Original Unit

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The 6th Maine Artillery, Battery F, was also known as Dow’s Battery. During the battle of Gettysburg, it served as a member of Taft’s Brigade Artillery Reserve, Army of the Potomac.

Lt. Edwin B. Dow (1835-1917)
Number Engaged: 103 men and 4 Napoleon cannon
Casualties: 13 wounded

Federal (USA)
Captain Freeman McGilvery
(1823 – 1854)

The picture above is from the National Park Service Gettysburg site, kindly located for us by Christoper McGilvery

Home State:Maine
Command Billet: Battery Commander
Branch of Service: Artillery
Unit:Maine Light Artillery, 6th Battery

Birth Date: 10/27/1823    Place of Birth: Prospect, ME 
Death Date: 9/2/1864    Death Place: Petersburg, VA    
Burial Place: Searsport Village Cemetery, Searsport, ME

Before the Antietam Campaign:
He had been a sailor and ship master, and was at Rio Janeiro at the outbreak of War. He returned to Maine and raised a battery of artillery, which saw first action at Cedar Mountain (9 August 1862).

The remainder of the War:
Civil War Union Army Officer. Entered the Civil War in January 1862 as Captain and commander of the 6th Battery, Maine Light Artillery, which he commanded at the Battles of Second Bull Run, Antietam, and Fredericksburg. 

He was promoted from Captain to Major on 5 February 1863, and put in command of the First Brigade of the artillery reserve of the Army of the Potomac. 

On 23 June 1863 he was made Lieutenant Colonel, where he assumed command of the 1st Volunteer Artillery Brigade in the Army of the Potomac’s Artillery Reserve.

He led his command in the Battles of Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, and Mine Run. His performance on the 2nd Day of Gettysburg is considered his finest hour, and is what he is mainly remembered for. On that day he posted the cannons of his brigade along the Wheatfield Road to support the III Corps line that extended to the Peach Orchard and Emmitsburg Road. When the Confederates from General James Longstreet’s Corps attacked and smashed the III Corps line, his 4 batteries fought hard until they were threatened by the Rebels, and were ordered by Colonel McGilvery to retreat to Cemetery Ridge. 

When he saw a huge hole in the Union line there, he ordered the 9th Massachusetts Battery to make a heroic, unsupported stand in front of the Trostle House while he scrapped together a defense on the Ridge. Colonel McGilvery then formed a line along the Plum Run (located in front of the present day Pennsylvania Monument) with time bought by the Massachusetts Battery, and he was able to hold off the Confederates until II Corps Infantry reinforcements were rushed to the area. This defense helped save the Union Army, and he was greatly lauded for his performance by his superiors. 

On the Third Day of the Battle his line of artillery helped destroy the celebrated Pickett’s Charge. He continued to command the 1st Volunteer Artillery Brigade up to May 1864, when he was detailed to command the Army of the Potomac’ ammunition and artillery train during the Overland Campaign. 

On August 9, 1864 he was named Chief of Artillery for the X Corps. 

At the Battle of Deep Bottom, Virginia (August 16, 1864) he sustained a slight wound to one of his fingers. He ignored this wound, and continued with his duties until an infection caused the need for the injured finger to be amputated. 

He became full Colonel on the 1st of September, 1863. He led his command in the Battles of Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, and Mine Run. His performance on the 2nd Day of Gettysburg is considered his finest hour

On September 2, 1864 in Petersburg, Virginia, he died suddenly during the surgery from the effects of chloroform. Today in the Gettysburg National Military Park an avenue is named “McGilvery Artillery Avenue” in honor of him and his command.

References, Sources, and other notes:
Source:Appleton’s Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James Grant Wilson and John Fiske. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton and Company, 1887-1889.

Maine Public Law, Title I, Sect 5, ß141: “The first Saturday of September of each year is designated as Colonel Freeman McGilvery Day. The Governor shall annually issue a proclamation urging the people of the State to observe the day with appropriate celebration and activity.”

The Original 6th Maine Battery
Light Artillery

The original 6th Maine Battery was organized by freeman McGilvery in November and December of 1861. It was mustered into United States service at Augusta Maine on 1 January 1862.
It spent its first few months in Maine before receiving orders to report to Washington D.C. on March 30th. It arrived on 3 April 1862.

