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March 2, 2014

Rob Golding's company, Battery B of the 1st Maine Heavy Artillery battalion, was organized on July 16th, 1898 by the consolidation of two companies of the 2nd Infantry Regiment, Maine National Guard; Company I of Eastport and Company K of Calais. The Maine Volunteer Heavy Artillery was an artillery battalion consisting of four batteries A, B, C and D. The battalion was mustered into federal service between May 17 and July 20 in Augusta under the command of Major Everard E. Newcomb of Eastport.

“Rob, who were your officers?”

“Well we had the Colonel - it was only a 500 man outfit - little better than 500 - and known as a battalion. And the companies were artillery and had 112 men. And the commander of the battalion was Major Newcomb from Eastport and the captain of our company was Captain Hume from Houlton.”

“Captain Hume was a West Pointer wasn’t he?”

“Yeah he was a West Point man and he was Colonel in WWI and the Colonel of the Yankee Division overseas…and one Lieutenant was from Eastport, Lieutenant Wade and another Lieutenant was from Lubec and his name was Adams - Lieutenant Adams.”

The battalion was still in Maine when the armistice was reached between the U.S. and Spain on August 13, 1898. It was ordered to Boston on October 29, 1898, beginning the battalion’s movement south. From Boston it boarded the transport Mississippi, headed for New York City. In New York Harbor on November 1, it boarded the Michigan, bound for Savannah, Georgia. In Savannah, the battalion joined the Seventh Army Corps at Camp Onward, commanded by  Major General Fitzhugh Lee, a former commander in the Confederate army. The battalion was initially given the honor of guarding Lee at his headquarters, and was under his direct command. It would remain a part of the Seventh Corps, Second Division for the remainder of its service. 

“Well then from Augusta, if I remember correctly, you went to Savannah.”

“Yeah, we went to Savannah - this was, yes, we stayed there in Savannah and the ladies of Savannah gave us a Thanksgiving dinner. They fed the whole 7th Army Corps a Thanksgiving dinner - which was 30,000 men...We had a mighty fine dinner, they gave us everything, even candy.”

“They did, huh? That’s the first they had the Yankee soldiers down there since the Civil War."


"...Well now, where did the gentleman’s grandfather with whom we’re having dinner tonight, Raye, come in?”

“Why he was First Sergeant of our company and he was only 19 at the time.”

“And he was your First Sergeant?”

“First Sergeant - yeah.”

“You never knew him before you went in the…”

“No, didn’t know a soul in the company, didn’t know any of them”

“But he became one of your best life-long friends, didn’t he?”

“Well, yes - when I got down to Savannah - why I was all right in Augusta - but when we got down to Savannah I picked up some sort of bug and I had what they called Bilious Fever. And I was sick and they took me to the hospital. And when I come out of the hospital, well I was feeling pretty feeble and a fella came around selling cot beds. Well, there was all our tents - there was 18 men in the tent and a great big pole right in the middle of it. And we slept right around it with our feet to the pole - laid right on the floor, had hard pine floor and was hard too. So I wasn’t feeling very well and I saw a fella selling cot beds and I bought a cot bed.

Well one cot bed in there didn’t fit em very well. And I got into bed the first night and got kinda laid stretched out into it. And everything got kinda quiet - and first thing I know the damn bed went up in the air and I rolled off it and the bed went right out the door - so it laid out there. The First Sergeant came by and said, ‘Hey what’s this out here?’ and I said ‘Well that's a bed I bought yesterday, but it don’t seem to be very popular in there. They kinda rolled me off it last night and I got my blanket and slept on the floor.' I said, ‘Maybe you want to take that in there.’ and he said; ‘Well now look, I’ve got a tent all to myself...’ ”

“He had a square wall tent.”

“Yeah, First Sergeant had a tent and he said that there’s plenty of room in it and see he had a cot bed. He said, 'there’s plenty of room in it for another cot bed and you take that cot bed and come right up with me.' So I took the cot bed and the rest of the time I stayed in Savannah I stayed in the First Sergeant’s tent."

Click here for Part 1Part 3 & Part 4

Thanks to the University of Maine Folklife Center and the St. Croix Historical Society.

(click photo to view larger image)

(comments = 1)

Jana Sutherland
August 28, 2016

Nice article! I have a collection of Everad Newcomb's military books and records but had not seen a picture of these guys before.


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