate artillery and rifle fire at Antietam throughout the afternoon on Wednesday, Sept. 17. 1862. Including the 7th Maine Infantry Regiment commanded by Maj. Thomas Hyde, the brigade held ground east of the Dunker Church; from his vantage point amidst the boulders sheltering […]

They Are Our Glory — the 7th Maine at Antietam, Part I

Wind-stirred flags attracted Confederate attention at Antietam, as Thomas Worcester Hyde realized by mid-afternoon on Wednesday, Sept. 17, 1862. A Bowdoin College graduate and the only son of a Yankee trader from Bath, Hyde had commanded the 7th Maine Infantry Regiment during the Sept. 14 attack on Confederate-held Crampton’s Gap on South Mountain in Maryland. […]

Gettysburg Burning

Why was Gettysburg burning? Had Confederate Brig. Gen. John McCausland burned the town down as effectively as he did nearby Chambersburg in late July 1864? Not quite. Smoke still wisped amidst the now ashen undergrowth as I stepped onto the summit of Little Round Top on Wednesday, April 12. Brilliant redbud blossoms had brightened the “back […]

Maine sailor lived the pirate’s life in Tidewater Virginia

Legalized pillaging was so profitable in Virginia’s Tidewater in late 1862 that a young Maine sailor had it all figured out: “Yo, ho! Yo, ho! A pirate’s life for me!” Subscribers thumbing through the Portland Daily Press on Thursday, January 1, 1863 focused their attention on a page 2, column 2 header, “Letter from on […]

Civil War Zouave will speak in Bangor on April 20

Civil War re-enactor Robert “Maynard” Kufrovich will portray a Zouave of the 114th Pennsylvania Infantry Regiment when he talks about The Zouave Element at 6 p.m., Thursday, April 20 at the Isaac Farrar Mansion, 166 Union Street, Bangor. His talk is part of the Civil War Lecture Series presented by the Bangor Historical Society. Kufrovich […]

Going Home: “ragged and dust laden” they marched into Richmond

When Robert E. Lee affixed his signature to the Appomattox Court House surrender document on April 9, 1865, he effectively flipped the Civil War switch to “off.” The shooting suddenly stopped, except in specific regions of the Deep South and Trans-Mississippi where Confederate and Union troops would not learn about the surrender for days. Gunfire […]

Stockton Springs gunner fights J.E.B. Stuart’s best artillery at “Dam-freeze”

Amidst the thunder of the guns, a cool-thinking young artillery officer from Stockton Springs outfought the best horse artillery that J.E.B. Stuart could spare. December 1862 found Stuart’s experienced Confederate cavalry raising havoc with Union convoys traveling along the Telegraph Road in Tidewater Virginia’s Prince William County. Convoys crossed Occoquan Creek at Occoquan and rolled […]

Democratic draft opponents thrash pro-Republican Grant in Prospect

  Did the first violent resistance against the draft in Maine occur, in of all places, Prospect? Bordered by modern routes 1, 1A, and 174, Prospect lies at the eastern tip of Waldo County, spreading across the hills to the bluffs along the Penobscot River Narrows. The town’s population was 709 in the 2010 federal […]

You’ve got the wrong guy in that coffin!

Stephen King could have penned the Somerset County horror story unfolding in mid-January 1863. At Pittsfield on the Sebasticook River, Reverend Ephraim Johnson and his wife, Abigail, had bid their two oldest sons, 23-year-old Franklin and 20-year-old Henry, “farewell” in the past few months. Farmers toiling the soils near the flood-prone Sebasticook, Ephraim and the […]