In the grim aftermath of the Battle of Gettysburg, John Badger Bachelder, a young artist from New Hampshire, arrived on the field with a master plan to become the preeminent historian of the battle. However, Bachelder quickly learned he could not monopolize the memorializing of those who gave all for the Union. For the next thirty-one years, his vision for remembrance would, by necessity, become a shared one with veterans who were emotionally invested in the preservation of the hallowed ground. The consequence of this collaboration was a uniquely American approach to commemoration in which individual states formed commissions to coordinate their consecration of the ground upon which their native sons had fallen. The Maine Gettysburg Commission was typical of these state organizations. Its efforts to seek appropriate memorials and monuments to honor the sacrifice of its regiments upon the field were marked by instances of contention and controversy. The men dedicated to remembering their own service at times fought a bitter second civil war over the memory of the first. The author is associate vice president for advancement at Marietta College in Ohio; this is his twenty-fifth year of higher education administration, specializing in communications. He earned his B.A. in radio-television production from the University of Arizona, and an M.A. in journalism from Ohio University. A frequent contributor to the Symposium on the 19th Century Press, the Civil War, and Freedom of Expression at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, he has authored numerous chapters in related works released by Purdue University Press and Transaction Press, and published an article on the Maine Civil War veteran experience in the New England Quarterly.
Burton, Crompton. "Contested Memory: John Badger Bachelder, The Maine Gettysburg Commission, and Hallowed Ground." Maine History 48, 1 (2014): 110-135. https://digitalcommons.library.umaine.edu/mainehistoryjournal/vol48/iss1/6