Adjutant general’s report full of Civil War info

By Roxanne Moore Saucier, BDN Columnist
Posted Jan. 29, 2012, at 5:09 p.m.

Paperwork in the military is nothing new. The “Report of the Adjutant General of the State of Maine for the Years 1864 and 1865” numbers more than 1,300 pages.

The book has a limited index in the front and a good number of biographies for figures such as Gen. Joshua L. Chamberlain.

The entry for Col. Calvin S. Douty of Dover quotes the inscription from his marble monument in Dover: In memory of Calvin Sanger Douty, Colonel 1st Maine Cavalry, U.S. Volunteers, Killed in Battle, At the head of his Regiment, At the Victory of Aldie, Virginia, June 17, 1863, In the third year of the War for the Union, Aged 50 years.

Other sections of the volume list those drafted. For Orono, Sept. 26, 1864, “drafted, reported and actually held to service” were Stanwood M. Inman, Gorham McPheters, John S. McPheters, Samuel W. Page, Abner W. Perkins, Samuel S. Sumner and Martin R. Welch.

Also listed are those “drafted, reported and furnished substitutes:” Charles H. Colburn, substitute Amasa P. Wotton of Charleston; Solomon Gee, George Sitelle of Great Works; Charles G. Hamilton, Thomas H. Bryant of Hermon; Charles J. Norton, William Brown of Bangor; Henry C. Powers, Lorenzo R. McFarland of Orono; Andrew G. Ring, Dezira Veancour of Bangor; Putnam F. Tenney, John T. Sherman of Old Town; Edward H. B. Wilson, Elisha E. Morton of Carmel.

Books like this one are certainly worth browsing by town to see if and when your ancestors show up in the listings.

Other entries include “List of Names of Maine Soldiers buried in the Soldiers’ National Cemetery at Gettysburg” and other locations. Each listing includes the soldier’s company and regiment.

With information on a soldier’s company and regiment, you can look for resources specifically about that section of the army.

For instance, I read ‘‘The 22nd Maine Volunteer Infantry in the Civil War: A History and Roster” by Ned Smith of Holden. It was fascinating to read about the unit’s participation in the war in Louisiana, although my ancestor, Alfred Hart of Dexter, did not get to Louisiana because of illness.

I also read Diane Monroe Smith’s “Fanny and Joshua: The Enigmatic Lives of Frances Caroline Adams and Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain.” As an author, Diane is fearless, letting letters between Fanny and Joshua speak for themselves, even when Joshua was governor.

I interviewed Diane and Ned Smith about their writings, a story you can read on the BDN website at http://bdn.to/c9x6.

Neither one has focused on looking for their own Civil War ancestors, but they’re certainly aware of their own family history. Ned’s ancestors include the Rev. Ashley Smith, who took over First in Universalist Society on Park Street in Bangor shortly before the Great Bangor Fire in 1911.

Diane is a descendant of Thomas Leighton of Dover, N.H., as are a good many Mainers. Ned has Herrick ancestry, and the couple has visited Herrick Chapel in Leicester, England.

The Smiths have volunteered at the Chamberlain Museum in Brunswick, finding archival material such as letters, documents and diaries.

The Smiths are continuing to write. Diane’s “Chamberlain at Petersburg: The Charge at Fort Hell” was published in 2004 by Thomas Publications in Gettysburg, and she’s hoping that a second edition of 1999’s “Fanny and Joshua” will be realized. Her current project, due at the publisher in the spring, will focus on Ulysses S. Grant and the “western generals” of the Civil War.

Ned is working on a book about the Second Maine Cavalry and its excursions into the deep South, especially the Pensacola area.

I am very much enjoying Brian Swartz’ monthly column, Maine at War, in the Bangor Daily News. Brian has been an avid learner about the Civil War for decades. Enter Civil War or Swartz in the Bangor Daily News search box in the upper righthand corner of the BDN Web page. Find one of his recent articles at http://bdn.to/c5al.

The Maine State Archives also is offering Civil War material on its website at maine.gov/sos/arc.

Countless sources on the Civil War can be found on URSUS, the card catalog for Bangor Public Library, Maine State Library and the campuses of the University of Maine. The Web page for this database is ursus.maine.edu.

Tune in to the first episode of the season of “Who Do You Think You Are?” at 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 3, on NBC. Actor Martin Sheen is scheduled to be the subject.

For more information on researching family history in Maine, see Genealogy Resources under Family Ties at http://bangordailynews.com/browse/family-ties/. Send genealogy queries to Family Ties, Bangor Daily News, P.O. Box 1329, Bangor 04402 or email familyti@bangordailynews.com.

http://bangordailynews.com/2012/01/29/living/adjutant-generals-report-full-of-civil-war-info/ printed on August 23, 2014