Officers of the 13th Maine Infantry (cont.)
Captain William Bradford Snell

(Photo courtesy of Osborne Ellis, China, Maine)

Captain from Fairfield, Somerset County, Maine.  He enlisted as a Captain in Co. B on 10/21/1861 at Fairfield, Maine, and mustered in at Augusta on 11/28/1861.  His service record index card notes: "Absent on detached service in State of Maine since Aug. 9, '63. Not mustered out. Awaiting action of WD on charges."

Neal Dow, in his "Reminiscences" published in 1898, refers to:  "Captain Snell - afterwards Judge Snell, of Washington, D.C. - Company D." (Judge of the Washington DC Police Court)

He was described at enlistment as a 39 year old married lawyer, 5' 7" tall, with auburn hair, black eyes and a light complexion.

He was born 7/22/1821 at Winthrop, Maine, one of seven children of Elijah Snell Jr. and Abbey Godfrey Copeland.

According to:
He was a graduate of Bowdon College, Brunswick, Maine, in the class of 1845.

He married Martha A. Pray (1824-1902) in 1847 and they had at least three children. 

Captain Snell died 10/24/1890 at Waterville, Maine, and is buried in the Pine Grove Cemetery, Waterville, Maine.

Assistant Adjutant General Frederic Gordon Speed

He enlisted at Gorham, Maine, on 4/24/1861 as the Sargeant Major in the 5th Maine Infantry and mustered in at Portland, Maine, on 6/24/1861. He resigned on 11/12/1861 for promotion into the 13th Maine. He enlisted as a 1st Lieutenant and Adjustant in the 13th Maine Infantry regimental staff  on 11/23/1861 at Gorham, Maine, and mustered in at Augusta on 11/23/1861.  He was promoted to Captain and A.A. Gen'l U.S. Vols. on 8/22/1862. He mustered out on 9/1/1866.

He was deeply involved in the Sultana disaster described below. The only person who faced trial was Captain Speed. He was charged with, "Neglect of duty to the prejudice of good order and military discipline" (War of the Rebellion 217). Captain Speed was found guilty and sentenced to be removed from the military. When his file was forward to Brigadier General Joseph Holt, judge advocate general of the United States Army, he cleared Captain Speed of all charges.

Lufkin notes two characteristics of Mr. Speed, size and voice: "When the weather permitted, dress-parade took place on the parade ground. In this ceremony the most prominent part belonged to Adjutant Speed, who was a bantam in size but had the voice of a lion. He had seen some previous service and knew his duty thoroughly; but it was an endless source of wonder to the men how so large a voice could proceed from the throat of so small a man."

He was born 9/22/1841 at Ithaca, New York, one of seven children of John James Speed and Anne Sophia Morrell.
He married Esther Adele Hillyer on 5/10/1871 at Vicksburg, Mississippi, and they had at least five children.

After the war he settled in Vicksburg, Mississippi, where he was an attorney. He died in Vicksburg on 3/10/1911.

The Sultana Disaster

"April, 1865. The war was over for the Northern boys laboring at Camp Fisk near Vicksburg, Mississippi. Their torment of isolation and imprisonment was ending. They rejoiced as the Sultana steamer left to take the parolees homeward bound. The Federal government had paid $5 each for passage and $10 for each officer.

The Mississippi river steamboat was dangerously overloaded with 1,866 soldiers, 75 passengers, 85 crew members, 60 horses and mules and 100 hogs. Additionally, the boat had arrived from St. Louis with troubling boilers.

Hardly anyone could move throughout the vessel and some cooking for eating was being done from the boilers of the boat. Shortly after 3 a.m., when the Sultana was 90 miles from Memphis, its boilers exploded. Approximately one-third of the poor souls on board were lost from the explosion and resulting fire.

Capt. Frederic Speed was charged and dismissed from the service. His trial lasted five months and everything from cooking on the vessel which caused a water shortage to faulty repair of the boilers was blamed for the tragic incident..."

There have been many reports blaming the ship's captain, the officers arranging the transportation, men on the ship, etc. Ultimately, nobody was held accountable for the incident.

Adjutant Frederic Gordon Speed
Courtesy of Osborne Ellis, China, Maine)
The Sultana Disaster
Quartermaster David S. Stinson

He enlisted as a 1st Lieutenant and Quartermaster onto the regimental staff at Auburn, Maine, on 11/8/1861, and mustered in  on 11/8/1861at Augusta, Maine. 

He was a 43 years old merchant and map agent.

He died of disease on 7/7/1862 at New Orleans, Louisiana, leaving his widow, Emily Stanwood, with seven children. He is buried in the Hallowell Cemetery, Hallowell, Maine.

He is the officer standing behind the table in the picture to the left.
Courtesy of Osborne Ellis, China, Maine)