FAMILY TIES

Monthly series to feature Maine in the Civil War

Posted April 10, 2011, at 9:32 p.m.
Last modified April 12, 2011, at 10:58 a.m.

A naval officer from Buckfield would have been at Fort Sumter in South Carolina on behalf of the Union 150 years ago tomorrow if not for an order signed by President Abraham Lincoln.

Who was that Mainer? I know only because I’ve read the first of Brian Swartz’s Maine at War columns on the Civil War, a monthly series to begin in the Lifestyle section of the Bangor Daily News on Tuesday, April 12. You won’t want to miss it.

Swartz, a Special Sections editor here at the Bangor Daily News, is a true Civil War aficionado, whereas genealogists such as I learn as we go along. He has studied the Civil War and its battlefields in his travels as well as through books.

Especially during the four-year anniversary of the Civil War, many of us will make frequent use of websites such as the National Park Service Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System at http://www.itd.nps.gov/cwss/

Click on “Soldiers,” then enter a name and a state. The database tells me correctly that Alfred Hart served on the side of the Union in the 22nd Maine Infantry, Company E. He entered the Army as a private and left the service as a private. His information is on microfilm M543 roll 9.

If I click on “Regiments,” I find the history of the 22nd Regiment, which mustered in 1862 and stopped in Washington, D.C., and Arlington Heights, Va., before moving on to Louisiana, where it served in the Siege of Port Hudson.

You can search for a soldier in this unit or look at the listing of all soldiers in the unit.

Other topics on the site include “Prisoners,” “Cemeteries,” “Battles” and “Medals.” Family Tree Magazine lists this website first in its Top 10 in its May issue on researching the Civil War.

Here in Maine, the Maine State Archives is online free at www.maine.gov/sos/arc. We go there to use the Maine Marriage Index, 1892-1966 and 1977-2009; and the Maine Death Index, 1960-2009.

Click on “Civil War Sesquicentennial” on the Archives website to learn more about Maine in the Civil War, including a listing of officers for whom the Archives owns photo negatives. Also available are historical pieces on Mainers such as Hannibal Hamlin, who was sworn in as Lincoln’s vice president after the South had voted to secede; William Knowlton of Lewiston, who commanded Company F in the 1st Maine Infantry; and Kentucky native Robert Anderson, an Illinois colonel who temporarily commanded the Kennebec Arsenal in Augusta and led Union men at Fort Sumter.

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Belfast Free Library will mark National Library Week 1-4 p.m. Wednesday, April 13, with a program by reference librarian Betsy Paradis, who has a particular interest in local history. She will demonstrate how to use Maine’s Virtual Library, MARVEL 1-2 p.m.; Downloadable Audio and E-books 2-3 p.m.; and give an overview of Ancestry Library Edition and HeritageQuest.com 3-4 p.m.

The demonstrations will take place in the Abbott Room, and there will be refreshments. For more information, call the library at 338-3884 ext.10, or visit http://www.belfastlibrary.org.

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Civil War buffs Peter Dalton, Jack Merrithew and Carl Robbins will present a free program on the Civil War at the meeting of the Searsport Historical Society at 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 12, in Curtis Hall on Church Street. Stay afterward for refreshments, fellowship and conversation.

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The Hampden Historical Society invites researchers to use the Katherine Trickey Archives 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesdays through Oct. 11, at the Kinsley House, Main Road South. Or set up an appointment by callling 862-2027.

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“Language of America,” a documentary by Rockland filmmaker Ben Levine and Julia Shultz, language program director and cofounder of Rockland’s Penobscot School, explores the struggles of three Native American groups — the Passamaquoddy, Wampanoag and Narragansett — to retain and recover their languages.

Dan Remian will introduce the film at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 14, at Broad Cove Church in Cushing. This first meeting of the season of the Cushing Historical Society will begin with the traditional potluck supper at 6 p.m. Bring your own plates and flatware and food for six people.

The film features Allen Sockabasin, singing his child into becoming a Passamaquoddy speaker; Jessie Littledoe, who against all odds has resurrected her Wampanoag language, unspoken for more than 200 years; and Ella Sekatau, who brought back the sacred Narragansett ceremonies.

For more information, call 354-6351.

Send genealogy queries to Family Ties, Bangor Daily News, PO Box 1329, Bangor, ME 04402; or email familyti@bangordailynews.com.

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