Maine Legislature supports placing state monument at Third Winchester

The Maine Legislature has announced its support for placing a Maine monument on a Shenandoah Valley battlefield where several Maine units fought on September 19, 1864. On February 28, 2019 the Maine Senate adopted Senate Resolution 304, titled “Joint resolution to express support for erecting a monument to Maine troops who fought in the Shenandoah […]

J.E.B. Stuart kills a Mainer

  Editor’s note: This is the 400th post published by Maine at War Was it something in the apples the 19th Maine boys stole? Was it because they joined a mob in raiding a “friendly” sutler? Or was it simply a lucky shot by a Confederate gunner? Whatever the reason — bad luck, divine retribution […]

Gettysburg shot them all out

Maine newspapers are excellent “original source” documents from the Civil War. The Daily Whig & Courier in Bangor, the Republican Journal out of Belfast, the Eastern Argus and Portland Daily Press of Portland, the Ellsworth American, and the Maine Farmer of Augusta are among the better Fourth Estate sources for letters and reports from Maine […]

Lottery winner catches the Maine-bound boat

However badly that Joseph Hooker blew the Battle of Chancellorsville, an order he issued on January 30, 1863 went over very well with the Army of the Potomac’s rank-and-file. “Orders were given on January 30th from the headquarters of the army that furloughs might be granted for fifteen days to one regimental and two line […]

The 17th Maine backstabbers, part 2

With his resignation from command of the 17th Maine Infantry Regiment already submitted, Col. Thomas Roberts had one last chore to perform: recommend his successor. Since the regiment’s muster in Portland in August 1862, Roberts’ second-in-command had been Lt. Col. Charles B. Merrill, also from Portland. Roberts was away sick when Merrill led the 17th […]

The 17th Maine backstabbers, part 1

The departure of Col. Thomas Roberts from the 17th Maine Infantry Regiment in late spring 1863 sparked a lobbying campaign that elevated his major to regimental command. The trouble was, his lieutenant colonel should have received the promotion. The 1860 census found Roberts living in Portland with his wife, Mary, and their three sons: Charles […]

The last letter home, part 2

To many soldiers’ families in New England came a letter that, as events proved, would be the last letter, forever and a day, from a loved one in uniform. The White family living in Cambridge, Massachusetts received such a letter in mid-1862. George R. White, a tired private in Co. G of the 19th Massachusetts […]

The last letter home, part 1

To many families came a letter that, as events proved, would be the last letter to arrive, forever and a day, from their soldier relative. Such a letter came to the White family living in Cambridge, Massachusetts in mid-1862. Though not connected with Maine, that letter represents similar correspondence reaching many Maine homes that year. […]

Obstinate Maine soldiers muck home: Mud March, part 3

Caught by a cold rain while attempting to outflank Robert E. Lee at Fredericksburg on January 20, 1863, Union soldiers, horses, and mules suffered immeasurably as the Ambrose Burnside-planned attack dissolved into the “Mud March.” With horses and mules unable to pull mud-stuck cannons, caissons, and wagons, Union infantrymen taking to the flooded roadside terrain […]

Even the weather fights the Yankees: Mud March, part 2

His direct assaults on Confederate-defended Fredericksburg handily repulsed in mid-December 1862, Ambrose Burnside decided to outflank Robert E. Lee’s dug-in veterans 5½ weeks later. Burnside planned to wheel his Army of the Potomac over the Rappahannock River to flank Lee’s army and force it to fight on open ground, where the Yankees could surely outmaneuver […]