Tag Archives: Augusta

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 […]

Civil War weekend in Augusta to highlight Appomattox surrender

The Confederate surrender at Appomattox Court House will be among the highlighted events as the Maine Living History Association stages “Appomattox and the Grand Review March” in August on Saturday-Sunday, June 27-28. Activities will take place at the 224-acre Viles Arboretum at 153 Hospital St. (Route 9) in Augusta. Hours for “Appomattox and the Grand […]

Mayhem and murder in Georgia

Joining the 8th Maine Infantry Regiment took Enoch Robbins of Swanville to some popular tourist haunts along the Southeast coast. And a brutal murder in Georgia opened a door to a long-sought promotion. From Cyndi Dalton of Northport comes a tale of interracial love (and possibly sex), a jealous lover, murder, courtroom intrigue, and a […]

Blanket Brigade: Forming the regiment

  In early April 1862, United States Adjutant General Lorenzo Thomas ordered that recruiting cease in the loyal states. On April 3, Maine Adjutant General John Hodsdon issued General Order No. 11, directing that “all officers and others engaged” in “Volunteer recruiting service in this state” should “close their several offices and [points of] rendezvous.” […]

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 […]

Chamberlain recognized a Carmel soldier for his service

Charles Preble spent three years fighting for the Union, and all he got for his efforts was a lousy wound and a fancy testimonial from Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain. The enigmatic Charles Melvin Preble was 21 when he lifted his right hand to “solemnly swear, that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the United […]

State museum features “Maine Voices From the Civil War” exhibit

AUGUSTA — Daniel Marston and his 13-year-old son, Daniel W., marched off to war together with the 9th Maine Infantry Regiment on Sept. 22, 1861. Military duties separated father and son within a year, and Captain Daniel spent worrisome months and spread much ink across letters while trying to transfer Dannie from South Carolina to […]

Eyewitness to slaughter

  What was Robert E. Lee thinking? Among the battlefields preserved by Richmond National Battlefield Park, Malvern Hill is my favorite site. Standing amidst the cannons aligned east of the Crew House, I can see the open fields across which Lee hurled his infantry on July 1, 1862. These cannons, sited to approximate the Federal […]

A witness to history

When the surviving members of the Edward S. Rogers Post, No. 114, Grand Army of the Republic, turned out for the 1908 Memorial Day parade in Patten, a flagbearer carried this large American flag emblazoned with the post's name. (Photo courtesy of Gary Edwards)

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 […]

Maine cavalrymen “saw the elephant” on April 15, 1862

Dismounted troopers of the 1st Maine Cavalry Regiment skirmish with Confederate cavalry in central Virginia on June 19, 1863. An Union artillery battery is located atop the distant hill. (Library of Congress)

    Masked batteries drove Capt. Robert F. Dyer and his patrol bonkers on Tuesday, April 15, 1862. For Dyer and his neophyte cavalrymen from various towns in Maine, the experience caused them to “see the elephant,” a Civil War term that referred to soldiers being under enemy fire and participating in combat. Early that […]