Between Sept. 1 and Oct. 19, 1864, some 40,000 Union soldiers, under Gen. Phillip Sheridan, and 20,000 Confederate troops, under Gen. Jubal Early, were destined to fight it out in several major battles in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. During this campaign some 2,000 Maine men would struggle there. Of this number, nearly 500 men would end up either killed, wounded or missing. The casualties themselves would originate from the 1st Maine Veteran Infantry, the 12th Maine, 14th Maine and 29th Maine Infantry Regiments and the 1st and 5th Maine Artillery Batteries.

As you visit these many battlefields in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley, one thing becomes painfully clear: There are no permanent monuments to the sacrifice of these brave Maine heroes on any of these battlegrounds.

Currently there is an opportunity to place a lasting memorial to these Maine soldiers on the largest of these battlefields. The contest of which I speak was the Third Battle of Winchester, which was fought on Sept. 19, 1864. In this fight more than 230 Maine men became casualties, but nowhere is there an undying testament to their bravery and sacrifice.

There is an effort, in conjunction with the Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation, to raise the funds needed to purchase and install a stone memorial to Maine’s contribution at the Third Battle of Winchester. Some money has already been raised, but we still need to raise an additional $2,000.

Please help keep the memory of these men alive by contributing at gofundme.com/ monument-to-maine-soldiers or by mailing a check to Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation, Attn. Maine Monument Fund, P.O. Box 897, 9386 S. Congress St., New Market, VA 22844. Put “Maine Monument” in your note on your check.

Peter Dalton

Northport


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