July 18, 2013

Maine, Alabama soldiers mark clash at Gettysburg

By Kevin Miller kmiller@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

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Brig. Gen. James Campbell, adjutant general of the Maine National Guard, makes remarks Wednesday in Gettysburg, Pa. “Citizen soldiers, throughout the history of this country, have kept this nation united and free,” he said.

Photo by John Boal

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Maine Gov. Paul LePage greets Tonya Brasher of the Alabama National Guard after a ceremony for the 150th anniversary of Little Round Top attended by Guard units from the two states.

John Boal photo for Press Herald

The two states presented Gen. Frank Grass, chief of the National Guard bureau, with a large plaque featuring renditions of the battle.

In his remarks, Grass pointed toward the color guards carrying battle flags from Alabama and Maine, adorned with streamers representing the major battles in which units participated, back to the Civil War.

"This is a special event, to come here and to look back 150 years at what occurred and to have soldiers and airmen of the guard standing in the ranks, looking back at these flags and these colors, and how you have carried that tradition to this battlefield today," Grass said.

After the ceremony, the 120 members of the Maine National Guard and 50 members of the Alabama National Guard marched down to the base of Little Round Top to pose for a group picture with LePage and others. They gathered again at the base of Devil's Den, a nearby spot where Mainers and Alabamans clashed that same day in July 1863.

Afterward, the Guard members enjoyed dinner and drinks together in downtown Gettysburg, in perhaps their last rendezvous before they meet again at the next Gettysburg commemoration, or on a more modern battlefield.

Kevin Miller can be contacted at 317-6256 or at:

kmiller@mainetoday.com

 

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