Discussion Maine and the Civil War

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matthew mckeon

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Read an article in "Downeast" magazine yesterday.

The theme was that Maine took a serious hit economically and socially in the Civil War.

1. The major Maine industries, fishing, logging and ship building all suffered during the war years as large numbers of the labor force went into the armed forces. Wooden ship construction suffered badly, as the older style vessels were being replaced by steamers and iron hulled ships(although I think that would have happened anyway).

2. Maine lost population from 1860-70, the only time in the 19th century(and indeed, until late 20th century), as veterans abandoned rocky fields to greener pastures in the west and midwest.

Maine certainly contributed to the Union war effort. If Maine regiments were filled, many went to Massachusetts to volunteer there. One enthusiastic recruited wanted to form a regiment of outsized lumberjacks("we'll need larger uniforms then ever before!")
 

prroh

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Read an article in "Downeast" magazine yesterday.

The theme was that Maine took a serious hit economically and socially in the Civil War.

1. The major Maine industries, fishing, logging and ship building all suffered during the war years as large numbers of the labor force went into the armed forces. Wooden ship construction suffered badly, as the older style vessels were being replaced by steamers and iron hulled ships(although I think that would have happened anyway).

2. Maine lost population from 1860-70, the only time in the 19th century(and indeed, until late 20th century), as veterans abandoned rocky fields to greener pastures in the west and midwest.

Maine certainly contributed to the Union war effort. If Maine regiments were filled, many went to Massachusetts to volunteer there. One enthusiastic recruited wanted to form a regiment of outsized lumberjacks("we'll need larger uniforms then ever before!")
last summer I visited a graveyard that had about 200 graves. Neither a church nor town were nearby and the names would indicate that this was not a family site. The grass was cut and graves well tended, however. Several of the graves had flags planted which indicated they were veterans of the war. Two of the graves were marked as being the final rest of two soldiers of the 1st ME Heavy Artillery, killed the same day at Cold harbor.
 

matthew mckeon

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The First Maine Heavy Artillery had the dubious distinction of losing the most men in a single engagement.
 
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realevergreen

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I believe that there was a brief comment on the Civil War series on public tv about the town of Deer Isle, Maine ? which showed that there was such a loss of manpower from the war that the town was pretty much abandoned by the end of the war and that the remaining residents later moved away. I don't think that I'm making this up, just unsure which town in Maine.
 

matthew mckeon

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Deer Isle was, and continues to be a small town on the coast, and is used in the series as a counterpoint to the southern town of Clarksville. Some salt water farms back then, but some lobster fisherman now, and because of the beauty of the place, many summer homes. John Steinbeck mentions it in "Travels With Charley."
 

prroh

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Deer Isle was, and continues to be a small town on the coast, and is used in the series as a counterpoint to the southern town of Clarksville. Some salt water farms back then, but some lobster fisherman now, and because of the beauty of the place, many summer homes. John Steinbeck mentions it in "Travels With Charley."
Is that near Stonington? Stayed in what is called a "camp" for a couple of weeks. nearby Blue Hill is an Artist colony
 
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Pvt_McIntire

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Thanks for starting this interesting thread. My ggreat grandfather was with the 30th Maine Infantry and was captured during the Red River Campaign. After being imprisoned at Belle Isle for 6 months, he was paroled and ended up settling in Massachusetts. I'm most interested in any Civil War facts related to Maine.
 

Tom A.

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I had two ancestors (older brothers of my g-g-g-grandfather) in the 31st Maine. One was wounded at Spotsylvania (lost a leg, but survived) and the other was wounded in the arm in the Battle of the Crater at Petersburg, and later died of infection resulting from surgery on the arm six months later.
 

jpeter

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I'm not certain about the 19th century, but Maine has had a very distinct culture from much of New England.

Ft. Kent and other northern cities still retain some French, and even now the state has a slightly independent persona.
 
