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Harris Merrill Plaisted
Harris M. Plaisted
Born (1828-11-02)November 2, 1828
Died January 31, 1898(1898-01-31) (aged 69)
Place of birth Jefferson, New Hampshire
Place of death Bangor, Maine
Place of burial Mount Hope Cemetery, Bangor, Maine
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch Union Army
Rank Brevet Major General
Battles/wars American Civil War

Harris Merrill Plaisted (November 2, 1828 – January 31, 1898) was an American Civil War general, U.S. Congressman, and the 38th Governor of Maine.


Plaisted was born in Jefferson, New Hampshire, the son of Deacon William and Nancy (Merrill) Plaisted. He attended the common schools there. He was graduated from Waterville College (now Colby College) in 1853 and the Albany Law School in New York in 1856. Admitted to the bar, he commenced practice in Bangor, Maine, in 1856.

Following the outbreak of the Civil War, Plaisted enlisted in the Union Army and was commissioned as the lieutenant colonel of the 11th Maine Volunteer Infantry Regiment on October 30, 1861. He was promoted to colonel on May 12, 1862, and led the regiment in several campaigns in the Eastern Theater. He commanded his regiment in the 1862 Peninsula Campaign and participated in the siege of Yorktown and the subsequent Battle of Williamsburg. Later in the campaign, he fought at the Battle of Seven Pines and in the Seven Days Battles.

In 1863, he and his men were involved in the Siege of Charleston. The following year, he participated in the Overland Campaign and the Siege of Petersburg. He was brevetted as a Brigadier General of volunteers on February 21, 1865, and as a major general dating from March 13, 1865.

Following the war, Plaisted was elected as a Republican to the Maine House of Representatives 1867-1868, and served as delegate to the Republican National Convention in 1868. He was Attorney General of Maine 1873-1875, and appointed to the Forty-fourth United States Congress to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Congressman Samuel F. Hersey. Plaisted served as a congressman from September 13, 1875, to March 3, 1877, and did not run for renomination.

Plaisted broke with the Republican Party and allowed himself to be nominated for Governor in 1880 by the new Greenback Party. His nomination was seconded by the Maine Democratic Party, and he thus became the "Fusion" candidate. Elected by less than 200 votes, he served as Governor of Maine from 1881-83. He was thereafter editor and publisher of the New Age in Augusta, Maine, from 1883 until his death in Bangor, Maine, January 31, 1898, when he was interred in Mount Hope Cemetery.

Plaisted's son, Frederick W. Plaisted, also became Governor of Maine in 1911-12.

See also[]


  • Harris M. Plaisted at the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress Retrieved on 2008-08-13

External links[]

Political offices
Preceded by
Daniel F. Davis
Governor of Maine
Succeeded by
Frederick Robie
Preceded by
Thomas Brackett Reed
Maine Attorney General
Succeeded by
Lucilius A. Emery
United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Samuel F. Hersey
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Maine's 4th congressional district

September 13, 1875 – March 3, 1877
Succeeded by
Llewellyn Powers

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