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1st Maine Heavy Artillery Regiment, (US Civil War)

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  • Pvt. (USA), Winfield Scott Starbird (1847 - 1925)
    Winfield was a son of Stephen Robbins Starbird & Abigail Andrews.His namesake was Gen. Winfield Scott, of the "Bloodless" Aroostook War.Civil war veteran enlisted 13 Sep. 1864, Private 1st Maine Light ...
    Brevet Gen of Union Army (USA), Charles Emery Hamlin (1837 - 1911)
    Hamlin (September 13, 1837 - May 15, 1911) was an American Civil War general. He was also the son of Vice President Hannibal Hamlin and brother to Cyrus Hamlin, another Civil War general.He began his m...
  • Brevet Maj. General Daniel Chaplin (USA) (1820 - 1864)
    . Daniel Chaplin (1820-1864) was a Union officer in the American Civil War who died in battle and was posthumously made a Major General. Under Chaplin's command, the ill-fated charge of the 1st Maine H...
  • Major Nahum Forrest McKusick, (USA) (1802 - 1883)
    Civil War Veteran Affiliation: UnionMustered in: Dec. 12, 1863Promoted to Musician: Dec. 29th, 1863Promoted to principle musician: March 1, 1864Regts.: 18th Maine Volunteers and 1st Maine Heavy Artille...

The 1st Maine Heavy Artillery Regiment was a regiment in the Union Army during the American Civil War. It suffered more casualties in an ill-fated charge during the Siege of Petersburg than any Union regiment lost in a single day of combat throughout the war. It was also the Union regiment with the highest number of officers killed (23).

The regiment was mustered in Bangor, Maine, in 1862 as the 18th Maine Volunteer Infantry Regiment and consisted mostly of men and officers from the Penobscot River Valley (the area around Bangor and points east). It was commanded by Col. Daniel Chaplin, a Bangor merchant. Charles Hamlin, son of Vice President Hannibal Hamlin, was originally an officer in this regiment, but was promoted to a position on the staff of Maj. Gen. Hiram G. Berry before it saw significant action.

The regiment's name was changed in 1863 to the 1st Maine Heavy Artillery Regiment, and it served in the defenses of Washington, D.C. before being reassigned to the Army of the Potomac during the Overland Campaign in the spring of 1864. At the Battle of Spotsylvania Court House, the regiment took its first heavy casualties—6 officers and 76 men killed, and another 6 officers and 388 men wounded. At Petersburg, however, an ill-advised charge across an open field toward Confederate breastworks on June 18, 1864, ordered by Chaplin, resulted in the greatest single loss of life in a Union regiment to occur in the war, with 7 officers and 108 men killed, and another 25 officers and 464 men wounded. These casualties constituted 67% of the strength of the 900-man force. Chaplin survived the action but was later killed by a sharpshooter.

All in all, the 1st Maine sustained one of the highest casualty rates in the war, with 423 killed, and another 260 died of disease. A monument to the 1st Maine stands on the former battlefield at Petersburg.