A Great Resource To Find Your Civil War Ancestors

Washington County, Maine In the Civil War 1861-66 by Ken Ross lists every soldier and sailor from Washington County, contains detailed descriptions of the battles they fought in and much, much more. A writer friend of mine kindly loaned me this book so I could find my ancestors who fought in the Civil War.

More than 4700 men from Washington County served in the Civil War. Over 490 of these men died of disease, more than 224 men died of wounds, over 590 men who were wounded survived to live with their wounds, 509 were disabled.

Maine and the nation paid a high price in the Civil War. It claimed 620,000 lives, nearly as many lives as American lost in all other conflicts combined (644,000).

My ancestors who fought in the Civil War include my great grandfather William Means’ eldest brothers, Andrew and Eliphalet Means, sons of Otis and Elsie Means. Both men were Sergeants in the 3rd Battalion (The Third Regiment Maine Volunteer Infantry); both men were disabled.

Andrew Fuller Berry Means enlisted at age 23 and served from 12/11/61 to 7/21/62. Battles that the 3rd Battalion participated in during that time period were:

1ST BULL RUN (1861 July 21)

BAILEY’S CROSS ROAD (1861 August 27 & 28) YORKTOWN (1862 April 5-May 4) WILLIAMSBURG (1862 May 5)

FAIR OAKS (1862 May 31)

SEVEN PINES (1862 June 1)

WHITE OAK SWAMP (1862 June 25)


MALVERN HILL (1862 July 1)

Eliphalet Scribner Means enlisted at age 22 and served from 12/11/16 to 12/11/63. Battles that the 3rd Battalion participated in during that time period are listed above, as well as those named below:

2nd BULL RUN (1862 August 30)

CHANTILLY (1862 September 1)

FREDERICKSBURG (1862 December 12-15)


GETTYSBURG (1863 July 1-3)

WAPPING HEIGHTS (1863 July 23)

AUBURN MILLS (1863 October 12)

KELLY’S FORD (1863 November 7)

ORANGE GROVE (1863 November 27 )

MINE RUN (1863 November 30)

Andrew Means was a physician in Boston. After the war, Eliphalet was the proprietor of the ES Means store in Machias. They both lived with their disabilities, as did hundreds of other men, for many years. Andrew died in 1905 at the age of 67. Eliphalet died at the age of 49 in 1888.

Washington County, Maine In the Civil War 1861-66 by Ken Ross is available on Amazon in paperback for $18.00, a valuable addition to your reference library.

UPDATE: This book can be found at the Whitneyville Library and at The Washington County Courthouse Heritage Center Museum and Genealogy Research Room in Machias.



“They did not know enough to run” Private Samuel B. Wing

TIME-LINE WITH HISTORICAL INFORMATION (47 pgs.) compiled by Craig Young





Maine Soldiers in the Getchell/Berry/Means Families



Can anyone identify the Maine regiment by the uniforms? Civil War or later?

These men are unidentified as yet but are likely in the Getchell or Berry families.

Their photographs were in one of the old, old albums left in the attic of my great grandparents home. The photos were taken at the studio of Keith & Ross Photographers, Machias, Maine. I can find no information on this studio and the dates it was located in Machias.


Two men in the Means family fought in the Civil War, my great grandfather William’s elder brothers, Andrew Fuller Berry Means and Eliphalet Scribner Means.

Update: Westbrook Berry was a Civil War soldier from Machias. He volunteered for Co. C sixth Maine regiment in 1861 and was discharged for disability in 1863. Note the name is mis-spelled “Barry” in the 1890 survey of surviving soldiers and their widows below. This Westbrook Berry would be a descendant of Westbrook Berry, one of the “original 16” settlers of Machias. I am also one of his descendants through my great great grandmother Elsie Fuller Berry Means.

