Sgt Goodwin's Colt

Colt Model 1860 Army revolver used during the Civil War by Sergeant Charles C. Goodwin of Company C, 1st Maine Cavalry.

One of many battle engagements in the regimentís history refers to the Battle of South Mountain, MD and Goodwin, a headquarters dispatch bearer on September 14, 1862. The cavalryman was in the process of delivering a verbal message to Union Major General Jesse Reno at the moment that officer was killed. The body of Reno might have fallen into enemy hands but for the quick thinking of Goodwin who grabbed the reins of the Generalís wounded horse and with the General still aboard, led the horse and its dying rider to safety through a storm of bullets.

Charles Goodwin, a 22 year old farmer from Wells, ME, enlisted at Biddeford on October 21, 1861 and was mustered in as a private ten days later. Goodwin served with the 1st ME Cavalry for his entire term of service and mustered out as a Sergeant on November 25, 1864. He was orderly for General Fitz John Porter during General Popeís campaign until 2nd Bull Run and was familiar with the heated controversy between the two generals. After South Mountain, Goodwin was orderly for General Ambrose Burnside at the Battle of Antietam where Goodwin had his own horse shot out from under him in the charge across the stone bridge. Another exploit involving Goodwin was when he was delivering an order to General Rodman and while waiting for the receipt, that officer was killed in action. Goodwin rejoined his company in October 1862 as orderly for General Stoneman during Confederate General Robert E. Leeís invasion of Maryland and Pennsylvania. Goodwin was promoted Sergeant on March 1863 and was wounded in action at Rappahannock Station, VA in October of that year. The Maine cavalryman participated in the Shenandoah Valley campaign and was engaged on July 23, 1864 at the fight at Snickers Ferry. He was taken prisoner there and sent to Winchester but escaped his guards on July 29, 1864.

Trooper Charles Goodwin was a very active, veteran cavalryman in a very battle-prone cavalry regiment. Among the numerous engagements the 1st Maine Cavalry was involved in were: Fredericksburg, Rappahannock Station, Brandy Station, Aldie, Middleburg, Upperville, Gettysburg, Shepherdstown, Sulphur Springs, Mine Run, Richmond, Old Church Tavern, Toddís Tavern, Hawes Shop, Cold Harbor, Trevillian Station, Reams Station, St. Maryís Church, and others.

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January 26, 2004