Author Topic: The 6th Maine Regiment Rides the Monson  (Read 7132 times)

Roger Whitney

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The 6th Maine Regiment Rides the Monson
« on: March 29, 2012, 11:47:39 AM »

   Most of the two foot railroads in Maine held special excursions from time to time. On August 9, and 10, 1905 the 6th Maine Veterans met in Monson for their Association meeting. 
   Before we go on let’s look at a very brief history of the 6th Maine Infantry.  Many of you I’m sure are better versed in the history of the 6th Maine, and can add some here. It was mustered into service in Portland on July 15, 1861 and mustered out on August 15, 1864, completing their three year enlistment.  They saw service in most of the battles of the civil War up to the time they were mustered out.  They were most notable in their action at Maryes Heights at Fredricksburg.  The 6th Maine was at Gettysburg and played a prominent roll on day one. A monument commerating their action states that the 6th Maine  “Held this position (west of Gettysburg?)?July 3, 1863.?In afternoon moved to support of centre, then to Big Round Top.”  They then distinguished themselves at Rappahannock Station Virginia on November 7, 1863 where they were very prominent in that fight.  Many of the veterans were mustered out in 1864 but some were transferred to the 1st Maine Veteran Regt. and the 7th Maine.
   Back to the excursion…..The new superintendent, Harold Morrill, organized a warm reception for them in Monson Railroad style.  A flatcar with seats and railing installed was coupled in front of the engine followed by the coach coupled behind it.  Morrill stated that “that should be enough room for them.”  This was an early glimpse of future operations when the Monson engines were in the middle of the train. (see September 22, 2011 blog)
   The veterans were then taken for a tour of the railroad with an hour stop over at the slate company’s shops to see the operations there.  It must have been a grand time!  But this wasn’t all for free.  A special excursion rate of 40 cents was charged the veterans.
   Maybe someone would know, but I wonder why the 6th Maine chose Monson for their meeting?  I know the 20th Maine Company B (I think) had a lot of Piscataquis County boys in it.  Was it that way with the 6th Maine also?  Anyway, everyone must have had a good time.  Considering the average age of combatants in 1861 might be around 20 years old, the veterans in 1905 were an aging group and the bench seats on the flatcar combined with the freight springs in the trucks must have been a little uncomfortable!