Because an excellent history of the 13th Maine Infantry Regiment was published in 1898. The "old" history was written by Edwin B. Lufkin, a man who served as a Private in Company E of the 13th Maine Infantry Regiment.
The value of that history is due to the excellent writing and thorough research of Mr. Lufkin and the fact that he was a participant in and witness to most of the events he described with his unique perspective as an enlisted man of that period.
However, the story of the men of the 13th Maine didn't end in 1898 and there is so much new information available today. There is a wealth of information now available about the lives of the soldiers and their families before, during and after their service in the regiment. Much more information is now available offering background to the historical facts of the activities of the regiment. Modern historians and genealogists will find this information to be of unprecedented value.
The resources of this project can be used to research individual soldiers and their families or statistical research of over 1130 soldiers.
What does this project provide?
I am writing a new history of the 13th Maine Infantry. However, since I continue to receive so much new information I still have quite a bit of writing and editing yet to do. I hope to finish this history by the end of this year (2007). Of course, this new history in a modern style with new information about every company will be more readable and include more information about the men and events.
I know of no other Civil War regiment that has had such thorough research completed on all of the soldiers and documented to the detail of this project of the 13th Maine Infantry.
For example, over 250 of the soldiers were related to each other - from twin brothers to 5th cousins and in-laws - and these are identified. The names of the fathers of over 750 soldiers have been identified, as well as mothers, wives, children and siblings.
Researchers who want to know the average age of the soldiers, or how long they lived, or their occupations, or how many children they had, or where they lived, or hundreds of other facts or relationships will find this project valuable.
Whether you want to find out who your great-grandfather's brother was or you are researching immigration patterns of Civil War veterans you will find something for you in this project.
One of the primary resources is an extensive database. Each record of this database describes an individual soldier using more than 90 fields. These fields include data identifying his military records, vital records, census records, physical description, pension applications, kinship (parents, spouses, children, etc.), occupations, etc.
Another resource is the 1,800+ page alphabetic listing of biographical summaries of each soldier. (Of course, some contain much more information than others.)
Other resources include:
· A time line of the location of each company every day during the war;
· A folder of images of individual soldiers and groups;
· A folder of grave stone and monument images;
· A folder of individual enlistment record index card images;
· A folder of burial record index card images;
· A folder of pension application index cards;
· A folder of images of objects of interests: flags, clothing, weapons, food, hospitals, camps, etc.;
· More extensive family genealogies of many of the soldiers;
· Correspondence to/from other researchers (when permission has been given);
· Links to web sites and documents of interest to 13th Maine and Civil War researchers;
· Reference lists of sources of supporting information.
Status of the project
At this time (April 2007) the basic database is estimated to be over 95% complete (records of 1010 of 1133+ soldiers are 100% complete and the rest are over 60% done).
The company timeline is complete. The folders containing the enlistment record index cards, burial record index cards, and pension application index cards are virtually complete. (A very few are not available at public archives or were mis-filed and not found.)
Of course, the biographies, image files, genealogies, etc. are "living documents" that grow as new information is found or submitted and will be available.
This project would not have been possible prior to the advent of the Internet. Research and communications can be completed in a few hours now that would have taken months and years of correspondence, travel and searching through distant libraries, cemeteries, and public and private records.
Goal of this project
The primary goal of this project is to distribute this body of information as widely as possible to expand our historical knowledge and to honor the soldiers of this regiment. The 13th Maine Newsletter is free on-line and I will answer individual inquiries as thoroughly as my time and ability permits. To subscribe to the newsletter click HERE and include the word "subscribe" in the title of your email.