Heroes sailed from Frenchboro to save the Union

Every nook and cranny in Maine sent men to fight during the Civil War. From a far-flung nook of Hancock County — the Town of Frenchboro — came perhaps a baker’s dozen of men determined to preserve the country. Located on Long Island (often called “Outer Long Island” in the past) on the southern edge […]

Civil War humor from a 21st-century Zouave

Robert “Maynard” Kufrovich, a Civil War buff and re-enactor (114th Pennsylvania Infantry) who lives in Waldo County, chooses a theme and whips up funny jokes about it. He often spends his 30-minute lunch break creating his funny and succinct puns, which he emails to friends. Recently, Maynard shared some jokes based on the Civil War. […]

“Boom!” goes the colonel’s career

  Did Elijah Walker blow a future promotion on a quiet night outside Yorktown, Va. in April 1862? Only if he shot off his mouth after a Confederate shot off a cannon that night. A 42-year-old Rockland coal-and-lumber merchant in spring 1861, Walker decided the join the 4th Infantry Regiment being raised by his business […]

Sliced and diced 11th Maine: Part III – reading between the lines

  Sometimes a historian discovers a poignant story written between the lines — and later stumbles elsewhere onto an obscure written reference to that untold tale. Such occurred as I researched the honor that Col. Harris Plaisted bestowed on the slain lions of his 11th Maine Infantry Regiment. Perhaps two days after staging a fighting […]

Sliced and diced 11th Maine fights in four pieces: Part II

For a precious few minutes around 12 noon on Saturday, May 31, 1862, all four pieces of the 11th Maine Infantry Regiment stood on the battlefield at Seven Pines, Va. Then the Confederate onslaught smashed into the Union picket line astride the Williamsburg Stage Road, and the collision sliced and diced the already quadrisected regiment. […]

Sliced and diced 11th Maine fights in four pieces: Part I

With thousands of boiling angry Confederate troops knocking on his door, Col. Harris Plaisted could find only one piece of his 11th Maine Infantry Regiment at Seven Pines, Va. on Saturday, May 31, 1862. That left the other three pieces of the 11th Maine pie to fight independently under the splendid line officers (and a […]

Merry Maine mutineers meet their match

  The 4th Maine Infantry boys who merrily mutinied near Washington, D.C. in September 1861 soon met their match. Drawn primarily from the Midcoast, the 4th Maine Infantry Regiment officially mustered into Federal service on June 15, 1861. On Saturday, Sept. 16, the boys of Co. H got to thinking that, since they had enlisted […]

Maine heroes believed that “merit was worth more than fame”

Some Maine soldiers did not know when to quit, and that attitude led them to spend some five years in a Union uniform during — and after — the Civil War. Of the 32 infantry regiments (not counting the 1st Veteran Volunteers formed in Virginia) that Maine sent to war, three were directly related in […]

Guard duty around “the watch fires of a hundred circling camps”

  For the 11th Maine Infantry lads spending winter 1861-62 at Washington, D.C., living at Camp Knox on Meridian Hill was exciting … … and the nights were noisy, thanks to the boisterous camp guards. “Camp Knox was beautifully situated on a slope of Meridian Hill,“ marveled Pvt. Robert Brady Jr., an Enfield youngster spending […]

Horsemen in the Shenandoah: Part IV — “Where [in heck] was the Maine Cavalry?”

  Shattered by the Confederate ambush known as the “Middletown Disaster,” surviving Maine and Vermont cavalrymen fled into the descending Shenandoah Valley darkness on Saturday, May 24, 1862. As his soldiers gathered prisoners on the body-plugged Valley Pike, Gen. Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson had greater prey in mind; rather than chase the fleeing cavalrymen, he headed […]