During November we celebrate Veterans Day and Thanksgiving Day. Each of these holidays has its own antecedents, but each also provides an opportunity for the nation to pause and give thanks. In that spirit, it is noteworthy that on November 7, 1947, Maine’s last Civil War veteran, Zachary T. McLaughlin, passed away at his son’s home in Turner. McLaughlin was 98 years old at the time of his passing.1 McLaughlin was an eighteen-year-old farmer from Weld when he was mustered into service as a private, Company F, 12th Maine Infantry, on February 23, 1865. He was mustered out and honorably discharged on August 14, 1865.2

     Being Maine’s last Civil War veteran, McLaughlin’s death was widely reported. The Boston Globe reported that “. . . his keenest recollection of the war was a speech he heard President Lincoln deliver. ‘It was a good one,’ McLaughlin said.”3

Evergreen Cemetery, Phillips, Maine. (P.J.S. Photos.)



  1. “Maine’s Last Civil War Veteran Dies at Turner,” Lewiston Evening Journal, November 7, 1947, 1.
  2. “Maine, State Archive Collections, 1718-1957,” database with images, FamilySearch(https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:246J-BGK : 4 March 2021), Zachary T Mclaughlin, 09 Feb 1865; citing Military Service, , State Archives, Augusta.
  3. “Zachary McLaughlin,” Boston Globe, November 7, 1947, 17. [Accessed through Newspapers.com, a subscription service.]
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