The following section is an accumulation from our collection of treasures brought home to Maine by her many veterans of war in the South. Cherished by aging participants who proudly displayed their war trophies in their homes and in veteran halls, many of these relics were eventually relegated to descendant attic storage. Souvenirs in defunct G. A. R. halls, closed as the numbers of aging veterans dwindled, were frequently returned to descendant families or consolidated into the collections of still active GAR Posts. For many years Maine country attics and a small number of all but forgotten old Veteran Halls offered up potential for the historian eager to seek out and preserve these treasures of patriotic service.
George B. Knight of Portland, Maine enlisted on August 21, 1861 as 1st Lt. Co. G 7th Maine Infantry. During his service with the 7th Maine the Regiment lead the Union advance on the Confederate defenses of Yorktown and participated in the siege of that place. For its gallantry at Williamsburg, the 7th received the personal recognition of Gen. McClellan.
This Confederate issue cedar canteen with original wooden spout retains an Enfield barrel tompion serving as a stopper and a make do carrying strap from an issue rifled musket sling. Acquired from descendants of James Hughes with period identification James Hughes – Bingham, Me scratch engraved in on the face, this treasure was brought home and preserved by Hughes who served with the 24th Maine Infantry before re-enlisting as Corpl. Co. K of the 9th Maine Volunteers. Hughes was a veteran of the Union siege and desperate assaults on the Confederate stronghold of Port Hudson. With the 9th Maine he participated in the assaults on Petersburg, Deep Bottom and at Darbytown Road where his 9th Regiment lost forty-eight men.