Colby Bicentennial Seal 1813-1863

April 1861

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News of the attack on Fort Sumter reached Waterville, and drill was started that day on campus. “Many students enlisted at the first opportunity,” said George Illsley, Class of 1863. “Forty of them went down on the stern-wheel steamboat to Augusta and took the boat to Portland.”

Wrote Richard Cutts Shannon, Class of 1862, “Most of us had never fired a gun and would not have recognized the uniform of an American soldier if we had seen one. We went to the war with resolute but sad hearts, solely because an inner voice whispered, ‘You must.'”