Samuel Washburn on Civil War commissions, New York, 1862

Contributed by Washburn Norlands Living History Center

Samuel Washburn on Civil War commissions, New York, 1862

This record was added to Maine Memory Network through the efforts of a student at Spruce Mountain High School .


Samuel Benjamin Washburn (1824-1890) was the seventh child of Israel Washburn and Martha “Patty” Benjamin Washburn of Livermore. In 1842 Samuel Washburn went to sea, and in 1844 he became the master of a vessel engaged in merchant marine service.

He worked as a captain on merchant ships sailing between Boston, Liverpool, and New Orleans. Here, Samuel Washburn wrote to his brother, Illinois Congressman Elihu Washburne, about Civil War commissions.

In 1857, Samuel Washburn moved west to work at a sawmill owned by his brothers in Waubeck, Wisconsin. In 1861, when the Civil War started, he was appointed an Acting Master in the U.S. Navy. On March 31, 1862 Washburn married Lorette May Thompson before leaving to join the Navy.

During the Civil War, Washburn was an officer on the U.S. Navy gunboat Galena. He was wounded in the hip when the gunboat sustained fire during the battle of Fort Darling on May 13, 1862. In 1864, he took command of four vessels in the Gulf Squadron under Admiral Farragut. In 1865, Washburn received an honorable discharge from the Navy and moved to Minnesota to work as a lumber merchant.

Lorette Washburn died in February 1869. Two years later Samuel Washburn returned to Livermore to take care of his father and to manage the family estate. On January 11, 1872 he married Addie Brown Reade.

Washburn never fully recovered from his war wound, and in 1887 went to Avon Springs, New York for medical treatment. He died in Avon Springs at 66 years of age.

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About This Item

  • Title: Samuel Washburn on Civil War commissions, New York, 1862
  • Creator: Washburn , Samuel Benjamin
  • Creation Date: 1862-01-17
  • Subject Date: 1862-01-17
  • State: NY
  • Media: Ink on paper
  • Dimensions: 20.5 cm x 13 cm
  • Local Code: Box 1, Folder 10, Letter 247
  • Collection: Samuel B. Washburn Collection, Correspondence: Sent 1843, 1862-1865
  • Object Type: Text

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For more information about this item, contact:

Washburn Norlands Living History Center
290 Norlands Road, Livermore, ME 04253
(207) 897-4366

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