Black or white or both, he made a good Maine soldier, Part II

On June 16, 1862, a New Orleans businessman named B. Bronson discovered that his “light mulatto” slave, Calvin, had run away. With Union troops occupying the Big Easy, Bronson probably figured he would never see Calvin again. An enigmatic character, the “B Bronson” recorded in the June 28, 1860 census of “free inhabitants” of the […]

Black or white or both, he made a good Maine soldier, Part I

Franklin S. Nickerson knew a darn good soldier when he saw one, whether he was black or white or both. Four Maine infantry regiments — the 12th, 13th, 14th, and 15th — and the 1st Maine Battery went to New Orleans, Louisiana with Ben Butler in spring 1862. The Maine boys loved the fresh fruit […]

Charlottesville casts a long shadow

Charlottesville’s shadow swirled briefly around a Maine monument in mid-August. Our gorgeous state boasts some 150 Civil War-related monuments of different shapes and styles. I’m photographing as many as possible this fine summer, so on a perfect-weather August weekday, we headed north to Lincoln. This former mill town (it’s still hard to imagine the paper […]

Mother, wife, and Belfast intelligence agent, Part III

Ann Sarah Monroe had not traveled from Belfast, Maine to Tidewater Virginia solely to visit her husband in late winter 1863. Charged with gathering crucial intelligence, she also came as an agent representing the Ladies’ Volunteer Aid Society of Belfast Ann particularly wanted to see the Army of the Potomac hospitals for which the ladies […]

Mother, wife, and Belfast intelligence agent, Part II

Doffing their kepis to the almost middle-aged matron arriving at the 20th Maine Infantry Regiment’s camp in Virginia’s Stafford County around March 1, 1863, soldiers quietly speculated about her identity. Regimental surgeon Dr. Nahum Parker Monroe ended the conjecture as, observing proper mid-19th century’s etiquette, he dispassionately greeted his 42-year-old wife, Ann Sarah Monroe. Weary […]

Mother, wife, and Belfast intelligence agent, Part I

With even her involvement in the Underground Railroad only a notation in her obituary, a Belfast woman might have passed into historical obscurity — but Confederate troops fired on Fort Sumter, and like many other patriotic Belfast women, Ann Sarah Monroe rallied ’round the flag. Born in Belfast on December 21, 1821 to Alfred and […]

Re-enactors and visitors pleased with Civil War weekend in Bangor

Perfect summer weather and a good turnout of re-enactors and visitors made the July 28-30 Drums on the Penobscot: A Civil War Experience a success, according to an informal and widespread poll of both groups. Organized by the Bangor Historical Society, Drums on the Penobscot got under way on Friday, July 28 as historian Ryan […]

Bangor Historical Society plans busy Civil War weekend in Bangor

The Civil War returns to Bangor Friday-Sunday, July 28-30, as the Bangor Historical Society presents Drums on the Penobscot: A Civil War Experience at the UMA-Bangor campus. The event-filled weekend will feature an encampment, skirmishes, talks and presentations by well-known Civil War historians and authors, artillery demonstrations, living history, a prisoner exchange, the Fate of […]

July 3 ceremony rededicates 4th Maine monument in Rockland

ROCKLAND — Approximately 100 people gathered at Winslow-Holbook-Merritt American Legion Post No. 1 on Limerock Street on Monday, July 3 to rededicate the monument consecrated to the 4th Maine Infantry Regiment in 1932. With the sun shining that gorgeous evening, a steady southwesterly breeze stirred the flags and swept away the bugs. Directed by Marlene […]

Mount Hope Cemetery walking tour will launch Civil War weekend in Bangor

A Civil War walking tour of Mount Hope Cemetery in Bangor will kick off Drums on the Penobscot: A Civil War Experience, slated to be held Friday-Sunday, July 28-30 in Bangor. Led by historian Ryan Hews and titled Soldiers at Rest, the Civil War walking tour will begin at 6 p.m., Friday, July 28. Visitors […]