Tag Archives: Daily Whig & Courier

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, […]

Civil War research digs into the weed patch

Researching the Civil War deep “into the weeds” requires time, patience, and a passion for the war. War-related research resembles a well-run Maine farm. There are the highly visible “crops”: the apple orchard, the potato field (think Aroostook County), the pea vines and bean stalks, etc., etc. Let’s compare that same farm to research related […]

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 […]

The soldierly monument, Part 3

With the body of slain Army Maj. Stephen Decatur Carpenter finally arriving home in Bangor, local officials wondered what could be done to honor their hero. On Saturday evening, February 7, 1862 the Bangor City Council met in special session to resolve “that the Mayor and Two Aldermen … be a committee to procure a […]

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 […]

The mud and muck of Pulaski, Part IV

As the 36 Union artillery pieces embedded in the Tybee Island muck fired on Confederate-held Fort Pulaski on Thursday, April 10, the 8th Maine Infantry soldiers hastily trained as artillerists soon proved they could shoot as well as professional gunners. Army engineer Capt. Quincy A. Gillmore had anticipated that the Union’s carefully sited 13-inch mortars […]

The right man at the right time for governor — Part II

  Thirteen days before his inauguration as Maine’s 29th governor, Israel Washburn Jr. got an inkling of what might happen after he took office: South Carolina bolted the Union, and a low-level national buzz about war suddenly turned serious. And exactly 100 days after Washburn was sworn in at the State House in Augusta, war […]

Reports of My Death are Greatly Exaggerated: Joshua Chamberlain

Selden E. Connor had already earned his brigadier general’s stars when shot and seriously wounded at The Wilderness on May 6, 1864. Back home in Maine, the promotion seemed a proper reward for a man who soon gave his life for his country … according to inaccurate reports. Despite attempts by generals Gouvernor K. Warren […]