Desmond on ‘How Maine Saved the Union’

Aug 14, 2014
Jerry Desmond

Camden — Author Jerry Desmond will give a talk at the Camden Public Library about his new book, “Turning the Tide at Gettysburg: How Maine Saved the Union” Saturday, Aug. 23, at 2 p.m. The book is due next month from Down East Press, a division of Rowman and Littlefield.

Desmond is a native of Maine and holds a master’s degree in history and a master’s degree in education from the University of Maine. He taught American history at Maine public high schools for 12 years. Migrating South in 1991, Desmond worked as the resident manager of the Ramsey House in Knoxville and served as curator and director of the Chattanooga History Museum before signing on as a Senior Associate with LaPaglia and Associates, a museum consulting firm in Tennessee.

Desmond has been involved in the start-up and organization of nearly 20 museums in the southeast. He helped plan and design the National Civil War Museum in Harrisburg, Pa., serving as the team leader of curators who identified more than 3,000 Civil War artifacts.  He is currently the executive director of the Birmingham History Center in Birmingham, Ala.

Having visited the Gettysburg battle site more than 100 times in the past 20 years, Desmond began to notice that at many crucial points of time and location on the battlefield, men from Maine were there to stem the Confederate tide.  Once asked why the Confederate Army lost the battle at Gettysburg, General George E. Pickett replied, “I think the Yankees had something to do with it.”

“He might have said those men from Maine had something to do with it,” said Desmond. “The argument can be made that the eventual outcome at Gettysburg was in doubt had the regiments from Maine, in all numbering some 4,000 volunteers, not performed heroically in the line of battle. They stood firm at Gettysburg and helped save the Union.”

Through maps and photographs, Desmond will detail, location by location around the battlefield, the heroic actions of the volunteer regiments from Maine.

Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at (207) 594-4401, ext. 115; or dernest@courierpublicationsllc.com.

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