Joshua Chamberlain and the 20th Maine

Joshua Chamberlain Monument at Gettysburg

Joshua Chamberlain

At the Battle of Gettysburg in July 1863 there were many heroes. One that stands out from the list is Colonel Joshua Chamberlain of the 20th Maine Volunteer Infantry. On July 2nd, the second day of the battle, Chamberlain and the 20th found themselves on Little Round Top. The far left of the Union line.

Opposed to them were the 15th and 47th Alabama who had been tasked with finding the Union left. Early in the battle they found the end of the line and started a hard push towards it. Chamberlain ordered the far end of the line to form a right angle to meet the coming attack.

After several attempts by the rebels, the 20th found themselves running low on ammunition and about to be overrun. Seeing that they were gathering for another attack Chamberlain did the unthinkable. He ordered his men to make a bayonet charge down the hill into the advancing rebels. His men took the enemy by surprise and the Alabamians scattered.

Later in the war, Chamberlain would be promoted to General and was in command of the Union troops that presided over the Confederate surrender at Appomattox. He would go on to be Governor of Maine and serve as president of Bodowin College in Maine. He passed in 1914 at the age of 85 but remains one of the standouts of Gettysburg.

The picture above, though terrible I admit, is of the statue of him that stands on Little Round Top to this day.