Inclusive dates
Letters, 1864, sent from Samuel Fessenden (1847-1908), 1st Maine Light Artillery, 7th Battery, near Petersburg, Virginia, to his father Samuel Clement Fessenden (1815-1882) and his brother Joshua Abbe Fessenden (1841-1908). Includes (a) letter, 23 June 1864, to his father; (b) letter, 27 June 1864, to his father; (c) letter, 29 June 1864, to his brother; and (d) letter, 7 September 1864, to his father. Each of these letters contains detailed descriptions of the movement, fortifications, gun positions, and general activities of the 1st Maine Light Artillery, 7th Battery, and their supporting military units during the Siege of Petersburg in 1864. Other topics include the weather, family matters, personal hygiene, behavior of the battery officers, Union troop confidence in General Grant, a debt owed to another enlisted man, and his attempt to gain a promotion through the efforts and influence of his father, his uncle William Pitt Fessenden (1806-1869), Captain Adelbert B. Twitchell (b. 1836), and Governor Samuel Cony of Maine. Fessenden also mentions Union troop movement to gain possession of the Weldon Railroad, and military movement rendered by black Union troops in support of the artillery battery
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  • Samuel Fessenden was born 12 April 1847, the second son of Samuel Clement and Mary Abigail Grosvenor Abbe Fessenden (b. 1816) of Rockland, Knox County, Maine. During the Civil War, he enlisted as a private in the 1st Maine Light Artillery, 7th Battery. Fessenden survived the siege of Petersburg and on 18 January 1865, he was promoted to 2nd Lieutenant of the 1st Maine Light Artillery, 5th Battery. After the war he became a lawyer and politician in Stamford, Connecticut. He married Helen Matilda Davenport (9 March 1849-3 November 1905) on 18 June 1873. The couple reared four children. He died there on 7 January 1908.
  • Samuel Clement Fessenden, the son of General Samuel and Deborah Chandler Fessenden, was born 17 March 1815 in New Gloucester, Maine. He graduated from Bowdoin College in 1834 and Bangor Theological Seminary in 1837. Upon graduation from seminary, Fesseden was ordained and hired as the pastor of the 2nd Congregational Church in Thomaston (Rockland), Maine. He remained in residence at this church until 1856, when he established the "Maine Evangelist" and entered the publication business. About this time, Fessenden also began to study law. Two years after establishing the "Maine Evangelist" Fessenden was admitted to the Maine Bar. He began to practice and was later elected a judge of the municipal court of Rockland. In July 1861 Fesseden was elected to the 37th United States Congress as a representative from the district comprising Rockland. He would serve in that capacity until March 1863. In 1865 he was appointed a member of the board of examiners of the United States Patent Office. Fessenden also functioned as the United States Consul to St. John's in 1879. During his political career, Fessenden was a staunch supporter of the abolitionist movement. He married Mary Abigail Grosvenor Abbe on 30 August 1838, and the couple reared twelve children. Samuel Clement Fessenden died in Stamford, Connecticut in 1882.
  • Joshua Abbe Fessenden, the eldest son of Samuel Clement Fessenden, was born in Rockland, Maine, in 1841. Like his younger brother Samuel Fessenden, Joshua Fessenden saw military service during the Civil War and was promoted: appointed 2nd Lieutenant in the 1st United States Cavalry, 24 March 1862; 2nd Lieutenant of the 1st Maine Light Artillery, 5th Battery, 6 September 1862; 1st Lieutenant of the 1st Maine Light Artillery, 5th Battery, 30 November 1865. He was wounded at Chickamauga. He died in 1908.
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  • The Library of Virginia
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History Store
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