rapidly transitioning from peace to war in 1861 as 17,000 Mainers enlist

Brian Swartz talk: Maine in the Civil War

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BELFAST — Civil War historian and blogger Brian Swartz will talk about “Maine’s Involvement in the Civil War” when he appears at the Belfast Free Library on Tuesday, July 23, at 6:30 p.m.

Author of the recently released book Maine at War Volume 1: Bladensburg to Sharpsburg, Swartz will discuss how Maine transitioned rapidly from peace to war, with 17,000 Mainers enlisting in 1861 and the state ultimately sending more than 11 percent of its population into the military.

Weaving personalities and stories from Maine at War Volume 1 into his illustrated talk, Swartz will introduce some interesting Mainers, men and women, who volunteered to help save the Union — including Belfast’s own “balloon handler,” Private Joe Wilson of the 4th Maine Infantry.

Published in May 2019 Maine at War Volume 1 draws on diaries, letters, newspaper articles, eyewitness accounts, the Official Records and regimental histories to detail Maine’s involvement in the first 18 months of the Civil War, as experienced by soldiers, civilians, nurses, and politicians from the far corners of the Pine Tree State.

Raised in Brewer, Brian Swartz became passionate about the Civil War during its centennial and started visiting far-flung battlefields in the late 1980s. A Bangor Daily News reporter and editor for 27 years, he launched his Maine at War column in April 2011 and his Maine at War blog in March 2012; the blog has published weekly ever since.

The talk will take place in the Abbott Room of the Belfast Free Library, 106 High Street, is free and open to all.

For more information, call the library at 207-338-3884.

Event Date: 

Tue, 07/23/2019 - 6:30pm

Event Location: 

Belfast Free Library


106 High Street
Belfast  Maine
United States