(1823 - 1864)
Home State: Maine
Command Billet: Battery Commander
Branch of Service: Artillery
He had been a sailor and ship master, and was at Rio Janeiro at the outbreak of War. He returned to Maine and raised a battery of artillery. He was commissioned Captain, 6th Battery, Maine Light Artillery on 1 January 1862. He saw first action at Cedar Mountain (9 August 1862).
On the Campaign
He commanded the battery in Maryland.
The rest of the War
He was promoted from Captain to Major on 5 February 1863, and put in command of the First Brigade of the artillery reserve of the Army of the Potomac. On 23 June 1863 he was made Lieutenant Colonel, and full Colonel 1 September 1863. He led his command in the Battles of Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, and Mine Run. His performance on the 2nd Day of Gettysburg is considered his finest hour.
By 1864 he was Chief of Artillery, X Corps. He was wounded at Deep Bottom, Va., 16 August 1864, and died about two weeks later from effects of chloroform during amputation of a finger. Ft McGilvery, part of the Federal works at Petersburg built that month, was named for him.
References & notes
His service from the Maine Adjutant General.1 Details from Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography (1887-1889). His gravesite is online.
Maine Public Law, Title I, Sect 5, 141: "The first Saturday of September of each year is designated as Colonel Freeman McGilvery Day. The Governor shall annually issue a proclamation urging the people of the State to observe the day with appropriate celebration and activity."
The picture above is from the National Park Service Gettysburg site, kindly located for us by Christoper McGilvery.
10/27/1823; Prospect, ME
9/2/1864 Petersburg, VA; burial in Searsport Village Cemetery, Searsport, ME