Some Fascinating Facts About Maine in the Civil War
Looking for more reasons to be proud of Maine? Boy, do I have some good ones for you.
It's time to take you back to the 1800s. It was a time of great divide in this country, something that is very well-known.
In 1861, that division and tension led to one of the darkest chapters in this great country's history, the Civil War.
With war breaking out, it was essential for both sides to bolster the number of soldiers. This would be a long, bloody war. One where attrition would play a major factor. This is where Maine comes into play in a big way.
By all accounts, Mainers were pretty much in unison with the Northern doctrine at the time. According to the book Maine in the War for the Union by William Whitman and Charles True, it really began many years earlier when the anti-slavery Republican party gained major popularity in the state. According to the book, the abolitionist movement was an easy one for Mainers to get behind. The state's protestant movement and our frontier attitude played major factors in this support.
With this being the case, it came to no surprise that Maine stepped up in a big way after those first shots were fired at Fort Sumpter in 1861. Here are a few mind-blowing stats.
Maine sent the most soldiers in proportion to its population. This means Maine had the highest percentage of soldiers in the union compared to its population.
Maine had the second most sailors in the union. The only state that had a higher margin was Massachusetts. Of course, it's the two states that used to be one.
According to Daniel Cartnell's Civil War Book of Lists, the 1st Maine Heavy Artillery Regiment suffered the highest number of casualties in a single day than any other regiment in the war. A total of 67% of the 900 strong regiment was killed or wounded during an ill-fated charge in the Second Battle of Petersburg in 1864.
And I'm sure most Mainers know the story of Joshua Chamberlain and the 20th Maine's heroics at the Battle of Gettysburg. Their brave charge helped turn the tide of the battle and the war.
Plus, many more Mainers were on the home front manufacturing supplies, ships, and equipment, as well as protecting Portland Harbor from potential Confederate raids.
These are just a few of the incredible acts of bravery sand sacrifice Mainers made during the Civil War. There are certainly many more heroic stories from the battlefield to the home front to explore.
All Mainers should be proud of our state ancestors. The role they played in shaping what the country has become can never be truly measured.
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