Neal S. Dow

Neal Dow, born in Portland, Maine, March 20, 1804, is remembered better as an advocate of temperance and father of the Maine anti-liquor law than as a Civil War brigadier general of volunteers. Of Quaker parentage, he was educated in Portland and New Bedford, Massachusetts. He then entered his father's tanning business and in this and other later business ventures was markedly successful. His preoccupation with prohibition is explained by one of his biographers as stemming from "the intolerable amount of intemperance prevailing in Maine during [Dow's] youth."  Dow served as the militant head of a succession of organizations which, in 1884, caused the voters to overwhelmingly approve a "bone-dry" law for the state. In the meantime, Dow served as mayor of Portland and lectured widely on prohibition in this country and abroad. He was appointed colonel of the 13 th Maine Infantry on November 23, 1861. The following February the command was assigned to Benjamin F. Butler's expedition for the capture of New Orleans. Dow's vessel with twenty-five hundred troops aboard ran aground off the North Carolina coast; however, he arrived safely at Ship Island, Butler's rendezvous. He was promoted to brigadier general to rank from April 28, 1862, -and was assigned command of the former rebel forts of Jackson and St. Philip below the city. After serving for a time as commander of the District of Florida, Dow took part in the siege of Port Hudson; in the Union attack of May 27, 1863, he was wounded and, while recuperating, taken prisoner. Eight months in prison at Richmond and Mobile followed before his exchange for Confederate General "Rooney" Lee in March, 1864. His health undermined by prison life, General Dow resigned from the service in November. After the war he continued his activity in the cause of temperance, and in 1880 received 10,305 votes for President on the Prohibition ticket. General Dow died in Portland on October 2, 1897, and was buried in Evergreen Cemetery.

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Reference:  Generals in Blue.  Lives of the Union Commanders by Ezra J. Warner.  Louisiana State University Press.  Baton Rouge.