Tag Archives: Civil War

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 […]

Meet the Heroes of Evergreen Cemetery: Part I

  Nowhere else in Maine can people meet so many Civil War veterans than at Evergreen Cemetery, located at 672 Stevens Ave., in Portland — — and through its well-organized docent tours, the Friends of Evergreen are anxious to make the introductions. Through the mid-19th century, burials gradually filled Eastern Cemetery and Western Cemetery in […]

Preserve the battlefields where the Maine boys fought

  Of the many places where Maine soldiers and sailors fought 150 years ago, some sites no longer exist. The 9th Maine Infantry “went in” with the 54th Massachusetts Infantry on the failed nighttime assault on Fort Wagner near Charleston in July 1863. By war’s end, the sea was already claiming Fort Wagner and the […]

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 […]

Spring gales almost sank the 2nd Maine Cav

Two terrifying ocean storms almost turned a Confederate dream into reality in early spring 1864: wiping out some 300 Maine cavalrymen before they ever fired a shot. In mid-March, troopers from three 2nd Maine Cavalry Regiment companies — A, B, and D — started loading their horses aboard two transports docked at Portland. Orders called […]

Three bold Confederates strolled into a Calais bank

Fidgeting with his revolver earned George Foster a dubious and obscure footnote in Civil War history. By summer 1864, Confederate agents based in Canada dreamed and schemed about carrying the war to the Union home front. Still a British possession, Canada was a neutral territory across which Confederate and Union spies and counterspies danced — […]

Re-enlisting in Texas could get a soldier home to Maine

Did some 15th Maine Infantry Regiment boys re-enlist just to escape the ennui of Texas garrison life — and perhaps to desert after receiving Army-sanctioned leaves back home in Maine? By capturing New Orleans in April 1862 and blockading other Gulf of Mexico ports, the Navy sharply reduced Confederate capabilities to move freight east of […]

Brave Hampden captain shed his life for his country

  Henry Crosby suffered that hot June day as his comrades attempted desperately to save his life. Today only an engraved name on the Civil War monument in Hampden’s Locust Grove Cemetery recalls the unsung hero who meant so much to his men 150 years ago this year. A single man when he mustered into […]

To indict or not to indict: Senior College students will answer a treasonous question

  BELFAST — A course offered this month at Senior College of Belfast will examine the Civil War’s impact on Belfast civilians — and civil liberties, especially those pertaining to a local newspaper editor arrested and charged with treason in 1864. The course, “This Republic of Suffering: Death and the Civil War,” takes its name […]

A fearful father took pen in hand on Christmas Day 1863

  His impulsive behavior has cost Charley dearly as he lays recovering — hopefully — from a war wound on Christmas Day 1863. The eldest of six siblings, Charley became the apple of his father’s eye when he was born in Cambridge, Mass. on June 9, 1844; Henry adores all the surviving children, but adventurous […]