Tag Archives: 4th Maine Infantry

A missing Gettysburg veteran turns up in the most logical place

As Veterans Day approaches, the final resting place of a long-forgotten hero mentioned in an obscure journal has been “found” … … and, actually, he was there all along. Dr. Albion Cobb, assistant surgeon of the 4th Maine Infantry Regiment, helped care for the myriad wounded of Gettysburg during and after the battle. He saved […]

Finding the dead at Gettysburg

Twenty-four days after arriving at Gettysburg, Dr. Albion Cobb of the 4th Maine Infantry finally left his patients long enough to explore “the field of battle.” On Saturday, July 25, Cobb walked across the terrain defended by Union troop and gazed in astonishment at the soldiers still there. “I find the whole country planted with […]

Bullets whistled around Dr. Cobb in a Gettysburg hospital: Part II

No matter how poorly their assistant surgeon felt, the 4th Maine boys left their camp near Gum Spring and marched north “to the mouth of the Monocacy River” on June 25, 1863, the ill Dr. Albion Cobb noticed as he swayed to and fro in a lurching medical wagon. As rain muddied the roads all […]

Young Rockland soldier saves the flag at the Devil’s Den: Part II

Screaming the famous “Rebel yell,” thousands of Confederates rolled east toward Houck’s Ridge and the Devil’s Den at Gettysburg around 4 p.m., Thursday, July 2, 1863. They rolled back a skirmish line comprising the 2nd U.S. Sharpshooters and marksmen from the 4th Maine Infantry. The fighting surged toward Devil’s Den and the valley (soon to […]

Young Rockland soldier saves the flag at the Devil’s Den: Part I

If you’ve walked amidst the boulders at the Devil’s Den at Gettysburg, you have crossed paths with a Maine soldier who should have received the Medal of Honor for what he did there. Let me introduce Henry O. Ripley, an obscure hero who stepped onto the Gettysburg stage and emerged unscathed. Confederates should have killed […]

“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 […]

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 […]

Mutineers could drive an officer crazy

Deserters were not the only man-made plague that drove Maine officers crazy during the Civil War; independent-minded Maine soldiers might mutiny, too, if they so decided. Patriotic fervor swept the Midcoast in mid-April 1861. A business partner with Hiram Berry, Elijah Walker sold coal and lumber in Rockland, recently split from Thomaston and designated the […]

A Tale of Two Captains

  Edwin Batchelder ran away and lived — but he should have died. John Ayer stayed and died — but he should have lived. Thus occurred the tale of two captains at Fredericksburg. Hailing from Augusta, Batchelder (also spelled “Bachelder”) raised Co. B for the 3rd Maine Infantry Regiment and, as a captain, led it […]

If only Andrew Bean’s trunk could talk

  Sometimes we can almost reach across history and “touch” a Civil War veteran. At least with Andrew Derby Bean from Brooks, we can touch the trunk that he took to war in spring 1861, and if only that trunk could talk, If only the trunk owned by Andrew Derby Bean could talk, the war […]