Tag Archives: John A. Dicker

Emancipation: Free the blacks, if only to save the whites

Sworn into office as Maine’s governor in early January 1863, Abner Coburn of Skowhegan strongly supported raising black regiments — and not just for applying more pressure on the struggling Confederacy. Enlisting “the negroes for armed service in holding Southern ‘forts, positions and stations’ will be an immeasurable relief to the population of the North,” […]

Black or white or both, he made a good Maine soldier, Part II

On June 16, 1862, a New Orleans businessman named B. Bronson discovered that his “light mulatto” slave, Calvin, had run away. With Union troops occupying the Big Easy, Bronson probably figured he would never see Calvin again. An enigmatic character, the “B Bronson” recorded in the June 28, 1860 census of “free inhabitants” of the […]

Help was on the way

  To paraphrase the patriotic song “We Are Coming, Father Abraham,” by February 1863, the war-weary Maine veterans manning the nation’s ramparts from Virginia to Louisiana could “look across the hilltops that meet the southern sky,” where “long moving lines of rising dust your vision may descry.” Those dust clouds were kicked up by the […]