Maine at War

Cpt. O'Neil W. Robinson

Army officers lobbied for promotion in winter 1863

By Brian Swartz, Special to the BDN on Jan. 21, 2013, at 12:50 p.m.
Maine at War
Lt. Col. Charles Tilden of Castine

The 16th Maine bled ‘a great Sacrifice’ at Fredericksburg

By Brian Swartz, Special to the BDN on Dec. 17, 2012, at 10:29 a.m.
A large firing squad executes five Union soldiers convicted for deserting the Fifth Corps, Army of the Potomac, sometime in 1863. Each blindfolded deserter sat on his coffin while awaiting his death; afterwards, each coffin was placed in the grave already dug for it. In South Carolina on Dec. 1, 1862, Alfred Lunt of Maine was shot under similar circumstances for deserting his Maine infantry regiment in Florida and robbing a local woman there. Lunt professed his innocence until the end, but too many eyewitnesses testified against him at his trial.

Hampden native joins circus, life of crime ends in execution

By Brian Swartz on Dec. 02, 2012, at 1:34 p.m.
Maine at War
An experienced nurse by September 1862, Isabella Fogg of Calais investigated rumors that Maine men wounded at the Battle of Antietam were receiving poor medical care. Her scathing report exposed the Army's incredible failure to care for thousands of wounded Union soldiers.

Calais nurse investigated Antietam’s hellish aftermath

By Brian Swartz, Special to the BDN on Sept. 24, 2012, at 12:53 p.m.
Marching in column with their rifled muskets at "right shoulder arms," members of the 7th Maine Infantry Regiment cross the Sunken Road during the Sept. 17, 1862 Battle of Antietam. A veteran of Antietam, Capt. James Hope of the 2nd Vermont Infantry, painted this landscape years after the battle; he likely watched the 7th Maine advance to attack Confederate troops in the distance. The painting is now owned by the National Park Service.

The 7th Maine fought its way out of an Antietam trap

By Brian Swartz, Special to the BDN on Sept. 10, 2012, at 11:40 a.m.
Maine at War
Capt. Freeman McGilvery

Contrary to press accounts, the 6th Maine Battery fought well

By Brian Swartz, Special to the BDN on Aug. 27, 2012, at 1:33 p.m.
George Washington Bartlett joined the 14th Maine Infantry Regiment as its chaplain in December 1861. Commissioned as a captain, he had no command responsibilities; during the Aug. 5, 1862 Battle of Battle Rouge, La., Bartlett remained at the front lines and witnessed the combat that engulfed his regiment. He later wrote Maine Gov. Israel Washburn about the experience.

Maine soldiers lost their pants during a battle in Louisiana

By Brian Swartz, Special to the BDN on Aug. 14, 2012, at 2:25 p.m.
Audience members listen as Miss Christabell Rose, a Civil War re-enactor, describes the circa-1862 dress modeled by K Hartsgrove of Newport. Both women participated in the Civil War Fashion Show held May 12 in the Prescott Building at the Good Will Hinckley School in Fairfield.

Civil War Fashion Show draws attentive crowd to Hinckley School

By Brian Swartz on May 14, 2012, at 4:09 p.m.
Black Hawk Putnam of Houlton organized Co. E, 1st Maine Cavalry Regiment, and led his men to war in Virginia in March 1862. Two months later, he was wounded during a disastrous charge at Middletown, Va.; evading capture, Putnam reached Union lines nine days later. He was active in the Grand Army of the Republic after the war.

Black Hawk (Putnam) down

By Brian Swartz on May 07, 2012, at 12:54 p.m.

Confederate artillery ambushed Maine cavalrymen in Virginia

By Brian Swartz, Special to the BDN on April 23, 2012, at 4:51 p.m.
James Henry Carleton of Lubec commanded the California Column that drove Confederate troops from Arizona and New Mexico in spring 1862. Carleton's troops fought Confederates and Apaches.

Lubec cavalryman saved the Southwest for the Union

By Brian Swartz, Special to the BDN on April 10, 2012, at 4:05 p.m.
Maine at War
Capt. John E. Bryant of Fayette raised Co. C of the 8th Maine Infantry Regiment. He served for a few years along the Carolina and Georgia coasts.

Peru farm family paid heavy price to preserve the Union

By Brian Swartz, Special to the BDN on March 26, 2012, at 4:37 p.m.
Born in Waterville, Charles Heywood became a Marine officer and fought in the savage March 8, 1862 sea battle between the USS Cumberland and the CSS Virginia, a Confederate ironclad. The battle took place at Hampton Roads, Va. Heywood later became the ninth Marine Corps commandant.

Waterville’s Charles Heywood battled an ironclad enemy

By Brian Swartz, Special to the BDN on March 12, 2012, at 4:58 p.m.
Born in Hampden in 1802, Dorothea Dix championed the rights of the mentally ill and prisoners during the mid-19th century. After she volunteered her services to the Union in spring 1861, President Abraham Lincoln named her the Army’s superintendent of women nurses.

Abraham Lincoln owed Dorothea Dix a favor or two

By Brian Swartz, Special to the BDN on Feb. 27, 2012, at 4:52 p.m.
John S. French, who joined the 5th Maine Infantry Regiment as a private in spring 1861, was a commissioned officer by the time this photo was taken sometime after mid-June 1863. He was a naturally talented soldier who rose through the ranks to lead men into battle at Rappahannock Station, Va. that November.

John French avoided the temptations that awaited Union soldiers

By Brian Swartz, Special to the BDN on Jan. 09, 2012, at 4:48 p.m.
An empty right sleeve identifies Ira Gardner as the second man from the left when members of the Edwin S. Rogers Post, Grand Army of the Republic, formed up in Patten on May 30, 1908.

Neither a sinking ship nor attempted murder could stop Ira Gardner

By Brian Swartz, Special to the BDN on Dec. 12, 2011, at 5:22 p.m.
In April 1862, Benjamin Franklin Hinkley and the 8th Maine Infantry Regiment helped capture Fort Pulaski, which guarded the Savannah River in Georgia. Fort Pulaski National Monument now preserves the restored fort, which is a “must-see” site for Civil War buffs.

Inaccurate rebel shooting let a LaGrange farmer come home alive

By Brian Swartz, Special to the BDN on Oct. 11, 2011, at 3:58 p.m.
Marcellus Emery printed The Democrat in fourth-floor offices in the Wheelwright-Clark Block in downtown Bangor. A mob destroyed his printing press and hurled it into West Market Square on Aug. 12, 1861.

Freedom of the press went flying in Bangor in August 1861

By Brian Swartz, Special to the NEWS on Sept. 19, 2011, at 5:34 p.m.
Hailing from Leeds in Androscoggin County, Oliver Otis Howard commanded a Union brigade at First Manassas and fought throughout the Civil War. He later led the Freedmen’s Bureau, which assisted former slaves seeking better lives in the South.

Oliver Otis Howard fought Confederate soldiers and an American president

By Brian Swartz on Aug. 08, 2011, at 4:25 p.m.
At Manassas National Battlefield Park in Virginia, only the foundation stones mark where the wood-framed Robinson House stood on the northern edge of Henry House Hill in July 1861. The 2nd Maine Infantry Regiment charged past the house during the Battle of Manassas.

William Deane carried the California Flag into battle at Manassas

By Brian Swartz, Special to the BDN on July 11, 2011, at 9:15 p.m.