As with all states of the Union, a healthy mix of political difference was obvious and frequently expressed by the citizens of Civil War era Maine. The limitation of mid 19th century communication and transportation contributed to a tendency toward regional pockets of strongly differing political opinion. Indeed some areas were considered hotbeds made up primarily of the Peace Democrats who were frequently referred to as Copperheads while other locations supporting the new Republican party of Abraham Lincoln. The growing realities of Civil War had a deep impact on personal and family life however and while political differences would always be a reality, Mainers would, for the most part, join in support of Lincoln the man. Remnants of adoration for a fallen president would salt Maine attic storage for decades.
Following are some of those remembrances now in the Hayes Family Collection.
Postal covers at right include one addressed to Lincoln as the Springfield, Illinois lawyer, and two early 1860 campaign covers depicting a clean shaven Lincoln. A log cabin promotion of the rail-splitter offers a particular allure for the Mainer as the ticket boasts the inclusion Hannibal Hamlin of Paris Hill, Maine .
At left we see an 1860 presidential campaign vintage tintype
portrait of Cape Elisabeth native Charles H. Waterhouse
proudly decked out with a Lincoln ferrotype pinned to his
breast. His oilcloth cap would become a trademark of the
Republican Wide Awakes. Included with the little grouping
maintained by Waterhouse is a second photograph of him as
Corp. of Co. G of the hard fought 7th Maine Volunteer
Infantry and his silver 6th Army Corps badge with gold 7th
Regimental designation. Corp. Waterhouse was wounded at
the battle of Gettysburg on July 2, 1863. He was mustered out August 21, 1864 and returned to Cape Elisabeth where he lived until his passing in 1921.