Charles Card was born on January 2, 1831 in New Brunswick a son of James Henry and Mary Ann (Purdy) Card. In the 1851 census of New Brunswick, Charles and his mother Sarah Card were living in the George Clark home in Dorchester, NB. On August 24, 1853, Charles and Eliza Hannah Lamb, both of Calais filed marriage intentions; they wed four days later. Eliza was born July 12, 1833 a daughter of Samuel Brackett and Margaret (Stephenson) Lamb both of Alexander.

Charles and Eliza stayed in the Milltown part of Calais until after their second child was born, then moved to Alexander. The first two were girls, Sarah (1854) and Mary Ellen (1856). Children born in Alexander were James Brackett (1858) [his twin brother John W. died young], Lucy (1861), Jesse and his twin George (1863). Wallings 1861 Map of Washington County shows Charles living on lot 78 on the old John Moore farm, just a 20-acre farm on the County Road near the Arm Road. Eliza sold half of that lot to neighbor John Perkins in 1863. Baby Jesse died in 1864. Also in 1864 the family moved to 51 Arm Road, the west part of lot 88


Charles volunteered for service in October 1863 and enlisted on February 25, 1864. He mustered at Belfast on March 1, 1864 into the 6th Battery, Maine Light Artillery, also called the Maine Mounted Artillery. Charles was 33 years old, five feet six and 1/2 inches tall, brown hair, blue eyes and of fair completion. Of the $300 bounty, he received $60 plus $13 in advance pay.

Charles was not alone during those days. John Huff and Winslow Hutchins both of Alexander mustered in with Charles. They would soon join Jasper Perkins and Charles Godfrey, also of Alexander, and Charles Seavey, Isaac Noddin and Robert Wallace of Crawford in the 6th Battery. Also in his unit were Amos and James Metcalf of Talmadge, Marshall McKusick and James Smith of Baring and Jesse Tarbell and James Whitney of Calais.

The 6th Battery, Maine Light Artillery was lead by Captain Edwin B. Dow, only 26 years old and of Portland. Under him were two other commissioned officers, both Lieutenants including recently promoted Marshall McKusick of Baring. The non-commissioned officers included eight Sergeants and twelve Corporals including recently promoted Winslow Hutchins. The Battery had two musicians, a wagoner and four artificers, men trained to aim the cannons at unseen targets. Then there was Charles Card and 183 other privates. Those numbers were true on November 1, 1864.

What job might a private like Charles have done in the 6th Battery? Caring for the horses and equipment, digging latrines, cooking meals and drilling. In battle he might have been in the artillery crew, or a spotter to identify targets and report where the shells landed, or as a teamster driving the team hauling the limber. Whatever Charles did, this was not pleasant work and it was hard work!

What was the Light (Mounted) Artillery? These men fought with cannons, but lightweight ones that were moved quite quickly by horses. Here is a drawing of their weapon.

On left is the limber with its two wheels, axle, pole and ammunition box that also served as the seat for three cannoneers. The limber was a universal two-wheeled vehicle that also was hooked to the caisson (more boxes of ammunition), battery wagon ((tools and material to repair carriages, harnesses), and/or the traveling forge (a portable blacksmith shop) The connection was a lunette and pintle hook (a ring on one and a pin on the other like found on many older tractors today). The lunette and pintle hook connection allowed the two wagons to move independently, thus move over rough ground with all wheels on the ground (like skidders today). The limber was drawn by up to three pair of horses.

At right is the gun carriage. The limber and gun carriage were disconnected before the battle started.

Charles caught-up with the 6th Battery in camp at Brandy Station, Virginia where drills and inspections constituted the principal daily duties. On April 22, they moved to Stevensburg then on May 4 crossed the Rapidan and marched to Chancellor House. The Wilderness campaign was waged from May 3 through 7. It was another in a long series of inconclusive battles. “On the sixth of May near Todd’s Tavern the battery participated in an action resulting in the repulse of the enemy, losing one officer and seven men wounded.” The 6th Battery saw little more action because the wilderness was such a tangle of brush and trees that officers feared killing their own men, thus withheld firing,

From a letter Charles wrote on June 21,1880 requesting an increase in his pension.

I took a severe cold at the Battle of the Wilderness from lying on the damp ground for some nights. I do not remember how many, but I received a very severe cold and it settled in my limbs… I was in no Hospital whatever but was treated by Regimental or Battery Surgeon whose name I have forgotten. I was under his treatment in the neighborhood of three weeks and treated in quarters. For the last eight months I was in the service, I did no duty in the ranks, but was detailed to serve the Captain in his tent. I was troubled all the time by rheumatism and a general weakness and took medicine from the Surgeons.”

