Here’s what our friend Brian Swartz was up to in December at his blog, Maine at War:
December 4, 2019: Fort Hell and the 7th Maine Battery, part 1
Dr. William Berry Lapham of Bryant Pond in northwestern Maine wanted to get into the war in the worst way. He traded a cavalry commission for the senior lieutenancy in the 7th Maine Battery.
December 11, 2019: Fort Hell and the 7th Maine Battery, part 2
Senior 1st Lt. William Berry Lapham thought the 7th Maine Battery had a cushy assignment at Fort Alexander Hays. Then the army transferred the outfit to Fort Sedgwick, a.k.a. “Fort Hell” — and Confederate-held Fort Mahone, a.k.a. “Fort Damnation,” was just across the way.
December 18, 2019: Fort Hell and the 7th Maine Battery, part 3
Confederate gunners often used Fort Hell for target practice, so Senior 1st Lt. William Berry Lapham ordered his 7th Maine Battery gunners to dig deep and build well — and occasionally fire back.
December 25, 2019: Researchers rely on primary sources for invaluable material
There are different types of “primary sources” upon which researchers can draw for Civil War material: letters, diaries, etc., and period newspapers — but be careful! “Fake news” was common during the war!