June 20, 2013 08:00 PM EDT Cincinnati


13

2nd Maine Battery Officers, Two CDVs

Brigadier James A. Hall, autographed Respectfully Yours/James A. Hall, on verso, no back mark. Hall joined the 2nd Maine Light Artillery in 11/61 and served for the duration; m/o 7/65 as Lieut. Colonel (9/64); and Bvt. Brig. General (3/65). A period copy shot ink signed Samuel Paine,1st Lieut./2nd Battery M.V.A. with B.F. Smith & Son, Portland back mark. Paine enlisted 1/62 and resigned 3/63.

The first Maine unit to become engaged at Gettysburg on July 1st, Captain Hall deftly commanded the battery covering the retreat of the 1st Corps in a series of close-run "fire and limber" maneuvers reported as "conspicuously gallant." Later in the battle Captain Hall commanded several batteries of reserve artillery and on the third day "was on duty with General Hunt, Chief of Artillery."

2nd Maine Battery, Artillery Brigade, 1st Corps

Raised in Augusta in November 1861, the battery was initially assigned to the 3rd Corps and saw action at Fair Oaks, 2nd Bull Run, and Antietam, suffering a number of men wounded. Transferring to the 1st Corps in October 1862, the 2nd Maine fought at Fredericksburg. At Gettysburg, the battery accompanied the lead division of the 1st Corps becoming one of the first units engaged in the fighting on July 1. Unlimbering their 3 in. guns on the field, the battery was personally assigned a position by General Reynolds on the right side of the Chambersburg Pike near an unfinished railroad cut. The first shots were directed against massed Confederate artillery supporting the deploying columns of Heth’s division in the van. Hidden from the Maine gunners by an intervening ridge, Davis’ brigade of Heth’s division had emerged on the immediate right of the battery, overwhelming the open flank of Lysander Cutler’s Iron Brigade anchored on the railroad cut.

Amidst the unfolding chaos, the two-gun section closest to the charging Confederates was quickly ordered 200 yards to the rear where they could provide covering fire while the four remaining guns withdrew. After delivering canister at point blank range, the section was overrun and the battery horses killed before the order could be executed. Both guns were lost.

Three guns managed to evade capture and formed “on the heights near town to cover the retiring 1st Corps.” The tempestuous fight had lasted a half hour during which time the 2nd Maine Battery had “maintained itself against the concentrated fire of the Confederate guns massed against its position…disabling several and had, without the assistance of infantry, repulsed one Confederate charge.” The opening battle at Gettysburg had resulted in three guns temporarily lost, 20 men of the battery killed and wounded with numerous horses dead.

The 2nd Maine Battery served for the duration with the Army of the Potomac and was heavily engaged during Grant’s attritional Overland Campaign during the summer of 1864. It mustered out in June 1865.

Provenance:The Tom MacDonald Maine Civil War CDV Collection

Condition:VG. with slight soiling.

Estimate: $400 - $600
Price Realized Including Buyer's Premium
$1,058
06/21/2013

 

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