New column highlights Maine’s role in the Civil War

Posted April 11, 2011, at 5:14 p.m.

When a Confederate cannon blast started the Civil War on April 12, 1861, patriotic Mainers enthusiastically joined the effort to preserve the Union. During the next four years, 80,000 men from the Pine Tree State would join the Army and Navy and participate in battles and campaigns stretching from Pennsylvania south to Virginia and the Carolinas and west to Arkansas, Louisiana, Arizona and New Mexico.

Except for Joshua Chamberlain and the 20th Maine Infantry, the roles played by those Mainers and their units go almost untold in American history. During the next four years, the Bangor Daily News will tell their stories in “Maine at War,” a monthly column focused on Maine’s involvement in the Civil War.

Written by BDN Special Sections Editor Brian Swartz, “Maine at War” will introduce the soldiers, sailors, and civilians whose historic sacrifices led the Union to victory. From across Maine, brave men and women answered the call to arms, and more than 9,000 paid the ultimate sacrifice to preserve the Union.

Join Joshua Chamberlain, Charles Tilden, Dorothea Dix, James Carleton and George Jumper on the campaign trail. Charge into glory with the 16th Maine Infantry and the 1st Maine Heavy Artillery. Join the chase from Portland Harbor to capture the Confederate thieves who stole the USS Caleb Cushing.

Meet these courageous Mainers and many others in “Maine at War,” to be published on the second Tuesday of each month in Lifestyle.