Text By: Strong School 7th and 8th Graders, 2011-2012
Many young men from Strong and Freeman fought in the Civil War. Many were cavalry soldiers, who traveled and fought on horseback. This was probably because of their farm background and being familiar with horses.
John C. Bangs enlisted in the First Maine Cavalry in September 12, 1862. He was the son of Richard and Isabel Bangs of Strong. Mr. Bangs served in Company L. After the Civil War ended he transferred to the Veterans Reserve Corp on April 15, 1865. By 1870 he became a tailor in Otisfield. By 1880 John Bangs was a clothing manufacturer. Mr. Bangs had a wife, Clara, and three sons, and by 1910 he was a widower, living in Nebraska. John was listed in Broken Bow, Nebraska, on the 1890 Veterans Schedule and in 1910 he was a widower and resident of the Soldiers Home in Washington Precinct, Hall County, Nebraska. After the War many Maine residents had moved West in search of a better life or to join family members who had also migrated.
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Strong Historical Society
Isaiah Welch also served in the First Maine Cavalry. He was born December 18, 1831 in New Vineyard the son of William M. and Betsey Beal Welch. He was married to Hannah A. Davis and was a farmer with two children when he enlisted. Isaiah gave up his horse in the heat of battle to his commander, so the Confederates would not capture the leaders. Isaiah had noticed the commander’s horse get killed, and he brought his horse to his commander. Then Isaiah ran into the woods, and he slept in between two logs for the night. Eventually he safely made it back to his group's tents. He was a farmer in Strong after the war and died June 8, 1915, and is buried with his wife, who died two years later, in the Strong Village Cemetery.
Noah Emery Gould was another Cavalry man with a connection to Strong. Noah was born in September of 1843. He enlisted on October 13th, 1862, and mustered out on August 25, 1863. Noah Gould served in Co. E 24th Maine Inf. & Co. L 2nd Maine. Cavalry. He was married to Alma Weymouth, who died in 1881. He later married Mary A. Toothaker who died in 1909. Noah died on February 20, 1930.
Edward Gilkey was also a member of the First Cavalry during the Civil War. Edward Gilkey was born in Freeman on May 11, 1837. He lived in Freeman at the time of his enlistment and was the son of John and Mary Gilkey. He was enlisted in company L, the 1st of Maine’s Cavalry. Edward died from his wounds at the Battle of Petersburg. Gilkey Hill is named after Edward’s family who resided in the area for many years.
Gorham Parks Fassett was born on July 23, 1839. He was born in Freeman. He was the son of George and Mary Ann Parks. He was in the Civil War and serving in the 1st Maine Cavalry by October 31, 1861. In 1863, he was taken prisoner in Frederick, Maryland, and held for a short time by the Confederates. He was discharged from the United States Army in November, 1863, and he was married to Myra T. Ames on January 10, 1864. He went to prison in the same year. People say that he died in prison in the state of Georgia on March 3, 1865. In 1890 his widow lived in Shirley, Maine.
Benjamin Kilkenny was born in Freeman on May 16, 1839. He is the son of Thadious and Catherine Kilkenny. He was in company L, 1st Maine Cavalry. He enlisted on December 25, 1863 and was discharged on June 15, 1865. He married Helen Tripp and lived in Freeman. He died on May 31, 1915, and his wife died on 1918. They were both buried in the West New Portland Cemetery.
G.A.R. Post No. 134, Strong, ca. 1890
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Strong Historical Society
Edmund B. Clayton was from the town of Farmington. He enlisted in the United States Army at the age of 28. He served in Company L of the First Cavalry. Edmund was wounded on August 20, 1862. He was then captured on June 24, 1864, at St. Mary’s Church Virginia. He died on October 6, 1864, in Andersonville Prison of scorbutus. Scorbutus was the term for used scurvy during the Civil War time period. Scorbutus was caused by a vitamin C deficiency, and the symptoms were bleeding gums and open wounds that were hard to heal. Edmund Clayton is buried at the Andersonville National Cemetery in grave number 10421. The Strong Grand Army of the Republic Post was named after him.
Oscar Searles lived in Strong with the family of Samuel and Eleanor Hinkley in 1860. On December 11, 1863, he enlisted at age 18 in Company F, 2nd Maine Cavalry. On November 30, 1864, he died in the regimental hospital and was buried at Barrancas National Cemetery in Florida in grave 5-0-535.
Alanson F. Sweet was born in 1845 and lived with his parents, Alanson and Ruby Sweet, in Avon in 1850 and lived in Strong with his widowed mother by 1860. On December 11, 1863, he enlisted at age 18 in Company F, 2nd Maine Cavalry, and was mustered out on December 6, 1865. He died in 1875 in Wisconsin.
