Tag Archives: 6th Maine Infantry

Spotsylvania Part VII: The dying groaned beneath the dead

As some 20,000 Union troops charged out of the fog and burst into the Mule Shoe salient at Spotsylvania Court House, Va. on May 12, 1864, Confederate resistance collapsed beneath the onslaught. Union soldiers swept up 3,000 prisoners, including the cane-wielding Maj. Gen. Edward Johnson and Brig. Gen. George Steuart, who led a mixed North […]

Spotsylvania Part V: Sloppy staff work dooms a successful charge

At the time when they should be eating supper on Tuesday, May 10, 1864, some 5,000 to 5,500 Union soldiers crouched in the piney woods opposite the Confederate-held Mule Shoe at Spotsylvania, Va. The nervous boys in blue belonged to 12 Sixth Corps regiments that Col. Emory Upton would momentarily lead in a charge to […]

Spotsylvania Part IV: Maine regiments joined a Union battering ram

Did a Confederate sharpshooter seal the fates of some 200 Maine soldiers — and another 800 other Union boys — during the Battle of Spotsylvania Court House? Possibly. Dawn on Monday, May 9, 1864 found Col. Clark S. Edwards and his 5th Maine Infantry Regiment camped behind the rapidly lengthening Union earthworks northwest of Spotsylvania, […]

Preserve the battlefields where the Maine boys fought

  Of the many places where Maine soldiers and sailors fought 150 years ago, some sites no longer exist. The 9th Maine Infantry “went in” with the 54th Massachusetts Infantry on the failed nighttime assault on Fort Wagner near Charleston in July 1863. By war’s end, the sea was already claiming Fort Wagner and the […]

Washington County will bleed at Rappahannock Station

Ordered to charge Confederate defenses at Rappahannock Station, Va. after dark on Saturday, Nov. 7, 1863, the men of the 6th Maine Infantry Regiment believe they are going in alone. “Probably so small a number of men never before made such an uproar,” Adjutant Charles Clark will comment long afterwards. But behind him (and probably […]

Washington County will bleed at Rappahannock Station

Washington County will bleed this Saturday, Nov. 7, 1863. Partially concealed in a thick forest just north of the Rappahannock River, the men of Co. D, 6th Maine Infantry Regiment, check their gear as Capt. Reuel Furlong awaits the signal to form his company into line and advance toward the enemy. Wherever Furlong stands, his […]

Missing

When disease, a wound, or death felled a Maine soldier, his relatives understood the risks inherent with wartime service. They knew his immediate fate. But when a Maine boy went missing, the folks at home could only imagine the worst — and so they did in countless letters addressed to Maine Adjutant General John Hodsdon. […]

The 6th Maine’s screaming demons led the way

Frantically loading and firing their rifled muskets, the Mississippi infantrymen defending the stone wall at Fredericksburg about 11:05 a.m. on May 3, 1863, suddenly realized that all the .58-caliber lead bullets in the world would not stop the screaming, wild-eyed berserkers swarming toward them. No matter how many comrades pitched onto the slope below Marye’s […]