(War Between the States)
— 1861-1865 —I am Private Patrick O'Hara of the 20th Main Volunteer Infantry Regiment. Before the war I was a fisherman working on a boat out of Bar Harbor, Maine. I didn't volunteer for the Army until well into the second year of the war because it was way down south and frankly I figured if they didn't want to be in the Union, let'em go. However, my friends convinced me it would be the adventure of a lifetime. I trained with what would become Company C of the 20th Maine when it was mustered into Federal service on August 29, 1862. I saw the elephant, (my first battle) in September at Antietam Creek, Maryland. Actually I only "heard" the elephant since the regiment was held in reserve. Much worse was the battle of Fredericksburg in December when our foiled attack on the Rebel lines forced us to remain overnight in freezing cold. I saw Lieutenant Colonel, Joshua Chamberlain; shield himself with a dead man so I did too. Next April and May we were unable to participate in the Chancellorsville Battle because of a quarantine prompted by a tainted small pox vaccine that had been issued to us. It was beginning to look like we were not going to see much action! All this changed near the little town of Gettysburg in Pennsylvania. The battle started on July 1, 1863 when Lee's Confederates, moving on Harrisburg, encountered some Union Cavalry west of town. Lee's leading Division pushed then and infantry reinforcements back through the town into a line from Cemetery Hill at the north end to a hill known as Little Round Top to the south. We were assigned to hold Little Round Top on the extreme left flank of the Union battle line at all costs. We were soon attacked by the Confederate 15th and 47th Alabama Regiments. We continuously fought for hours. Seeing rebel infantry forming again for yet another push at us and knowing we didn't have enough ammunition left to stop them, newly promoted Colonel Chamberlain ordered a charge! He later said, "One word was enough, "Bayonet!" Whooping and hollering we charged downhill with fixed bayonets, surprising the Confederates and capturing hundreds. If the 20th had not held, we could have lost the battle; and the Confederates could have marched on to Washington D.C. and won the war. For their actions, Colonel Chamberlain and the Color Sergeant Andrew Tozier were awarded the Union's highest award for bravery, the Medal of Honor. Although we continued to fight bloody battles for almost two more years, this was the greatest. My regiment's victory has been credited with helping to turn the tide and reunite our country.
|Marker Condition||No reports yet|
|Date Added||Saturday, September 20th, 2014 at 9:17am PDT -07:00|
|UTM (WGS84 Datum)||16S E 537667 N 3843738|
|Decimal Degrees||34.73505000, -86.58853333|
|Degrees and Decimal Minutes||N 34° 44.103', W 86° 35.312'|
|Degrees, Minutes and Seconds||34° 44' 6.18" N, 86° 35' 18.72" W|
|Driving Directions||Google Maps|
|Closest Postal Address||At or near 12785-13395 Patriots Walkway, Huntsville AL 35801, US|
|Alternative Maps||Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap|
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