Lost in time is the specific identity and significance of this classic three masted vessel carved out and fitted with a deck cannon, truly formidable to any who observed the original. What we do know is that this product of uncounted hours, pine shavings, cotton sail fabric, thread rigging and period bug shellac, was significant enough to warrant hours of patient construction and presentation by Marcus A. Hanna to his veteran comrades at arms of the
BOSWORTH G.A.R. Post #2 , in Portland, Maine.
One of Maine’s lesser known heroes, Marcus A. Hanna was born on the coast of Maine 1842. The son of the keeper of Franklin Island Light, Marcus spent his earliest years on station there until going off to sea at the age of ten. At the outbreak of the Civil War he enlisted in the Union Navy for one year. At the close of his first enlistment Hanna found himself in Haverhill, Mass. where after brief respite he re-enlisted and was mustered into the 50th Mass. Volunteer Infantry. At Port Hudson, La. on July 4, 1863 he would earn the Congressional Medal of Honor as he volunteered to expose himself to heavy Confederate fire to carry much needed water to his Co. in the rifle pits behind the lines. He would ultimately serve in the 2nd Mass Heavy Artillery mustering out in Wilmington, NC at the close of the war. After the Civil War Marcus Hanna returned to his roots in Bristol, Maine where in 1869 he was appointed keeper of the Pemaquid Point Light. In 1873 he was transferred to Cape Elizabeth Light (shown above) where he served as head keeper and subsequently joined the Bosworth G. A. R. Post #2 Dept. of Maine. It was here on the rugged rocks off Cape Elizabeth Light that keeper Marcus A. Hanna braved a raging storm to accomplish a daring rescue of two seamen from the schooner Australia. It was for this heroic conduct that Hanna was awarded the United States Coast Guard Gold Lifesaving Medal. Marcus A. Hanna is the only person to ever win the Congressional Medal of Honor and the coveted U. S. Coast Guard Gold Lifesaving Medal. He is photographed as a member of Portland’s Bosworth Post. Hanna wears his Congressional Medal, his Gold Lifesaving Medal and his Grand Army of the Republic membership medal.