Tag Archives: Confederate

The 5th Maine Infantry’s “galvanized Rebel” — Part II

After Confederate troops captured William Frederick Irwin of the 5th Maine Infantry Regiment at Spotsylvania Courthouse in mid-May 1864, he was soon shipped to a prison camp at Salisbury, N.C. “This was a nasty place,” according to Maine historian Curt Mildner. The prisoners suffered from malnutrition, lack of clothing and shelter, disease, and sadistic guards […]

Young officer paid terrible price when 32nd Maine charged The Crater: Part 2

  When the Union mine dug beneath a Confederate fort atop Cemetery Hill at Petersburg failed to explode on schedule on July 30, 1864, 17-year-old 2nd Lt. James J. Chase of Turner fell asleep. “I was soon wrapped in slumber, forgetful of what was going on around me, when suddenly I was awakened” by the […]

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 […]

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

    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 […]

“The Girl I Left Behind Me”

We associate certain music with the Civil War: “Battle Hymn of the Republic,” Dixie,” “Bonnie Blue Flag,” “Marching Through Georgia (actually published in 1866),” and the “Battle Cry of Freedom.” Among my favorites is the jaunty ode to “The Girl I Left Behind Me,” supposedly sung by a Confederate soldier who can’t wait to return […]

The 16th Maine Infantry monuments at Gettysburg

  From time to time we will wander to Gettysburg and visit the monuments left there by Maine units. Today let’s walk where the 16th Maine Infantry Regiment fought and died. Late afternoon on July 1, 1863, Col. Charles Tilden and his 16th Maine were west of Gettysburg, holding a line that essentially stretched from […]