The Civil War in the East

1st Maine Heavy Artillery

Of all the regiments in the United States Army in the Civi War the First Maine Heavy Artillery Regiment sustained the greatest loss in battle, losing 23 officers and 400 enlisted men killed and mortally wounded; 260 also died of disease, a total of 683.


The regiment is honored by a monument on the Petersburg battlefield, where it suffered the greatest single day's loss in killed and mortally wounded of any regiment in the Civil War.



August 21

Organized at Bangor as 18th Infantry and mustered in

August 24

Left State for Washington, D.C.

August 26

Duty in the Defences of Washington, building and garrisoning batteries and forts. Eight Companies at Fort Alexandria, Company E at Batteries Vermont and Mattox, Company K at Batteries Cameron and Parrott.


January 6

Designation changed to 1st Heavy Artillery


Attached to 2nd Brigade, Haskins' Division, 22nd Army Corps. Defences North of the Potomac



Company L organized


Company M organized

May 15

Attached to 2nd Brigade, 4th Division, 2nd Army Corps, Army of the Potomac and Moved to Belle Plains, Va. as a part of Tyler's Heavy Artillery Division.

May 18

Rapidan Campaign

May 24

Attached to 1st Brigade, 3rd Division, 2nd Army Corps

May 19

Harris' Farm, Fredericksburg Road

Lost 82 killed, 394 wounded, 5 missing; total 481

May 20-23

On line of North Anna

May 23-26

North Anna

May 26-28

On line of the Pamunkey River

May 23-31


June 1-5

Cold Harbor

June 5-12

Barker's Mills

June 16-19

Before Petersburg

June 18

Hare's House, Assault on Petersburg

Sustained the greatest loss of any one Regiment in any one action of the war: 635 killed and wounded out of 900 engaged.


From the wayside marker on the Petersburg battlefield:

“The field became a burning, seething, crashing, hissing hell, in which human courage, flesh and bone were struggling with an impossibility.…”
- Capt. Horace H. Shaw, 1st Maine Heavy Artillery
At 4:30 p.m. on June 18, 1864, this regiment of former garrison troops charged across this field toward the Confederate lines near Colquitt’s Salient. As they moved, their supports — veteran regiments who knew the folly of attacking entrenched positions — huddled under cover, leaving the 1st Maine to attack alone. Confederate musketry and artillery devastated the regiment.
For the next ten minutes, the 1st Maine Heavy Artillery lost the equivalent of a man each second: 632 men killed and wounded (out of almost 900 engaged), more than any other regiment in any other single battle of the war. The Confederates, behind earthworks, lost just 25.

June 16

Siege of Petersburg

June 22-23

Weldon Railroad

June 24 - July 23

Picket duty at Deserted House


Attached to 2nd Brigade, 3rd Division, 2nd Army Corps

July 27-29

Demonstration on north side of James River

July 27-28

Deep Bottom

July 29 - August 12

Duty at Hare's House

August 13-20

Demonstration on north side of James River

August 14-18

Strawberry Plains

August 19

Near Fort Sedgwick

September 30 -
October 2

Poplar Springs Church

October 1

Yellow House

October 2

Squirrel Level Road

October 6-24

At Fort Sedgwick

October 27-28

Boydton Plank Road, Hatcher's Run

December 7-12

Warren's Hicksford Raid


February 5-7

Hatcher's Run

March 25

Armstrong House

March 28-April 9

Appomattox Campaign

March 29

South Side Railroad

March 29-31

Boydton Road and White Oak Ridge

April 2

Fall of Petersburg

April 5


April 6

Amelia Springs and Sailor's Creek

April 7


April 9

Appomattox C. H. Surrender of Lee and his army.

May 9-16

Moved to Washington, D.C.

May 23

Grand Review


Attached to 3rd Brigade, Hardin's Division, 22nd Corps

June 27

Garrison Forts in the Defences of Washington from Fort Washington to Fort Mahone

September 11

Mustered out and ordered to Bangor, Me.

September 20


About the Author • ©2015 Steve Hawks