History of Maine (9)

CIVIL WAR. Maine, which was admitted to the Union as a free state under the provisions of the Missouri Compromise, had a strong anti-slavery tradition.

Abolitionist societies were active throughout the state 25 years before the outbreak of the War Between the States.

Harriet Beecher Stowe, wife of a Bowdoin College professor, wrote "Uncle Tom's Cabin" at Brunswick; the book inflamed anti-slavery sentiment throughout the northern states in the years immediately preceding the outbreak of hostilities.

Thus, Maine's commitment to the Union cause during the war was considerable, both philosophically and materially. Some 73,000 Maine men served with the Union forces, and 10 percent of them lost their lives during the conflict.

Maine contributed the services of two great generals, Oliver Otis Howard, who performed brilliantly at Gettysburg and Bull Run, and Joshua L. Chamberlain, the hero of Little Round Top. Chamberlain commanded the Union troops to whom Lee surrendered at Appomattox. After the war he was elected governor of Maine.

Both generals were scholarly men. Howard was a principal founder of Howard University and served as its first president. Chamberlain became president of Bowdoin College.