May 1861, 1861-05
Scope and Contents
This material primarily consists of incoming correspondence from officers of the various Maine units, addressed to either the Adjutant General of Maine or the three Governors who held office during the Civil War. While much of it deals with the mechanical routines of running a regiment, the material can give researchers a unique insight into how the volunteer regiments worked – or, in some cases, failed to work. Often beset by regimental politics as well as civilian political interest, most of these units nevertheless matured into formidable fighting forces in the end.
Throughout the war, the Adjutant General and the Governors employed special agents to investigate and report on specific problems or conditions. For instance, after Antietam, General McClellan granted wholesale furloughs to weary participants who took themselves home immediately. The Army had a dreadful time getting them back. Eventually, in Maine, agents were sent through each county to find these men, determine whether they were able to go back, and send them on their way. At other times agents were sent as far afield as Florida to check on conditions among Maine troops.
Also within this category is correspondence from the numerous branches of the U.S. War Department and from the Executive Department, and various commands of the U.S. Army. The material is arranged chronologically within each series or subheading. A very large series of letters comes from the numerous suppliers of every conceivable type of material from tin cups to silk flags. This material provides extremely useful economic information, containing evidence of who was manufacturing what and where. It is filed chronologically by State and then individually by city within the State.
From the Schedule/Series: 33.1 Linear Feet (72 Containers)
Language of Materials
From the Record Group: English