2nd Maine Volunteer Infantry Regiment
|2nd Maine Volunteer Infantry Regiment|
|Active||May 28, 1861, to June 9, 1863|
|Engagements||First Battle of Bull Run, Peninsula Campaign, Battle of 2nd Bull Run, Battle of Antietam, Battle of Chancellorsville|
The 2nd Maine Volunteer Infantry Regiment (also known as the Second Maine Regiment, Second Maine Infantry, or The Bangor Regiment) was a Union Army unit during the American Civil War. It was mustered in Bangor, Maine, for two years' service on May 28, 1861, and mustered out in the same place on June 9, 1863.
Five of the ten companies of the regiment were raised in Bangor, including a Gymnasium Company, the Grattan Guards, and a company of Ex-Tigers (firemen). Other companies were from Castine, Milo, and Old Town.
The 2nd Maine was the first Civil War regiment to march out of the state, and was greeted with accolades by civilians as it made its way to Washington, D.C. It engaged in "eleven bloody and hard-fought battles" including the First Battle of Bull Run, where it was the last regiment to leave the field, and Fredericksburg, where it took its greatest number of casualties.
When the regiment was mustered out in Bangor, huge crowds gathered to celebrate its return on Broadway, and a ceremony was held at Norumbega Hall downtown. Those soldiers who had enlisted for three years, rather than two, were transferred to the 20th Maine Volunteer Infantry Regiment under protest.
The first commander of the 2nd Maine was Col. Charles Davis Jameson, a lumber merchant from Old Town, who later became a brigadier general, was wounded in battle, and died of camp fever. Jameson's successor was Col. Charles W. Roberts of Bangor, who had a horse shot out from under him at the Second Battle of Bull Run. The last commander was Col. George Varney.
The Ex-Tigers were led by Capt. Daniel Sargent of Brewer, Maine, who would be promoted to lieutenant colonel and second in command under Varney.
Augustus Choate Hamlin of Bangor, nephew of Vice President Hannibal Hamlin, was the regiment's Assistant Surgeon, and later Surgeon. After the war, he wrote books about Andersonville Prison and the Battle of Chancellorsville.
The regiment lost 69 men killed in action or died of wounds received in battle and an additional 70 men died of disease and 15 men executed for mutiny.
According to the History of Penobscot County, Maine, the regiment suffered 47 killed or wounded in the First Battle of Bull Run and over 100 missing in action (presumably including those taken prisoner).
- James H. Mundy, Second to None: The Story of the Second Maine Volunteers, "The Bangor Regiment" (Scarborough, Me.: Harp Publishing, 1993)
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