The 6th Battery continued to fight at Cold Harbor, Petersburg and at Fort Davis, all in Virginia. Charles was present at those battles but was detailed to serve in Captain Dow’s tent. Charles was honorably discharged from the service on June 17, 1865 at Augusta along with the rest of the 6th Battery. He suffered from rheumatism and heart disease. He had been absent from duty in September 1864 due to illness. He had been last paid in December 1864 and was owed $20.58 in back pay. He was still owed $160 of the enlistment bounty.

While Charles was off to war, Eliza received state aid money over a period of nineteen months. She received $152 starting in May 1864 and ending on July 31, 1865. Her family was one of 23 in Alexander to be helped during the absence of the husband.


After being discharged, Charles returned to home in Alexander. We can only imagine the relief Eliza must have felt to have him home again even though he was suffering from rheumatism. Three children were soon born: Lincoln Jesse (1866, likely after his grandfather Jesse Stephenson), Charles and his twin Anna (1868). His farm was worth $500 in real estate and $150 in personal property. Four year old Mary Ellen died in 1869.

The 1870 census found Charles and Eliza, their surviving children, Sarah, Brackett, Lucy, George, Lincoln, and twins Anna and Charles in Alexander. Also in the household was Margaret Lamb, 62, Eliza's widowed mother. All were Maine born except Charles who was a citizen of the US and eligible to vote. Local tradition has the family living at the Lamb Orchard at this time, that is the home of Eliza’s parents at the upper most field at 329 Arm Road.

The Card family moved from Alexander to a place in Crawford that they rented starting in November 1870. This likely was the west part of lot 72, to the north of the (Crawford) Arm Road, about 1500 feet west of the Alexander town line. Six more children were born to them in Crawford: Lorin J. (1871), Mary Caroline, aka Carrie (1872), Jeanette (1873), Thomas Abbott and twin Thurston (1874) and Margaret (1875). While in Crawford Anna Almeda died at age five.

The family removed to Breakneck Mountain in Alexander in 1875 to the 100-acre Moses Hackett place. Charles was taxed for this property from 1875 until 1881. In 1875 they owned two buildings (house and barn) and one yearling cow. By 1881 things had improved, they had a horse, 5 head of cattle including one milch cow, and 2 sheep.

On June 26, 1879 he filed for an Original Invalid Pension. This application was, of course, a form letter. He states that his lawyer, George M. Hanson of Calais, Maine is his attorney and has full power to prosecute his claim. Charles signed the application and it was attested by John W. Dwelley (Eliza’s cousin and Jesse Stephenson (Eliza's uncle).

The letter accompanying his application reads:

I, Charles Card of Alexander in the County of Washington and State of Maine on oath depose and say I resided in Calais and in Alexander for five years immediately preceding my enlistment in the service. I have resided in the town of Alexander ever since, and my occupation has been that of farmer. I contracted a severe cold in the Wilderness and it settled in my limbs causing rheumatism. I have had rheumatism ever since. About two years ago my hands and fingers became greatly affected and were drawn out of shape and have remained so ever since. I was not in Hospital while in the service but was treated by the regimental surgeon, took medicines from them for the cold but do not remember the name of either of them. I have never been under treatment of any physician since I came home, but have used every imaginable remedy to affect a cure and to allay pain to no avail. I have been laid up repeatedly for weeks, and unable to move about. I do not know how much altogether for I kept no record. I have had no acute or chronic disease other than rheumatism since its occurrence and never knew what sickness or lameness was before I went into the service.

He did get a pension of $30.00 per month.

In 1880 both Eliza and Charles wrote asking for an increase in the pension. Eliza wrote…

I am the wife of the said Charles Card and have attended him for years constantly. He does not have any other attendant than that of myself and family. Often I am unable to help him enough and have to call in the assistance of my sons. He requires constant care, being obligated to go about with canes and crutches. He always has to have his horse put in and taken out of the waggon when he goes to ride. I have to help him to dress and undress every day, as he is unable to do so alone.”

Charles’s letter, notarized by George Downs of Calais on June 21, 1880, gives more detail on the extent of his disability. Here are a few lines from that letter.

I have performed but the lightest kind of manual labor on my farm…. For a few years after I came home from the service I tried to perform the labor in winter in the lumber woods which I had done easily before I enlisted but was not able to work with an axe at all. I have done no work in the woods for the past ten years for other parties excepting for about one month in 1874 when I cooked for Mr. Thomas Abbott then of Alexander, now of Kennebec County. [Note that Charles and Eliza had named a son for Tom Abbott.]…. I have got out wood for myself with my sons help and have done no harder work.

My poverty will not allow me to remain idle often when my physical condition demands rest and treatment. I was prostrated during the whole of the month of May 1879 and into June before I was able to help my boy on the farm.”

Whether these moving letters resulted in a pension increase, we are not sure.

