Maine at War December 2022 blog posts

In December 2022 my Maine at War blog examined topics ranging from a sea chase off Cape Fear to how the war deeply affected an internationally famous poet who just happened to be Maine-born.

The blockade runner Sumter (left) slips past Union warships and into the Mississippi River’s Pass a l’Outre on June 30, 1861. A naval officer from Maine dealt with a similar situation off North Carolina only 11 months later. (Library of Congress)

December 7, 2022: Maine navy skipper nabs the “Goliath of Rebeldom”

Thick fog enveloped the gunboat USS Victoria blockading the approaches to the Cape Fear River on Wednesday, May 28, 1862. Then “the fog lifted,” and Acting Commander Joshua D. Warren spotted a blockade runner inbound past the Wilmington Bar.

December 14, 2022: I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day, part 1

Poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and his wife, Fanny, opposed slavery and secession. Although they supported (but rued) the war, violent death seemed far away one sunny and hot July 1861 morning in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

December 21, 2022: I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day, part 2

Poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow knew that his eldest child, Charley, chafed under his father’s refusal to let him join the Union army. Then Charley bolted into uniform, and martial glory shone in his eyes as 1863 unfolded. Summer transitioned to autumn, the Army of the Potomac moved toward Mine Run, and for the poet, a father’s greatest fear almost came true.

December 28, 2022: The 6th Maine Infantry’s heroes meet 50 years later

A half century after they mustered with the 6th Maine Infantry Regiment, elderly survivors converged on Ellsworth in Hancock County for an emotional reunion. They brought their relatives to witness that evening’s campfire. Then a well-known Medal of Honor recipient stepped to the lectern as the guest speaker.

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