Local and Legendary

The state of Maine holds a special place in the history of the American Civil War. Though far from the front lines, the state and its citizens played key roles in the coming of the war, the war itself, and its aftermath. More than 70,000 Mainers served in Union blue (including more than 24 Union generals), and nearly 10,000 lost their lives.

Veterans of the Civil War, 1932

But the story of Maine and the Civil War is also about the struggles, concerns, and triumphs of the 558,000 Mainers who remained at home. How did national issues and events shape your town’s experience, and how, in turn, did the citizens of your town shape the national story of the Civil War?

To recognize and celebrate the role of Mainers on the battlefield and on the homefront, Maine Historical Society (MHS) and Maine Humanities Council (MHC) are collaborating on a major three-year project funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities–Local & Legendary: Maine in the Civil War.

Local & Legendary will bring together 10 collaborative project teams (comprised of historical organizations, libraries, and educational institutions) to explore their local Civil War history. A $2,000 grant to each community will support a variety of activities including digitizing historical collections, creating online exhibits on Maine Memory Network’s Civil War section, and hosting a series of “One Story, One Community” programs.

Substantial training and resources will be provided to the participating teams. A one-day public symposium on April 27, 2013 at USM’s Hannaford Hall, featuring national and state-based speakers, formally kicks off the project.

The community application process for the first five communities opens on January 1, 2013, with a deadline of March 1, 2013. Five additional communities will be selected in 2014. Visit our Local & Legendary page for program details and application materials.

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