Tag Archives: 1st Maine Cavalry Regiment

Maine soldiers had little time to enjoy historic Williamsport in Maryland

WILLIAMSPORT, Md. — Located just off traffic-plagued Interstate-81, this historic and lovely town on the Potomac River has multiple Civil War connections with Maine. Just for that reason alone, Williamsport would be worth the visit — and the sites encountered along the C&O Canal Towpath and the downtown shops only add to the experience. Many […]

A Brit rides with the 1st Maine Cavalry: Part III — hell on earth at Andersonville

For a dead man, Pvt. George F. Alexander certainly was a lively corpse. Alexander actually was George Alexander McCluskey, born in Westfield, New Brunswick in August 1846. The 5-4½ , blue-eyed British subject had lied about his age to enlist in the Co. K, 1st Maine Cavalry Regiment in January 1864. The regiment lost 68 […]

A Brit rides with the 1st Maine Cav: Part II — for Queen, Country, and Andersonville!

George Alexander McCluskey (dba with the United States Army as George F. Alexander) probably rode out with Co. K, 1st Maine Cavalry on Sunday, Feb. 28, 1864 to participate in the disastrous raid that Col. Ulric Dahlgren envisioned reaching Richmond, capturing senior Confederate politicians, and releasing Union prisoners of war. Among other cavalrymen, about 500 […]

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. […]

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 […]

Horsemen in the Valley: Part III — The “Middletown Disaster”

After losing precious daylight and time to an upstart cavalry officer from Maine, Confederate Gen. Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson swiftly turned the tables at Middletown, Va. on Saturday, May 24, 1862. Commanding a cavalry battalion comprising five companies from the 1st Maine Cavalry Regiment and two companies from the 1st Vermont Cavalry Regiment, Lt. Col. […]

Horsemen in the Shenandoah: Part II — Piscataquis County sheriff vs. Stonewall Jackson

  On May 9, 1862, the five 1st Maine Cavalry companies assigned to the “Railroad Brigade” of Col. Dixon Miles received orders from him to “March forthwith via Winchester to New Market” in the Shenandoah Valley and “wait for nobody, but be in haste.” The War Department had assigned Maj. Gen. Nathanial Banks and his […]

Horsemen in the Shenandoah: Part I — God sends Company B to finish Creation

  The first “secesh” women that a 1st Maine Cavalry trooper encountered in April 1862 deep in the Potomac Highlands were so “homely” that he was jubilant to “be a native of my prided State.” And no one back home in Maine should get the trooper going about the rugged terrain into which the War […]

Appomattox Road: “We wanted to be there when the rebels found the last ditch” — Pursuit

  As the sun rose daily in early April 1865, the Maine boys pursuing Robert E. Lee’s disintegrating army sensed that the jig was almost up — and the thought of final victory buoyed their morale. “The end seemed close at hand,” recalled 1st Lt. Robert Brady Jr. of the 11th Maine Infantry. Only a […]

Appomattox Road: Cavalry fight at Dinwiddie – Part II: “A first-class wild-cat show coming up”

  Jonathan Prince Cilley received short notice about the Confederate surprise attack that almost “rolled up” the 2nd Division, U.S. Cavalry Corps, about suppertime on Friday, March 31, 1865. Throughout the afternoon, his 1st Maine Cavalry Regiment had held the division’s far left flank while strung out along the east bank of Chamberlain’s Run, a […]