Artillery pounds 19th Maine lads prior to Pickett’s Charge

Twenty-two when he mustered as a corporal with Company I, 19th Maine Infantry Regiment on August 25, 1862, Edgar A. Burpee displayed leadership skills that saw him promoted to first lieutenant by summer 1863. Midcoast men filled Company I, commanded on the march north to Gettysburg by Capt. George D. Smith of Rockland. The towns […]

Connie Benwitz discusses Underground Railroad quilts at Minot event

I’m not a quilter. Susan is, though, and that’s why we attended the Minot Historical Society’s Civil War Days on Saturday, July 27: to hear Connie Benwitz talk about Underground Railroad quilts. Little did I know how much I would enjoy a program about quilting! The weekend featured re-enactors from Co. A, 3rd Maine Infantry; […]

Disparaged monument finds a quieter home 44 miles downriver

How soon until a darkness-clad thug “tags” the Virginia monument at Gettysburg? Confederate-monument vandalism continues unabated, with red spray paint applied to a Nashville, Tennessee monument in mid-June 2019, a 7-ton monument defaced in Santa Ana, Calif. on July 7, and a Bardstown, Kentucky monument splattered with red paint in May 2019. Living about 40 […]

The 5th Maine boys tramped into a leaden hail

Heroes tramped into a leaden hail at Gaines Mill, Va. on Friday, June 27, 1862. From chapter 34 in my new book, Maine at War Volume 1: Bladensburg to Sharpsburg, comes this adapted story involving the 5th Maine Infantry Regiment, commanded by Col. Nathaniel Jackson. When George McClellan decided to flee the Peninsula (the man […]

Two Confederate monuments find a prettier home

When anti-Confederate feelings ran high after Charlottesville, central Kentucky’s attention focused on two Confederate monuments standing prominently in downtown Lexington. A Congressional representative, a United States senator, James Buchanan’s vice president, and a Confederate general and secretary of war, John Cabell Breckinridge is practically unknown in Maine. He was a Bluegrass big shot in his […]

Maine musician watches the Army kill a deserter

A Portland soldier could not wait to share the gory details he saw while witnessing the first execution of a Union soldier during the Civil War. On Dec. 14, 1861, Pvt. Samuel Franklyn Parcher — he went by “Franklyn” or “Frank” — wrote a letter to his friend James O. Parsons, with whose family Parcher […]

Fourteen names printed on 12 lines

Imagine buying the local daily newspaper on Thursday, July 9, 1863 and perusing the four pages for interesting material, perhaps an ad, certainly any newsworthy blurbs. Suddenly a name leaps off page 2, third column from the left, about two-thirds down the page. The name belongs to a relative or a friend. He’s dead, wounded, […]

So you think you know Maine at Gettysburg, part 2

Here’s Part 2 of the Maine Monument Minutiae quiz involving Pine Tree State monuments at Gettysburg National Military Park. The answers are printed below. 1. Two Union generals lurk around the 2nd Maine Battery’s main monument on the Chambersburg Road. Who are those generals? 2. A small monument honoring a wounded Union general rises on […]