On the plain below you, the 1st Maine Heavy Artillery enacted one of the tragic dramas of the Civil War.
"The field became a burning, seething, crashing, hissing hell, in which human courage, flesh and bone were struggling with an impossibility.?"
- Capt. Horace H. Shaw, 1st Maine Heavy Artillery
At 4:30 p.m. on June 18, 1864, this regiment of former garrison troops charged across this field toward the Confederate lines near Colquitt's Salient. As they moved, their supports — veteran regiments who knew the folly of attacking entrenched positions — huddled under cover, leaving the 1st Maine to attack alone. Confederate musketry and artillery devastated the regiment.
For the next ten minutes, the 1st Maine Heavy Artillery lost the equivalent of a man each second: 632 men killed and wounded (out of almost 900 engaged), more than any other regiment in any other single battle of the war. The Confederates, behind earthworks, lost just 25.