Edmund Thaxter Bangs Jr. was born on January 22, 1835, and married Melvina Walker in Phillips in 1858.
Edward F. Bangs was a 37-year-old resident of Freeman when he enlisted in the Army on September 12, 1862. He served in Company L of the 1st Maine Cavalry and later the Veteran Reserve Corps. He was listed as “sick” in Washington D.C. from April 1863 to June 15, 1864. He married Hannah Alma “Anna” Holley in 1871. In 1882 he applied for pension and was receiving $6 per month in August, 1883. In 1889, his pension increased to $24 dollars per month, and he received $500 of back pay in addition.
Battle of Gettysburg - By Currier & Ives
Henry J. Butterfield was the son of Samuel and Betsey Butterfield. He was the brother of Benjamin Butterfield. The family lived in Strong in 1850. Henry enlisted at 21 in the town of Bethel and was assigned to the Company C of the 16th Maine Infantry. Henry was killed at Gettysburg on July 1st, 1863. A memorial stone in the East Wilton cemetery states that his grave is in Gettysburg and his last words were “Tell my Mother that I died fighting for my country.”
Samuel Pinkham was another Cavalry soldier with ties to Strong. He was enlisted with the Maine’s 1st Cavalry on September 3, 1862. He was discharged on June 15,1865. Sadly he died on May 1866. He is now buried in the Ick Norton Cemetery in Industry, Maine.
Edward Fentiman was born in England in 1842. He was in Moscow, Maine, when he enlisted into the war on August 14, 1864. He served in Company D in the 9th Maine Infantry. He was eventually discharged out of the Army on July 13, 1865. When he returned to Maine he was a farmer in Freeman. Edward married Nancy Jane Allen in 1876. In February 1885 his Freeman farmhouse burned down, and he and his family escaped without being physically hurt. “Failing mentally” were the words used to describe Edward by 1899. He was taken to a Maine hospital. Edward died in 1901, and his wife was given an eight dollar a month pension. Nancy Fentiman died in 1926. Both Edward and Nancy Fentiman are buried in the Tuttle Corner Cemetery in Freeman.
Hiram Crocker Jr. was 19 years old when he enlisted in the United States Army. His enlistment date was August 14th of 1862, and he was assigned to G. Company, in the 16th Maine Infantry. In 1865 he was transferred to the 14th Maine Infantry division. Hiram left the Army after the Civil War ended and returned to Maine. He died at the age of 77, and is buried in the East New Portland Cemetery.
Daniel Witham Abbott was born on April 26th, 1845; he was the son of Richard and Susan Abbott. He enlisted in the United States Army at Dead River Plantation. Daniel was assigned to the Company K in the 9th Maine Infantry on September 16, 1864. The Civil War was almost over when Daniel enlisted. He was discharged less than a year later on June 30th, 1865. Daniel married a woman named Ester Ann and by 1870 they lived in Eustis Plantation with two daughters. Records show that Daniel married two more times in the early 1900s. He passed away in Farmington on August 15, 1927, and is buried in the Strong Village Cemetery.
Pvt. Orren Brackley
Orren Brackley was another Brackley who served his country during the Civil War. Orren Brackley was born on December 2, 1846, in Avon, the son of John Brackley, Jr.. He went to war when he was just 16 years old. His uncle was given fifteen dollars for signing him up for the Army. He enlisted in Battery 2, 1st Maine Light Artillery, on November 11, 1861. He re-enlisted in December, 1863, and was promoted to Corporal in 1865. Orrin wrote a journal about all of his experiences in the War, which was passed down through his family. Orren was mustered out of the Army on June 16, 1865. He married Elmira Carville in Salem and was a farmer in Freeman. He began receiving a pension in August, 1885. He died on July 3, 1921, and his wife died in 1935. They are buried in the Brackley Cemetery in Freeman.
Rufus G. Ellsworth of Strong wanted to be a musician for Company L but by December 28, 1863, he had been mustered to Petersburg, Virginia. When he was discharged from the Army, he moved to Kansas with his wife, his two kids and his wife's parents. In 1890 he applied for a pension and in 1911 his widow applied for hers as well.
Henry H. Smith was born in November 1838. He enlisted and served as a corporal in the 2nd Maine Cavalry. His enlistment date was January 2, 1864. He was later promoted in 1864 and was a Quartermaster Sergeant by 1865. He died on August 16, 1866.
Nathaniel Cook was born on May 15, 1816 in Weld. He is the son of Nathan Cook and Dorcas Allan. Nathaniel married Melinda Carlton and farmed in New York and Avon and in Freeman. He enlisted from Freeman as a Sergeant in the Company D 28th Maine Infantry on October 10, 1864 and received a discharge due to a disability. He died on October 12, 1907 in Avon and is buried in the Village Cemetery in Strong with his wife.
