Part 2 of 2
by Mary Pickard
Images from Scarborough Historical Society, Maine Historical Society, and Maine State Archives
Letters to and from soldiers revealed concerns about the future. In a letter to her friend Gardner Waterhouse with the 7th Maine, Clara Moses cautioned, “Take good care of yourself as you can and take care of your money too, so when you some home you will have something to buy a farm.”
Melville Milliken, serving with the 12th Maine, in a letter to his folks, was concerned about a box of letters he sent home “to get rid of lugging them. He wrote, “and if I should ever get home I should like to keep them and if not they are of no use to anyone and will be destroyed.”
Many did not return from the war. Some died in battle: George E. Merrill, Battle of Fredericksburg, 1862; Henry Farr, Battle of Cedar Creek, Virginia, 1864; Robert Waterhouse, the Wilderness, 1864; Enoch Snow, Battle of Ponchatoula, Louisiana, 1862; and Mahlon Parker, Siege of Port Hudson, 1863.
Others died of disease: Martin Perry, 1863; Benjamin Waterhouse, 1863; and Charles Gustin, 1863. Some died in prison: Sumner Cummings Libby, Salisbury Prison, North Carolina, 1863; John Young, 1865.
Freedom Milliken was one who did return home and for many years was the Town Clerk of Scarborough. Noah Pillsbury, who became Scarborough’s first Rural Free Delivery mailman and toll taker for the Columbia Pike, the road across the Scarborough Marsh, also returned.
Thomas Libby, who had been held captive in a Confederate prison in Salisbury, North Carolina, became proprietor of the West Point Hotel at Prouts Neck.
Zebulon Knight, a carpenter, became minister of the South Berwick/Wells Christian Church beginning in 1875, remaining there for 43 years.
Horatio Hight represented Scarborough in the Maine House and later moved to Portland where he served many years as a weigher and gauger in the Customs House.
Charles C.G. Thornton, scion of a prominent Saco business family for whom Thornton Academy is named, became successful in the flour milling trade in Massachusetts and Wisconsin. Thornton also donated the church bell at the Black Point Congregational Church.
And Hiram Berry? He returned to farming and built a farm in the northwest section of Scarborough.
All of Scarborough’s soldiers are honored by the monument dedicated by Augustus Freedom Moulton in 1913. The principal inscription on the Soldiers Monument reads: “Scarboro/To Her Sons/Who Fought/For The Union.”
The monument was made possible through the efforts of the Outlook Club, a local women’s group that initiated the memorial project by holding an ice cream and bake sale to raise funds. The Scarborough Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Association formed, and the ladies held fundraising fairs and entertainments around town.
The monument was erected at the cost of $2,500: local donors and proceeds from fundraisers contributed $1,500 and the town gave $1,000. By the time of the dedication, the monument recognized not only Civil War soldiers but also those who served in the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812.
Augustus Moulton persuaded the Good Templars to move their meeting place from the site where the monument was to be erected to its present site next to the Dunstan Fire Station and the Scarborough Historical Society. It is now the Gov. William King Masonic Lodge.
Nearly 100 years after the monument’s dedication, the town and State Department of Transportation announced plans to reconfigure the busy intersection next to the monument, necessitating its relocation.
At a 2011 town hearing, residents weighed in with their opinions and the message was clear — for historical reasons and tradition, don’t move the monument. Plans were changed and the Soldiers’ Monument remained in its original location at the corner of Broadturn Road and Route 1 in Dunstan.