One of the several Maine citizens who
distinguished themselves in military service
during the American Civil War, the ultimate
fate of Searsport, Maine ship’s master
come Union Army Colonel and Brigade
Commander, Freeman McGilvery is best
set forward in excerpts from the  letter
penned by the late Colonel’s friend and
fellow officer from Headquarters Artillery
Brigade 10th Army Corps, before
Petersburg to Mrs. Col. Freeman
McGilvery at home in Searsport Maine:
Sept. 3rd 1864
Mrs. Colonel McGilvery
Long ere this reaches you will have received my telegram announcing the death of your husband Col. Freeman McGilvery.  I think I can fully
understand the great anxiety you will naturally feel to learn all the particulars of the Colonel’s death.  --------- The Colonel had decided to have an
operation performed upon the finger which was struck at Deep Bottom two weeks ago, as there was little prospect of it’s healing in it’s present
state.  As the operation was likely to be a very painful one he advised with Assistant Surgeon Hayward and Surgeon Clark, medical director and
concluded to be put under the influence of chloroform, unhappy decision it cost him his life.  --------- Yesterday about 4:30 P.M. the surgeon came
and made all preparations for the operation.  Chloroform was administered and after a little incoherent talking the Colonel dropped seemingly into
a deep sleep – his breathing was regular and natural, his pulse as steady and strong as ever.  Just as Dr. Hayward had removed the bandages he
was stopped by an exclamation from Dr. Clark.  The Colonel’s breathing had suddenly ceased.  Artificial respiration was at once performed and all
the usual restorations resorted to but in vain, life had fled forever.  Every effort that could possibly be made Drs. Clark and Hayward made.  I
assure you Madam that nothing was left undone that could possibly effect a change for the better.  Both the Surgeons and the members of the
Colonel’s staff made every exertion.
The writer pens the grief experienced by the Colonel’s military family and extols the untiring zeal and cool gallantry of their commander before
the necessary practicalities of the circumstance.  The writer advises that upon the Colonel’s passing he sent for Lt. Rogers of the 6th
Maine Battery
(see photo) whereupon personal effects were packed and his remains taken to the embalmer.  Tonight the body will be sent to you by
express.  Lt. Rogers will write you and give a full account of the Col’s personal property.  Efforts were made to have one of the members of the staff
accompany the corpse but failed.  
The Adjutant offers his heartiest sympathies once more for the widow’s great bereavement and closes his letter.  
Those familiar with costal Maine will recognize
this magnificent old place which still stands on
the North side of U.S. Rt.1 in the McGilvery’s
identifies the place as the McGilvery House.  It
was the home of Freeman McGilvery’s very
successful shipbuilder brother William.