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Monday, February 6, 2012

Guest post - Joshua Chamberlain by Zachariah

I hope you enjoy my son, Zachariah’s post.~Tammi

Hello Everyone!

This is a report that I did for Maine Studies at my local 4-H club. I hope you all like it.

Joshua ChamberlainJoshua Lawrence Chamberlain was born in the Brewer of 1828, the oldest of five children. When he turned twenty, he moved south to Brunswick to study at Bowdoin Collage. While there, he met Mrs. Harriet Beecher Stowe; who read him parts of the yet unpublished Uncle Tom's Cabin. He also joined some groups during those four years. After graduation he moved back north to Bangor to study at the Bangor Theological Seminary, where he stays for the next three years. Immediately after that, he returns to Brunswick and marries Miss Fanny Adams, the daughter of a local pastor. The marriage took place in 1855. He takes up a job as a professor of rhetoric, and soon teaches every subject in the book; excepting science and mathematics. Because of his knowledge of nine languages besides English, he gained the title of Professor of Modern Languages.

When the Civil War broke out in 1861 Chamberlain was all for it. He encouraged his students to drop out of school and enlist. He did so himself when the Collage kicked him out for said practices. He joined the 20th Maine Volunteer Regiment, becoming lieutenant colonel in mid-1862. His first battle was miserable, mostly because of the way they were forced to spend the night. The next wasn't much better because of an outbreak of smallpox. Chamberlain's next fight was the one that gave him fame, the Battle of Gettysburg.

For those of you who don't know, Gettysburg was a three day fight. The 20th Maine didn't do much in the first day. In the second day, they were ordered to go to the far left of the army, to Little Round Top. The Confederates, trying to defeat the Union so that they could move north, decided to attack Little Round Top, swing around, and attack the Union from the rear. There were three regiments be-sides the 20th ME on the hill, so the South decides to go around it at first instead of capturing it right off. But to do that they must get through the 20th ME. The 15th Alabama charges. Sometime during the ensuing fight, the 20th ME got broken into two groups; one facing roughly southeast, the other one (with now Colonel Chamberlain) facing west. Running out of ammunition, he ordered the south-east branch to swing around behind the Alabamians and strike with their bayonets. 101 Southern men were captured using that maneuver, probably saving the entire northern army. I'm not exaggerating. This gave him the nickname "Lion of the Round Top".

After that, he took a leave of absence due to malaria. During his next battle, he had a severe injury yet refused to retreat. He was forced to soon, though, when he passed out due to lack of blood. This wound 1) promoted him to brigadier general 2) led to his eventual death. After fighting quite a few other battles, President Lincoln dubbed him major general of the United States, which at the time was as high as you could go. Chamberlain was selected to lead the parade of surrendering Confederates to the Appomattox Court House to formally surrender in April of 1865.

After the war, he spent four years as Governor of Maine, then returned to Bowdoin Collage where he was elected president in 1871. He stayed in that position for twelve years. He performed various jobs for the State of Maine and wrote several books. He received the Medal of Honor for his deeds at Gettysburg in 1893 and delivered several speeches on the old battleground. Chamberlain died of his war wounds in 1914, the last to die from Civil War wounds. He was 86.






I’ll be looking forward to doing my next guest post.

I hope you all have a good day,


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