Alonzo Garcelon of Lewiston, a physician, wrote to Gov. Israel Washburn inquiring whether the governor had made appointment of surgeons for the regiments as required by a statute. The Civil War had just begun and Garcelon wanted to insure that physicians were in place.
"If there are eight or ten regiments to be mustered into service the importance of this matter will become apparent," Garcelon wrote.
He closed by writing, "May our Rulers not falter for the people are with them in this great struggle of Liberty against Slavery."
The day after Garcelon wrote the letter, he was named Surgeon in Chief in charge of setting up a regimental hospital in Portland and supplying the regimental surgeons before they left Maine.