Samuel Brown wasn’t so different from the young people who go to war today, willing to put their lives on hold and risk everything for their country. A Bowdoin graduate, he was soon made captain and on Sept. 17, 1862, led his Massachusetts regiment in the bloodiest day of battle in American history.
The men who fought with him came back with stories of how cool he was amid the carnage at Antietam, Md. He called out, “Now boys, load and fire.” As far as anyone knows, those were his last words. Brown took minie balls in the neck and hip and died at age 26.