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matthew mckeon

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I'm not certain about the 19th century, but Maine has had a very distinct culture from much of New England.

Ft. Kent and other northern cities still retain some French, and even now the state has a slightly independent persona.
Lots of French Canadians, migrated to work in the woods, and in the textile mills and shoe factories. I wouldn't call Fort Kent a city on the best day it ever had, but there certainly is a strong French culture there.

I'm a little biased of course, but I like Maine. More friendly than New Hampshire and less precious than Vermont. Less expensive than Massachusetts and Connecticut, and less corrupt than Rhode Island.
 

jpeter

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Lots of French Canadians, migrated to work in the woods, and in the textile mills and shoe factories. I wouldn't call Fort Kent a city on the best day it ever had, but there certainly is a strong French culture there.

I'm a little biased of course, but I like Maine. More friendly than New Hampshire and less precious than Vermont. Less expensive than Massachusetts and Connecticut, and less corrupt than Rhode Island.
I love Maine. I lived there for several months ... mostly around Portland but also near Bridgeton. Spent a summer at Ram Island and spent a couple of weeks in March of 1983 at Ft. Kent (hey, they have a college there, remember?).

Great place.
 
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brass napoleon

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Deer Isle was, and continues to be a small town on the coast, and is used in the series as a counterpoint to the southern town of Clarksville.
Aha. I never could figure out what the significance of Deer Isle was in that series.

I remember camping at Acadia National Park as a kid. Absolutely gorgeous. Must get back there someday!
 

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My parents vacation at York, Maine every summer behind Nubble Light. A cousin of my Mom from Maine passed away this past week. I wonder if that side of the family had any veterans of the war?
 

matthew mckeon

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In the Civil War series, I think they wanted to compare/contrast two typical communities. I don't think it worked. The Clarksville section was interesting because of the Union occupation, but Deer Isle just contributed some men and took a few losses.
 
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Field Master

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last summer I visited a graveyard that had about 200 graves. Neither a church nor town were nearby and the names would indicate that this was not a family site. The grass was cut and graves well tended, however. Several of the graves had flags planted which indicated they were veterans of the war. Two of the graves were marked as being the final rest of two soldiers of the 1st ME Heavy Artillery, killed the same day at Cold harbor.
Does anyone happen to know what cemetery this might be? Thanks!
 

John Hartwell

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The significance given Deer Isle in Ken Burns' Civil War, stems from its frequent use of the book A Maine town in the Civil War: a chronicle of the vanished town of Old Deer Isle, Maine, during the crucial years 1861-65, as found in town, state & national records, & as retained in the memories of the last survivors of that generation. by Vernal Hutchinson. Has been reprinted by the Stonington/Deer Isle Historical Society.

The island of Deer Isle today includes the towns of Deer Isle and Stonington. At the time of the ACW, it formed a single town, together with nearby Isle au Haut.

See: http://islandadvantages.com/news/2011/aug/5/time-tour-looks-at-deer-isle-150-years-ago/

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Stonington, Maine. One of my favorite places.
 

matthew mckeon

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The significance given Deer Isle in Ken Burns' Civil War, stems from its frequent use of the book A Maine town in the Civil War: a chronicle of the vanished town of Old Deer Isle, Maine, during the crucial years 1861-65, as found in town, state & national records, & as retained in the memories of the last survivors of that generation. by Vernal Hutchinson. Has been reprinted by the Stonington/Deer Isle Historical Society.

The island of Deer Isle today includes the towns of Deer Isle and Stonington. At the time of the ACW, it formed a single town, together with nearby Isle au Haut.

See: http://islandadvantages.com/news/2011/aug/5/time-tour-looks-at-deer-isle-150-years-ago/

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Stonington, Maine. One of my favorite places.
Linda Greenlaw, the author, lives on Isle au Haut. The island is the subject of two of her books, The Lobster Chronicles, and Lifesaving Lessons. She, last I knew, still fished lobsters.
 
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