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'Confederacy Forever' flag, ca. 1863

'Confederacy Forever' flag, ca. 1863

Item 82340 info
Maine Historical Society

Rebels at the Door

The war came to Maine shores a number of times.

One of those time was July 18, 1864 when Capt. William Collins and two other Confederates attempted to rob the Calais.

Warned of the raid – in part due to a tip from Collins' brother in York – guards quickly seized the three men who entered the bank.

A much larger group of Confederates had plans, now foiled, to free Confederate prisoners held in the north, hurt Northern morale, and burn Calais and perhaps more of Maine.

The three were tried, convicted, and sent to prison in Thomaston. Collins escaped 36 days later and made his way back to New Brunswick, where his parents lived.

In his prison cell, he left behind a flag from the 15th Mississippi Regiment, where he had been a scout. His brother, the Rev. John Collins, claimed the flag and donated it to Maine Historical Society in 1910.


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