Bucksport/Camp Griffin, VA
December 20, 1861
Charles Doak, a 19 year-old seaman from Bucksport, enlisted as a Private in the 6th Maine Infantry Regiment, in April, 1861. He was mustered into service on July 15, 1861, and assigned to E Company.
Upon leaving Maine, the regiment spent its first months in Virginia peacefully. The soldiers performed picket duty and felled trees.
The first Christmas of the war found many in the 6th Maine, including Doak, away from home for the first time. The regiment was in Camp Griffin, near Lewinsville, Virginia.
Holiday seasons away from loved ones can be difficult, but Doak’s description of his Christmas, early in the war, seemed to be an enjoyable time. He made camp life seem almost festive, at least that first winter.
The regiment stayed quiet through the winter. It would see its first battle action in April, 1862.
Doak survived the war. He was mustered out and honorably discharged in August of 1864.
- What was picket duty?
- How did the war affect the celebration of the holiday?