Lieutenant Colonel, 1st Maine Cavalry
Stephen Boothby was a minister's son, born in Livermore and growing up in Lewiston, Maine.
After graduating from Waterville College in 1857, he taught high school in Bangor while studying law.
After his admission to the bar, he moved to Portland, where he was known as a diligent and energetic lawyer and a temperate, well-modulated individual. As a popular figure in town, he helped raise and recruit the 1st Maine early in the fall of 1861.
At age 27 he was mustered in to Co. F as 1st lieutenant. He was promoted to captain in May 1862.
The regiment served in the Shenandoah and then in General Pope's Army of Virginia through the summer of 1862.
During the advance into Maryland in September 1862, Colonel Allen of the 1st Maine was appointed military governor of Frederick, Maryland, and Boothby served as his aide-de-camp until January 1863.
After returning to the regiment, he was promoted to major at the end of March 1863.
At Brandy Station, an alert private shot a Confederate trooper who was about to shoot Boothby.
At Aldie, he charge near Colonel Douty, and when Douty was killed at the stone wall, Boothby took command and held the wall until the end of the action. He was then promoted to lieutenant colonel as Charles Smith was promoted to colonel.
At Upperville, when the 1st Maine was ordered to charge through town, Colonel Smith led an advance squadron while Boothby followed up with the rest of the regiment.
After Gettysburg, as the army returned to Virginia, Gregg's Division was engaged at Shepherdstown on July 17. While commanding the dismounted line against a heavy Confederate advance, Boothby was winged, "laughing as Col. Smith rode up to him," but then visiting the surgeons for care of his wounded arm.
A few months later, he was active during the regiment's reconnaissance behind Confederate lines in October 1863.
In December 1863 the regiment was sent on a expedition to Luray in the Valley. It is reported that in the evening a near-sighted Boothby commented, "Now, men, make some good fires and get your suppers, for here are plenty of good rails," pointing to a stone wall. When he later went out to reconnoiter outside the lines and discovered he was accompanied by a near-sighted corporal, he remarked: "Well! we are a healthy set to go on a raid; can't either of us see beyond our noses."
Boothby commanded the regiment in winter camp, March 24-April 7, 1864.
During Sheridan's Richmond raid after the Battle of the Wilderness, the 1st Maine was given the advance from Beaver Dam Station on the second day.
Boothby commanded the advance of 12 men and ordered a charge when they encountered a force of 20 Confederates. The Confederates retired, leading Boothby's little force into "a hornet's nest."
Among the wounded was Boothby. "I met Boothby going to the rear, accompanied by Chaplain Bartlett," remembered Colonel Smith.
"His looks indicated that he was badly hurt." He was. Carried along with the wounded until the raid ended at the James River, he was evacuated to a hospital, but he died of his wound on June 6, 1864.