Tag Archives: Joshua L. Chamberlain

Did God ward off a third strike against Joshua Chamberlain?

Note: This post is adapted from the wartime biography of Joshua L. Chamberlain that I am writing for Emerging Civil War. Shot down during his brigade’s Saturday June 18, 1864 charge at Petersburg, Col. Joshua L. Chamberlain should have bled out on the battlefield. He did not. Recivered by stretcher bearers sent into the lead-filled […]

Researchers rely on primary sources for invaluable material

What are the best information sources for researchers focused on Maine and the Civil War? I would argue for what historians often call “primary sources,” material that is chronologically closest to the war years. Let me recommend these primary sources for serious wartime researching. Letters and diaries: Harder to find as 21st-century descendants trash the […]

Phil Sheridan conquers Maine, part 2

After capturing Maine in late October 1867, Maj. Gen. Phil Sheridan took a whirlwind tour of Augusta, the capital of his latest conquest. He had come north from Boston to tour Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont, and Mainers had welcomed him as the national hero he was. Now, seated in a stylish barouche with Maine […]

Phil Sheridan conquers Maine, part 1

Advancing north from the Piscataqua River, Phil Sheridan realized by the time he captured Maine “that this is the hardest campaign he ever had.” And that difficulty occurred even as Mainers welcomed him as a conquering hero. Viewed by many Northerners as a successful general in the anemically led Army of the Potomac, Sheridan toured […]

Burnside rolls the dice to destroy his army: Mud March, part 1

His bloody ambition unquenched by the 12,500 soldiers sacrificed at Fredericksburg, Ambrose Burnside took another crack at Robert E. Lee in mid-January 1863. The resulting fiasco almost destroyed the Army of the Potomac, instead. “Words are inadequate to describe the scenes of that eventful campaign,” acerbically commented 1st Sgt. Edwin B. Houghton of Co. A, […]

Joe Hooker takes command, and Maine boys notice, part II

The arrival of Joe Hooker at Army of the Potomac headquarters in late January 1863 stirred interest, trepidation, and many questions. Within weeks he instituted morale-building improvements that restored the army’s elan. “Never was the magic influence of a single man more clearly shown than when Hooker assumed command,” said Capt. Charles P. Mattocks of […]

Bangor Historical Society plans busy Civil War weekend in Bangor

The Civil War returns to Bangor Friday-Sunday, July 28-30, as the Bangor Historical Society presents Drums on the Penobscot: A Civil War Experience at the UMA-Bangor campus. The event-filled weekend will feature an encampment, skirmishes, talks and presentations by well-known Civil War historians and authors, artillery demonstrations, living history, a prisoner exchange, the Fate of […]

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 […]