December 2021 Maine at War blog posts

In December, my Maine at War blog examined topics ranging from a little-known Mainer with a famous name to women overlooked by history’s focus on soldiers and their battles.

Wives, sweethearts, and children swarm Union infantrymen returning home after mustering out in summer 1863. The male-dominated press paid little attention to soldiers’ wives during the Civil War. (Winslow Homer/Harper’s Weekly)

December 1, 2021: Scarborough’s Hiram Berry fought in Louisiana and Virginia

The highest-ranking Mainer to die during the Civil War was Rockland’s Hiram Berry, a major general when a Confederate sniper killed him at Chancellorsville. A lesser-known Hiram Berry toted a rifle with the 12th Maine Infantry Regiment while fighting at Port Hudson and in the Shenandoah Valley.

December 8, 2021: Soldiers and their wives bid a last farewell

Civil War historiography has inadequately examined the wives who kept the home fires burning as their husbands traipsed off to fight. In midsummer 1863, a civilian traveling on a steamer bound for New York City watched Massachusetts soldiers and their wives share their last minutes together as the ship reached its dock. A Maine newspaper published his letter.

December 15, 2021: Six cheers for Madame Flag Raiser!

During a patriotic celebration held by the 8th Maine Infantry Regiment on Port Royal Island in early 1864, uniformed participants raised the most cheers for Matilda Gordon Saxton, wife of Brig. Gen. Rufus Saxton, as she ran a massive American flag up a 100-foot flagpole.

December 22, 2021: Christmas 1862: awaiting a brother’s fate at Fredericksburg

After not hearing from her brother more than a week after the Fredericksburg debacle, a worried Maine woman wrote him courtesy of the 5th Maine Infantry Regiment. His response explained why soldiers had little time to write after that battle.

December 29, 2021: “Sprechen sie Deutsch” in Portland?

Newspaper “attaches” touring a Portland-area military camp in late January 1865 encountered two soldiers who should not have been there, but failed to investigate why.

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1 Response to December 2021 Maine at War blog posts

  1. Gary Lemaster says:

    I have been conducting research on Charles McIntyre, 1st Maine Calvary. He was one of the last casualties at Appomattox. I have much to share and more to learn.

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