Third Infantry--Col., Oliver O. Howard; Lieut.-Col., Isaac
N. Tucker; Maj., Henry G. Staples. This regiment responded to
the first call for troops with promptness and alacrity. It was
rendezvoused on the state house grounds at Augusta and was
composed mainly of Kennebec lumbermen. The regiment was most
fortunate in having for its colonel Oliver O. Howard, who rose
rapidly to the rank of major-general and gained for himself a
name distinguished among the nation's heroes. During the long
three years' service the regiment was successively commanded by
Maj. Staples and Capt. Moses B. Lakeman of Co. I, Lieut.-Col.
Tucker having resigned to become brigade quartermaster. On the
resignation of Lieut.-Col. Tucker, Capt. Sampson of Co. D,
Capt. Lakeman and Adjt. Burt served as lieutenant-colonel in
the order named. Succeeding Henry G. Staples as major were
Adjt. Burt and Capt. William C. Morgan. Of the original
companies of the regiment Co. A (Bath City Greys) had existed
under former militia laws and the others were new
organizations. The regiment was mustered into the United
States service on June 4, 1861, and left the state for the
front the next day. Perhaps no regiment from the state saw
more fighting or rendered more distinguished service. From the
first battle of Bull Run, until the battle of Cold Harbor, June
3, 1864, the regiment participated in most of the important
battles and movements of the Army of the Potomac. The
operations of the so-called "Stove-Pipe Artillery" commenced
with this regiment. While encamped at Flag Hill, Va., they
employed the ruse of mounting a stove-pipe on wheels, and drew
12 shots from the enemy at their cannon. The loss of the 3d in
killed and wounded at the battle of Fair Oaks was nearly one-
third of the men engaged. It was in this engagement that
Sergt.-Maj. F. W. Haskell of Waterville so greatly
distinguished himself as to win the commendation of his colonel
and of the entire regiment. The 3d gave an excellent account
of itself in the battle of Gettysburg. At the close of the
second day's fighting Gen. Sickles declared that, "The little
3d Me. saved the army today." Its loss at Gettysburg was 113
killed, wounded and missing. On the return of the regiment to
Augusta, June 11, 1864, only 17 officers and 176 enlisted men
were left to be mustered out. Sixty-four of these men
reenlisted, and together with the recruits were transferred to
the 17th Me. Not one of the original field and staff officers
returned with the regiment and only one of the original
captains--the veteran Moses B. Lakeman--who returned in command
of the regiment.
Source: The Union Army, vol. 1
Report of Maj. Henry G. Staples, Third Maine Infantry.
HDQRS. THIRD REGIMENT MAINE VOLUNTEERS,
Clermont, Va., July 27,1761.
SIR: I have the honor to submit the following report of the operation of the
regiment under my command, Third Maine Volunteers, at the battle at Bull
Run, Sunday, July 21, 1861. My regiment left camp at Centreville at 2.30
o'clock on the morning of the 21st, with the Third Brigade, under your
order. After a tedious march, we arrived at Bull Run, to within half a mile
of the enemy's battery. At 2 o'clock p.m. at this place the regiment was
halted under cover of the woods in front, to recover from their fatigue. After
remaining in this position some fifteen minutes we were ordered into line of
battle, and proceeded to engage the enemy. They were marched to the top
of the hill, one-fourth of a mile from their resting place, when the enemy's
battery opened upon us from the right with terrible effect. The men stood
firm in their position, firing in volleys about twenty rounds with good effect,
when they retired to the foot of the hill, reformed, and returned to the
encounter. Finding we were wholly unsupported, there being none of our
troops in sight and no batteries to assist us, we again retired, after a
desperate struggle of about fifteen minutes, under a raking fire from the
batteries of the enemy. My regiment retired from the field over the plain, in
full view of the enemy, in good order, but on reaching the
woods became somewhat scattered. They soon rallied, however, and
marched in retreat at route step to their camp at Centreville.
