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Bristol Area Lions Club Learns about Bristol’s Participation in the Civil War 10/20/2011

Posted by DS in meetings, speakers.
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The Bristol Area Lions Club welcomed speaker David Andrews to its most recent meeting. As the founding historian of the South Bristol Historical Society, Andrews is well versed in the history of the Bristol area. In his presentation entitled, “Bristol in the Civil War,” he gave an overview of the more than 300 soldiers and sailors from Bristol and South Bristol who participated in that war, all of them volunteers.

Most were young and single, and had been farmers, seamen or craftsmen prior to joining the Union cause. The sole female Andrews has identified, Amy Bradley, was a native of Vassalboro but seems to have been a teacher in a Bristol area school prior to enlisting in the Civil War Sanitary Commission and tending to wounded soldiers throughout the South.

2011 is the 150th anniversary of the start of the Civil War, Andrews noted, and it is a tribute to our state that Maine sent more individuals to serve, per capita, than any other state in the Union. Several even re-enlisted after their term of service had finished.

Bristol men were involved in many key battles of the Civil War, including the battles at Bull Run, at Gettysburg, and at Appomatox Courthouse.

Andrews concluded his talk by sharing research about the 21st Maine Volunteer Infantry, whose Company I included a number of local Bristol men and who in only 9 months lost more of their regiment to disease than to combat or disability. To emphasize that statistic, he added that of the 67 he has identified as having served from South Bristol, only one was ever killed in combat.

In the business meeting that followed David Andrews’ talk, new ideas to promote the Bristol Area Lions Club and its service to the community came under discussion. The next meeting, on Monday, November 7, will feature local lobsterman Billy McLain, who will speak about his lobstering career. To make dinner reservations for that meeting, or to learn more about the Bristol Area Lions Club, please call 677-2095.

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