All posts by Brian Swartz

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 visionsofmaine@tds.net.

Readfield father threatens to turn recruiter into dead hero

Sgt. Maj. Abner R. Small of Waterville enjoyed a snug recruiting gig at the State House in Augusta as Stonewall Jackson and his hard-marching infantry battered three Union armies in the Shenandoah Valley in May 1862. Confident of victory in the Valley and on the Peninsula, the War Department had halted recruiting efforts in April. […]

A moment in time with Mr. Lincoln

At least two participants in the Bangor Historical Society-hosted Drums on the Penobscot traveled a bit in time on Sunday, August 12, courtesy of Abraham Lincoln. Portrayed by Steve and Sharon Wood of Claremont, N.H., the president and his wife, Mary, visited the Union and Confederate camps that morning. The Lincolns strolled arm in arm […]

Organizers, re-enactors deem Drums on the Penobscot a “huge success”

It’s not every day that Maine artillerymen fire a salute to President Abraham Lincoln, but such was the order of the day as the Bangor Historical Society hosted Drums on the Penobscot: A Civil War Experience, held August 10-12 on the UMA-Bangor campus at Bangor International Airport. The second annual Civil War weekend organized by […]

Lincoln re-enactors appearing at Drums on the Penobscot have ties with Bangor

While Abraham and Mary Lincoln never visited Bangor, the couple portraying them have a Bangor connection dating to the early 1970s. Scheduled for August 10-12, Drums on the Penobscot: A Civil War Experience will take place at the UMA-Bangor campus at Bangor International Airport. Sponsored by the Bangor Historical Society, the weekend’s activities will include […]

Abe Lincoln will visit Bangor for the first time August 11-12

Although his first-time vice president, Hannibal Hamlin, was a familiar face around Bangor during the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln never visited the Queen City while in office. That’s about to change as the Bangor Historical Society brings Drums on the Penobscot: A Civil War Experience to the UMA-Bangor campus on Friday-Sunday, August 10-12, 2018. […]

An honor extended the 2nd Maine Infantry

Facing the Army of the Potomac’s inevitable shrinkage, Maj. Gen. Joseph Hooker issued General Order No. 50 on May 12, 1863 expressing “his appreciation of their efforts and devotion” to the soldiers “leaving this army by reason of the expiration of their term of service.” Stating that “the records of their deeds … will live […]

Tour the Gettysburg battlefield on a horse-drawn carriage

On your next trip to Gettysburg, consider traveling back in time by exploring the battlefield via a 19th-century conveyance: a horse-drawn carriage. Owned by Rachel Stephens and operated in conjunction with her husband, Doug, and other family members, the Victorian Carriage Company offers different battlefield tours, including carriage rides and walking tours in Gettysburg town […]

Shoot out at Marianna

His repeater carbine firing fast, Edward H. Cushman, sergeant, 2nd Maine Cavalry, limped away from a shoot out with multiple Confederates at Marianna, Fla. on Tuesday, September 27, 1864. While not an Old West duel-in-the-streets with six guns blazin’ and admiring ladies watching from the store-front windows, the results were the same: bodies and blood […]

British and Maine troops shipped from Eastport 43 years apart

Historical memory runs deep in Eastport, Maine’s easternmost city. Enduring a four-year British occupation connected to the War of 1812, a “throng of spectators” gave “six hearty cheers” when British troops departed Eastport on Sunday, June 30, 1818. Exactly 200 years later, a few hundred Eastport residents and visitors applauded as the British left Maine’s […]

Drums on the Penobscot returns to Bangor August 10-12

The Civil War will come to life as the Bangor Historical Society presents Drums on the Penobscot at the UMA-Bangor campus on Friday-Sunday, August 10-12, 2018. Held in July 2017, the inaugural Drums on the Penobscot drew several hundred visitors to tour a Civil War encampment, meet with re-enactors portraying Union and Confederate soldiers, watch […]