Thornton Batty will present a program on local soldiers at the Civil War at St. George Historical Society on Thursday, Aug. 29.

Batty is well-qualified to present a program on Maine men in the Civil War. Nine of his ancestors served in that dreadful conflict, some in the celebrated 20th Maine, credited with contributing mightily to the Union victory at the Battle of Gettysburg 150 years ago this summer.

Batty, a Civil War re-enactor in the re-created 20th Maine, will wear his uniform, bring and explain equipment and weapons carried by soldiers, and even sing some of the songs they sang. He hopes there will be plenty of questions.

Young men in the Seal Harbor area of St. George where Batty’s ancestors lived, were eager to volunteer for service to the Union at the outbreak of the Civil War, while in other parts of St. George young men shipped out on foreign voyages to escape the later drafts or enlisted in the Navy. Consequently, the town had to borrow thousands of dollars to hire substitutes, often from other states to fill its draft quotas. In the town as a whole, Lincoln and his Republican War were extremely unpopular. In 1865 some inhabitants in the Seal Harbor area succeeded in seceding from St. George and were annexed to South Thomaston, splitting what is now Spruce Head village. According to tradition those wishing to join South Thomaston did not want to live in a southern town. All politics is local; in St. George very local indeed.

The public is invited to Batty’s presentation at the St. George Grange Hall, Wiley’s Corner Road at 7:30 p.m.

A potluck supper is at 6:30 p.m., to which everyone is invited. Please bring eats if possible. There is no charge, but a collection will be taken to pay for the use of the hall. For more information, call James Skoglund at 372-8893.