16th Maine Infantry Recruiting Broadside - Inventory Number: PRI 179
Classic Civil War recruiting broadside for the 16th Maine Infantry, mustered into federal service in August 1862 for three years. The 16th’s first serious engagement was at Fredericksburg, where the regiment suffered heavy casualties. At Gettysburg the 16th Maine fought for much of the afternoon of July 1st at the northern end of the 1st Corps line. When the Union position collapsed, the regiment was ordered to serve as the rear guard to buy time for Doubleday’s Division to withdraw from Oak Ridge. The regiment held out as long as they could and then conducted a fighting retreat to the Railroad Cut, where they were surrounded and overwhelmed. The 16th Maine lost 11 killed, 63 wounded, and 159 captured out of the 275 men engaged in the battle. Its ranks refilled with new recruits, the regiment went on to fight at Mine Run, the overland Campaign, Petersburg, and the pursuit of Lee’s Army to Appomattox. Broadsides such as these were intended to be disposable, and few have survived. This example measures 24” by 19” and remains in good condition with some folds, typical staining, and edge loss in places. A classic Civil War recruiting broadside from a bloodied Maine regiment.
MAINE SIXTEENTH INFANTRY (Three Years)
Sixteenth Infantry.—Cols., Asa W. Wildes, Charles W. Tilden; Lieut.- Cols., Charles W. Tilden, Augustus B. Farnham; Majs., Augustus B. Farnham, Archibald D. Leavitt, Abner R. Small. The recruits for this regiment were rendezvoused at Augusta during the months of May, June and July, and the regiment was mustered into the U. S. service on Aug. 14, 1862, to serve for three years. The regiment left for Washington on the 19th with 38 commissioned officers and 944 enlisted men, and remained encamped there until Sept. 7, when it proceeded to Rappahannock Station as a part of Taylor’s brigade, Hooker’s corps. Here it was transferred to Duryea’s brigade of Reynolds’ corps. It had left camp at Fort Tillinghast, near Washington, in light marching order and during the next two months the men suffered terribly from the lack of sufficient clothing and camp equipage. By the middle of October the regiment had dwindled to less than 700 men, and of these 250 were at one time on the sick list. Even medicines for the sick were lacking and the hardships endured by these men, so recently taken from the peaceful walks of life, can never be told. Finally, at the end of October, they drew shoes and shelter tents, Nov. 27 (Thanksgiving Day), their knapsacks and overcoats arrived from Washington. The self-respect of the men was now restored and a better feeling took the place of the old despondency. The loss the regiment suffered in its first serious battle tells the story of its valor. About 450 men were engaged at Fredericksburg on Dec. 13, 1862, and 226 of this number was either killed, wounded or missing. Said Gen. Burnside, who commanded that day: “Whatever honor we can claim in that contest was won by Maine men.” The regiment again lost heavily at Gettysburg, when, at the close of the terrible three days’ fighting, all that remained of 248 officers and men, who entered the battle, were 2 officers and 15 enlisted men. Besides the battles above mentioned, the list of engagements in which this regiment bore an honorable part would include, Chancellorsville, Mine Run, Wilderness, Spotsylvania Court House, where it lost nearly 100 men, Laurel Hill, losing nearly 50 men, North Anna River, Totopotomy, Bethesda Church, Petersburg, Weldon railroad, Hatcher’s run, losing 3 killed, 60 wounded and 11 missing, Gravelly run, losing 29 men, and the South Side railroad. It joined in the pursuit of Lee’s forces to Appomattox Court House, after which it returned to Washington, D. C., where it was mustered out on June 5, 1865, and the next day the men were en route for the state rendezvous at Augusta where they were finally paid and discharged. The regiment had received about 800 recruits and in addition the 2nd company of unassigned infantry, organized at Augusta, Me., Sept. 23, 1864, to serve for one year, joined the regiment and was assigned as Co. A. The officers and men whose term of service did not expire before Oct. 1, 1865, were transferred to the 20th Me.
Source: The Union Army, vol. 1
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Inventory Number: PRI 179