The Civil War Battle of Portland Harbor in which the Caleb Cushing is destroyed!
When Confederates Terrorized Maine:
The Battle of Portland Harbor
One hundred and fifty years ago late last month, an alarming series of events unfolded to our north in the harbor of Portland, Maine, with links to both Newburyport and Boston.
On the evening of June 26, having evaded the Union Navy, a Confederate raiding party intent on creating havoc and disrupting commercial shipping in the area, approached Portland disguised as fishermen. Sometime after midnight, the raiders slipped into the harbor itself and proceeded to the federal wharf. Having the advantage of surprise, the crew seized a cutter belonging to the Revenue service, the USRC Caleb Cushing; quickly making efforts to escape to open seas. News spread rapidly, however, and soldiers at nearby Fort Preble were dispatched to pursue and capture the Confederates.
What follows is an amazing tale involving commandeered steam ships from the harbor, including a cruise ship with civilian passengers, public outrange, hot pursuit -- and inevitably, the lamentful destruction of the Revenue Cutter Cushing.
On Wednesday, July 24th, at 7:00 pm, we invite you to hear the details of this memorable Civil War episode. Come welcome Shrewsbury native and recent Colby College graduate, Carter Stevens, who presents a fascinating narrative based upon his thesis of this Confederate raid on Portland, Maine, and destruction of the Revenue Cutter Caleb Cushing.
Mr. Stevens' research uncovers intriguing details of the battle itself, as well as how it was reported in local and national media, including reactions of Mainers to the raid and how this incident fits into the larger picture of the American Civil War.
Don't miss this grand story of New England history as we conclude our exhibition, Conflicting Stories - Native Vignettes of the Civil War.
July 24th, 2013
This special event is held in conjunction with our Civil War exhibition "Conflicting Stories" and is free and open to the public! Seating is limited.