RUMFORD – Two members of the Rumford Historical Society on Wednesday presented their research on residents, including a nurse and a musician, who served in the Civil War.

Society member Jane Peterson said she and member Nghia Ha spent weeks visiting libraries and historical societies throughout the state to get information. Their findings were uploaded to the Maine Memory Network, an online museum featuring historical exhibits from across the state.

Ha said Amanda Cordelia Kimball was born in 1820 and served as a volunteer nurse with the Union Army when she was in her 40s.

“What’s amazing is that she was the only woman from the area to serve in the Civil War,” Ha said. “We’re not really sure what prompted her to join the Union Army as a volunteer nurse, but we know she attended St. John’s College hospital in Annapolis, Md., and later died from typhus on Feb. 14, 1865.”

Kimball is buried in the Moses Kimball family plot in the Rumford Center cemetery, Ha said.

Hiram F. Abbott, a Rumford Point man, enlisted in the Maine 2nd Infantry Regiment as a musician, Peterson said.


“I thought it was really interesting that someone from Rumford made it into the army as a musician,” she said. “Musicians were important to the war around that time, but Abbott ended up being mustered out after volunteer regimental bands were abolished by Congress.”

Others profiled were Lt. Col. William King Kimball, Capt. Elisha Goddard, who was killed in 1872 in a lumbering accident, and 1st Sgt. George Dana Bisbee.

Peterson said 237 Rumford area people served in the Union Army.

“If we were to focus on every single resident who served in the Civil War, it would take forever,” she said. “I just wanted to let people know that there were more than these … who served.”

Peterson lauded resident Len Greaney for creating a list of all veterans in Oxford County and computerizing it for the Rumford Historical Society’s archives.

“I can’t thank Mr. Len Greaney enough for the work he’s done on preparing information on veterans in the area,” Peterson said. “Mr. Greaney actually has a list of all of the veterans from Oxford County, which helped us figure out who served in what war.”


She told the audience how they can research their Civil War ancestors.

“The Rumford and Dixfield libraries both have an subscription, which is a huge resource,” Peterson said. “It has things that you wouldn’t expect them to have, including your ancestors’ birth and death dates and grave sites.”

She also encouraged residents to visit local historical societies, including those in Mexico, Peru and Dixfield.

“They all keep very good records, so it’s another good place to start when doing your own research,” Peterson said.

Peterson and Ha are part of a Local and Legendary: Maine in the Civil War team dedicated to engaging the community in its Civil War history.

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