Brigadier General Neal Dow

Brigadier General Neal Dow was a brigade commander in General Sherman's command, and his troops took part in the May 27th attack across Slaughter's Field on the Confederate center.  When Sherman was wounded and removed from the field, Dow was placed in command, but was himself wounded shortly afterwards.  As with the other Union efforts on May 27th, the attack across Slaughter's Field failed to breach the Confederate defenses.  In late June, General Dow was taken prisoner by men from Colonel Logan's cavalry while he convalesced as an uninvited guest at a nearby plantation.  Eight months later he was exchanged for General W. H. F. Lee, son of Robert E. Lee.

Neal Dow was born in Portland, Maine, 20 March 1804.  He served as mayor of Portland, Maine, and also in the Maine legislature.  Dow was a campaigner for temperance, and through his efforts while he was mayor, "The Maine Law", the toughest statute against the sale and consumption of spirits anywhere in the world, was passed in 1851 prohibiting under severe penalties the sale of intoxicating beverages.  He was very well known for his prohibition efforts, and on 31 December 1861, after he volunteered his services to the Union, he was appointed colonel of the 13th Maine volunteers, and with his regiment he joined General Butler's expedition to New Orleans.  His regiment was known as the "Temperance Regiment", since he allowed no drinking of alcohol by his men.  He was commissioned a brigadier general of volunteers on 28 April 1862, and placed in command of the forts at the mouth of the Mississippi, and later of the district of Florida.  From there he was transferred to Camp Parapet, on the Mississippi River, six miles above New Orleans, and from there he was transferred to the command of General Banks, where he served at Port Hudson.  He resigned from the army on 30 November 1864.  Afterward he continued to work for the temperance cause.  He died in 1897.


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