Tag Archives: Calvin Douty

Research the Civil War at the Maine State Archives

If you’re researching Maine’s involvement in the Civil War, check out the incredibly detailed files preserved at the Maine State Archives in Augusta. There’s a whole Research Room available for your use. The Archives, the Maine State Library, and the Maine State Museum are all located in the State Cultural Building, the sharp-lined, monochromatic gray […]

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 […]

Horsemen in the Valley: Part III — The “Middletown Disaster”

After losing precious daylight and time to an upstart cavalry officer from Maine, Confederate Gen. Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson swiftly turned the tables at Middletown, Va. on Saturday, May 24, 1862. Commanding a cavalry battalion comprising five companies from the 1st Maine Cavalry Regiment and two companies from the 1st Vermont Cavalry Regiment, Lt. Col. […]

Horsemen in the Shenandoah: Part II — Piscataquis County sheriff vs. Stonewall Jackson

  On May 9, 1862, the five 1st Maine Cavalry companies assigned to the “Railroad Brigade” of Col. Dixon Miles received orders from him to “March forthwith via Winchester to New Market” in the Shenandoah Valley and “wait for nobody, but be in haste.” The War Department had assigned Maj. Gen. Nathanial Banks and his […]

Dead Man Riding

So what could Jonathan Cilley do after catching a cannon ball? Die? Yup — or so thought everyone back home in Thomaston. Born on Dec. 29, 1835 to Jonathan Longfellow Cilley and his wife, Deborah, the boy who became a Maine cavalry officer graduated from Bowdoin College (’58) and gained admittance to the Knox County […]

A dead horse and a foot wound ruined Black Hawk’s Day

  A Confederate ambush in the Shenandoah Valley shot a Black Hawk down in May 1862. Putnams helped settle Houlton, and to John Varnum and Elizabeth Putnam a son was born on April 28, 1838. Six years earlier a Sauk chief had led several Indians tribes in a brief and tragic war against the United […]

A horse here, a horse there, the 1st thing you know, you’ve got a cavalry regiment

Among the storied Maine outfits deployed against Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia was the 1st Maine Cavalry Regiment. No cavalry history of the Army of the Potomac would be complete without repeated mention of the 1st Maine Cav. But this hard-fighting regiment did not exist in spring or summer 1861. In fact, the […]