Category Archives: the Civil War during its sesquicentennial

A Brit rides with the 1st Maine Cavalry: Part I — fibbing to fit in

  The young recruit so assiduously trying to enlist in the 1st Maine Cavalry Regiment on January 4, 1864 looked suspiciously young, hardly needing to shave yet. The kid swore up and down — and officially on his enlistment papers — that he was of legal age to fight for the United States. Angus P. […]

Dear old Mom asked her son to spy on his brother-in-law

Reading the recurring requests penned in his mother’s familiar cursive writing, Edwin A. Lowe gulped. He clearly understood what Lucetta S. Parker sought: information about her third oldest son — and a particular son-in-law. Re-reading Lucetta’s questions marks, Lowe gulped again. This wasn’t going to be an easy letter to write home to dear old […]

Gaines Mill: Part IV — “It was more than flesh and blood could resist”

As the battered Union right flank started to crumble at Gaines Mill around 5 p.m., Friday, June 27, 1862, Brig. Gen. Henry W. Slocum had poured in all his reserves … … including the 2nd Brigade commanded by Col. Joseph J. Bartlett. A brave man who rode his horse amidst the flying Confederate lead, Bartlett […]

Gaines Mill: Part III — The 5th Maine marches into hell

  At 5:30 a.m. on Friday, June 27, 1862, Col. Nathaniel Jackson started the 5th Maine Infantry Regiment toward the fighting — at that moment only a large-scale shootout between opposing skirmishers — nears Gaines Mill east of Richmond. Jackson’s men marched with the 2nd Brigade led by Col. Joseph J. Bartlett. Fleshed out with […]

Gaines Mill: Part II — The 2nd Maine defends Boatswain’s Creek

  As the sun rose east of Richmond, Virginia on Friday, June 27, 1862, Charles W. Roberts knew that his 2nd Maine Infantry boys were “in” for it. The previous day, Colonel Roberts and the 2nd Maine had listened for hours as Confederate troops attacked Union soldiers entrenched along Beaver Dam Creek. A Pennsylvanian division […]

Gaines Mill: Part I — “The nearest run thing you ever saw”

  Looking from Maine in 2016 to Virginia in 1862, we cannot appreciate how, in the words of Arthur Wellesley, Duke of Wellington, in speaking about Waterloo, the Battle of Gaines Mill was “the nearest run thing you ever saw in your life, by God!” George Brinton McClellan had split his Army of the Potomac […]

Recalling BoweryGuard, Rosecramps, and other Civil War personalities

The Punmastah, Robert “Maynard” Kuprovich, shares with “Maine at War” readers this humorous introduction to famous Civil War personalities. Maynard issues this disclaimer: The following list is only intended as wordplay and not to dishonor any names of any heroic Americans. Any resemblance of these to actual persons is just a darned shame. You might […]

Charged up to fight: 4th Maine Battery “sees the elephant” at Cedar Mountain” — Part III

Yelling at his men, Capt. O’Neil W. Robinson Jr. hurtled his 4th Maine Battery across country as they approached a Union firing line about 8 miles southwest of Culpeper, Va. on Saturday, Aug. 9, 1862. Riding on caissons and limbers or running alongside the horse-drawn artillery, the Maine men sweated profusely as they approached the […]

Charged up to fight: 4th Maine Battery rolls toward Cedar Mountain — Part II

After catching a few winks at their camp north of Culpeper, Va. on Aug. 9, 1862, the gunners of the 4th Maine Battery got up and tended to their horses, cannons, and equipment. Led by Capt. O’Neil W. Robinson Jr. of Bethel, the Maine artillerymen expected to “see the elephant” (experience their first battle) on […]

Charged up to fight: 4th Maine Battery at Cedar Mountain — Part I

  Capt. O’Neil W. Robinson Jr. had yet to see a serious “elephant” as his 4th Maine Battery crossed hot and dusty Virginia in July 1862. Robinson, the Bethel attorney whose Democratic Party leanings had concerned Maine’s Republican Gov. Israel Washburn Jr. the previous autumn, had detrained with his battery in Washington, D.C. on Thursday, […]