Lincoln, Hamlin to rededicate Civil War Memorial

By Dan MacLeod, Special to the BDN
Posted July 01, 2009, at 7:47 p.m.

BANGOR, Maine — On Saturday, July 11, actors portraying Abraham Lincoln and his vice president, Bangor resident Hannibal Hamlin, will rededicate the city’s 145-year-old Civil War Memorial.

The re-enactment will commemorate the 200th birthday of Hamlin as well as the 175th anniversary of the Mount Hope Cemetery, where the 1864 Civil War Memorial resides.

At a news conference Wednesday in City Council chambers at City Hall, council Chairman Gerry Palmer Jr. read the text of a fictional telegraph from Abraham Lincoln announcing his plan to meet Hamlin in “the great city of Bangor.”

At the time, Hamlin was serving in the Coast Guard in Maine — an attempt to relieve the tedium of the vice presidency, a position he reportedly hated.

Lincoln never came to Maine nor is there any record that he planned to attend the original event in Bangor.

The original dedication was a somber moment, according to Bangor historian Richard Shaw.

“The [Civil] War was still raging in 1864. It was not a big occasion for celebration,” he said.

As such, Hamlin thought it “not proper to give a long speech,” he said.

Bangor Museum and History Center curator Dana Lippitt will lead a tour of Mount Hope Cemetery from 10 to 11 a.m. July 11, before the rededication begins.

Sons and Daughters of Union Veterans of the Civil War, the 20th Maine Company B and the 6th Heavy Artillery will participate in the re-enactment. The original dedication drew scores of wounded soldiers who walked in the processional.

The Bangor Band will provide the music as it did in 1864 when the band was 5 years old.

Actors playing Hamlin and Lincoln will give speeches as well as plant oak trees.

After the memorial, a brief ceremony will be held at Hamlin’s grave in Mount Hope Cemetery, where the actor portraying him will deliver remarks in advance of the vice president’s 200th birthday in August.

http://bangordailynews.com/2009/07/01/news/bangor/lincoln-hamlin-to-rededicate-civil-war-memorial/ printed on July 29, 2014