Tag Archives: Leeds

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

  In tracing their Civil War ancestry, some folks discover (to paraphrase the title of Tony Horwitz’s delightful 1998 book) that they have a “Confederate or Yankee in the Attic”: The family’s connection to the Civil War wore Union blue or Confederate gray.A And then there are the fortunate Civil War descendants, like Elizabeth Kane […]

Mutineers could drive an officer crazy

Deserters were not the only man-made plague that drove Maine officers crazy during the Civil War; independent-minded Maine soldiers might mutiny, too, if they so decided. Patriotic fervor swept the Midcoast in mid-April 1861. A business partner with Hiram Berry, Elijah Walker sold coal and lumber in Rockland, recently split from Thomaston and designated the […]

Civil War lore comfirmed as a historical fact

The Civil War created many legends, from the eccentric VMI professor transformed into “Stonewall” Jackson to the borderline alcoholic and military strategist — Ulysses Simpson Grant — who whipped Southern troops wherever he encountered them. And the war generated a historical lore that, to this day, requires historians to sift fact from legend. One event […]

“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 […]