By 1882 Charles and Eliza had moved again; this time they lived on the west half of lot 70 in Alexander. They were also taxed for the north half of lot 59. In 1885 their live stock included a horse, three milch cows, four sheep and a pig. They also were taxed for a wagon, a carriage and a pung. With better farmland and help from the children, the family’s wealth likely had reached its peak. It was while here that son James Brackett married Effie Perkins on December 28, 1886. Brackett was the first Card child to marry. One less hand to work on the farm!

By 1888 Charles and Eliza had moved to Milltown. It is possible that they lived with their son Brackett and his young family. Eliza bought a house on Boardman Street in 1891.

Eliza Hannah Lamb Card died October 9, 1893 in Milltown. She was buried in the Alexander Cemetery. She was only 60 years old but had borne eighteen children; struggled with the hardships of raising them on hardscrabble farms in this small corner of Maine; waited and worried during the military service of Charles and, once he was home again, worked hard to help him as he dealt with his severe rheumatism. She lost several of her babies to illness and faced what other problems we can have no way of knowing. She was just one of thousands of women in nineteenth century Maine, but like each one, she was a heroine.

Three years later, on July 8, 1896, Charles married a widow, Susan Gaskill Clendening. Susan was the daughter of William G. and Susan (Harney) Clendening of Deer Isle, Maine. It was a second marriage for each. Susan must have been a kind lady to take on the care of a severely crippled man and we hope that maybe his rheumatism eased once he no longer had to work so hard on the farm.

They rented a home on High Street in Calais. Charles’s son Lorin lived with them. He was a day laborer and had been unemployed for 4 months the past year according to the 1900 census.

Charles and Susan lived in Calais until his death on May 30, 1906. He had participated in and lived through the great bloody struggle for the survival of this country. He had come home and continued an incredible struggle, suffering with rheumatism, living in the cold climate of Maine, using two sticks or canes for support, working outside as a farmer must, and trying to feed and clothe his wife, himself and their children.

These written descriptions of the hardships resulting from war service give us at least an inkling of how people survived. They just did the best they could and carried on.


The 22nd Maine Volunteer Infantry in the Civil War; A History and Roster by Ned Smith became available in December 2010. I immediately purchased it because it is the regimental history of the unit in which my great grandfather served. I read the book and enjoyed it for five reasons.

1. The story is told through the letters of a private, 19 year old Francis Ireland of Dexter. Author Smith ties the letters together with information from officers’ reports and other official records, but it is a private’s story. It is not a history supplemented with a few letters.

2. It tells the story of my ancestor, Francis P. Lane of Cooper. He was 18 when he enlisted and not without friends and neighbors. Cooper men Henry Burbank, Charles Hayward, Benjamin and Levi Henderson and Hiram Hitchings joined Alexander residents William H. Brown, William H. Crafts, John Munson and Samuel Seamans plus Crawford men Stillman Bailey, Isaac Noddin and Daniel Perkins as part of Company F. Through the words of Frank Ireland, whose letters are a basis for this book, I witnessed what my great grandfather Frank Lane had experienced.

Actually, the only specific activity where I could account for Frank Lane was when he was sick at Camp Seward. The regiment had landed in Washington, DC in late October, rested on an open platform exposed to the NE wind, then marched five miles across the Potomic and camped with no tents. The next morning the rains came. Unlike Charles Card who slept in the rain at a battle scene and was crippled for life, Frank’s exposure to the weather was preventable and his sickness was temporary.

3. I learned about the politics of recruiting men for a regiment, one company at a time. The corporals were elected by the men and the commissioned officers were appointed by the governor. Neither method provided for effective leadership since most officers were untrained. Commissioned officers could and did resign. Corporals were often neighbors who could and did show favoritism. In Company F, most of the men were of Calais as were the officers.

4. The 22nd spent the spring of 1863 in Louisiana, west of the Mississippi. This was during the Civil War; North versus South. Some of the natives there were pro-Confederate, some were pro-union, and some, the Acadians, had scant sympathy for either side. At times parts of the 22nd were in pursuit of Confederate General Richard Taylors Army (He was son of President Zachary Taylor and brother-in-law of Confederate President Jefferson Davis), At other times they were on guard duty preventing looting and lawlessness among the residents. Does that sound like Iraq or Afghanistan?

Later the 22nd was at Port Hudson on the Mississippi. The siege cost Union forces about 5000 men before the city surrendered. It was here that Colonel Simon Gerrard was discharged from his position as head of the 22nd by General Banks. Author Smith defends Gerrard’s lack of aggressive action during the June 14 failed attack on Port Hudson.

5. Hurry-up and wait! Frank Lane and all the men of the 22nd reported to Camp Pope in Bangor in early September 1862 and were finally mustered in on October 10th. The 22nd arrived at Ship Island on December 12, 1862, but didn’t see action until the second week of April 1863. The final wait was for the mustering out. This was a 9-month unit. The men figured that June would be the end of their term. They were mustered out on August 14!