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.
Source: The Union Army, vol. 1
Report of Col. Charles D. Jameson, Second Maine Infantry.
[NOTE.--The first page of Col. Jameson's report was never received
in the Adjutant-Gen.'s Office.]
* * * * *
Lieut. John Skinner, Company C, was taken prisoner while assisting
Capt. Jones to the hospital. Surgeon Allen remained in care of the
wounded, and was also taken, together with his son. Chaplain J.F.
Mines is probably a prisoner. There are still 115 privates missing, a
number of whom I feel confident will yet come in, so that our loss in
killed, wounded, and missing will be less than 150.
Permit me before closing this report to express my entire satisfaction
with the officers and men under my command during the engagement,
for with few exceptions they obeyed every order promptly, and maintained
their position under a most severe fire of artillery and small-arms until
ordered to fall back.
Great credit is due Lieut. Col. C.W. Roberts, Maj. George Varney,
and Adjutant Reynolds for their coolness and courage on the field under the
heavy fire that was thinning our ranks.
Capt. E.N. Jones fell mortally wounded while exhibiting great courage in
rallying his men to the charge. Sergeant William J. Dean fell severely
wounded while nobly bearing the beautiful California stand of colors
presented to the regiment the day before by the ladies of San Francisco
formerly residents of Maine. The colors were lost, but regained. My thanks
are due Capt. F.C. Foss, Sergeant Samuel Hinckley, of Company A, and
Corporal Benjamin Smart, Company H, for important extra services
rendered during the day; also to Sergeant G.W. Brown, Company F; A.J.
Knowles and L. Carver, Company D; A.P. Jones and H.W. Wheeler,
Company A; Peter Welch, Company I, for nobly volunteering to accompany
me to remove the dead and wounded from the field under a very heavy fire
of artillery and musketry.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Col. Second Regiment Maine Volunteers.
Col. E.D. KEYES,
Commanding First Brigade, First Division.
Source: Official Records
[CHAP. IX. THE BULL RUN CAMPAIGN. PAGE 356-2
[Series I. Vol. 2. Serial No. 2.]