Tag Archives: Bangor

The Soldierly Monument, Part 4

Stephen Decatur Carpenter had been dead 5½ months and in his grave some four months when Bangor residents dedicated the monument erected initially to honor him — and ultimately all of the Queen City’s war dead. And the thousands of people who gathered to honor all their heroes saw the war come home that particular […]

The soldierly monument, Part 3

With the body of slain Army Maj. Stephen Decatur Carpenter finally arriving home in Bangor, local officials wondered what could be done to honor their hero. On Saturday evening, February 7, 1862 the Bangor City Council met in special session to resolve “that the Mayor and Two Aldermen … be a committee to procure a […]

The monumental soldier, Part 2

The Maine soldier responsible for the construction of the nation’s first privately funded Civil War monument trekked from battlefield to battlefield across the Upper South before returning to the Pine Tree State. Amidst the miserable weather engulfing the Shiloh battlefield after sunset on April 6, 1862, the 19th U.S. Infantry regulars commanded by Stephen Decatur […]

The monumental soldier, Part I

If you like monuments, Civil War veterans created more than you can imagine — — and an unsung Maine soldier spawned the first privately erected Civil War monument in the United States. The tale begins in Foxcroft in Piscataquis County and ends not that far away. Susan (Heald) Carpenter bore her husband, Joshua, a son […]

Mount Hope Cemetery walking tour will launch Civil War weekend in Bangor

A Civil War walking tour of Mount Hope Cemetery in Bangor will kick off Drums on the Penobscot: A Civil War Experience, slated to be held Friday-Sunday, July 28-30 in Bangor. Led by historian Ryan Hews and titled Soldiers at Rest, the Civil War walking tour will begin at 6 p.m., Friday, July 28. Visitors […]

Local police chased criminal soldiers running amok in Bangor

Criminals camouflaged as soldiers briefly ran amok in Bangor in late summer 1862. Volunteers and draftees started reporting to Camp John Pope in early September. After forming at the camp, the 18th Maine Infantry Regiment had mustered into federal service on August 21, 1862. Local residents had enjoyed a good relationship with the soldiers. Not […]

Confederate pirate merrily loots and burns a Maine ship

A Confederate “pirate” — as the Northern press deemed him — so detested abolitionists that he really enjoyed burning a ship from a state he equated with the anti-slavery Republican Party. In spring 1861, Confederate Navy Commander Raphael Semmes received command of the CSS Sumter, a 473-ton, steam-powered merchant ship recently bought by the Confederate […]

A Maine cavalryman thrashes his own man in Louisiana: Part II

  By Nov. 7, 1862, Capt. John Franklin Godfrey could proudly tell his parents (John Edwards and Elizabeth Stackpole Godfrey of Bangor) that the Army had turned loose him and his Co. C, 1st Louisiana Cavalry Regiment (U.S.) to run amuck in Louisiana. “I like the cavalry service very much … and there are few […]

A Maine cavalryman runs amuck in Louisiana: Part I

Upon arriving in New Orleans, John Franklin Godfrey of Bangor discovered he would rather ride like the wind than shoot like the devil. The 22-year-old son of Judge John Edwards Godfrey and Elizabeth Stackpole Godfrey of Bangor, Godfrey had joined the 1st Maine Cavalry as a private in autumn 1861. An ambitious young man, he […]

Webster Warriors of Bangor

  Webster was a common Bangor surname in the mid-19th century. Then the Civil War intervened, one Webster household from the Queen City dispersed several sons throughout the Union army, and Dr. Bill Hopkins of Wisconsin discovered two of those Webster brothers in Florida many years later. One day “as I was researching Union soldiers […]