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  • Writer's pictureBeth Stenstrom

Amos Gilbert Bean

Amos Bean

Rank: Private, 3rd Maine Volunteers, Company E

Descendant: Barry Y

Amos Gilbert Bean left the small rural community of Mason in western Maine on Sunday afternoon September 27, 1863. He had collected $300 from the person he was replacing in the draft, $100 from the State of Maine, and $50 from the Town of Bethel, “to take (his chance) of being killed while defending the old flag and country”.

His father, who was serving with the 13th Maine Regiment in the Department of the Gulf, had written the year earlier to his wife, “you tell Gilbert not to enlist on eny consideration whatever for he canot stand it I no for I have tred it enuf to no so he had better stay at home if he cant em 25 cents a day he beter take his gun and shoot rabbits and other game then to thinke of going in the armey”.

Amos joined Company E, 3rd Maine Regiment at Warrenton. On November 7, he saw his first action when the Army of the Potomac crossed the Rappahannock River at Kelly’s Ford. They set up their camps at Brandy Station. On November 27, he again saw action at the Battle of Paynes Farm during the Mine Run Campaign.

Amos remained in camp at Brandy Station until May 3, when the Army of the Potomac moved to meet the Army of Northern Virginia. In the I ate afternoon of May 5, the 3rd Maine Regiment started down the south side of Orange Plank Road (Route 621) from Brock Road to relieve the 40th New York Regiment. The battle swayed back and forth until nightfall when both sides lay on their arms. At day break of May 6 the Union forces attacked and drove the Confederates back to the Widow Tapp Farm; then Confederate reinforcements arrived. “To all appearances we were holding them all right when they struck our left wing with a heavy force and succeeded in turning our left back so the line was shaped like an ox-bow and the 3rd Maine made the back of the bow. Colonel Lakeman sang out, ‘Get out of this! Everyman for himselfl’ When this order came the Rebs were within ten feet of us with fixed bayonets. We had not fixed bayonets so the most of us obeyed the Colonel’s orders” The Union forces fell back to breastworks on Brock Road.

On May 10, Amos was in the Laurel Hill area of Spotsylvania facing the left of the Confederate line. “At Five p.m. we moved forward with orders that when we sighted the breast works to take double quick steps until we carried the works——. Most of us carried out the order and carried the works but could not hold it as the reserve that should have been close to us did not move quick enough. The Rebs did, however, and there were three of them to one of us. We had to get out and right smart soon.—–­”

“When we were about four rods from the works I got a bullet through my left thigh and lost all use of that leg. I leaned on my gun for a crutch and made only a few hops when another went through my right hip completely using me up.” – Amos Bean

Amos lay on the field in the rain until late the next evening when Confederate stretcher bearers took him behind the breastworks. He eventually was taken to a prison hospital in Richmond where he remained until he was exchanged on August 12.

When he left to join the army he weighed 167 lbs. and at the time of his exchange he weighed 93 lbs.

He returned to Mason and in 1867 he bought a home in the adjacent community of Albany, Maine. The following year he married Angeline Cummings and they had four sons and a daughter. He became a pillar in his community serving as superintendent of schools, justice of the peace, post master, tax collector, and deacon of his church. He died on September 21, 1921, and is buried in the Hunts Corner Cemetery in Albany.

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