Tag Archives: Joshua L. Chamberlain

Joshua and Fanny Chamberlain to appear in Bangor on July 28-30

Bangor and Brewer were a whole lot different when Major General Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain last gazed upon both places — and he plans to find out what has changed around his old stomping grounds while joining participants in Drums on the Penobscot: A Civil War Experience. Sponsored by the Bangor Historical Society, Drums on the […]

Gettysburg Burning

Why was Gettysburg burning? Had Confederate Brig. Gen. John McCausland burned the town down as effectively as he did nearby Chambersburg in late July 1864? Not quite. Smoke still wisped amidst the now ashen undergrowth as I stepped onto the summit of Little Round Top on Wednesday, April 12. Brilliant redbud blossoms had brightened the “back […]

Reports of My Death are Greatly Exaggerated: Joshua Chamberlain

Selden E. Connor had already earned his brigadier general’s stars when shot and seriously wounded at The Wilderness on May 6, 1864. Back home in Maine, the promotion seemed a proper reward for a man who soon gave his life for his country … according to inaccurate reports. Despite attempts by generals Gouvernor K. Warren […]

A reasonable offer could bring a Civil War veteran “home” to Maine

A bit of Maine-related Civil War history is looking to come home to the Pine Tree State. During his tenure as Maine’s governor, Joshua L. Chamberlain instituted a printed testimonial for Maine veterans seeking a paper memorial of their wartime service. Qualified veterans — they had to prove their veterans’ status, but Maine made it […]

Appomattox Road: “Forever better, Lincoln dead, than Davis living!” — Chamberlain and his men mourn Lincoln

  Finally convinced that his vengeance-seeking soldiers would not pillage and rape their way through the hapless post-Confederacy residents of  Farmville, Va., Brig. Gen. Joshua L. Chamberlain joined his men in doing what they really wanted to do: mourning the murdered President Abraham Lincoln. Expressions of mourning were handled differently in 1865 than 2015, especially […]

Appomattox Road: “A frenzy of blind revenge” — Chamberlain reacts to Lincoln’s murder

  While witnessing the epic surrender of Confederate infantrymen at Appomattox Court House on Wednesday, April 12, 1865, Brig. Gen. Joshua L. Chamberlain and his 1st Division veterans likely experienced an adrenalin rush. Realty soon intruded. By Friday the Union soldiers dined on rations “reduced to sediment in the haversacks [that] smelt of lead and […]

Appomattox Road: Chamberlain accepts the surrender — April 12, 1865

  Tension stirred the blue-clad regiments stretched along Lynchburg Stage Road in mid-morning on Wednesday, April 12, 1865. “The Johnnies are coming,” a 20th Maine lad whispered within earshot of Pvt. Theodore Gerrish. “There they are,” a comrade said, chin-pointing to his right. Not far away, Brig. Gen. Joshua Chamberlain sat on his horse amidst […]

Appomattox Road: “We will fight our way back to the regiment!” — Chamberlain and the 20th Maine at Five Forks

  Withdrawn from its White Oak Road earthworks after dark on Friday, March 31, 1865, the weary soldiers of the 5th Corps “about-faced” and went after Five Forks on April Fool’s Day … … and, in a master stroke attributable to sloppy reconnaissance, emerged onto the road leading to Appomattox Court House. Saturday’s clear, cold, […]

Appomattox Road: “A heavy blow struck me just above the left breast” — Joshua Chamberlain at Quaker Road

  The end was approaching. By late March 1865, “we felt sure that he (Ulysses Simpson Grant) was preparing some great movement, and this must be still to the left, to cut [Robert E.] Lee’s communications and envelop his existing lines,” said Brig. Gen. Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, commander of the 1st Brigade, 1st Division, 5th […]

Appomattox Road: Cavalry fight at Dinwiddie – Part I: “The sharp, heavy volleys heard over the hill”

  Sent to capture an obscure Southside Virginia crossroads in late March 1865, Phil Sheridan botched the assignment — and the 1st Maine Cavalry Regiment saved him from an embarrassing defeat. Ulysses Simpson Grant sent Sheridan to make an end run around the left flank of Robert E. Lee and his Army of Northern Virginia. […]