Gov. Janet Mills has signed into law a measure declaring the "Ballad of the 20th Maine" as the official state ballad.
The song tells the story of a Maine soldier in the famous unit that fought at Gettysburg and was credited with a charge that turned the tide of the battle for the union.
"The ballad of the 20th Maine reminds us to be proud that we are sons and daughters of Maine," Mills said, "and it calls on us to celebrate and be grateful for all who served and saved the union."
While Maine already has a state song as well as a state march, “The Ballad of the 20th Maine” is Maine’s first state ballad.
"General Joshua Chamberlain called out his now infamous command, 'Fix bayonets!'" Mills said. "With bravery in their hearts, the men of the 20th Maine stormed down a hill and held back a Confederate advance, and secured what would be a tide-turning victory for the Union Army.”
Gov. Mills was joined at a bill signing ceremony Friday morning by the creators of the ballad, the Portland-based group "Ghosts of Paul Revere," who performed it in the state Capitol's Hall of Flags, where battle flags from the Civil War are on display.