For 35+ years, I have been an active collector in the American Civil War community, specializing in 1860-1865 period Northern Infantry and Cavalry equipment, weapons, personal items, and uniforms. I have a special interest in the history and items of several regiments. Pieces of my military collection have been featured in Time Life’s Echoes of Glory
, the 26-volume Time Life Civil War
series, Oxmoor House’s Great Battles of the Civil War
, Don Troiani’s Regiments and Uniforms of the Civil War
, Langellier & Loane’s U.S. Army Headgear 1812-1872
, Military Images
magazine, and on television’s Civil War Journal
. I am a long-standing member of the Company of Military Historians, a member of the National Rifle Association, Sons of Union Veterans, and a Life Member of the New England Antique Arms Society. In 2000, I exhibited and was co-curator of "To Restore Our Glorious Union: Portsmouth & The Civil War,” an exhibition at the Portsmouth Athenaeum, Market Square, Portsmouth, NH. Like all collectors, I also sell extra, duplicate, and upgraded items. Occasionally, I will buy an item outside of my main period of study, if I find it historically significant or unusual.
For the past 25 years, our residence has been in Maine’s oldest town, Kittery. Kittery is the southernmost town in the state just across the harbor from Portsmouth, NH. The state line is the Piscataqua River that lies almost halfway between Boston, Massachusetts and Portland, Maine. Settled in 1623 and incorporated as a town in 1647, Kittery is a coastal community with deep roots in history and the sea. The area was originally mapped by Captain John Smith. With its numerous islands, harbors, and rivers, it was a popular haunt of the pirate community. Blackbeard lived for a while at the Isle of Shoals, just off our coast. It is home to the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard (PNSY), the Civil War construction site and homeport of the USS Kearsarge. Admiral David Farragut died at the PN Shipyard Commander’s house on 14 August 1870. During WWII, the yard was one of the US’s principal construction sites for submarines. The shipyard is now a refueling and repair yard for the US fleet of Los Angeles Class nuclear attack submarines, a naval service yard for surface ships, and a central docking site for the regional US Coast Guard cutter service ships.
Captain John Paul Jones’ first ship, the sloop-of-war Ranger, was built at Kittery’s Badger Island Shipyards in 1777. The town also served as home for Sir William Pepperell - most notable for his capture of Louisburg in 1745, General William Whipple - signer of the Declaration of Independence, Tobias Lear - Secretary of State to President George Washington, Celia Thaxter - writer, artist and poet, John Haley Bellamy - renowned wood carver of the Bellamy Eagle, and General Mark F. Wentworth of the 17th, 27th and 32nd Maine Infantry in the Civil War. During the Civil War, men in town, for the most part, served in the 17th and 27th Maine Infantry or the 1st Maine Cavalry. Prior to Congress recalling the Medal of Honor (MOH) from members of the 27th Maine Infantry, Kittery had the highest number of MOH recipients (twenty-four individuals). My residence was once the home of Private C. Lucius Grant of Co. K, 1st Maine Cavalry.