Tag Archives: Bangor

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 […]

Did Daniel Chaplin develop a death wish?

  Did Col. Daniel Chaplin lose his desire to live after watching the annihilation of his beloved 1st Maine Heavy Artillery Regiment at Petersburg on Saturday, June 18, 1864? Yes, surmised Pvt. Joel Brown of Orono and Co. I. And Chaplin’s own behavior suggests the behavior of a man who cared not if he lived […]

A Hamlin could get away with cowardice

If he did not skedaddle from Manassas in late day on Sunday, July 21, 1861, then why did Augustus Choate Hamlin expend so much ink explaining why he was not a coward? Thanks to his vice-presidential uncle, Hamlin enjoyed a distinguished surname that fateful spring. A doctor by profession and a Republican by choice, he […]

Life in the Florida swamps

For the 11th Maine Infantry boys accustomed to relatively tame reptiles and bugs back home in the Pine Tree State, duty in the northeastern Florida swamps proved eye-opening. Boarding the steamer “Boston” at Beaufort, S.C. on Thursday, June 4, 1863, soldiers assigned to the 11th Maine headed south to Florida. “Daylight of the 5th found […]

Bangor tinsmith left his family to fight with the 2nd Maine

The Civil War life and times of a New Brunswick- or Ireland-born tinsmith have been recalled in a book released late last year by a descendant. Researched and written by great-great-grandson David A. Cyr, “Henry Granville: A Civil War Soldier From Maine” follows Granville as he goes to war with the 2nd Maine Infantry Regiment […]

Private Joseph French tweets the Civil War

Joseph French likes to tweet. He tweets the weather: “Fair and pleasant.” He tweets his official duty for this Sunday: “”We were inspected this morning by our inspecting officer at nine o’clock both camp and person.” And he tweets what he did next: “Then we went to church.” Routine tweets from French, who has mastered […]