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Exhibits

Your results include these online exhibits. You also can view all of the site's exhibits, view a timeline of selected events in Maine History, and learn how to create your own exhibit. See featured exhibits or create your own exhibit


Exhibit

In Canada During the Civil War

One surviving letter from the family of Francis Pratt to the young man who was in Canada in 1865 suggests that going to Canada to escape military service during the Civil War was not unheard of. The letter also suggests money was removed to Canada to protect it.

Exhibit

A Soldier's Declaration of Independence

William Bayley of Falmouth (Portland) was a soldier in the Continental Army, seeing service at Ticonderoga, Valley Forge, Monmouth Court House, and Saratoga, among other locations. His letters home to his mother reveal much about the economic hardships experienced by both soldiers and those at home.

Exhibit

Enemies at Sea, Companions in Death

Lt. William Burrows and Commander Samuel Blyth, commanders of the USS Enterprise and the HMS Boxer, led their ships and crews in Battle in Muscongus Bay on Sept. 5, 1813. The American ship was victorious, but both captains were killed. Portland staged a large and regal joint burial.

Exhibit

The British capture and occupation of Eastport 1814-1818

The War of 1812 ended in December 1814, but Eastport continued to be under British control for another four years. Eastport was the last American territory occupied by the British from the War of 1812 to be returned to the United States. Except for the brief capture of two Aleutian Islands in Alaska by the Japanese in World War II, it was the last time since 2018 that United States soil was occupied by a foreign government.

Exhibit

Maine's 20th Regiment

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.

Exhibit

Lt. Charles A. Garcelon, 16th Maine

The son of Maine's surgeon general and nephew of a captain in the 16th Maine, Charles A. Garcelon of Lewiston served in Co. I of the 16th Maine. His letters home in the first 17 months of his service express his reflections on war and his place in it.

Exhibit

War Through the Eyes of a Young Sailor

Eager to deal with the "Sesech" [Secessionists], young deepwater sailor John Monroe Dillingham of Freeport enlisted in the U.S. Navy as soon as he returned from a long voyage in 1862. His letters and those of his family offer first-hand insight into how one individual viewed the war.

Exhibit

Rebecca Usher: 'To Succor the Suffering Soldiers'

Rebecca Usher of Hollis was 41 and single when she joined the Union nursing service at the U.S. General Hospital at Chester, Pennsylvania. Her time there and later at City Point, Virginia, were defining experiences of her life.

Exhibit

George F. Shepley: Lawyer, Soldier, Administrator

George F. Shepley of Portland had achieved renown as a lawyer and as U.S. Attorney for Maine when, at age 42 he formed the 12th Maine Infantry and went off to war. Shepley became military governor of Louisiana early in 1862 and remained in the military for the duration of the war.

Exhibit

This Rebellion: Maine and the Civil War

For Mainers like many other people in both the North and the South, the Civil War, which lasted from 1861-1865, had a profound effect on their lives. Letters, artifacts, relics, and other items saved by participants at home and on the battlefield help illuminate the nature of the Civil War experience for Mainers.

Exhibit

Lt. Charles Bridges: Getting Ahead in the Army

Sgt. Charles Bridges of Co. B of the 2nd Maine Infantry was close to the end of his two years' enlistment in early 1863 when he took advantage of an opportunity for advancement by seeking and getting a commission as an officer in the 3rd Regiment U.S. (Colored) Volunteers.

Exhibit

Field & Homefront: Bethel during the Civil War

Like many towns, Bethel responded to the Civil War by sending many soldiers and those at the homefront sent aid and supported families. The town grew during the war, but suffered after its end.

Exhibit

Portland Hotels

Since the establishment of the area's first licensed hotel in 1681, Portland has had a dramatic, grand and boisterous hotel tradition. The Portland hotel industry has in many ways reflected the growth and development of the city itself. As Portland grew with greater numbers of people moving through the city or calling it home, the hotel business expanded to fit the increasing demand.

Exhibit

Passing the Time: Artwork by World War II German POWs

In 1944, the US Government established Camp Houlton, a prisoner of war (POW) internment camp for captured German soldiers during World War II. Many of the prisoners worked on local farms planting and harvesting potatoes. Some created artwork and handicrafts they sold or gave to camp guards. Camp Houlton processed and held about 3500 prisoners and operated until May 1946.

Exhibit

The Sanitary Commission: Meeting Needs of Soldiers, Families

The Sanitary Commission, formed soon after the Civil War began in the spring of 1861, dealt with the health, relief needs, and morale of soldiers and their families. The Maine Agency helped families and soldiers with everything from furloughs to getting new socks.

Exhibit

Port of Portland's Custom House and Collectors of Customs

The collector of Portland was the key to federal patronage in Maine, though other ports and towns had collectors. Through the 19th century, the revenue was the major source of Federal Government income. As in Colonial times, the person appointed to head the custom House in Casco Bay was almost always a leading community figure, or a well-connected political personage.

Exhibit

400 years of New Mainers

Immigration is one of the most debated topics in Maine. Controversy aside, immigration is also America's oldest tradition, and along with religious tolerance, what our nation was built upon. Since the first people--the Wabanaki--permitted Europeans to settle in the land now known as Maine, we have been a state of immigrants.

Exhibit

State of Mind: Becoming Maine

The history of the region now known as Maine did not begin at statehood in 1820. What was Maine before it was a state? How did Maine separate from Massachusetts? How has the Maine we experience today been shaped by thousands of years of history?