Aroostook County teen among the many who made sacrifices fighting in Civil War

7:19 PM, Jul 3, 2013   |    comments
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BANGOR, Maine (NEWS CENTER) --- Wednesday marked the third and final day of one of the bloodiest battles in U.S. history. 150 years after the battle of Gettysburg the legacy of the sacrifices made by Mainers during the U.S. Civil War lives on.

The story of one of them is on display at the Bangor Historical Society this year. Wesley Martin was only 19-years-old when he enlisted in the Union Army out of Presque Isle. He would go on to fight in five battles in the Civil War before he was wounded in Spotsylvania Virginia.

Private Martin was left lying on the battlefield for days. He was eventually taken to a prisoner of war camp where his leg was amputated below the knee. By the time he left the camp, records showed he only weighed an unbelievable 44 pounds.

"When he was released he was just left on the street," said Dana Lippitt, who is the museum curator for the historical society, "a southern family nursed him back to health and then he returned to Maine...he lived in the county. Worked as a farmer...he did go blind though...that was probably the hardest thing for him at the end of his life."

Wesley Martin died in Bangor in the year 1930. His relative Debby Nash donated his artificial leg to the Bangor Historical Society. Its on display at the museum on Union Street as part of a Civil War trail across Maine. You can stop by to see exhibits at the museum Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.


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