The 25th Maine had already marched out on Thursday, the 16th of October, 1862, followed two days later by the 23rd Maine, who were escorted into Portland by the men of the 27th Reg't and the Portland Band. The Seventh Maine Infantry, who had returned from the war front for furlough and recruiting, took over the quarters that formerly housed the 25th Maine.
This would be the last weekend in Maine for the 27th Infantry, as they had received their marching orders - they'd be leaving on Monday morning. Rumor had it that they would be heading to New Orleans. The First Baptist Society, with a church on Federal Street, invited the men from the Twenty-Seventh to attend their Sunday service at 10:30 in the morning, the Rev Dr. [William Hosmer] Shailer to "preach a sermon appropriate for the occasion" [Portland Daily Press, 10/18/62].
Sunday morning came, and a crowd gathered at the church to watch the men march in for the service. They never showed, so the congregation was admitted inside their church.
The soldiers were noisy and troublesome. About 8 o'clock they set the sutlers shanty on fire, and soon after started to serve the 25th sutler the same, but I managed to stop and turn them back again.
It is not known if the soldiers were restricted from leaving camp on Sunday due to the fire, or perhaps it was due to all of the last minute packing that needed to be done before the 3 a.m. reveille on Monday morning would send them off on their nine month tour of duty in Virginia.
Capt Bryant, in his diary, said the troops had attempted to set the sutler tent of the 25th on fire as well. As this regiment had already left two days prior to this, had their sutler not joined them in their trek southward? Maybe he was still in the process of packing up his goods, and would meet up with them later. The Portland Daily Press, on 10/17/62, did mention in their news article about the 25th 's departure, that some 70 men were left behind, as some were still out on furlough, and others were sick. The sutler likely had remained behind, and would take the train with the remaining troops.
In 1862, the First Baptist Church on Federal Street was located where the rear side of the Portland Fire Station on Congress St now stands. It would have been a 2.4 mile march had the 27th Maine Volunteers gone to the Sunday service.