Tag Archives: Abner Small

A marching Maine regiment carried sight and sound into history

  To this day we cannot hear the actual sounds heard during the Civil War. Some particular sounds intrigue Civil War buffs; the apparently frightening “Rebel Yell” comes to mind, for example. Ironically, an “exclusive clip from the 1930s” in which aging Confederate veterans “step up to the mic and let out their version of […]

The 5th Maine Infantry’s “galvanized Rebel” — Part II

After Confederate troops captured William Frederick Irwin of the 5th Maine Infantry Regiment at Spotsylvania Courthouse in mid-May 1864, he was soon shipped to a prison camp at Salisbury, N.C. “This was a nasty place,” according to Maine historian Curt Mildner. The prisoners suffered from malnutrition, lack of clothing and shelter, disease, and sadistic guards […]

Blanket Brigade: the perfect gift for Thanksgiving

  Note: This is the conclusion of the three-part series about the “Blanket Brigade.” Rising from their rude shelters in Ridgeville, Md. on Sunday, Sept. 14, the 16th Maine Infantry boys listened to “the terrific cannonading” erupting from the Battle of South Mountain, fought miles to the west, Adjutant Abner Small recalled the distant thunder. […]

Blanket Brigade: hard luck on the Potomac

  Note: This is the second part of a three-part series about the “Blanket Brigade.” A hard-luck infantry regiment that Maine fielded in midsummer 1862 later drew scathing ridicule as the autumn rains and cold literally dissolved clothing, men, and equipment in those wretched weeks after Antietam. Commanded by Col. Asa W. Wildes of Skowhegan, […]

Meet the Heroes of Evergreen Cemetery: Part II

  Approximately 1,400 Civil War veterans — I call them “heroes,” if only because they fought to preserve our country — lie buried at Evergreen Cemetery on Stevens Avenue in Portland. On a recent sunny, warm summer’s day, Friends of Evergreen docent Lin Brown introduced me to about 50 of them. We toured the 239-acre […]

16th Maine met its Armageddon at Gettysburg

Charles Tilden led 275 men of the 16th Maine Infantry Regiment into Gettysburg around noon on Wednesday, July 1, 1863. Only 40 men answered the regimental rolls after sunset on that bloody day. The other 235 men had vanished after savagely battling thousands of Confederates that afternoon. Among the missing was Tilden, who hailed from […]