Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain

Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain

Brewer, Penobscot County, Maine, USA
Death 24 Feb 1914 (aged 85)
Portland, Cumberland County, Maine, USA
Burial Brunswick, Cumberland County, Maine, USA
Memorial ID 2034 · View Source
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Civil War Union Brigadier General, Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient, Maine Governor. A professor at Bowdoin College at the start of the war, he was commissioned as the Lieutenant Colonel of the 20th Maine Volunteer Infantry despite the objections of family and colleagues. He served in the 20th under Colonel Adelbert Ames, and was present with his regiment the Battles of Antietam and Fredericksburg. Promoted Colonel and assumed command of the unit after the Battle of Chancellorsville, leading it with distinction during the Gettysburg Campaign. Gained fame and acclaim on the Second Day (July 2, 1863) at Gettysburg when he commanded the 20th Maine in its famous defense of Little Round Top. His unit, posted as left flank of the Union Army, fended off repeated Confederate attacks throughout the day, and broke the Confederate lines by a bayonet charge ordered and led by Col. Chamberlain. His actions on that day earned him a Medal of Honor (his Major and second in command that day was Brevet Brigadier General Ellis Spear). Assumed command of a brigade in August 1863, and participated in that Battles of the Wilderness, Spotsylvania, Cold Harbor. His troops were among the first to reach Petersburg, where he was severely wounded and was put out of action for months. He received a battlefield commission of Brigadier General, US Volunteers, which was thought to be posthumous by his superiors due to the severity of his wounds. He recovered in time to lead a brigade in the last phase of the war, and distinguished himself again at the Battle of Five Forks. When the Army of Northern Virginia was finally defeated, he was detailed to receive their surrender, where he ordered the "To Arms" soldiers salute to honor the defeated Confederates. Received the brevet of Major General, US Volunteers on April 1, 1865 for his actions at Five Forks. He was offered but declined a commission in the Regular Army after the war. Served as Governor of Maine from 1867 to 1871. Served as Major General of the Maine Militia, in which capacity he helped stave off serious political troubles caused by a disputed gubernatorial election in 1879. Memoirs of his wartime experiences were posthumously published in the 1915 work "The Passing of the Armies". His Gettysburg Medal of Honor citation reads "Daring heroism and great tenacity in holding his position on the Little Round Top against repeated assaults, and carrying the advance position on the Great Round Top". His Medal was issued on August 11, 1893. Today in the Gettysburg National Military Park, the 20th Maine Regiment Monument, which is located among the rocks on Little Round Top, is one of the most visited sites on the Battlefield today.

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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Added: 31 Dec 2000
  • Find a Grave Memorial 2034
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain (8 Sep 1828–24 Feb 1914), Find a Grave Memorial no. 2034, citing Pine Grove Cemetery, Brunswick, Cumberland County, Maine, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .