Date: Thursday, June 13, 2024
Time: 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Location: Mitchell Room Castine Historical Society, 17 School Street, Castine
Reservations: Required to attend in-person. Register below.
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Castine in the Civil War,” an illustrated talk by Diane and Ned Smith, Civil War historians and authors will be held on June 13 at 7:00 p.m. in the Mitchell Room of the Castine Historical Society. In their talk, the Smiths will discuss their research into Castine’s soldiers who served during the Civil War. In particular, they will delve into the treasure trove of letters written home by Private Henry Butler who served for four years in the 16th Maine Regiment before his untimely death just before the war ended.

Photograph of Private Henry Butler

The Smiths’ interest in the Civil War was first piqued as children during the 100th anniversary of the conflict. Then when their reenactor son became an extra in the movie Gettysburg, they were hooked. Their work as volunteers at the Joshua Chamberlain Museum in Brunswick led to the writing of Diane’s first book Fanny and Joshua: The Enigmatic Lives of Frances Caroline Adams and Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain. This was followed by three more books including Chamberlain at PetersburgCommand Conflicts in Grant’s Overland Campaign, and her most recent book, Washington Roebling’s Civil War. Ned, a retired history teacher, is also a published author with The 2nd Maine Cavalry in the Civil War and the 22nd Maine Volunteer Infantry in the Civil War.

During the COVID lockdown, the couple began visiting cemeteries in central and coastal Maine, seeking out the graves of Civil War veterans followed by research into these men’s war experiences. On a visit to Castine, their interest in the town’s soldiers was fueled especially after visiting the Castine Historical Society’s extensive archives which include the original Private Henry Butler letters and primary resources on other Castine men who served.

Following their talk, the authors will remain on hand to sell copies of their books and answer questions.

Reservations are required for this free in-person event.