May 3, 1864
"I take great pleasure in sending you my photograph" writes Colonel Selden Connor of the 19th Maine Infantry Regiment on May 3, 1864, responding to Maine Adjutant General John Hodson’s request for photographs of Maine officers.
Three days later on May 6, Connor was severely wounded.
He later said, "A soldier once asked me where I was wounded, and on my replying 'In the Wilderness,' he responded, 'Humph! Anybody could get hit there!'"
Connor, of Fairfield, was a comparatively large man. The average Maine soldier in the Civil War weighed less than 150 lbs. Connor, over six feet tall, weighed more than 200 lbs. At the age of 22, he enlisted in the 7th Maine Infantry in 1861, after graduating from Tufts College. He rapidly rose to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.
In December of 1863 Connor was appointed Colonel of the 19th Maine Infantry Regiment.
Speaking to his fellow officers after the War, Connor recalled how he was wounded in the battle of The Wilderness.
"Captain Banes, the Adjutant General of the Brigade, was with me when the firing broke out. I said to him there was no time to wait for orders; that I would change my front to meet the enemy …. As soon as my front was clear I began a fire by file and the noise of it swelled to a continuous sound like the roll of a drum. All at once something like a sledge hammer hit me in the thigh and felled me to the ground in the road. Captain Nehemiah Smith put me on a blanket and I was carried to the rear. I weighed about two hundred pounds and the way was rough, so that a good many men took a hand in carrying me to the Brock Road," Connor recounted.
He was taken to Fredericksburg along with hundreds of other wounded and dying men; some badly burned due to brush fires that had broken out in the thick underbrush of the Wilderness.
Later transferred to Douglas Hospital, in Washington, Connor remained there until July, 1865. While still in the hospital, he was commissioned as a Brevet Brigadier General
After the War, Connor became interested in politics and became a U. S. Pension Agent for the Third District of Maine. In 1875, he became the 35th Governor of the State of Maine, and served three successive terms in office.
Connor also served as Adjutant General of Maine in 1893 and 1897. He delivered the principal Oration at the dedication of the Maine Monuments at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, in 1898.
- Is Selden Connor Maine’s youngest Governor?
- What is a "Brevet" Commission?