Summary Information

Repository
George J. Mitchell Department of Special Collections & Archives, Bowdoin College Library, Brunswick, Maine 04011
Creator
Melcher, Holman S., (Holman Staples), 1841-1905
Title
Holman Melcher papers
ID
M127
Date [inclusive]
1860-1865
Extent
0.25 linear feet
Language
Abstract
Correspondence (1860-1865), Civil War records, clippings, and other material (1863-1865). Correspondence includes letters to Holman's brother Nathaniel, then a student at Bowdoin, and to his parents, written from the front lines at Fredericksburg, Antietam and other battle sites.

Preferred Citation

Holman Melcher Papers, George J. Mitchell Department of Special Collections & Archives, Bowdoin College Library, Brunswick, Maine


Biographical/Historical Note

Holman Melcher (1841-1905), a native of Topsham, Maine, was the brother of Nathaniel Melcher (Bowdoin 1864). During the Civil War, he served with the 20th Maine Regiment at the Battle of Gettysburg. His journals, published with his letters as With a Flash of His Sword, suggest that it was he, and not Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, who led the impulsive charge that helped to rescue the Union forces. Melcher served to brevet major and was wounded in the Battle of Spotsylvania in Virginia, but survived the war.

He served as president of the 20th Maine Regiment Association (1876-1905). He was a successful wholesale grocer in Portland, Maine, and was twice elected mayor of the city (1889-1890). He married Alice Hart and had one daughter.


Scope and Content

The collection contains correspondence (1860-1865), Civil War records, clippings, and other material (1863-1865). Correspondence includes letters to his brother Nathaniel, then a student at Bowdoin, and to his parents, written from the front lines at Fredericksburg, Antietam and other battle sites. Also included are general orders of the Army of the Potomac, and a consolidated morning report of the 20th Maine Regiment for March 21, 1863.


Administrative Information

Publication Information

 George J. Mitchell Department of Special Collections & Archives, Bowdoin College Library, Brunswick, Maine 04011

3000 College Station
Brunswick, Maine, 04011
(207) 725-3288
scaref@bowdoin.edu

Collection Inventory

Box Folder
1 1

Correspondence: 1860 - 1861 

    1 2

    Correspondence: 1862 

      1 3

      Correspondence: 1863 Jan - Jun 

        1 4

        Correspondence: 1863 Jul - Dec 

          1 5

          Correspondence: 1864 

            1 6

            Correspondence: 1865 

              1 7

              Correspondence: partially dated 

                1 8

                Correspondence: undated sheets 

                  1 9

                  Consolidated Morning Report, 20th Maine Vols., 1863 Mar 21 

                    1 10

                    General Orders II 84 and 274, Army of the Potomac, 1863 

                      1 11

                      Clipping, New York Herald, 1865 Apr 15 (unauthorized reproduction)