The major battles that the 6th Maine was involved in were:Cedar Mountain, Second Bull Run Chantilly, Antietam, Gettysburg, Mine Run Wilderness, Spotsylvania, North Anna, Cold Harbor, Petersburg, Deep Bottom
The Battery consisted of four light 12 pound brass Napoleons and two 10 pound parrot rifles.

On 3 May 1865 it left City point to commence its homeward march. it arrived in Augusta Maine on 7 June 1865. It served for three and one half years 

Click here to view Captain Dow’s report
Click here to view more information – Pages 325 – 347 on the 6th Maine Battery


The battery lost 13 enlisted men killed or mortally wounded and 27 enlisted men to disease. It is honored by a monument at Gettysburg.

January 1Organized at Augusta and mustered in; Duty at Augusta until March and at Portland, ME.
April 1-3Moved to Washington, D.C.; Camp at East Capital Hill and at Forts Buffalo and Ramsey, and at Falls Church, VA.
JuneOrdered to report to General Banks at Harper’s Ferry, W. VA; Attached to 2nd Division, 2nd Army Corps, Army of Virginia; Duty at Harper’s Ferry, Cedar Creek and Little Washington, VA
AugustAttached to Artillery, 1st Division, 3rd Army Corps.
August 9Battle of Cedar Mountain
August 16 – September 2Pope’s Campaign in Northern Virginia
AugustAttached to Artillery, 1st Division, 3rd Army Corps
August 20-26Fords of the Rappahannock
August 29Battle of Groveton
August 30Battle of Bull Run
September 1Chantilly
SeptemberAttached to Artillery, 2nd Division, 12th Corps, Army of Potomac
September – OctoberMaryland Campaign
September 14Crampton’s Pass, South Mountain Md.
September 16-17Battle of Anietam
September – DecemberDuty at Sandy Hook, Md. and at Harper’s Ferry, W. VA.
December 2 – 6Reconnaissance to Winchester
December 27Action at Dumfries
January – MayDuty at Dumfries
May 27At Falmouth
June4th Volunteer Brigade, Artillery Reserve, Army Potomac
June – JulyGettysburg Campaign
July 1 -3Battle of Gettysburg. The batter was commanded at Gettysburg by Lieutenant Edwin B. Dow. It brought 103 men to the field serving four 12 – pounded Napoleons, and suffered 13 wounded.
July 7 – 14Pursuit to Williamsport, Md
July 13Frederick, Md
July 18 – August 2March to Warrenton Junction, VA and duty there
September1st Volunteer Brigade, Artillery Reserve
September 16At Culpeper
October 12 – 22Bristoe Campaign
October 12 – 13Culpeper
October 14Bristoe
November 7 – 8Advance to line of Rappahannock
November 26 – December 2Mine Run Campaign
November 28 – 30Mine Run
AprilAttached to Artillery Brigade, 2nd Army Corps
May 3Campaign from the Rapidan to James River
May 5 – 7Battles of the Wilderness
May 8 – 12Spottsylvania
May 12 – 21Spottsylvania C. H.
May 12“Bloody Angle”, Spottsylvania C. H.
May 23 – 26North Anna River
May 26 – 28On line of the Pamunkey
May 28 – 31Totopotomoy
June 1 – 12Cold Harbor
June 16 – 19Before Petersburg
June 16Siege of Petersburg
June 22 – 23Jerusalem Plank Road
July 27 – 28Deep Bottom
July 30Mine Explosion (Reserve)
August 14 – 18Strawberry Plains, Deep Bottom
October 20Garrison, Fort Davis
OctoberAt Fort McGilvery and Battery 9
NovemberArtillery Reserve, Army Potomac
March 15At Fort Sampson
April 2 – 3Assault on and capture of Petersburg
April 3Ordered to Reserve Artillery at City Point
May 3Ordered to Alexandria
June 4Ordered to Augusta, ME
June 7Mustered out


If you have any information in regards to enlisted men in the 6th Maine Battery Light Artillery, please contact us at: webmaster@sixthmaine.org

