Help erect a Maine monument in the Shenandoah Valley

Help erect a Maine monument in the Shenandoah Valley If you’ve ever buzzed through the Shenandoah Valley on Interstate 81, you can appreciate the incredibly beautiful natural surroundings. There are the Blue Ridge Mountains, Massanutten, the Luray Valley, and the farms and rolling fields and hills reaching far away from I-81 and the parallel Valley […]

Emancipation: The Maine press reacts, Part 2

Having printed the Emancipation Proclamation in its entirety and without acerbic commentary in the January 9, 1863 edition of his Republican Journal, publisher William H. Simpson understood that an influx of black soldiers would buttress the Union’s battle- and disease-thinned ranks. More Union soldiers and sailors meant more military pressure applied to Confederate defenders already […]

Emancipation: The Maine press reacts, Part 1

As December 1862 faded past Christmas, the calendar suddenly assumed significance for black Americans and many white Mainers who supported or despised them — or did not know what to think upon coming into close contact for the first time with freed slaves. The “contrabands (escaped slaves) are coming in continually, so that we have […]

Emancipation: Criticize Abe Lincoln at your own peril

A Phippsburg officer learned the hard way that shooting his mouth off about presidential policy (i.e., the Emancipation Proclamation) was a real bad idea. William H. Wheeler, publisher of the Bangor-based Daily Whig & Courier, reported on January 2, 1863 that “there are now three regiments of colored troops and 150 [men in a] heavy […]

Vandal strikes the Monroe Civil War monument

Who vandalized the Civil War monument in Monroe? Has a Confederate-hater mistaken the great coat-clad Union infantryman atop the monument for a Johnny Reb? Let’s look back 130½ years to see how this story began. On Memorial Day (Monday, May 30) 1887, hundreds of people trekked to the Village Cemetery on the Monroe Road in […]

Stoneman’s Raid: the 1st Maine troopers find their moxie

Day after day in the latter half of April 1863, inclement weather and heavy rain delayed the departure of Maj. Gen. George Stoneman and his Army of the Potomac cavalry on a deep-penetration into central Virginia, behind the lines of the Army of Northern Virginia. Only after an April 27 chewing out by Joe Hooker […]

Stoneman’s Raid: rain, rain go away, plague the cavalry another day

Despite their 14 months in the war zone, the 1st Maine Cavalry troopers had “never met the enemy’s cavalry in any force” by spring 1863, said 2nd Lt. Charles W. Ford, a 27-year-old shipmaster from Bristol when he enlisted in autumn 1861 as a sergeant. Until his late January sacking as commander of the Army […]

Maine cavalrymen charge across a bridge and bring home the bacon

The first serious 1863 skirmish between the 1st Maine Cavalry and Confederate troops resulted in a 1-0 win for the Maine boys, ham-wise. Leaving their winter camp near Belle Plain, Virginia on Monday, April 13, 1863, troopers of the 1st Maine rode almost 20 miles to camp at Deep Run, then pushed upriver on Tuesday, […]

Bully boys, hey! Bully boys, ho!

They spoiled for a fight. Edward Parsons Tobie Jr., a corporal in Co. G, 1st Maine Cavalry Regiment, figured “the spring campaign” officially began when the regiment left its wretched winter quarters at Camp Bayard near Belle Plain in Virginia’s Stafford County on Monday, April 13, 1863. His company, plus K, formed the rear guard […]

Research the Civil War at the Maine State Archives

If you’re researching Maine’s involvement in the Civil War, check out the incredibly detailed files preserved at the Maine State Archives in Augusta. There’s a whole Research Room available for your use. The Archives, the Maine State Library, and the Maine State Museum are all located in the State Cultural Building, the sharp-lined, monochromatic gray […]