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A Brief History of the 1st Maine Volunteer Infantry

By Patrick McSherry

1st Maine Volunteer Infantry, Co. I, 1898
Company I of the 1st Maine Volunteer Infantry. The photo was taken on May 14, 1898 at Camp Powers in Augusta, Maine. The company was formed at Lewiston, ME. In the photo, the company officers stand at far right. Kneeling in front of the officers are the company's drummers. Beside the drummers are the the company's non-commissioned officers.

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The 1st Maine Volunteer Infantry served its term of service within the continental U.S. during the Spanish American War.

The History:

The First Maine Volunteer Infantry was mustered into service at Camp Powers in Augusta, Maine between May 10 and May 26, 1898. At the time of mustering in, the regiment had forty-six officers and 979 enlisted men.

On May 27, 1898, the regiment proceeded south to Camp Thomas, on the grounds of the former Civil War battlefield of Chickamauga, Georgia, arriving on May 31. The regiment was assigned to the Third Brigade, Second Division of the Third Army Corps. The Third Brigade was initially commanded by Col. Lucius Kendall, who was succeeded by Brig. Gen. C. P. Mattocks on June 29.

Throughout the summer, conditions at the camp began to worsen as the camp swelled to a city of thirty thousand men, with inadequate sanitation and supplies. Disease climbed to alarming proportions. By the end of July and into August, the U.S. Army began relocating regiments to other, more healthy sites.

On August 13, the U.S. and Spain reached an armistice, effectively ending the war's fighting. On August 23, the regiment was ordered back to Augusta, Maine, where it arrived four days later. On September 21, the regiment was given a thirty day furlough. Between October 25 and December 13, 1898, the regiment was gradually mustered out at various company stations - Portland, Augusta, Auburn, Bridgeport, Rockland, Lewiston and Brunswick. At the time of muster out, the regiment consisted of forty-six officers and 1,211 enlisted men. The war had ended on December 10, 1898 with the signing of the Treaty of Paris.

During it term of service, the regiment lost two officers and thirty-nine enlisted men to disease. In addition, ten men were discharged on disability, one man was court-martialed and twenty-four men deserted.


Clerk of Joint Committee on Printing, The Abridgement of Message from the President of the United States to the Two Houses of Congress. (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1899) Vol. 3, 224, 225, 493.

Correspondence relating to the War with Spain And Conditions Growing Out of the Same Including the Insurrection in the Philippine Island and the China Relief Expedition. Vol. 1 (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1902) 596.

Statistical Exhibit of Strength of Volunteer Forces Called into Service During the War with Spain; with Losses from All Causes. (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1899).

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