I am not sure if the soldiers pictured above are Civil War soldiers or not, or if one of the men is Westbrook. But, Westbrook Berry served in a valiant regiment, the 6th Maine’s “screaming demons” that hurdled the stone wall at Fredericksburg in 1863, where he may have been disabled. What a proud history of soldiers from Machias!



Related posts:

Old, Old Photo Albums. Circa late 1800s. Part II.


Eliphalet Scribner Means

The second son of Otis and Elsie Means of Machiasport, Maine.

Eliphalet was born September 14, 1839. He married Helen J Robinson June of 1864 in Machiasport. “In War Rebellion.” He died March 10, 1888. They had two daughters, Charlotte K (“Lottie” born 1865, died 1885, age 20) and Carrie A. [Reference: 1913. The Means Family]

Eliphalet was my great grandfather William’s elder brother.

Carrie was mentioned in my grandmother Harriet’s letters of 1908. Grace Means grew up with Lottie.

As I perused the ancestors’ books and ledgers, I discovered that the two Atlases dated 1881 and 1892 belonged to Eliphalet. It was evident from his cash and freight ledgers that Eliphalet sold merchandise, eggs, meats and tropical fruits ordered from Boston. I wondered how he could do that much business in Machiasport. The answer was in the Atlas of Washington Co by George N Colby and Co.

The ES Means store was in the village of Machias: No 19 on the map, five buildings up Main Street from the P.O. and Customs House, across the street from Holway Sullivan Co Steam and Saw Mills (later the Phoenix Opera House).

Eliphalet’s photo was included in the portrait collection of Grace Adele Means. Grace wrote long descriptions of each ancestor on the back of each photo, sent to Machias, Maine from NYC.

Eliphalet was very special to Grace.

“He needs no eulogy. His face shows his sunny, sweet and lovable disposition. He had in life my deepest love and his memory is a priceless possession… Always in sympathy – never anything but serene and smiling to us children in spite of almost constant suffering from Civil War injuries. I never heard him rebuke or speak an unkind word.” 

Grace wrote on the back of Eliphalet’s photo to her Uncle William, my great grandfather:


To Hattie, my grandmother, Grace wrote:


Andrew Fuller Means

The eldest son of Otis and Elsie Means of Machiasport, Maine.

Otis Witham Means and Elsie Fuller Berry Means had eight children, five survived beyond infancy. After their daughter Francis died in 1871, Otis and Elsie raised Grace Adele, their granddaughter. Recorded in the “Means Family” notebook written by John H Means of Boston and sent to William G. Means in 1913, their children:

Andrew Fuller born Bluehill May 6, 1838. Married Francis A Sawyer in Machiasport March 17, 1864. He was a physician in Boston. “In War Rebellion.” He died March 3, 1905. She is alive in 1913. They had one son, Harry F, born June 1867, alive in 1913.

Eliphalet Scribner born September 14, 1839. Married Machiasport June 1864 Helen of Robinston.“In War Rebellion.” He died March 10, 1888. They had two daughters, Charlotte K and Carrie A.

Harriet E born September 25, 1841. Married Nathaniel M. Putnam in Boston, August 28, 1864. He died September 5, 1891. She died July 29, 1892. Both buried at Forest Hill Cemetery Boston.

Francis Adele born January 14, 1844. Married J J Drew in Machiasport. She died October 29, 1871. [One daughter, Grace Adele.]

Henry and Henrietta twins died in infancy.

Otis W born August 25, 1853. Died in infancy January 4, 1854.

William Gordon born Machias January 15, 1855. Married Nellie B Getchell July 1, 1880. They had 4 children: Otis, Harriet, William, Elsie.

The portrait collection of Grace Adele Means contains photos of Otis and Elsie Means and three of five children surviving beyond infancy. Andrew, Eliphalet, and Francis. Grace wrote long descriptions of our ancestors on the back of each photo, sent to her Uncle William in Machias, Maine from NYC.

In that portrait collection, Grace wrote on the back of Andrew’s photo.