Category Archives: the Civil War during its sesquicentennial

Cemetery of Flies — Part I

So big they all but clogged his horse’s nostrils, the swarming flies also targeted Col. Harris Plaisted as his nervous horse clopped across a sloppy Virginia field on Friday, June 19, 1862. Beside him a mounted 11th Maine Infantry Regiment officer — Plaisted commanded the battle- and disease-shredded unit — waved a hand at the […]

Racist white soldiers go after their black comrades in Cape Elizabeth — Part II

  By late 1863, black Maine men were joining the fight against the Confederacy. War Department policy prohibited blacks from serving in white regiments, so except for a few situations, the black Mainers enlisted in black regiments being raised in other states. Some recruits went to the 14th Rhode Island Heavy Artillery Regiment (Colored), forming […]

Did racist white soldiers go after their black comrades in Cape Elizabeth? — Part I

Did racist white Maine soldiers run amuck at Camp Berry in Portland in mid-winter 1864? Unsure as to the truth, a livid Gov. Samuel Cony wanted answers — immediately, if not sooner. By late 1863, black Maine men were joining the fight against the Confederacy. War Department policy prohibited blacks from serving in white regiments, […]

Bangor Historical Society lecture will feature General Hiram Berry

  General Hiram Berry will stride from the pages of history this month to participate in Maine in the Civil War, a fall/winter lecture series presented by the Bangor Historical Society. “Into the Breach: The Life and War of General Hiram Berry” will be the theme as Peter and Cyndi Dalton, Civil War authors and […]

VA Secretary Bob McDonald meets some Civil War veterans at Togus

Before speaking with the press as the 150th anniversary festivities got underway at the Togus VA Hospital in Chelsea on September 17, Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert McDonald visited with some Civil War veterans buried in the West Cemetery. The guy who has made some 50 jumps as an Army paratrooper met a few […]

Houlton residents honor a brave native son on July 4, 1862

About 1½ months after Confederate infantrymen almost did him in at Middleton in the Shenandoah Valley, Capt. Black Hawk Putnam found out what his friends and neighbors in Houlton thought about him. Turned out to be quite a bit, about a hundred dollars’ worth. Named after an American Indian chief, Black Hawk Putnam had raised […]

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 […]