BETHEL – “Maine in the Civil War” will be the 2006 winter/spring course at the Bethel Historical Society’s Regional History Center beginning on Thursday, March 16, in the Dr. Moses Mason House Meeting Room.

There will be three other sessions, March 30, April 13 and 27, plus a tour of Civil War veteran resting places in Bethel cemeteries led by Stanley R. Howe, society executive director. Howe will also conduct the course sessions, which will be held at 7:30 p.m.

A longtime student of the Civil War, he has published an essay on Bethel during the Civil War and reviews books regularly on Civil War topics for Maine History, the quarterly of the Maine Historical Society.

The course fee for nonmembers will be $20, and $15 for members. The text will be “A Distant War Comes Home: Maine in the Civil War Era.” The book is regularly $14.95 plus tax in the shop, but will be offered to course participants for $10 (including tax).

The course is designed to emphasize little-known aspects of the war’s effect on Maine and the state’s contribution to it. For its population, Maine enlisted more men per capita than any other state. However, one Maine community refused to send any men to fight.

Abolitionist sentiment was high in Maine. The first casualty of the war was a man born in Norway. A Maine doctor from West Paris was in the audience when Lincoln was assassinated. Maine soldiers survived Confederate prisons and used their woodsman’s skills to save the disastrous Red River Campaign. These and many other facets of Maine’s role in the war will be explored during the course.

The course is open to all interested persons. Call the office at 824-2908 or 1-800-824-2910 to register. One can also register on line by sending an e-mail to [email protected] For more information, visit

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