Chamberlain ordered the 20th Maine Regiment to execute a daring counterattack against the 15th Alabama Regiment of the Confederate Army on July 2nd during the Battle of Gettysburg. At the extreme left flank of the Union Army, the 20th Maine fought off repeated assaults for the past several hours against the determined Confederate Soldiers. A Leader of Character Raised from a modest life in the small town of Brewer Maine, Joshua Chamberlain chose the professions of ministry and academia filling in the post of Professor of Rhetoric at Bowdoin College during the tumultuous s.
Chamberlain was of English ancestry, and could trace his family line back to twelfth century England, during the Joshua l chamberlain of King Stephen. He was very involved in his church, mostly singing in the choir. His mother encouraged him to become a preacher while his father wanted him to join the military, but he felt a reluctance towards both options.
He suffered a speech impediment until shortly after graduating from Bowdoin College. Chamberlain learned to read Ancient Greek and Latin in order to pass the entrance exam.
While at Bowdoin he met many people who would influence his life, including Harriet Beecher Stowethe wife of Bowdoin professor Calvin Stowe.
He also joined the Peucinian Societya group of students with Federalist leanings.
He had a dog named Kathy who died at age four. He married Fanny Adamscousin and adopted daughter of a local Joshua l chamberlain, inand they had five children, one of whom was born too prematurely to survive and two of whom died in infancy. Chamberlain studied for three additional years at Bangor Theological Seminary in Bangor, Mainereturned to Bowdoin, and began a career in education as a professor of rhetoric.
He eventually went on to teach every subject in the curriculum with the exception of science and mathematics. In he was appointed Professor of Modern Languages.
One, Franklin Chamberlain, was a sergeant at the Siege of Yorktown. His grandfather, also named Joshua Chamberlain, was a colonel in the local militia during the War of and was court-martialed but exonerated for his part in the humiliating Battle of Hampdenwhich led to the sacking of Bangor and Brewer by British forces.
His father also had served during the abortive Aroostook War of On several occasions, Chamberlain spoke freely of his beliefs during his class, urging students to follow their hearts in regards to the war while issuing his own proclamation that the cause was just.
He then promptly enlisted unbeknownst to those at Bowdoin and his family. Offered the colonelcy of the 20th Maine Regimenthe declined, according to his biographer, John J. Pullen, preferring to "start a little lower and learn the business first.
Christian Commission until appointed as a chaplain in another Maine Volunteer regiment. Chamberlain chronicled this night well in his diary and went to great length discussing his having to use bodies of the fallen for shelter and a pillow while listening to the bullets zip into the corpses.
The 20th missed the Battle of Chancellorsville in May due to an outbreak of smallpox in their ranks which was caused by an errant smallpox vaccinekeeping them on guard duty in the rear.
Battle of Gettysburg[ edit ] Capt. On July 2, the second day of the battleUnion forces were recovering from initial setbacks and hastily regrouping into defensive positions on a line of hills south of the town. Sensing the momentary vulnerability of the Union forces, the Confederates began an attack against the Union left flank.
Chamberlain found himself and the 20th Maine at the far left end of the entire Union line. He quickly understood the strategic significance of the small hill, and the need for the 20th Maine to hold the Union left at all costs.
Oatescharged up the hill, attempting to flank the Union position. Time and time again the Confederates struck, until the 20th Maine was almost doubled back upon itself. With many casualties and ammunition running low, Col.
Chamberlain recognized the dire circumstances and ordered his left wing which was now looking southeast, compared to the rest of the regiment, which was facing west to initiate a bayonet charge. From his report of the day: The word was enough.
The 20th Maine charged down the hill, with the left wing wheeling continually to make the charging line swing like a hinge, thus creating a simultaneous frontal assault and flanking maneuvercapturing of the Confederate soldiers and successfully saving the flank.
This version of the battle was popularized by the book The Killer Angels and the movie Gettysburgbut there is debate on the historical validity of this account.
Chamberlain also personally took a Confederate prisoner with his saber during the charge. After initiating the maneuver, he came upon a Confederate Officer wielding a revolver who quickly fired, narrowly missing his face. Prior to the battle, Chamberlain was quite ill, developing malaria and dysentery.
Later, due to this illness, he was taken off active duty until he recovered. For his "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", Chamberlain was awarded the Medal of Honor.Joshua L.
Chamberlain is perhaps most widely known for his role in holding the Federal position on Little Round Top during the Battle of Gettysburg.
For more than 50 years, this Potter Street building was home to Joshua L. Chamberlain. Just like the man himself, this house went through incredible transformations during its life, gaining fame and witnessing major historic events.
A Brief Biography By Charles Calhoun. Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain was born Sept. 8, , in Brewer, Maine, the eldest of five children.
Facing the much larger city of Bangor across the Penobscot River, Brewer was in Chamberlain’s youth a small farming and ship-building community. Joshua Chamberlain summary: Joshua Chamberlain was born in Brewer, Maine and was the oldest child of the family with four siblings.
His parents were Joshua Chamberlain and Sarah Dupree. Chamberlain married his wife Fanny Adams and eventually they had 5 children. Unfortunately, one of them died as a.
Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain (born Lawrence Joshua Chamberlain, September 8, – February 24, ) was an American college professor from the State of Maine, who volunteered during the American Civil War to join the Union Army.
Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain () A Bowdoin College professor, Joshua L.
Chamberlain went to the Maine state capital to offer his services in