Civil War Wiki

Charles Wentworth Roberts (1828–1898) was a brevet brigadier general in the Union Army during the American Civil War. He was born in Old Town, Maine and graduated from Bowdoin College, but lived most of his life in nearby Bangor, Maine, where he was the son of prominent local lumber merchant Amos M. Roberts. His father was the wealthiest man in Bangor according to the 1840 census.[1]

Roberts enlisted as lieutenant colonel of the 2nd Maine Volunteer Infantry Regiment in 1861, the first unit to leave Maine in response for Lincoln's call for volunteers. With the death of Gen. Charles Davis Jameson of typhoid fever in 1862, Roberts became colonel of the regiment. Roberts had a horse shot out from under him at the Second Battle of Bull Run. He retired due to ill health in 1863 and was succeeded by Col. George Varney. Roberts was breveted a brigadier general in 1865.

The Roberts family of Bangor were prominent War Democrats, rather than members of the Republican Party establishment led locally by Vice President Hannibal Hamlin. It is thus possible that Robert's resignation from the regiment had as much to do with politics as health.

After the war Roberts built a prominent Second Empire style house on State St. in Bangor , which, along with his father's similarly-styled house next door, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Roberts was the Democratic Party candidate for governor of Maine in 1875, but lost to another former Civil War general, Republican Seldon Connor. Roberts' sister Fannie married U.S. Congressman John A. Peters, a Bangor Democrat who later joined the Republican Party.

Roberts is one of eight civil war generals buried at Mt. Hope Cemetery in Bangor.


  1. John Christopher Arndt, "The Solid Men of Bangor" (PhD dissertation, U. of Maine, 1987), p. 187

John H. Eicher and John Y. Simon, Civil War High Commands (Stanford U. Press, 2001), p. 456