Gettysburg Hero John Bigelow 9th Mass Battery, unpublished image found

Chris Carroll

Feb 15, 2012
Greenville, NC
Just wanted to share my discovery this week....
Hold your position at all hazards Bigelow.jpg

Another Harvard Hero….“Hold your position at all hazards”….. Capt. John Bigelow, 9th Mass Battery.

Outstanding 9’x 8” colorized (watercolor) Albumen of the (Nim’s) 2nd Mass Battery, Camp Andrews, Baltimore, MD ca. 1861 by Fischer & Bros., Baltimore.

This was a fantastic discovery this past week, straight for the estate of a deceased genealogist in the greater Boston area. This image contains the following officers (L-R) : Sr. 1st Lt. John Wesley Wolcott , Jr. 2nd Lt. Richard B. Hall , Sr. 2nd Lt. George G. Trull, and Jr. 1st Lt. John Bigelow, “Hero of Gettysburg”. The reverse of the image contains the inscription “Nims 2nd Mass Battery, Presented to William…… by Lieut. R B Ha(ll)”. Photographer imprint of Fischer & Bros., Baltimore, MD. The 2nd Mass Battery was in Baltimore from August 18, 1861 till February 25, 1862.

Between the 4th and 13th of November the 2nd Mass. was issued Sibley tents, as you see in the background of this photo. That would conclude this photo was taken between Dec 15th and 18th, 1861, when they returned to Camp Andrews, Baltimore from expedition to the Eastern Shore. On December 18, 1861, Lieutenants Wolcott and Bigelow resigned to accept positions in 1st Maryland battery.

The exciting part of this image, thus being the earliest known image of Junior 1st Lt. John Bigelow, and the only full length image of him known. Later as Captain of the 9th Mass Battery, he and his unit gained fame during the collapse of the Union left ay Gettysburg, and his stand alone defense of the Trostle Farm July 2, 1863. His orders were to “remain where you are and hold your position at all hazards”. “McGilvery and Bigelow both knew the consequences of these orders. Bigelow realized, "the sacrifice of the command was asked in order to save the line," - The
Loss that day, 4 artillery pieces, 80 horses killed and disabled and 27 men killed or wounded, Captain Bigelow being wounded twice.

This image is a wonderful historic find. I’m proud to be its caretaker.

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