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Bobblehead honors 'hero of the Battle of Hagerstown'

Suns, tourism group collaborate on another historic collectible

June 29, 2011|By MAEGAN CLEARWOOD | maegan.clearwood@herald-mail.com
  • The Capt. Ulric Dahlgren bobblehead was officially unveiled Wednesday at the Hagerstown Visitor Welcome Center. One-thousand will be given away at the July 9 Hagerstown Suns home game.
By Joe Crocetta, Staff Photographer

HAGERSTOWN — Decked out in a sharp, blue uniform with an expression of battle-ready determination, the bobblehead figure of Capt. Ulric Dahlgren was officially unveiled Wednesday at the Hagerstown Visitor Welcome Center.

The figurine, designed in the likeness of the “hero of the Battle of Hagerstown,” is the sixth annual bobblehead sponsored by The Hagerstown Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Hagerstown Suns.

The two groups collaborate each year to celebrate Hagerstown history by giving away bobblehead collectibles of important local figures. This year, they will be giving away 1,000 bobbleheads at the July 9 Hagerstown Suns home game, the anniversary of the battle’s victory.

“One of the fun things about baseball is the annual giveaway, and doing something with historical flavor makes it all the better,” said Bill Farley, general manager of the Hagerstown Suns.

The bobblehead is in honor of the 150th anniversary of the Civil War and the 148th anniversary of the Battle of Hagerstown, according to Thomas Riford, president and chief operating officer of the visitors bureau.

Dahlgren is the sixth bureau-sponsored bobblehead, joining the ranks of George Washington, novelist Nora Roberts, Maryland Symphony Orchestra Director Elizabeth Schulze, Civil War Gen. Abner Doubleday and Little Heiskell.

Riford also announced the premiere of the new documentary “Valor in the Streets: The Battle of Hagerstown,” at the Bridge of Life Center on Wednesday. The 30-minute documentary was produced by local historian Steven R. Bockmiller, Riford said.

Some of Dahlgren’s direct descendants will be attending the celebratory home game, Riford said. Ulric Dahlgren IV and Ulric Dahlgren V will be throwing out the first pitch at the opening ceremony, he said.

“What we’re doing is truly of historic proportions,” Riford said. “Capt. Dahlgren led troops in the Battle of Hagerstown with incredible gallantry.”

On July 6, 1863, Dahlgren led Union soldiers up Potomac street in hand-to-hand combat against Confederate troops, according to Riford. He was wounded in the right foot during the battle, but continued fighting with his men.

Three days later, Dahlgren’s leg was amputated. President Abraham Lincoln visited him at the hospital, promoting him to the rank of colonel.

Dahlgren was killed in battle near Richmond, Va., in 1864, Riford said.

The game starts at 7:05 p.m., but gates open at 6:05 p.m. The bobbleheads will be given out on a first-come, first-served basis, and Riford said he expects them to run out quickly.

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