Exhibit: 20th Maine
Text by Douglass Erickson
Images from the Maine Historical Society
"Whatever may become of me individually, God save the country, we need leaders, we have been ruined by the imbecility, imcompetency & treachery of our Generals."
From his Maine regiment, Abner R. Small wrote this to a friend on September 21, 1862. His sentiment was shared by thousands of men both in and out of military service. The War was not going well for the Union and in the summer of 1862, when President Lincoln called for an additional 300,000 troops, it was not a surprise to see so many men enlist in an attempt to bring proper leadership into the Army.
Maine's requirement to Lincoln's call was to raise 4 new regiments, creating the 16th through the 19th regiments, which were to serve a 3-year term. The men from Maine enthusiastically answered their President's call and a fifth regiment was created in order to accommodate these extras. On August 29, 1862 this regiment became the 20th Maine.
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