6.3 million Civil War soldiers on national website

Posted Aug. 22, 2010, at 5:42 p.m.

The Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System website at www.itd.nps.gov/cwss/ was labeled an “Editor’s Pick” in the July-August 2010 issue of Family Chronicle magazine.

The listing of 6.3 million soldiers, both Union and Confederate, is complete and came from the National Archives, according to the magazine. It is a project of the National Park Service, hence the nps in the site’s address.

Civil War sailors also will be added to the database.

I entered the name of Union soldier Alfred Hart, who lived in Dexter, and found him appropriately listed with the 22nd Maine Infantry, Company E.

He was a private when he went in, and a private when he mustered out, and the information came from film number M543 roll 9.

The regiment history says it was “organized at Bangor and mustered in for nine months’ service October 10, 1862. Left State for D.C., October 21. Duty at Arlington Heights, Va., till November 3. Moved to Fortress Monroe, Va., November 3, thence to Ship Island, Miss., New Orleans, La., Dec. 2-15. Attached to Grover’s Division, Dept. of the Gulf, to January, 1863. 1st Brigade, 4th Division, 19th Army Corps, Army Gulf, to July 1862.”

It goes on to state that the regiment lost one officer and eight enlisted men, killed and mortally wounded; and 169 enlisted men who died from disease.

The total number of soldiers listed in the regiment was 1,073.

Alfred Hart, I know from records sent to me by a cousin, mustered out on Nov. 23, having been discharged because of “rheumatism contracted in Baltimore, Md. and in camp at Arlington Heights Va. in October 1862.”

This agrees with the regimental history, which has the 22nd in Virginia until heading for Mississippi and Louisiana in December.

The National Park Service site lists the 22nd at Irish Bend on April 14, and at Port Hudson June 1-8 and June 14.

The Maine State Archives site, reachable from www.maine.gov/sos/arc, says the 22nd was engaged at Franklin, La., on April 15, 1863; and at Port Hudson, La., May 27-July 9, 1863. It counts nine killed or died of wounds, and 160 died of disease.

I’m sure that as we near the 150th anniversary of the beginning of the Civil War on April 12 next year, we’ll find more genealogy and history available.

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Local historian Eleanor Motley Richardson of Rockland and Naples, Fla., will give a presentation on “Researching, Writing and Publishing Neighborhood and Family Histories” during the Union Historical Society meeting at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 1, at the Old Town House on Town House Road, just off Union Common.

Richardson will explain the genesis and process of writing books, illustrated by a slide show of old photos. She will demonstrate how she gathered material by poring through the Registry of Deeds, opening up dusty leather-bound tax records in City Hall, scouring vital records and the Rockland Historical Society, and conducting personal interviews to bring alive neighborhoods of long ago.

Richardson writes, “While my stories deal with specific Maine locales, it could be the story of your street or your family. A neighborhood history is a mystery story and you are the ‘History Detective’!”

She will encourage the audience to share ideas and projects and talk about how to get going.

Richardson has written four books of local history — “Hurricane Island,” “North Haven Summers,” “Andover: A Century of Change,” about Andover, Mass., and “Mechanic Street: Uncovering the History of a Maine Neighborhood.”

Richardson is a retired organist and organ-builder, and is married to the Rev. Peter Richardson. They live in a house built by Peter’s great-grandfather in Rockland.

The program will include a short business meeting and refreshments. All are welcome.

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Claudette, June, Lisa, John, Matt, Chris, Nate, Hannah, Tina, Dona, Mira, Joyce, George, Christian, Casey, Aimee, Melissa, Gaelen, Roxanne, Scott, Amanda, Lexi, Andrew, Dylan, Heather, Tony, Aidan, Jimmy, Lynne.

For the first time in nine years, nearly all the descendants of Willard and RoseAnna (Chamberland) Saucier and their families got together the weekend of Aug. 7-8.

Even better, it wasn’t a funeral that made it happen.

Joyce and George in Ohio told us last year they would be coming to Frenchville for Joyce’s 45th high school reunion. Then the four siblings began recruiting their families.

By word, phone and e-mail, I reminded my children regularly, “Joyce and George are coming the first two weeks in August. Save the middle weekend.”

The grandchildren came from Minnesota, Ohio, New York and Maine, with great-grandchildren age 1 to “heading off to college” age. Toss in a few Chamberlands and a couple of Uncle June’s Sauciers, and a fine time was had by all.

As 2-year-old Aidan would say, “To infinity and beyond.”

Send genealogy queries to Family Ties, Bangor Daily News, P.O. Box 1329, Bangor, ME 04402; or e-mail queries to familyti@bangordailynews.com.

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