Historical & Art Museum
Henry N. Oliver
Hodgdon native and Civil War Veteran
The beautiful 5 X 7 tintype was probably done in the summer of 1862 when Henry was just 18 years of age and getting ready to go off to war.
Hodgdon native Henry N. Oliver was first discharged in August of 1863 after he had completed a nine-month tour of duty.
He was a Private under Captain Aziel W. Putnam of Company G 22nd Regiment of the Maine volunteer infantry.
Henry went on to enlist a second time on October 23rd 1864 and was discharged that time on July 16th of 1865.
Henry was born on Dec. 29th 1844 in Houlton Maine and passed on Nov. 13th of 1916 at the age of 71
He was married to Jenny Oliver.
Both Henry and Jenny are buried in the Hodgdon cemetery.
Below: Henry's first Discharge.
Transcription of the above
To all whom it may concern
[Seal of the United States]
Know ye, That Henry N Oliver a
Private of Captain Aziel Putnam
Company, (G,) 22nd Regiment of Maine Infantry
VOLUNTEERS who has enrolled on the Tenth day of September
one thousand eight hundred and sixty two to serve nine months years or
during the war is hereby Discharged of the service of the United States,
this fourteenth day of August 1863, at Bangor
Maine by reason of Expiration of Terms of Service
(No objection to his being re=enlisted is known to exist. *)
Said Henry Oliver was born in Houlton
in the State of Maine, is eighteen years of age,
Five feet nine inches high, Light complexion, Blue eyes,
Sandy hair, and by occupation, when enrolled, a Farmer
Given at Bangor this Fourteenth day of
F E Grossman
*This sentence will be erased should there be anything 1st Lieut 17th Infantry
in the conduct or in the physical condition of the soldier commanding the regiment
rendering him unfit for the Armey Mustering Officer
[A.G.O. No. 99.]
Aziel W Putnam
Capt Co G 22nd Maine Vol
Below: Henry’s promotion to Corporal, Novemebr 4th 1864.
Below: Henry's second Discharge.
He joined a second time on October 23rd 1864 and was discharged on July 16th 1865 due to the war being over.
The above is Henry N. Oliver's promotion documentation.
On November 4th 1864 he was promoted to Corporal.
1st Battalion Maine Volunteer SS.
The "SS" stood for Sharpshooters.
The family of Mr. Oliver tells the story that Henry shook the hand of Abraham Lincoln.
Given the fact that Henry does not appear to be a fellow who would make up tales and the fact that he was discharged at the end of the war "near Washington D.C." (see above) we believe this to be 100% true.
This is considered to be the last photo of the Frank Hunter Hodgdon branch #68 of the GAR.
Back row LR:
George Tracy, Samuel Haskell, Joe Stockford, Hiram Daggett.
Front row LR: Henry Oliver, Isaac Shields, Andrew Tidd, Isaac Suitter, Henry Quint.
One of Mr Olivers
This is photo has us scratching our heads a bit. We believe that Henry is 6th from the left sporting the large mustache.
The back of the photo has no names just Memorial Day 1910-1912 with a question mark. If one studies the faces, these are fairly young men. So, we believe this photo to be much earlier, perhaps circa 1885.
Also in the third row appears to be a fellow with a Hodgdon baseball shirt. Perhaps he didn't have time to change? What do you think?
A word about the Sharpshooters
The advent of rifled barrels and breech-loaded weapons led to the development of the Sharpshooters, an elite well trained group of men.
The Sharpshooters had a powerful psychological impact on the Confederate troops. No longer was it safe for a soldier to expose himself to the enemy, even at a distance of several hundred yards. Sharpshooters changed war for the soldier on the line.
Hiram Berdan, an engineer and inventor, was also the most accurate amateur shooter of his day.
Berdan formed and trained the 1st and 2nd United States Volunteer Sharpshooter Regiments or USSS (U. S. Sharps Shooters).
Qualifying recruits had to fire from 200 yards and place 10 consecutive shots within a 10-inch bulls-eye.
Although some Federal sharpshooters used their own weapons or other preferred gun, most usually carried Sharps rifles, breechloaders designed by a man named Christian Sharps. The success of these men in the field led to the term sharpshooter, an adaptation of “Sharps shooters.”
Well-equipped and superbly trained, these units served as scouts at the front of advancing columns.
Union sharpshooters wore green uniforms and nonreflective hard rubber buttons made by Charles Goodyear.
Sharpshooters usually were the first to engage the enemy, acting as skirmishers rather than as snipers. Commanders usually tried to minimize the losses to this group of specially trained soldiers.
Sharpshooters performed scout and skirmishing duties but rarely participated in the large-scale assaults of defensive positions in which casualty rates usually were high.
So Mr. Oliver was a sharpshooter in the Civil War. Not that hard to believe that a young Hodgdon man was a crack shot. He no doubt spent a lot of time in the Maine woods hunting game.
If you would like to learn more the
Cary Library has a book called
Soldiers in Green by
Call number 973.741