Hosea P. Ripley of Strong married Vesta Bray Peterson in 1838. He enlisted in Company L of the 1st Maine Cavalry on December 28, 1863. He was wounded at Saint Mary’s Church on June 24, 1864. In 1880 Hosea worked as a carpenter in Lynn, Massachusetts. He had applied for pension in 1865; then in 1900 his wife applied.
Pvt. Abner H. Foster
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Strong Historical Society
Abner H. Foster was born in 1822 and was married to Mary Jane Starbird. Foster Hill was named for his family since they lived in that area of North Freeman. Dr. Foster practiced as "a surgeon and dentist" in Freeman. He enlisted from Freeman in Company A, 7th Maine Infantry, on January 23, 1864. He transferred to the 1st Veteran Maine Regiment in August, and was discharged on May 22, 1865. He died on December 19, 1892, and his wife died in 1909. They are buried in the North Freeman Cemetery.
Rufus K. Brackley was another Strong resident to serve in the Civil War. Rufus was the son of John and Mary and he was born on March 23, 1826. He married Fidelia Kelley in 1850, and was a farmer. He enlisted on October 13, 1862 in Company D of the 28th Maine Infantry. He is listed as dying on August 31, 1863. Mr. Brackley died on the way back to Strong, Maine. Back then you had to walk home if you didn’t have a horse to ride. At age 37, Rufus Brackley died on that walk home. His widow applied for a pension on December 23, 1863, and later married Abraham Furbish. Rufus Brackley is buried in the Tuttle Corner Cemetery in Freeman.
Joseph O. Dodge was born on September 25, 1830, the son of William and Cynthia Pratt Dodge of Freeman. He married Elizabeth Dyer in 1858; she died in 1861. On November 15, 1861, Joseph enlisted from Salem in Company G, 12th Maine Infantry. He re-enlisted January 1, 1864, and transferred to Company A. Sometimes soldiers thought that they would only be serving for six months, and most often they served for four years. Joseph Dodge was wounded at Cedar Creek, Virginia, in October of 1864 and was mustered out on April 18, 1866. He married Olive True. In 1870 they lived in a boarding house in Lewiston, and he worked in a mill. By 1880 they returned to the area to live in Strong. He was a farmer at the time, and he suffered from spinal trouble. On the 1890 Veterans Schedule for Strong, he was described as "paralyzed and helpless." He died on June 3, 1895, and is buried in the Village Cemetery in Strong with his wives.
Benjamin P. McKeen, son of William and Dorothy McKeen of Strong, was born about 1838 and lived with his parents until about 1850. In 1860 he was a laborer on the farm of Joshua Allen in Walpole, MA. He enlisted from Cambridgeport, MA, in Company D, 74th New York Infantry on July 7, 1861. He was transferred from Campbell Hospital to the Veteran Reserve Corps. On September 26, 1864, he reenlisted from Strong in Battery 2, 1st Maine Light Artillery, and was mustered out on June 16, 1865. In 1870 he had a farm in Strong and he and his wife Winifred had two children. In 1890 on the Veterans Schedule he was listed as living on Decatur Street in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He died on May 19, 1898, and is buried in the Village Cemetery in Strong with his wife, who died in 1913.
Thomas G. Sanborn, son of John and Nancy Sanborn, was born in June 1839, and lived in Strong with his parents. He enlisted from Strong in Company G, 17th Maine Infantry, on August 18, 1862. Thomas was taken prisoner at Chancellorsville, Virginia, on May 3, 1863. On June 16, 1864, he received a discharge. He had been disabled from being kicked in the back by a horse. He submitted a pension application on July 16, 1864. He lived in Strong with his parents in 1870 and with his mother in 1880. He married about 1883. He was listed in Strong on the 1890 Veterans Schedule.
Cpl. John K. Richards
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Strong Historical Society
John King Richards was born on July 27, 1828, in Hollis, the son of John and Mary (Gray) Richards. He married Elizabeth Winslow of Farmington in Boston, Massachusetts in 1850, and worked as a brick mason in Saco, Bowdoinham, and Freeman. He enlisted from Bowdoinham in Company F, 19th Maine Infantry, on August 25, 1862, and was mustered out on May 31, 1865. Elizabeth died in 1871 and he married Ellen Medora Foster. He died on April 5, 1905, and was buried with Elizabeth in the North Freeman Cemetery. Their remains were moved to the Strong Village Cemetery in 1907. Ellen died in 1934 and is buried there as well. John and Ellen Richards are the great grandparents of Mrs. June R. Flagg, who has taught at our school for 43 years.