Morning report for June 30, 1863:
Present for duty – 2 officers, 101 men, 103 total.
Absent – 2 detached service, 13 sick
Present and absent – 2 officers, 116 men

Senior First Lieutenant, Edwin B. Dow, Portland, commanding the battery.
Junior First Lieutenant, William H. Rogers, Stockton

Marshall N. McKusick, Baring
Jeremiah Gardiner, Portland
Joshua J. Seamons, Cary Plantation
Samuel Thurston, Portland
Joseph W. Burke, Lee
James A. Pray, Gardiner
Timothy Hegarty, Miramichi, New Brunswick


Wilson W. Sawtelle, Dexter
William S. Leavitt, New Limerick
Andrew J. Brown, St. George
Albert A. Fling, Gardiner
Edward R. Lamb, New Portland
John G. Deane, Portland
Thomas J. Daggett, Cary Plantation
Winslow Hutchings, Alexander
Edward L. Merrithew, Searsport
Joseph Winter, Carthage
John Cronan, Houlton


Adams, John Q., Hodgdon
Appleby, George, Hodgdon
Bartlett, Henry D., Eustis
Broderick, John, Houlton
Brown, William G., Dixfield
Calkins, Ira, Hodgdon
Clarence, Felix, Houlton
Clement, Henry, Smithfield
Driscoll, Timothy, Rockland
Ellis, Luther, Waterville
Esancy, William H. H., Appleton
Finn, James, Biddeford
Gilpatrick, Lyman, Weston
Haskell, Harvey L., Dexter
Hewins, Joseph T., Augusta
Horr, Henry J.. Portland 
Kelly, Daniel, Biddeford 
Law, Norris M., Union
Libby, Elias D., Stockton
Lothrop, Stillman H., Carroll
McCue, Peter, Portland
Merrill, Joshua P., Cary Plantation
Moore, John W., Easton
Nelson, Joseph G., Hartland
O’Heron, Daniel, Houlton
Pattee, Albert M., Mercer
Perkins, Nathaniel, Chesterville
Proctor, Uriah, Eustis
Reed, Elias H., Dead River Pl.
Rich, Charles H., Smithfield
Riley, Thomas, Rockland
Russell, Asa, Amity
Seavey, Charles C., Meddybemps
Taylor, Samuel, China
Trefethen, Epps A., Portland
Wallis, Robert, Crawford
Welch, John W., Augusta
Wilds, Joseph, Biddeford
Woodbury, David L., Hartland
Annis, John, Houlton
Appleby, Murray, Hodgdon
Bonnar, Thomas, Fredericton, New Brunswick
Brown, Edward E., Brewer
Burns, George, Searsmount
Chambers, John, Presque Isle
Clarence, George, Houlton
Daggett, Benjamin F., Houlton
Dunton, Samuel F., Camden
Emery, George, Biddeford
Evans, Oscar W., Sidney
Foster, Sanders P., Monticello
Hanson, Albert N., Saco
Herrick, Florin G., Hodgdon
Hinkley, Joseph D., Argyle
Jackson, Leroy, Camden
Lane, Orestes H., Carroll
Lermond, Ambrose L., Appleton
Littlefield, Edward, Biddeford
Maddocks, George, Warren
McKenzie, Michael, Houlton
Metcalf, James, Talmadge
Metcalf, Amos
Mosher, Albert, Smithfield
Norton, Ervin C., Vinalhaven
Orne, William A., Wayne
Penley, Joseph A., Wayne
Proctor, Erastus, Appleton
Reed, Eben, Dead River Plantation
Reed, Henry, Belgrade
Richardson, Henry, Belgrade
Robinson, Joel F., Sidney
Sawyer, Edward T., Danville
Smith, William G., Saco
Thorndike, Thomas W., Camden
Walden, James, Camden|
Waters, Ruel W., Augusta
White, Charles L., Chesterville
Wiley, David M., Easton
Woodman, Marston, Searsport

Henry H. Crosby, Augusta

Artificers and Blacksmiths
Jonas C. Spooner, Houlton
William H. Charles, Smithfield
Aaron P. Kinney, Houlton

Watson Andrews, Saco

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