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in the Civil War
|Second Infantry. Col., Charles D. Jameson; Lieut.-Col., Charles W.
Roberts; Maj., George Varney. Numerically the second, this was in fact the first regiment
to leave the state for the front. It was raised within the limits of the first militia
division of the state and was rendezvoused at Bangor. Companies A, B, C, D and I belonged
to Col. Jameson's old command, and were reorganized for service in this regiment. The
others were new companies. It completed its organization and left the state May 14, 1861.
Like the 1st, it originally enlisted for three months, but on May 28, was mustered into
the United States service for two years. The 2nd, during its two years' term of service,
saw much hard service and participated in eleven bloody and hard-fought battles, besides
numerous skirmishes and scouting expeditions. It never received a word of censure and
invariably distinguished itself. A list of the important battles in which it was engaged
includes the first and second Bull Run, Hall's Hill, Yorktown, Hanover Court House,
Gaines' Mill, Malvern Hill, Antietam, Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville. The magnificent
fighting record of the 2nd was largely due to the efficiency of its officers. It showed
the stuff it was made of in its first battle at Bull Run. Col. Keyes, who commanded the
brigade which included the 2nd Me., says in his official report of the battle: "The
gallantry with which the 2nd regiment of Maine volunteers charged up the hill upon the
enemy's artillery and infantry, was never in my opinion surpassed." Col. Jameson, the
first volunteer and the first colonel in the field from Maine, was commissioned
brigadier-general of volunteers for gallantry displayed in this, his first battle.
Lieut.-Col. Roberts succeeded to the command of the regiment, and after his resignation
and honorable discharge, Jan. 10, 1863, Lieut.-Col. Varney was promoted to the colonelcy
of the regiment, and Maj. Sargent was commissioned lieutenant-colonel, the majorship being
left vacant on account of the reduced condition of the regiment. On July 18, 1862, Capt.
Chaplin, who had succeeded Varney in that command, was discharged to enable him to accept
the command of the 18th Me., then being raised, and Capt. Sargent of Co. G was promoted to
fill the vacancy. Some of the men became discontented three months after leaving the state
from seeing three months' men from other states returning home. Sixty-six claimed their
time had expired, became insubordinate, and were sentenced to Tortugas ; but this sentence
was later commuted to a transfer to the 2nd N. Y., where they served about a year and then
returned and served faithfully with the regiment for the remainder of the term. Co. I
became greatly reduced in numbers in Oct., 1861, and the officers having resigned, it was
disbanded. Capt. Daniel White of Bangor raised a new company which took its place in
December of that year. On July 28, 1862, the effective strength of the 2nd became reduced
to 257 rifles and came out of the battle of Second Bull Run with but 137 men able to carry
arms. This is most convincing evidence of the trying service to which they were subjected.
The regiment was mustered out June 4, and 9, 1863. In all 1,228 men were mustered in, of
whom 275 returned and were mustered out; 120 were mustered in for three years and
transferred to the 20th Me.
Regimental history taken from "The Union Army" by Federal Publishing
Company, 1908 - Volume 1