American Civil War Diaries

HELP US ACQUIRE RARE AMERICAN CIVIL WAR DIARIES! Three rare detailed American Civil War diaries (282 pages) kept by Major George Washington Sabine (1832-1865) of Eastport, Maine recently came up for auction in New York State. Sabine was wounded at the Battle of Petersburg in 1864 and died a year later in 1865 at age 33. He is buried in Eastport’s Hillside Cemetery. His diaries remained in the family of his descendants until recently for almost 160 years. The recent auction represented a one time chance to secure the diaries and bring them back here where they belong. We were fortunate to be able to secure the diaries and now need to raise the funds to pay for them. The cost is $3200 and we’ve raised $1000 so far. Can you help us? Donations, which are fully tax deductible, can be made online ( or by mailing a check to: Tides Institute & Museum of Art, P.O. Box 161, Eastport, Maine 04631. Thank you very much in advance! Below is a more detailed description of the diaries and related materials as well as a testimonial about the significance of the diaries by an historian who has read them.

DESCRIPTION OF CIVIL WAR FIELD DIARIES kept by George Sabine of Maine, 3 vols. Three highly detailed leather-bound duodecimo pocket notebooks kept during the Civil War by GEORGE W. SABINE (1832-1865) of Eastport, Maine, while commanding Company K, 18th Regt. Maine Volunteers, and subsequently while serving in Maine’s 1st Heavy Artillery Regt. ALTOGETHER TOTALING approx. 282 pp. of diary entries, military engagement sketch-diagrams, related drawings, dollar accounts, etc., plus blanks. Sabine fully names many of his fellow combatants. TOGETHER WITH his pocket diary for 1860 (recording his regional travels, election results, birth of his only child, wife’s health, named steamship departures and arrivals, weekly sermon topics preached by named ministers, etc.), his inscribed leather wallet, two daguerreotypes, the circa 1860 browned muslin ditty bag (inscribed in ink with Sabine’s name and town) in which these notebooks have descended, and one LEONARD HALL’s highly detailed 48-page 1848-1851 pocket notebook of grocery purchases from JOHN CHAMPNEY.

TESTIMONIAL ABOUT THE DIARIES: From John Raye, Canton, Connecticut in email, March 24, 2024: The George Washington Sabine Diaries. George Sabine was born in Eastport and lived there for all of his life and is now resting at Hillside Cemetery. This set of diaries are quite special as they begin in 1860, a pivotal point in the history of the country and in particular, Washington County. These well written and legible documents cover in detail life in Eastport leading up to the fervor of the Civil War. Temperance parades, named ship arrivals and departures, ministers and sermon content, birth of a child, city business, and even attending a literature club discussing the merits of Edgar Allen Poe’s poetry. The three war journals outline George’s beliefs and his recruitment of volunteers at Fort Sullivan just prior to the outbreak of hostilities and then cover the incredible battles of the war. They name his friends from Eastport who died at his side in battle in places like Spotsylvania, Cold Harbour and Petersburg where he led his troops as an acting Lt. Colonel of the First Maine Heavy Artillery. His last entry reports Rebel snipers picking off officers the night before a pivotal battle. He was one of them. I can not stress enough the importance to Eastport of this period of history as recorded so accurately in these amazing diaries. They are invaluable and deserving of recovery and your support on this effort. John L. Raye, Author of Island Sacrifice, about Eastport Civil War participants George W. Sabine and Henry H. Wadsworth.

Major George W. Sabine

Diaries of Major George W. Sabine

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