Although Maine is commonly remembered as one of the states most supportive of the Union during the Civil War, many of its citizens were implacably opposed to the conflict, and they voiced their opposition loudly and persistently from the war’s beginning until its end. Others weighed in on the topic more quietly but just as forcefully when they refused to enlist and evaded conscription by any effective means. While many studies have explored the history of Copperheadism and associated the political movement with populations that were urban, immigrant, and Catholic, there has been almost no prior investigation of Down East Maine, where the population was almost entirely rural, native, and Protestant. While opposition to the war was expressed in bitter and polemical newspaper editorials, men who avoided military service did so for more pragmatic reasons, such as the need to maintain a business or provide for a family. Many people of Down East Maine wanted simply to be left alone and not be compelled to participate in a war they regarded as costly, destructive, and foolhardy. The author is the executive director of the Mount Desert Island Historical Society. He is also a master’s degree candidate in the History Department at the University of Maine.
Garrity, Timothy F.. "“We Respect the Flag but….”: Opposition to The Civil War in Down East Maine." Maine History 48, 1 (2014): 23-55. https://digitalcommons.library.umaine.edu/mainehistoryjournal/vol48/iss1/3