George Bicknell, an officer in the Fifth Maine Volunteer Regiment, spent many of his postwar years delivering his carefully crafted lecture, “Down in Dixie.” Illustrated throughout with glass slides, Bicknell took his presentation on the road during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, telling the story of the Mainers who fought for three years in the Civil War.
Bicknell told the story of the Fifth Maine’s experience from the soldier’s perspective – not a campaign history but a direct, personal narrative of what it felt like to be in the terror of battle, to force-march through field and forest, to endure the tedium and cold of long winter encampments.
In 2017, with the help of a grant from the Maine Humanities Council, the Fifth Maine Regiment Museum revived Bicknell’s lecture. Museum volunteer, Nancy Hall, transcribed Bicknell’s handwritten text. Our curator, Holly Hurd-Forsyth, and Nancy Hall worked together to digitize Bicknell’s original hand-painted magic lantern slides so they could be used with modern projection equipment.
This is rare and wonderful opportunity to hear the museum’s prior-President, Bill Hall, deliver Bicknell’s “Down in Dixie” lecture. The event is free and open to the public.