Monday, June 18, 2007

Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain

1864. Petersburg, Virginia. Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain is severely wounded.

He had been a college professor from Maine, but he took a sabbatical to serve in the Union Army. He became a legend at Gettysburg. He commanded the 20th Maine and secured the Union left flank on Little Round Top. He earned the Congressional Medal of Honor for his actions.

He suffered six wounds during the Civil War, but this one—suffered at Petersburg—was the most serious. Doctors said it was fatal.

But Chamberlain rallied. His condition steadily improved and he rejoined the Army of the Potomac in time for Lee’s surrender at Appomattox.

After the Civil War, Chamberlain returned to Maine and wrote his memoirs. He served four terms as governor and became president of Bowdoin College, where he worked before the war.

Chamberlain was also in attendance for the 50th Anniversary of Gettysburg in 1913. A year later, he died of an infection from the wound he suffered at Petersburg.

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