Maine at War: February 2021

Beech Grove Confederate Cemetery became reality in 1866, when Southern veterans moved comrades killed at Hoover’s Gap during the Tullahoma Campaign to a nearby civilian cemetery. (Brian F. Swartz Photo)

Here’s what our friend Brian Swartz was up to in February at his blog, Maine at War:

February 3, 2021: The 4th Maine’s Johnnies come marching home, part 2

A local band plays an appropriate tune as the 4th Maine Infantry’s three-year veterans disembark in Rockland after completing their three-year enlistments. Impatient to get home, they then blow through the festivities and head out the door.

February 10, 2021: Maine sailor helps capture a blockade runner
Stationed aboard the USS Somerset, Maine sailor E.C. Healy participates in capturing a suspicious English-flagged ship off Cuba. The blockade runner later turns Yankee.

February 17, 2021: Tullahoma Campaign history written in a Confederate cemetery
A small cemetery in rural Tennessee presents history, both buried and informative, about the little-known Tullahoma Campaign.

February 24, 2021: Union soldier murders Otis Howard’s black servant
Returning with clean laundry belonging to Gen. Oliver Otis Howard, a black servant encounters a racist Union soldier who wants the young man’s horse. What happens next is deadly.


2 Responses to Maine at War: February 2021

  1. Although this “paired” blog is focused on Maine and its relation to the Civil War years 1861 – 1865, it seems appropriate to call attention to Maine’s relation to the Missouri Compromise of 1820. And the program of “pairing” (admitting one free state at same time as a slave state in order to maintain voting equality in the Congress at Washington.) This program first began after Kentucky and Tennessee were admitted as Slave states in the 1790s, establishing an equal 8 – 8 balance; and continued with Ohio paired with Louisiana; Indiana paired with Mississippi; Illinois paired with Alabama…
    As I understand it, citizens of Maine were ambivalent regarding attempts to separate the Northern Territory from Massachusetts… until perceived lack of concern by Massachusetts with defence and safety of Maine during the War of 1812. Public sentiment reversed course and by 1819 a strong majority of citizens of Maine favored separation (this writer has seen the sentiment and subsequent action described as “secession.”)
    Why is this issue brought up?
    In the Winter of 1857/58 Senator Jefferson Davis suffered severe illness that worsened to “an eye disease” by FEB 1858; that affliction required weeks of isolation in a darkened room to overcome. After recovering sufficiently, Senator Davis travelled to Portland Maine in July for rest in order to complete his recovery.
    Why Portland? Was it because Portland was first capital of Maine following statehood (and the Constitution Convention was assembled there?) Was it because of the likelihood of participants in the Commission to Divide the combined territory of Former State of Massachusetts into Massachusetts and Maine still maintaining residence in Portland? Was Senator Davis interested in the experience of Maine in order to gain a template for his own (possible) secession in the future?

  2. Thank you for sharing this information, Mike. I live about a mile from where British troops defeated the Maine militia during the September 1814 Battle of Hampden. The Brits marched right past my future home site while en route to Bangor. The War of 1812 spurred Maine’s separation from Massachusetts, but it took a few attempts to accomplish.

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