Maine Camp Hospital Association

 

The Maine Camp Hospital Association originated with the women of the Free Street Baptist Church in Portland, Maine. Following the battle of Antietam on September 17, 1862 these women carried supplies to the field to help the sick and wounded. The Maine Camp Hospital Association was so well organized other soldier’s aid societies would send the supplies they had gathered to the MCHA for distribution.

 

Through the course of the war the role of the MCHA continued to grow and they were eventually able to work along the United States Christian Commission supplying Protestant chaplains and social workers to the wounded as well as the United States Sanitary Commission. These women quickly gained the appreciation and respect of the soldiers.  By the time of the Battle of Gettysburg, July 1-3, 1863 the courageous women of the MCHA arrived to support the Army of the Potomac with medical supplies and mail.

 

Our living historians gather together to celebrate the role of spirited, adventurous women willing to risk everything for love of family, country, and their fellow man. Though often forgotten by historians these women were cooks, nurses, mail carriers, seamstresses, abolitionists, explorers, scouts, soldiers, and spies capable of uniting a union camp and helping the union to survive.

 

While there is little historical proof that Brewer, Maine was a stop on the Underground Railroad there have been many discoveries over the last 150 years that would link not only the family of Joshua Chamberlain but many local residents to runaway slaves.  In 1996 Brewer, Maine built a park, modeled after Little Round Top, that includes a statue of a slave escaping from a tunnel. The community did this to celebrate the close ties the town had to the abolitionist movement.

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