Inscribed Model 1851 Colt .36 caliber percussion revolver
manufactured in mid 1861.
Mjr. J. P. Cilley 1st Me. Cav.
A working gun carried in the Civil War by Jonathan P. Cilley of Thomaston, Maine.  Cilley
who rose to the rank of Brevet Brigadier General before the close of the war was credited
as the first to volunteer for service in the 1st Maine Cavalry Regiment when he entered as
a Captain of Co. B  on October 19, 1861.   Promoted to Major on April 14, 1862  Cilley
would fall from his saddle on May 24, 1862 while leading men in a cavalry charge at
Middletown, Virginia.  Struck by a Confederate shell the Major was the first of the
Regiment to be wounded in battle.  In the ensuing confusion Cilley was left on the field for
dead.  When he regained consciousness days later, Cilley found that he had been carried to
a private home where in his words recorded later, he received the motherly care and
nursing of a local merchant’s wife.  Advised that he was mortally When he regained
consciousness days later, Cilley found that he had been carried to a private home where in
his words recorded later, he received the motherly care and nursing of a local merchant’s
wife.  Advised that he was mortally wounded Cilley responded that he intended to see the
war finished.  In the meantime the word had reached Gov. Washburn back in Maine that
that the Major had been mortally wounded and died immediately upon being taken
prisoner.  Like another Mainer (Gen. Joshua L. Chamberlain) Major Cilley would not only
live to read his own obituary but would subsequently return to active service.  Cilley would
lay under the care of the Virginia housewife for three months before he could be moved to
the Union lines at Winchester, Virginia then to Washington.  A return to his beloved Maine
for recuperation would be followed by more surgery at Armory Square Hospital.  He
remained under the care of an Army  physician till the following April.  Though he
returned to active duty the wound did not heal until September 1863 requiring several
surgical procedures to remove sloughed off bone.  Despite his painful wound Cilley gained
the command of the hard fought 1st Maine Cavalry Regiment and earned the reputation as
a hands on, in the fray leader, most frequently found revolver in hand, exposed and in the
lead.  Severely wounded yet again on June 24, 1864 at St. Mary’s Church, Virginia,  
Cilley  returned to active duty three months to the day and would serve till the close of
hostilities in 1865.  Necessarily abbreviated  here, a more detailed record of General
Jonathan P. Cilley’s  gallant service may be found in Edward P. Tobie’s History of the
First Maine Cavalry 1861 – 1865.
Charles B. Kenney was a 17
year old sailor when he
enlisted at Cape Elizabeth,
Maine.  He mustered out as
Regimental Bugler at the close
of the Civil War.
Brothers, Samuel M. & William L. Johnson of Milo, Maine
joined the 1st Maine Cavalry Regiment together.  Samuel was
killed on the field at Sailor’s Creek and William fell severely
wounded in the same action.  He would die eleven days later at
Carver Army Hospital in Washington, D. C.
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