The Pottsville Presbyterian Cemetery in Schuylkill County Pa. has claimed that a John Hanna buried there, served in the 95th Pennsylvania Infantry. As does another entity's website. But with assistance, this blog discovered and later argued, successfully in the end, that the fellow with that service is buried in Philadelphia Pa. In updating my blog last week, the letters all got jumbled up in my computer and came out reading Florida. Sorry folks. The 95th vet is buried at Philadelphia. Period!
John Hanna's Medal of Honor was awarded for his services as a Funeral Guard for the late President Lincoln in April 1865.
Just about 2 years earlier many in another regiment...the First Minnesota...would become the saviors of the nation.
But they have not shared the same level of fame that Colonel Chamberlain's 20th Maine have. Both regiments fought at Gettysburg and where involved in very similar actions, on the same day and almost the same piece of real estate. And the First Minnesota was almost annihilated in nothing short of a suicide charge. Few where expected to survive.
The First Mn. was the first regiment from the state.. and the country to sign up with the feds for service in the war. What a dreadful cost they would be called on to pay!
In past blogs I wrote about the 20th Maine and how they had to conduct a downhill charge, almost out of ammo, and with fixed bayonets against Confederates. The South wanted to take the hill's high ground, known as Little Round Top, for obvious tactical reasons.
The above map looks confusing, and to many it is. Northern troops are in blue, Confederates in red. At bottom right you see a string of blue running up and to left. And across from the line of blue are the Confederates. But they also have troops at the END of the line of Union at bottom right. A most dangerous situation for the north.
It was this scenario that caused the North to immediately send the 20th Maine into the history books with their very costly down hill charge. But they did drive the Confederates off and saved the day. Books and movies tell the tale and thus fame has come to the unit, though not for a moment do l suggest it is not deserved. And within this unit could be found some 160 British North Americans, though I am not sure how many fought with the unit at Gettysburg.
Other duties have called me away from the computer, so I must close. I will return on Wednesday, if not earlier, to bring you details of major heroism within the First Minnesota on 2 July 1863.