Edwin Burt: From Savannah to the Wilderness

The May 11, 1864 edition of the Daily Eastern Argus, of Portland, Maine ran this list of casualties from the state’s regiments as reported by that time in the Overland Campaign:

Daily Eastern Argus_May11_1864_Burt

The 3rd Maine Infantry was part of Brigadier-General J.H. Hobart Ward’s brigade, of Major-General David Birney’s division, in the Second Corps.   On May 6, 1864, the 3rd Maine was part of the Federal line rolled up by a flank attack directed by Confederate General James Longstreet.  Like most of the Federal regiments, the 3rd Maine was unable to turn facing in the confusion and tangled woods, so they fell back.  The regiment, as did others, rallied near the intersection of Brock Road and the Plank Road. There they fought for possession of the earthworks along the Brock Road.

Wilderness 150 063

In “Maine at Gettysburg” the Maine Gettysburg Commission noted, “The regiment made and repelled several charges during this memorable battle, and its men won fresh laurels by their courage and steadiness under the furious attacks of the enemy.”

Somewhere in the fighting, Lieutenant-Colonel Edwin Burt fell while leading the men.  I suspect his body was originally buried just down the Plank Road where a cemetery was established after the battle.  Later his remains were removed to the Federicksburg National Cemetery – Grave plot 3953.

Fredericksburg 19 Feb 11 050

Before the war, Burt had been an Ordnance Sergeant. Readers may recall that in January 1861 Burt, alone among military officials in the state of Georgia, refused to surrender his responsibilities until given orders to do so.  (And you might also be interested in the background work done by Robert Moore on Edwin Burt.)  Burt experienced the Civil War at the fore from the very start.  Eleven months from the end, it came to an abrupt end.

This Memorial Day, let us consider these 150 year old reverberations.


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