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Major General Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain Autographs, Memorabilia & Collectibles

MAJOR GENERAL JOSHUA LAWRENCE CHAMBERLAIN
Born: September 8, 1828 in Brewer, Maine
Died: February 24, 1914 in Portland, Maine
Biography | show moreshow less
JOSHUA LAWRENCE CHAMBERLAIN (1828-1914), formerly a college professor, commanded the 20th Maine regiment at the Battle of Gettysburg, where he held the extreme left flank on Little Round Top, a service for which he was later awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. Assigned to brigade command in June 1864, he was wounded 12 days later in the assault on Petersburg. Chamberlain was promoted to Brigadier General on the spot by General Grant, and then carried to the rear, where a surgeon declared that he would certainly die from the wound; he did, 50 years later. At Appomattox, Chamberlain was given the honor of commanding the troops that formally accepted the surrender of the Confederate Army. (He ordered a salute to the defeated Confederate troops as they filed past, a gesture much appreciated in the South but used against him later by political foes in Maine.) After the war he served as Governor of Maine (1866-1870) and President of Bowdoin College (1871-1883). Chamberlain, a great success as a soldier, scholar and statesman, proved a poor businessman. His investment in Florida railroads and hotels proved unsuccessful. In 1914, the wound received at Petersburg in 1864 finally claimed his life, making him the last Civil War veteran to die from his war wounds. Chamberlain is lionized in the historical novel The Killer Angels, by Michael Shaara, and in the film Gettysburg, based on it.

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