Colonel Thirteenth Maine Regiment and Brigadier General
Neal Dow was born in 1804 at Portland, Maine, to Josiah Dow (1766-1861) and Dorcas Allen. He was married to Maria Cornelia Durant Maynard. They had nine children, four of whom died in infancy. Previous to and concurrent with his temperance, political and military activities he was a leather manufacturer, his son, Frederick N. Dow, running the business in his absence.
An internationally known celebrity well before the war for his tireless campaigning against liquor, he was the author of "The Maine Law," the toughest statute against the sale and consumption of spirits anywhere in the world. At the age of fifty-eight, he had established a worldwide reputation in the temperance movement. He was indisputably a man of great personal courage, integrity and conviction.
He displayed a genuine concern for the men in his command. He made the men of his regiment "take the pledge" with varying degrees of success. Many mothers and fathers wanted their boys to go in Dow's "Temperance Regiment".
He was wounded in action at Port Hudson, Louisiana. While still convalescing he was captured by a confederate cavalry squad and moved to Libby Prison in Richmond, Virginia. He was the highest ranking officer held in this prison. He was detained until the 3/14/1864, when an exchange was arranged. General Fitzhugh Lee was the Confederate general released in the transaction. On March 23, 1864 he was given a royal welcome home in Portland that was exceedingly gratifying to him, his family and friends.
His health had been damaged by his active service and long prison confinement so General Dow soon resigned and retired from the service.
He ran for president of the United States in 1880 as the candidate of the Prohibition Party.
Gen. Dow's long and useful life came to a close October 2, 1897, at the age of 94. Conspicuous at the imposing funeral ceremonies was the small detachment of 13th Maine Veterans, who represented the old regiment with which he had been so intimately connected.