Where in Maine?
August 2019
Witherle Woods, Where in Maine August 2019

Witherle Woods

Each month, Down East editors select our favorite response to “Where in Maine?” Here is our favorite letter from August’s photo of Witherle Woods.

The bench is located in Witherle Woods in Castine, a beautiful Maine Coast Heritage Trust preserve. The Penobscot River looks calm as it meanders to the sea; however, it was not so calm in July 1779, when the British militia was encamped at Fort George, and a British fleet blocked the entrance to the Bagaduce River. An American force from Boston had been sent to take the fort. With poor coordination of ground and sea efforts, the attack faltered. British reinforcements arrived from Nova Scotia and headed up the Penobscot. The only option for American forces was to head up the Penobscot toward Bangor. Their retreat, known as the Penobscot Expedition, resulted in the loss of every American naval vessel, either due to grounding or scuttling to avoid capture. The Penobscot Expedition has been called the worse naval disaster in America before Pearl Harbor.

Allan D. Currie, Bangor, Maine

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