G.A.R. Post: Oliver Morton Post #10 Snohomish, WA
8th MAIN VOLUNTEER INFANTRY
Organized: 9/7/61 Augusta, ME
Mustered Out: 1/18/66 Fortress Monroe, VA
Discharged: Augusta, ME
The 8th, a three-year unit, was organized from companies recruited in different parts of the state. Its 770 enlisted men left the state on 9/10/61 to become part of Gen. T.W. Sherman’s expedition which, the next spring resulted in the attack upon and capture of Fort Pulaski, one of the defenses of Savannah, GA. During this campaign the regiment suffered greatly from sickness and diseases contracted in the southern climate.
As a result for the most part until spring, 1864 the 8th was employed in guard duty at Hilton Head and Beaufort, S.C. and at Jacksonville, FL. Its ranks replenished by the addition of nearly 200 drafted men (who proved to be excellent soldiers), in 4/64 the unit was transferred to Bermuda Hundred, VA where it took part in all the active operations of the Army of the James.
Throughout its career the 8th was engaged in numerous skirmishes and arduous picket duty plus the following large engagements. Drewry’s Bluff, (96 killed, wounded and captured), Cold Harbor (79 lost), Petersburg (50 lost), Chaffin’s Farm, Fair Oaks (heavy losses), Spring Hill, capture of Forts Gregg and Baldwin, Rice’s Station, and Appomattox Court House. Service at Richmond, Manchester and Fortress Monroe, VA concluded the regimental history.
Residence: Greene, ME Age: 31.2 yrs.
Enrolled: 7/15/63 Lewiston, ME Rank: Pvt. (sub.)
Mustered In: 10/23/65 Portland, ME
Discharged: 2/23/65 Philadelphia, PA
William Stevens, the oldest of six children (4 boys and 2 girls) born to Aaron and Olive (Comins) Stevens, came into this world in Greene, Me 4/25/33. No information is available on his childhood, teenage, or early adult years. On 6/10/54 the blue eyed Stevens married Maria Elizabeth Freeman (b. 6/8/37) in West Auburn, ME. The union would produce nine children of which seven (*) apparently reached adulthood: Olivetta Inez (1/3/55*), Gertrude Estelle (9/13/57*), George Frederick (5/20/59), Albert Freeman (8/17/61*), Henry Merrill (6/8/63*), Lewis Herbert (1/16/66), Mary Ellen (2/9/71*), Eugene Carol (12/20/72*), and Emma Edith (1/1/76*).
In mid-1863 the 5’6” carpenter entered the U.S. Army as a “substitute.” Most likely he was a paid replacement for a draftee. While his unit was very active in terms of combat experiences his personal physical problems connected with his period of service were illness related. As such, in early 1865 he was granted a medical disability discharge. Later, when applying for a government pension he would note that in the line of duty at Beaufort and Petersburg in South Carolina and Virginia from 12/63 to 5/64 he contracted chronic rheumatism, stricture of the urethra and heart disease which prevented him from performing any hard labor following discharge.
A pension was granted as, at the time of his death, he was receiving $27 per month from the government. Leaving the military Pvt. Stevens returned to Maine. However, by 1867 he and his family were in Iowa and, by 1879, Kansas. By 1893 the family had moved to California and, “around 1909” they traveled northward to Snohomish. William Stevens, Union Army vet, died 10/12/13. He was 80.5 years of age.
Buried at Grand Army of the Republic Cemetery Snohomish
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