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5th Maine Battery
Image Courtesy of the Maine State Museum
By the time the fighting at Gettysburg was over, Captain Stevens having been wounded, the duty of filing this report of the Battery’s actions in the battle fell to Junior 1st Lieutenant Edward Whittier. Whittier had been promoted to Junior 1st Lieutenant on June 13th. When he enlisted as 1st Sergeant in November 1861, he had been a 28 year old student living in Gorham. By October 1864, he had been promoted to Brevet Captain and had been awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for his part in the action at Fishers Hill, Virginia.
Transcribed copy of Whittier's Battle Report
James C. Bartlett enlisted in the 5th Maine Battery as a Private in November 1861. Aged 18 when he enlisted, this farmer from Bethel had been promoted to Sergeant by the time he was slightly wounded at Chancellorsville. Two months later he was with his Battery at Gettysburg. He was later Commissioned as 2nd Lieutenant
The Monument to the 5th Maine Battery was dedicated on October 3, 1889. Composed of Hallowell Granite, it marks the position on a spur of Culps Hill where the Battery was engaged during the 2nd and 3rd days of the fighting.
The 5th Maine Battery had been badly weakened at Chancellorsville in May 1863 (6 men killed, 3 officers and 19 men wounded, and 43 horses killed). They were quickly brought back up to strength by a detachment of about 53 men from the 83rd and 94th New York Infantry Regiments. These men were quickly drilled in the duties of Light Artillery and were ready when they arrived at Gettysburg. On the 2nd and 3rd days of the battle the Battery participated in the defense of Cemetery Hill. By the end of the fighting, the 5th had lost 6 men killed, 13 wounded, 6 taken prisoner and 17 horses killed. The Battery went on to take part in the battles of the Wilderness, Spotsylvania, North Anna, Cold Harbor and others before being mustered out of service on July 6, 1865 in Augusta.
John F. Chase (pictured on the left in the photograph of the 5th’s Monument) had been an 18 year old Soap Boiler born in Chelsea and living in Augusta, when he enlisted as a Private in the 5th Maine Battery in June of 1861. At Chancellorsville, two months before Gettysburg, with nearly all the officers and men of the Battery having been killed or wounded, Chase and a comrade continued to fire his gun after the other guns had ceased. The piece was then dragged off by the two, the horses having been shot, and its capture by the enemy prevented. For that action, he was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. At Gettysburg he became possibly the most wounded soldier who survived the Civil War after a Confederate shrapnel shell exploded within about four feet of him. He received 48 wounds, losing his right arm and left eye. He lay on the field for 2 days without aid and was being placed on a cart for burial, when it was discovered that he was alive. He was discharged in November 1863. He received a federal pension. In the late 1880’s, he served as the Messenger in the Maine House of Representatives for several sessions. In 1895, ordered south for his health, he moved to Saint Petersburg, Florida. There he was engaged in promoting the tourist industry. He died there on November 27, 1914 and was survived by his wife and six children.
Greenleaf T. Stevens graduated from Harvard in July 1861. Stevens, born and residing in Belgrade, was a 30 year old lawyer when he enlisted as 1st Lieutenant in the 5th Maine Battery in October 1861. He was wounded in the side at Chancellorsville in May 1863. He was promoted to Captain on June 21, 1863 and a few weeks later was in command of the Battery when it went into action at Gettysburg. In the forenoon of July 2 he was again wounded, this time by the ball from a Confederate Sharpshooter passing though both of his legs below the knee. On July 10, 1864, he was detached from the Army of the Potomac and went to Washington, D.C. for the defense of that city. He was later attached to the Army of the Shenandoah, under Sheridan. He was appointed Major by brevet for gallant and meritorious conduct at Cold Harbor, Winchester and Cedar Creek. He was mustered out with his battery on July 6, 1865 in Augusta (shown in the 5th Maine Battery photograph).
Photo courtesy of the Maine Historic Preservation Commission
In 1889, Seldon Connor (Colonel 19th Maine; Brevet Brigadier General; Maine Governor 1876-1879) gave the oration at the dedication of the Maine monuments at Gettysburg. At that time, Connor asked Stevens to write this reminiscence of the part the Battery played in that battle.
Transcribed copy of Stevens' Battle Report
Edward Whittier, who wrote the original report of the battle, attended the big 50th Reunion at Gettysburg in July 1913. The State of Maine offered to pay the expenses and arrange transportation to Gettysburg and back for any Maine resident who had participated in the battle and who wanted to attend. This is the stub of the ticket issued to him.
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