Local and Legendary: Belfast in the Civil War

March 27, 1863

“Camp Grover, Baton Rouge, March 12th, 1863 – The 26th Maine Regt. still remains at this place but we have been under marching orders since Sunday, 8th inst. Why our march has been so long delayed after the order of preparation was given, is a mystery to those who have always thought that success in military operations depend upon the secrecy and dispatch with which they are conducted. The event is so near that I will not speculate on the result; but I hope for the honor of our country, and the 26th Maine, that we shall be successful. My report this morning show the strength of the Regt., to be 877 – 89 of whom are absent, leaving 788 present, 200 of these are sick, so we shall start with some less than 600 men. We have lost 19 by death since our Regt. was organized. Yours Truly, D. S. S.”

March 26, 1903

“Ben D. Field and Fred G. White arrived home by train last Friday night from their trip to Bermuda and the West Indies. They were shipwrecked at Bermuda, and in collision with a schooner on their return voyage from Jamaica, but their landward journey was without mishap, much to the relief of their many anxious friends. They were heartily welcomed home.”

“Principal Eaton. At a special meeting of the School Committee Monday afternoon Hal E. Eaton was elected Principal of the Belfast High School, to succeed W. R. Howard, resigned. Mr. Eaton is a native of Auburn, 26 years old, and graduated from Bates College in 1896.”

“Sugar men say that this early season will injure the maple sugar and syrup-making business. It is claimed that there is but little frost in the ground. To get a good run of sap frozen ground is needed.”

March 26, 1942

“Cesar Romero and blonde Carole Landis go in for a bit of romance in ‘A Gentleman at Heart’ which shares the double bill at the Colonial Tuesday, March 31 with ‘Typhoon’ starring Dorothy Lamour and Robert Preston.”

“Work at the new airport has discontinued for about two months, because of ground conditions. The blasting has been completed by the Bridge Construction Co., of Augusta, except on the extension of the runways, which will be done later, it is reported. Mr. Sargent and the other contractors have now gone for the present, and the only men working are a few who are cutting in the woods.”

March 24, 1988

‘Hobby’ Protects Local History

by Elizabeth Banwell

“If it hadn’t been for the late Priscilla Jones’ love of genealogy, Waldo County history would not be as easy to find as a trip to a local library. Jones not only researched her own lineage but also compiled the history of many local families and early records of the area. Jones’ vast amount of genealogical and historical research is housed in a separate collection at the Penobscot Marine Museum in Searsport. Hugh Russell of the Belfast Library has fondly named Jones, Belmont resident Isabel Maresh and City Point resident Betsey Mosher ‘The Big Three,’ because of the endless amounts of research the three women completed over the years. Jones would often work all day and night skipping meals because she was so preoccupied with her research, her friends recall. But when Jones wasn’t working, she loved to talk. She had a sharp wit and a dry sense of humor and is remembered as a great conversationalist who told interesting stories about local history.”