Tag Archives: Winfield Scott Hancock

Battle of the Bards — Part 2: Regiments trade volley fire in a Maine newspaper

  If Col. Hiram Burnham was pleased that his 6th Maine Infantry received a brief mention in the May 15, 1862 issue of the Maine Farmer, he certainly did not care when he blew his Down East gasket nine days later. Several Maine infantry regiments had battled at Williamsburg, Va. on May 5. The 6th […]

Battle of the Bards — Part 1: The 7th Maine fields a two-man PR machine

  Not until after the Battle of Williamsburg, Va. in early May 1862 did Col. Hiram Burnham learn what Col. Edwin Mason instinctively knew: the value of a good press agent. A Cherryfield native, Burnham commanded the 6th Maine Infantry, Mason the 7th Maine. Months before that regiment fought at Williamsburg, readers of the Maine […]

Machias forager gets his goose cooked

  Sherman’s “March to the Sea” epitomizes the concept of “living off the land” in hostile territory, but soldiers like Calif Newton Drew of Machias were cleaning out Confederate larders long before Sherman’s bummers swaggered out of Atlanta. Hailing from Machias and Whitneyville, Drew was 15 when he joined Co. K, 6th Maine Infantry Regiment […]

Lack of combat skills costs 1st Maine Heavies dearly at Harris Farm

  A few hours spent learning rudimentary combat skills could have saved many Maine lives near Spotsylvania Court House, Va. on Thursday, May 19, 1864. The modern Army’s concept of “Advanced Infantry Training” did not exist during the Civil War. The small pre-war Army primarily fought Indians in the far West, where parade-ground maneuvers drawn […]

Spotsylvania Part VII: The dying groaned beneath the dead

As some 20,000 Union troops charged out of the fog and burst into the Mule Shoe salient at Spotsylvania Court House, Va. on May 12, 1864, Confederate resistance collapsed beneath the onslaught. Union soldiers swept up 3,000 prisoners, including the cane-wielding Maj. Gen. Edward Johnson and Brig. Gen. George Steuart, who led a mixed North […]

Spotsylvania Part VI: A rooster’s crow unleashed the slaughter

Wandering amidst hell on earth after sunrise on Friday, May 13, 1864, Pvt. John Haley and other survivors of the 17th Maine Infantry Regiment gazed upon “more dead than we had ever seen,” he later told his journal. Raised in summer 1862, the 17th Maine belonged that spring to the 2nd Brigade, 3rd Division, part […]