As of 2008, the Civil War monument had been on the hilltop at the Orchard Grove Cemetery for about 144 years. Many residents did not even know it was there. It had succumbed to the elements over the years with mold, mildew, and stains making its white marble nearly black in places. The lettering on the monument was worn so badly, it was hardly readable. Although the monument occupies the "King's Throne" (the highest point in the cemetery), to many it just didn't exist.
While studying his own genealogy, Albion W. Goodrich Jr. found that his great-great-grandfather served in the Civil War. That led him to the Civil War monument in the cemetery. He learned that it did not list all the Kittery men who died in the war. The monument was dedicated in 1864 and several more men died in the year that followed.
A story – Albion W. Goodrich Jr.: "Remember All" – by Tammi Truax appeared in the Portsmouth Herald in 2008. It reads in part:
Albie noticed it was erected in 1864, a full year before the war ended and it was engraved with 21 names, no longer easy to read. In what was called the "Great Rebellion of 1861," it was important to erect a monument to the men lost because their bodies were (one hoped) buried where they died – on battlefields and in hospitals and enemy prisons – and were never returned home. That may have accounted for the town's premature inscription... in several years of research Albie discovered that the town had actually lost 36 men to that war, leaving quite a few forgotten. It became his mission to correct this wrong, and his countless hours of effort are almost finished.
Those 36 names are: Alley*, Billing, Bond, Butland, Bunker, Fernald, Frost*, Goodsoe, Hamilton*, Henderson*,
Holden*, Hubbard, Hussey, Locke, Love, Lowell, Manson, Marden, McGraw*, Neal, E. Parker, I. Parker, Peckham,
Phillips, Pinder*, Proctor*, Remick, Roberts*, Stackpole*, Stimson, Spinney*, Spurr*, Waldorn, Webber, Whitham,
[* denotes omission from the original monument.]
The article continues:
With assistance from the Kittery Naval and Historical Society and local historian Joseph W. P. Frost, Albie has headed up a fund-raising campaign, a cleanup and upgrade of the monument site; ordered a new bronze plaque with all names inscribed; and planned a ceremony to be held on Saturday, May 3, which will befit a real Decoration Day and the efforts that Albie has dedicated to these long-lost local boys, many of whom he has grown attached to in compiling their histories. It's not just that they are local like him, that they served their country when called like him, that they were linked to the shipyard like him, but also their innocence, reflected in the young faces of their haunting photographs.
Al and Joe began fundraising, then Al engaged Seacoast Memorials to cast a bronze plaque with the name, age, rank and unit of each of the 36 men who died in the war. With the help of others, they cleaned and restored the monument.
In the meantime, Al came down with cancer and began to change his plans. He knew he might not see the completion of his dream to its dedication. So he began transferring tasks to others and passing on his program and arrangements. The monument was cleaned thoroughly and the plaque was mounted in time for Al's sons to take him by the cemetery to see it. He was very pleased with his project and, as he rubbed the names on the plaque, he said, "See you soon boys."
Al died April 15, 2008, about two weeks short of the monument's rededication. The ceremony was held on May 3, 2008 as he had planned. Friends, dignitaries, veterans, military members, and about 75 people joined Al's family for the service. Speakers included Maine's State Historian and Al's son Sean.
We remember all who served in the war, and especially
the 36 whose names appear on Kittery's Civil War Monument.
Visit Kittery Historical & Naval Museum to get directions.