Maine at War: April 2021

The restored rail station at Hanover Junction

Here’s what our friend Brian Swartz was up to in April at his blog, Maine at War:

April 7, 2021: Maine’s largest cannonball is in … Hodgdon?
Although he served only 16 months with the 6th Maine Battery, Aroostook County farmer Royal S. Adams (or a descendant) honored his service by adorning his grave’s monument with what’s probably the largest cannonball in the Pine Tree State.

April 14, 2021: A pot of tea dispels the post-Gettysburg dark
Stranded at Hanover Junction while en route to Gettysburg in July 1863, nurses and many other passengers wait patiently late at night for a train, any train. Then legendary nurse Sarah Sampson lights a lamp to dispel the dark and to brew tea. The mood quickly improves.

April 21, 2021: Winfield Scott Hancock runs afoul a Maine sea captain, part 1
A tough sea captain from Maine, Lt. Col. Freeman McGilvery, commands the equivalent of two artillery brigades as Confederates deploy their batteries at Gettysburg on July 3, 1863. Tension mounts as Union soldiers await the expected barrage — and Maj. Gen. Winfield Scott Hancock, who does not command McGilvery and his men, wants every available gun to suppress the Southern batteries when they open fire.

April 28, 2021: Winfield Scott Hancock runs afoul a Maine sea captain, part 2
After Union artillery commander Brig. Gen. Henry J. Hunt orders his gunners to reply slowly to a massive Confederate bombardment at Gettysburg on July 3, 1863, Maj. Gen. Winfield Scott Hancock rides up and tells Lt. Col. Freeman McGilvery to start shooting, no matter the chain of command. McGilvery will have none of it, as his battery commanders soon learn.

1 Response to Maine at War: April 2021

  1. The story of the interplay between and among Hunt, Hancock and McGilvery has fascinating implications. Hunt argues that his approach yielded the benefit of having ample ammunition on hand to be decisive in repelling the Confederate attack. If the ammo had been expended early, Hunt believes, the reserve trains were too far distant to enable easy refilling during the Confedwrate artillery advance. I have heard Gettysburg Rangers discuss this issue and can be found on You Tube.

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