Robert E. Lee’s Confederate infantry never reached Maine during the Civil War, but some gray-clad soldiers will arrive this summer to help their Union comrades celebrate the war’s sesquicentennial.
Scheduled events range from cannon-firing demonstrations to encampments to a full-scale battle slated for late August in Fairfield. Some local historical societies have placed Civil War-related activities on their calendars, too; these activities usually involve a speaker focusing on a specific topic.
Among the Civil War events slated for summer 2012 are:
• Windham: On June 23-24, Co. A of the 3rd Maine Infantry Regiment will establish an encampment on the grounds of Windham High School as part of Windham Summerfest.
• Fort Knox State Historic Site, Prospect: From 10 a.m.-4 p.m., daily, June 30-July 1, members of the 6th Maine Battery will demonstrate Civil War artillery by firing a full-scale Parrot cannon.
• Fort Knox State Historic Site, Prospect: Re-enactors from Co. B, 20th Maine Infantry Regiment, will hold an encampment at Fort Knox as part of the Bucksport Bay Festival.
• Phillips: Re-enactors from the 3rd Maine Infantry Regiment and the 15th Alabama Infantry Regiment will participate in the Phillips Old Home Days in Phillips.
• Bangor: Through March 30, 2012, the Bangor Museum and History Center at 159 Union St., Bangor will offer “Women in War: 1861-1865,” an exhibit that details the roles played by local women during the Civil War. The exhibit is open from 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Tuesday-Saturday. For more information, call (207) 942-1900.
The year’s major event will take place Aug. 24-26 at the Good Will Hinckley School on Route 201 in Fairfield. Titled “We Are Coming, Father Abraham” and sponsored by the Maine Living History Association, the re-enactment will celebrate the 150th anniversary of five Maine infantry regiments (the 16th, 17th, 18th, 19th, and 20th) being formed and mustered into Federal service.
Named for the popular song title based on Abraham Lincoln’s call for 300,000 additional soldiers to defend the Union, the re-enactment will bring hundreds of re-enactors to central Maine to establish an authentic military camp and a civilian town. Uniformed Confederate and Union re-enactors will battle on the Hinckley School’s pastoral campus, with artillery and cavalry units joining the fray.
During the encampment, visitors will be encouraged to meet the uniformed participants and ask questions about the specific units that they represent.
For more information about the Hinckley School re-enactment, log onto http://gwh2012.civilwarmaine.org/about.