G.A.R. Post: Oliver Morton Post #10 Snohomish, WA
1st MAINE VOLUNTEER CAVALRY
Organized: 10/31/62 Augusta, ME
Mustered Out: 8/1/65 Petersburg, VA
Decommissioned/Fate: Inf. Not Avail.
This “eastern Theater” three-year unit proved to be one of the hardest campaigning cavalry regiments in the American Civil War, a distinction which claimed a heavy toll on men, animals, and equipment. Although raised in 1861, the 1st didn’t leave Maine until March, 1862 when it headed for Virginia.
It saw its first action charging the enemy at Middletown 5/23/62 while covering Union Gen. Banks’ retreat to Williamsport. Combat followed at Cedar Mtn. and Brandy Station. In September the 1st was present at Second Bull Run, Fredrick, MD, South Mountain and Antietam. By late 1863 the regiment had lost in action or worn out in service nearly 700 horses.
In additional to those above, a list of battles in 1862, ’63 and on into ’64 reads as follows: Fredericksburg, Rappahannock Station, Aldie, Middleburg, Upperville, Gettysburg, Sheperdstown, Sulpher Springs, Mine Run, around Richmond, Old Church, Todd’s Tavern, Ground Squirrel Church, Hawes’ Shop, Col Wyatt’s Farm, Bordentown Road, and Bellefield.
With original members’ terms of service expiring in November, 1864, remaining veterans, new recruits and members of the 1st D.C. Cavalry participated in the closing battles of the Rebellion. Total (officers and enlisted men) killed or mortally wounded: 518.
Built in 1855, and displacing 1,726 tons, the three masted frigate Sabine, like her prototypes, the United States and the Constitution mounted 44 guns: two 10-inch Dahlgrens, ten 8-inch Dahlgrens, and eighteen 32-pounders. She was amongst the first of the “old navy” (wooden) ships to see service in the Civil War and was the first blockader of a rebel seaport in the south Atlantic.
In February, 1862 when the ironclad “Monitor” was begging for officers and men, a substantial number of the Sabine’s 375 man crew volunteered for duty on the “new fangled” vessel.
Residence: Bristol, ME Age: 18.7 yrs.
Enlisted: 8/1/61 Portland, ME Rank: Pvt.
Discharged: 2/25/63 Washington D.C.
Highest Rank: Pvt.
Residence: Hodgeton Mills, ME Age: 21.8 yrs.
Enlisted: 8/30/64 Portland, ME Rank: Pvt.
Discharged: 8/5/65 New London, CN
Highest Rank: Landsman
Nathaniel Wentworth was born 12/26/42 in Pittston, ME. No additional information is available on his birth family or formative years. In 1861 the 5’9” teenaged fisherman joined the U.S. Cavalry. His riding days would be rather short lived as in June, 1862 (discharge papers indicate 1861, but unit not yet formed at that time) he was thrown from his horse at Front Royal, VA. As a result, he developed pleurisy, an inflammation of the lung membrane which most likely lead to painful coughing which prevented him from wearing cavalry gear, i.e., a belt. As such, Private Wentworth was given a medical discharge from the Army Square Hospital.
Leaving the cavalry, Nathaniel returned to Maine and to working on the ocean. Thus, he listed occupation as “mariner” when he returned to the service, this time the U.S. Navy, in 1864. Very likely the return was prompted by the availability of enlistment bonuses in ’64. On this occasion Mr. Wentworth served as an entry level sailor on the frigate U.S.S. Sabine. His second enlistment was without trauma.
Separated from the Navy, Nathaniel returned to Boothbay, ME where, on 12/26/65 (his birthday) he married Lucretia Kaller. The union would produce two sons (Arthur D. 6/4/74 and George L. 9/84), and one daughter, Elizabeth (5/79). The Wentworth family remained in Maine until 1878 when they removed to the far southwest corner of Washington Territory. Towns of residence were listed as Naselle and Southbend. The latter location was noted in the 1890 divorce of Nathaniel and Lucretia.
After divorcing, Nathaniel remained in Washington until 1900 when he headed “north to Alaska.” There he claimed his occupation to be carpentry. He appears to have initially settled in Nome, but by late 1904 was living in Kotzebue. By 1912, however, he had returned to Nacotah, in Pacific Co., WA.
Nathaniel Wentworth, veteran of the U.S. Cavalry and U.S. Navy died 12/9/26 at the home of his eldest son, A.D., on the Machias road in Snohomish Co. He had apparently resided in the area for some period of time as he was a member of the Snohomish G.A.R. post and his obituary noted “the casket will be opened to friends.” Dead at age 83 years, 11 months, Nathaniel was survived by three children, fifteen grandchildren, and one great grandchild. At death he was receiving a $65 government pension based on his American Civil War military service.
Buried at Snohomish G.A.R.
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