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in the Civil War
|Third Infantry - Col., Oliver O. Howard; Lieut.-Col., Isaac N. Tucker;
Maj., Henry G. Staples. This regiment responded to the first call for troops with
promptness and alacrity. It was rendezvoused on the state house grounds at Augusta and was
composed mainly of Kennebec lumbermen. The regiment was most fortunate in having for its
colonel Oliver O. Howard, who rose rapidly to the rank of major-general and gained for
himself a name distinguished among the nation's heroes. During the long three years'
service the regiment was successively com manded by Maj. Staples and Capt. Moses B.
Lakeman of Co. I, Lieut.- Col. Tucker having resigned to become brigade quartermaster. On
the resignation of Lieut.-Col. Tucker, Capt. Sampson of Co. D, Capt. Lakeman and Adjt.
Burt served as lieutenant-colonel in the order named. Succeeding Henry G. Staples as major
were Adjt. Burt and Capt. William C. Morgan. Of the original companies of the regiment Co.
A (Bath City Greys) had existed under former militia laws and the others were new
organizations. The regiment was mustered into the United States service on June 4, 1861,
and left the state for the front the next day. Perhaps no regiment from the state saw more
fighting or rendered more distinguished service. From the first battle of Bull Run, until
the battle of Cold Harbor, June 3, 1864, the regiment participated in most of the
important battles and movements of the Army of the Potomac. The operations of the
so-called "Stove-Pipe Artillery" commenced with this regiment. While encamped at
Flag Hill, Va., they employed the ruse of mounting a stove-pipe on wheels, and drew 12
shots from the enemy at their cannon. The loss of the 3d in killed and wounded at the
battle of Fair Oaks was nearly one-third of the men engaged. It was in this engagement
that Sergt.-Maj. F. W. Haskell of Waterville so greatly distinguished himself as to win
the commendation of his colonel and of the entire regiment. The 3d gave an excellent
account of itself in the battle of Gettysburg. At the close of the second day's fighting
Gen. Sickles declared that, "The little 3d Me. saved the army today." Its loss
at Gettysburg was 113 killed, wounded and missing. On the return of the regiment to
Augusta, June 11, 1864, only 17 officers and 176 enlisted men were left to be mustered
out. Sixty-four of these men reenlisted, and together with the recruits were transferred
to the 17th Me. Not one of the original field and staff officers returned with the
regiment and only one of the original captains the veteran Moses B. Lakeman
who returned in command of the regiment.
Regimental history taken from "The Union Army" by Federal Publishing
Company, 1908 - Volume 1