Tag Archives: 20th Maine Infantry Regiment

The 20th Maine lads on Death Row

An incident overlooked by the history books inexplicably placed 14 lads from the 20th Maine Infantry on Death Row, and someone must be held accountable for doing so. Ellis Spear or Walter Morrill or Holman Melcher? No, they were not in charge when these men from Maine committed the transgression that led to their collective […]

A looting we will go!

Given the opportunity to join the looters pillaging shattered Fredericksburg in Virginia, the respectable Dr. Nahum P. Monroe grabbed what plunder he could. And he admitted that he had done so. Well after sunset on Monday, Dec. 15, 1862, Monroe (the chief surgeon of the 20th Maine Infantry Regiment) rousted at least 20-25 wounded Union […]

A quiet country doctor from Maine confronts the horrors of war

  Confederate artillery shells whistling overhead, nearby explosions shaking the damaged house in which a senior Union officer had placed a field hospital, Army surgeons amputated shattered limbs, sewed blood-spurting arteries, and, between patients, wiped blood-covered hands on blood-pocked aprons. Sometimes Dr. Nahum P. Monroe, the senior surgeon of the 20th Maine Infantry Regiment, stood, […]

Civil War veteran Jewett Williams receives full military honors in his hometown — Part II

  The clop-clop-clop of horses’ hooves alerted Pvt. Jewett B. Williams of Hodgdon and Co. H, 20th Maine Infantry Regiment that his waiting was over on Saturday, Sept. 24, 2016. About 1½ centuries since leaving his hometown and 94 years since dying in Oregon, Jewett  was ready to come home for good — and the […]

Volunteers honor Jewett Williams during a September 17 memorial service at Togus

Gathered between a Confederate re-enactor’s tent and the brushy edge of a mown field at the Togus VA Hospital complex in Chelsea, some 30-35 people gathered to conduct a memorial service for Pvt. Jewett B. Williams on Saturday, Sept. 17. The service took place as part of the Maine Living History Association encampment held at […]

Connecticut musician composes a song to honor returning veteran Pvt. Jewett Williams

Connecticut’s first official state troubadour has honored in song the wartime saga of Pvt. Jewett Williams and of his transcontinental and century-spanning journey from Oregon to Maine. Named the first official troubadour of the Nutmeg State in 1991, Callinan is a co-owner of the Norwich-based Crackerbarrel Entertainments in Norwich, Conn. Music is his passion. For […]

Civil War veteran from Hodgdon heads home for burial in Maine

Cue When Johnny Comes Marching Home as Jewett Williams, a combat veteran from the 20th Maine Infantry Regiment, winds his way across country to a final resting place in the Pine Tree State. Born in Hodgdon in 1843, Williams was 21 when he was drafted into the 20th Maine on Monday, Oct. 12, 1864. According […]

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 […]

The Wilderness, Part IV — Trapped

After capturing Confederate-held trenches at the western edge of Saunders Field in The Wilderness on May 5, 1864, 20th Maine Infantry soldiers kept pushing their enemies through the tangled undergrowth beyond those trenches. The Maine soldiers advanced across this particular terrain just west of the trenches still found at Saunders Field. Anchoring his regiment’s left […]

A witness to history

Among the overlooked historical jewels in our beautiful state is the Maine State Museum, located along with the Maine State Archives and Maine State Library across the parking lot from the State House in Augusta. The museum maintains permanent and temporary exhibits. Among the permanent (i.e., “been there forever”) are “Back to Nature” (I recall […]