Tag Archives: Fredericksburg

Great violence happened here in bucolic Spotsylvania County

Mainers visiting the Spotsylvania Court House battlefield will find no monuments dedicated to Pine Tree State regiments. A few Union monuments stand here; the first encountered by visitors is the John Sedgwick monument at the intersection of Brock Road and Grant Drive. The low-key monument marks the spot where the Sixth Corps commander offered himself […]

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 […]

The Long March

“Tramp, tramp, tramp the boys are marching” in late June 1863 as Joseph Hooker and the Army of the Potomac chased the Pennsylvania-bound Robert E. Lee and the Army of Northern Virginia. Somewhere on the wretched Piedmont roads tramped the men belonging to the 5th Maine Infantry Regiment, mustered into federal service at Portland two […]

The 6th Maine’s screaming demons led the way

Frantically loading and firing their rifled muskets, the Mississippi infantrymen defending the stone wall at Fredericksburg about 11:05 a.m. on May 3, 1863, suddenly realized that all the .58-caliber lead bullets in the world would not stop the screaming, wild-eyed berserkers swarming toward them. No matter how many comrades pitched onto the slope below Marye’s […]

Blood-letting at Salem Church

The regimental ranks thinned by 18 men in mid-morning on Sunday, May 3, 1863, the 5th Maine Infantry boys may have figured the fighting was over for the day. For them, the blood-letting had scarcely begun. After Union regiments captured Marye’s Heights that day, orders summoned Col. Clark S. Edwards and the 5th Maine to […]

Death dance with a Confederate cannonball

After enjoying the “beautiful night” that slipped away with the dawn on May 3, 1863, 1st Lt. George Bicknell saw that Sunday turn decidedly ugly. Sheltered by the Virginia darkness, he stood with his 5th Maine Infantry comrades as they waited the orders to attack nearby Confederate troops defending the heights southeast of Fredericksburg. As […]