3rd Maine Soldiers, Four CDVs

Two identified and two not. A cdv of a Corporal is ink signed Yours Truly/Wm. H. Macey/3rd Maine Regiment with Bennett, Alexandria, Va. back mark. William H. Macey, Co. F, joined in 6/61 and died on 8/30/62, cause unknown. A thumbnail tintype is pencil identified Pvt. Chandler Ayers/Co. D, 3rd Reg./Me. Inf. having Wing's Gallery, Waterville imprint. Private Ayers served primarily in the 17th Maine from 9/63 until his discharge in 1/65. His service in the 3rd Maine is undocumented in HDS.

Two additional officers are tentatively identified in modern pencil as Captain James H. Plaisted and Captain Geo. W. Harvey, wearing a Kearney Cross. Neither officer conclusively matches corresponding photographs on HDS.

3rd Maine, 2nd Brigade, 1st Division, 3rd Corps

Organized in Augusta in June 1861, the 3rd Maine served with the 3rd Corps through March 1864. It fought at First Bull Run losing nearly 50 casualties and suffered heavily during the Seven Days fighting and subsequent battles—Fair Oaks, Malvern Hill, 2nd Bull Run, Chantilly—that raged during the summer of 1862. The 3rd Maine lost 9 killed and wounded at Fredericksburg and nearly five times that many at Chancellorsville.

At Gettysburg, the 3rd Maine will be remembered for the savage defensive battle in the Peach Orchard. On July 2nd the regiment participated in a reconnaissance in force crossing the Emmitsburg Road preceded by elements of Berdan’s 1st US Sharpshooters. While forming up to eject Rebel skirmishers from a dense stretch of woods, the 3rd Maine came face to face with columns of Wilcox’s advancing Alabama brigade intent on attacking the Union left. An intense exchange of volley fire ensued lasting about 25 minutes before the “bugle sounded retreat” and the Federals fell back before the gray onslaught. After an “unaccountable sluggishness” lasting several hours, Lafayette McLaws division finally surged forward in a furious late afternoon assault on the Peach Orchard.

A grim but futile defense ensued but the Union salient was overwhelmed by enfilade fire and abruptly gave way. The 3rd Maine was “wrapped in a vortex of fire” and was “hurled out of the Orchard by overwhelming numbers.” The survivors retreated to the second line held by Hancock Corps. Later that night only 97 men reported “present” for roll call.

The veteran 3rd Maine participated in the early phase of Grant’s Overland Campaign during the early summer of 1864, seeing heavy fighting at the Wilderness and at Spotsylvania Court House. The valiant regiment mustered out of service on June 18, 1864, having suffered 135 men killed and wounded.

Provenance:The Tom MacDonald Maine Civil War CDV Collection

Condition:CDVs near VG with minor soiling.

Estimate: $250 - $350
Price Realized Including Buyer's Premium


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