I would take this opportunity to mention the heroic conduct of several
officers of the regiment, and particularly of Capt. E. Burt, of the brigade
staff, who met me on the way and tendered his valuable services to act in
capacity of adjutant. He deserves the hearty support and good-will of the
Capt. Hesseltine, before leaving camp with his company, engaged in
prayer, and was heard to say to his men, "Trust in God, stand by the flag,
and you will know no fear." They did stand by, one and all, and the captain
cared not for his own comfort, but ministered to the wants of the wounded,
and conducted a part in safety to the camp.
Capt. Sawyer, Heath, Lakeman, and Lieuts. Hatch, Hall, Wiggin,
Colson, Johnson, Watson, Savage, and Harvey evinced true courage, kept
their positions during the engagement till ordered to retire, and administered
to the wants of the suffering.
The report of the killed, wounded, and missing, as far as can be ascertained,
is as follows.*
* * * * *
It is reported that some of the missing have been seen in Washington.
With respect, I have the honor to be, yours,
HENRY G. STAPLES,
Maj., Commanding Third Regiment Maine Volunteers.
Col. O.O. HOWARD,
Commanding Third Brigade, Third Division, U.S. Army.
Source: Official Records
PAGE 419-2 OPERATIONS IN MD., PA., VA., AND W. VA. [CHAP. IX.
[Series I. Vol. 2. Serial No. 2.]
2nd Bull Run, VA after action report:
Report of Maj. Moses B. Lakeman, Third Maine Infantry, Second Brigade,
of the battle of Groveton.
HEADQUARTERS THIRD MAINE VOLUNTEERS,
Camp near Fort Lyon, Va., September 4, 1862.
SIR: As commander of the Third Regiment Maine Volunteers on
Friday, August 29, I have the honor to report the proceedings of the
regiment on that day. On arriving on the field, by order of Gen. Birney
I supported Graham's battery. The regiment remained in that position until
noon, when by order of Gen. Kearny I moved down the road to the right
and supported Randolph's battery with six companies, the other four being
farther to the right and on the advance at the Brick Church as scouts and
supports for the pickets. This duty was performed without loss. Maj. Burt
returning to the regiment on the morning of the 30th I was relieved from the
I have the honor to be, sir, your most obedient servant,
MOSES B. LAKEMAN,
Maj., Third Maine Volunteers.
Lieut. and Actg. Asst. Adjt. Gen., Birney's Brigade.
Source: Official Records
PAGE 425-16 OPERATIONS IN N. VA., W. VA., AND MD. [CHAP. XXIV.
[Series I. Vol. 12. Part II, Reports. Serial No. 16.]
Gettysburg after battle report:
Reports of Col. Moses B. Lakeman, Third Maine Infantry.
Near Warrenton, Va.,
July 27, 1863.
Capt.: I have the honor to submit the following report of the
part taken by my regiment at the battle of Gettysburg, Pa., on the
By order, I formed my regiment in line of battle parallel to and
facing the Emmitsburg road, on the right of the brigade, at early
morn. Soon after, by order of Gen. Ward, I moved my regiment
as a support for a body of sharpshooters, under command of Col.
Berdan, to whom I was ordered to report, by Capt. Briscoe, of
Gen. Birney's staff.
Advancing to and for some distance on the Emmitsburg road, I
approached a dense wood on the west side of the road, and on entering
it formed my regiment (as ordered) to support the advancing
line of skirmishers, and followed at supporting distance. They soon,
however, became hotly engaged, and, by order of Col. Berdan, I
advanced double-quick to the line they occupied, and instantly
formed my regiment under a heavy fire from the enemy, which we
returned with a good will. Here I labored under a decided disadvantage,
which will account for my heavy loss. The skirmishers
were well secured behind trees, while my battalion filled the intervals.
The enemy showed himself in overwhelming force, but so
well did we hold our position that his advance was much checked
and very disastrous, and not until ordered by Col. Berdan to fall
back did a single man leave the ranks, with the exception of those
slightly wounded, when I retired, giving an occasional volley to
check his advance, which now became quicker.
I was obliged to leave my dead and seriously wounded on the field,
and on arriving at the road formed my regiment, which had gotten
somewhat confused from loss of men and obstructions in our retreat.
