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Eastport, Maine American Civil War Handwritten Enlistment Book | Charles T. Eldridge | 1871
A massive 381 page hand written oversized leather bound volume that details the participation by residents of Eastport, Maine in the Union military operations in the American Civil War. The volume was the work and labor of love of Charles T. Eldridge of Eastport, Maine who was himself a veteran of the American Civil War. He completed the work in 1871 and he was able to undertake the research for the volume while stationed in Washington, D.C. where he had access to military records regarding the War. The volume’s official title is: “Eastport: Enlistments in the Regular and Volunteer U.S. Army and Navy from 1861 to 1866, compiled from Official Records by Charles T. Eldridge.” For many years the volume resided with the Peavey Memorial Library of Eastport, Maine. But use of the volume over time led to its wear and tear to the point where the library was considering placing the volume with the Maine State Library for better preservation of the volume. Fortunately a trustee of the Peavey library approached the Tides Institute about whether the institute might be willing to take on the volume, preserve it and keep in this region. The Tides Institute agreed to do this and in 2018 the Peavey Library placed the volume with the institute. Soon afterwards the institute had the volume restored and digitized by the Northeast Document Conservation Center in Andover, Massachusetts. The institute was able to raise the necessary funds privately. Photo caption: Title page of 381 page hand written leather bound volume that details the participation by residents of Eastport, Maine in the Union military operations in the American Civil War. The volume was the work of Charles T. Eldridge of Eastport, Maine who was himself a veteran of the American Civil War. He completed the work in 1871. Eastport. Enlistments in the Regular and Volunteer Service, U.S. Army and Navy. From 1861 to 1866. Compiled from Official Records by Charles T. Eldridge at Washington City, D.C., 1871. From Eastport Sentinel, December 12, 1917, p, 2: EASTPORT MAN LONG IN SERVICE Col. C.T. Eldridge Spent More Than Half Century in Service. Interment Here Wednesday Afternoon. The burial of Col. Charles T. Eldridge, who died in Washington D.C, on Sunday, Dec. 2, took place at the cemetery here at noon Wednesday immediately after the arrival of the remains on the 11:30 train. George R. Ray, Warren S. Kane, E.S. Waide, James L. Irvine, John P. Hutchison, Fred Campbell, George W. Norton and W.C. Hawkes acted as pall bearer and brief services were conducted by Rev. Dr. H.O. Millington of the Brookland Baptist church of Washington. Mrs. Eldridge and Frank Eldridge of Providence, a brother of Mr. Eldridge were present returning with Dr. Millington to their homes on the afternoon train. Col. Eldridge was born in this city about 75 years ago and was educated in the public schools. He enlisted on October 11, 1862 as a private in Co. H, 26th Maine Volunteers and saw service under Butler in the Louisiana campaign for nearly two years being mustered out in 1863. In April he was appointed commissary clark to Major B.A. Chadbourne and served with him until April, 1865, when he resigned to accept a position as clerk in a bureau of the War Department. This position he held for 52 years, in the course of which he met and developed acquaintances with many government officials. Mr. Eldridge was a penman of exceptional ability and among other samples of his work was a part of the original ritual of the Knights of Pythias, an order which was founded at Washington during the first years of his residence there. He also compiled a record of all the enlistments from Eastport during the Civil War — a beautifully executed book of 269 pages, 16 inches in width by 24 inches in length and five inches in thickness. This book was presented to the Public Library of this city by Mr. Eldridge and has for long been one of the show pieces of the library. Mr. Eldridge is survived by his wife and three brothers, William of Oregon, Frank of Providence and Mayor Fred T. Eldridge of this city.