Tag Archives: Israel Washburn Jr.

Democratic draft opponents thrash pro-Republican Grant in Prospect

  Did the first violent resistance against the draft in Maine occur, in of all places, Prospect? Bordered by modern routes 1, 1A, and 174, Prospect lies at the eastern tip of Waldo County, spreading across the hills to the bluffs along the Penobscot River Narrows. The town’s population was 709 in the 2010 federal […]

A marching Maine regiment carried sight and sound into history

  To this day we cannot hear the actual sounds heard during the Civil War. Some particular sounds intrigue Civil War buffs; the apparently frightening “Rebel Yell” comes to mind, for example. Ironically, an “exclusive clip from the 1930s” in which aging Confederate veterans “step up to the mic and let out their version of […]

The right man at the right time for governor — Part II

  Thirteen days before his inauguration as Maine’s 29th governor, Israel Washburn Jr. got an inkling of what might happen after he took office: South Carolina bolted the Union, and a low-level national buzz about war suddenly turned serious. And exactly 100 days after Washburn was sworn in at the State House in Augusta, war […]

The right man at the right time for governor — Part I

  New Year’s Day 1863 gets some attention in American history books because the Emancipation Proclamation took affect that Thursday. But what happened six days later, on Wednesday, January 7? Not much on the national level, Civil War-wise, but a momentous event took place at the State House in Augusta. Maine’s first wartime governor, the […]

Houlton residents honor a brave native son on July 4, 1862

About 1½ months after Confederate infantrymen almost did him in at Middleton in the Shenandoah Valley, Capt. Black Hawk Putnam found out what his friends and neighbors in Houlton thought about him. Turned out to be quite a bit, about a hundred dollars’ worth. Named after an American Indian chief, Black Hawk Putnam had raised […]

Reports of My Death are Greatly Exaggerated: Selden Connor

The news struck Kennebec Valley residents like a lightning bolt: Selden Connor, long associated with the vaunted 7th Maine Infantry Regiment, was dead, shot and mortally wounded on May 6, 1864, during the Battle of the Wilderness. “Gen. Seldon (sic) Connor, late of the 19th Maine … died last week in Washington,” reported the Daily […]

Charged up to fight: 4th Maine Battery at Cedar Mountain — Part I

  Capt. O’Neil W. Robinson Jr. had yet to see a serious “elephant” as his 4th Maine Battery crossed hot and dusty Virginia in July 1862. Robinson, the Bethel attorney whose Democratic Party leanings had concerned Maine’s Republican Gov. Israel Washburn Jr. the previous autumn, had detrained with his battery in Washington, D.C. on Thursday, […]

Maine to New York: “Get your own artillerymen!”

  Reading the report he addressed to Gov. Israel Washburn Jr. on July 18, 1862, you can just “see” the steam venting from the ears of Maj. Robert F. Campbell. The 6-foot, 45-year-old Cherryfield lumberman was livid. Third in command of the 11th Maine Infantry Regiment, he was filling in for the ill Col. Harris […]

Sliced and diced 11th Maine: Part III – reading between the lines

  Sometimes a historian discovers a poignant story written between the lines — and later stumbles elsewhere onto an obscure written reference to that untold tale. Such occurred as I researched the honor that Col. Harris Plaisted bestowed on the slain lions of his 11th Maine Infantry Regiment. Perhaps two days after staging a fighting […]

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 […]