This engagement was short but very severe, and serves to give me
a renewal of confidence in the men I command. I sustained a loss
of 48 in killed, wounded, and missing.
While on the move to join my brigade, I received an order from
Gen. Birney to take position in a peach orchard on the right of
my previous one, and accordingly moved my regiment there and occupied
it. Here I was enabled several times during the day to repulse
the enemy's skirmishers (who seemed very anxious to drive us
from it), and also to seriously harass the left flank of their advancing
columns to the position which the other regiments of the brigade
were holding, changing my front as circumstances required. In this
position my regiment lay about midway between our own and the
enemy's batteries, and a few of my command were more or less seriously
injured from the frequent explosion of shells immediately
I was heavily pressed in front and on my right flank about 4 p.
m., but succeeded in repulsing, with considerable loss, the force,
which was much greater than mine, and sent them flying back to their
covers. An hour later they came forward again with a force much
greater than before, but I engaged them and held them for some
fifteen minutes, when I received a severe flank fire on my left. I then
saw a large force marching round to cut me off, and ordered my regiment
to retire, and while doing so we received a most distressing
fire, which threw my command into much confusion, and mixing
them up with a portion of the First Brigade, which was also falling
I regret to report the loss of my national colors, for no men fought
harder under it that day than did my regiment, but Capt. Keene,
of the color company, and his first and only lieutenant, Henry Penniman,
fell, the former pierced by four bullets, the latter severely
wounded in the leg. The color-bearer fell, wounded; 2 of the guard
were killed, and 4 others seriously wounded; and, as darkness was
fast approaching, I did not miss it till the following morning. If I
had, they would have had me and my little squad or I would have
had my flag.
As soon as I could rally the remains of my shattered regiment, I
joined the brigade, and the men lay on their arms during the night.
I am proud to say the conduct of my officers and men throughout
the entire day is deserving the highest praise. Their coolness and
courage in resisting a force which they could plainly see was four
times their number I cannot pass over lightly, but feel somewhat recompensed
for my loss by the knowledge that the few I have left are
of the same material as the gallant spirits that have fallen.
I entered the engagement of the morning with 14 officers and 196
rifles, and lost during the day 113 killed, wounded, and missing, including
Maj. Lee wounded, Capt. Keene killed, &c., a list of
which has already been sent to headquarters.
I have the honor to be, captain, very respectfully, your obedient
MOSES B. LAKEMAN,
Col., Comdg. Third Maine Regt.
Capt. John M. Cooney,
Asst. Adjt. Gen., Second Brig., First Div., Third Corps.
Hdqrs. Third Maine Regt.,
July 27, 1863.
Col.: I herewith respectfully report the movements of my
regiment under your command at the battle of Gettysburg, on the
3d, 4th, and 5th instant.
On or about noon of the 3d instant, I was, by order from Gen.
Ward, sent as support to the Second Division of the Second Corps,
which was being heavily pressed by the enemy, but who had succeeded
in repulsing them before my arrival. I reported to Gen.
Webb, and placed my regiment, as ordered by him, in support of a
battery in our front, but our services were not required throughout
the p. m. or night.
Early on the morning of the 4th instant, I, with the Fourth Maine,
Ninety-ninth Pennsylvania, and Twentieth Indiana Regt.'s, advanced
to the front, sending forward the skirmishers of the Second
Corps, and, taking position on the Emmitsburg road, previously the
skirmish line, relieved the skirmishers in my front, thereby being
supported by, instead of supporting, the Second Corps. Quite brisk
skirmishing took place during the day, but without loss, I am happy
to state, to my regiment.
I remained on this line until about 12 m. on the 5th, when I retired
to the position occupied the previous morning, leaving my skirmishers
still to the front, when, finding the enemy had gone, my
skirmishers were relieved, and I, with the other regiments, joined the
MOSES B. LAKEMAN,
Col., Comdg. Third Maine Regt.
P. S.--Permit me to add that the conduct of my officers and men
throughout the whole of the trying engagement was admirable in
the extreme, and they are highly deserving of special mention.
Source: Official Records: Series I. Vol. 27. Part I. Reports. Serial No. 43