Historia Podcasts

The 20th Maine At Little Round Top Av H. S. Melcher, 20th Maine Regiment - History

The 20th Maine At Little Round Top Av H. S. Melcher, 20th Maine Regiment - History


We are searching data for your request:

Forums and discussions:
Manuals and reference books:
Data from registers:
Wait the end of the search in all databases.
Upon completion, a link will appear to access the found materials.

Den förbundsstyrka som utsetts att ta Little Round Top i besittning verkar ha varit Robertsons brigad, bestående av 1: a, 4: e och 5: e Texas och 3: e Arkansas; och Laws brigad, bestående av 4: e, 44: e, 48: e, 47: e och 15: e Alabama, båda av Hoods division. Den förstnämnda skulle anfalla framför, medan Laws brigad skulle anfalla på baksidan av kullen; men Robertson fann att han inte kunde täcka hela fronten med sin brigad, lossade den 44: e, 48: e och 4: e Alabama från Laws brigad ungefär när de anlände till foten av Round Top i förväg och kopplade dem till Robertsons linje, då väl framför Little Round Top. Detta lämnade 47: e och 15: e Alabama för att utföra flankerörelsen ensam, vilket de gjorde, passerade upp på södra sidan av Round Top och stoppade några tio minuter på toppen för vila. Detta stopp visade sig vara ödesdigert för deras framgångar, eftersom det gjorde det möjligt för vår brigad (Vincent's) att nå Little Round Top i tid för att motstå deras framsteg.

När de återupptog marschen passerade dessa två regementen längs den nordöstra sidan av Round Top och avancerade över den skogbevuxna fördjupningen mellan kullarna för att ladda upp baksidan av Little Round Top och sopa av Vincents brigad, sedan engagerat hårt i Robertsons Texans och de tre regementen av Laws brigad som hade tilldelats hans kommando, som försökte få besittning från fronten. Men just här böjde dessa, som var det vänstra regementet för Vincents brigad, och även vänstern från hela Potomac -armén, och, för att anpassa sig till kullens topp, i ungefär rät vinkel med linjen för resten av brigad. Detta var lyckligt, för i deras framsteg slog 47: e Alabama, under kommando av överstelöjtnant Bulger, vårt regemente alldeles framför och öppnade en mordisk eld på vår oskyddade linje, eftersom vi precis hade kommit på plats och inte hade tid att kasta upp bröstverk. Samtidigt flyttade den 15: e Alabama, under kommando av överste William C. Oates, med 644 män och 42 officerare, för att attackera oss i flank och bak. Vår överste, Chamberlain, mötte denna rörelse genom att sätta regementets högra sida i en enda rang för att stå emot den 47: e och böjde tillbaka de fem vänstra kompanierna i regementet i en rätt vinkel.

Vårt regemente hade 358 man, men eftersom kompani B, som hade 50 man, hade skickats ut för att "skydda vår flank", hade vi 308 män i kö för att motstå de rasande överfallet av dessa två starka regementen, vilket var fler än 3 till 1 Konflikten var hård men nödvändigtvis kort, eftersom det bara var en fråga om en kort tid då varje man måste falla inför vår fiendes överlägsna eld.

När 130 av våra modiga officerare och män hade skjutits ner där de stod, och bara 178 återstod, - knappt mer än en stark skärmlinje, - och varje man hade avlossat de 60 rundor patroner som han bar in i striden, och de överlevande när de använde från kassettlådorna hos sina fallna kamrater, var det dags att bestämma om vi skulle falla tillbaka och ge upp den här nyckeln till hela Gettysburg-fältet, eller ladda och försöka kasta bort denna fiende. Överste Chamberlain gav order om att "fixa bajonetter", och nästan innan han kunde säga "ladda!" regementet hoppade nerför backen och stängde in med fienden, som vi hittade bakom varje sten och träd. Förvånad och överväldigad kastade de flesta ner armarna och kapitulerade.

Vissa kämpade tills de dödades; de andra sprang "som en flock vilddjur", som överste Oates själv uttryckte det. Under deras flygning möttes de av kompanj B, kapten Morill, som vi antog hade fångats, men nu attackerade så kraftigt att över hundra av flyktingarna tvingades kapitulera.

Överstelöjtnant Bulger, som befäl över den 47: e, skadades och föll i våra händer med över tre hundra fångar och alla sårade.

Den 20: e Maine återvände med sina fångar till den ursprungliga positionen och stannade där tills han beordrades framåt tidigt på kvällen till Round Top.


Ett trasigt band? The Little Round Top Feud Between Joshua Chamberlain and Ellis Spear

"Kan ha räddat mitt liv" Löjtnant Holman Melcher (svärd upphöjt) och överste Joshua Chamberlain hade en framträdande roll i den 20: e Maines bajonettladdning i Gettysburg. Chamberlain, som visas här och mottog överlämnandet av den 15: e Alabamas löjtnant Robert H. Wicker, gav senare Melcher kredit för att han troligen räddade hans liv under anklagelsen.

(Don Troiani/Private Collection/Bridgeman Images)

Den 20: e Maines episka läktare och bajonettladdning på Little Round Top den 2 juli 1863 säkerställde regementets plats i militärhistorien. Under den andra kampdagen i Gettysburg knöt befälhavarna översten Joshua Chamberlain och major Ellis Spear - redan goda vänner från före kriget - ytterligare ett till synes obristbart band för att hjälpa pojkarna i Pine Tree State att vända tillbaka överste William Oates 'obevekliga 15: e Alabama och förhindra ett konfedererat genombrott på armén i Potomacs vänstra flank. Hade 20: e Maine brutit före angreppet kunde det ha haft en dominoeffekt på andra hårt pressade federala enheter längs Cemetery Ridge. Den 20: e ställningen var ett kritiskt ögonblick i det som blev en Yankee -triumf dagen efter.

Chamberlain och Spear överlevde båda kriget och levde långa, välmående liv, deras vänskap tydligen fast. För ungefär 25 år sedan började historien dock slå rot om att Spear dog förbittrad eftersom Chamberlain - på bekostnad av honom och andra i regementet - hade krävt för mycket kredit för deras Little Round Top -framgångar på ett efterkrigstidskonto. Det finns inslag av sanning i det vi idag känner till som "Chamberlain-Spear Controversy", men tanken att det fanns en blodkonflikt mellan de två är långsökt och värd att undersökas ytterligare.

Spear och Chamberlain växte båda upp den äldsta av fyra pojkar i familjer som hade bosatt sig generationer tidigare i små skeppsbyggnadssamhällen uppströms från Maine -kusten. I den amerikanska folkräkningen 1860 hade Spears hemstad Warren 2 300 invånare, Chamberlains Brewer 2800. Båda männen skulle gå Bowdoin College i Brunswick, med Spears klass 1858 som studerade under professor Chamberlain, en examen 1852.

Av brev mellan de två är det tydligt att Spear på college var nära vänner med Chamberlains nästa yngre bror, Horace. Även om de var två års mellanrum som studenter, höll de kontakten, till och med besökte varandra efter examen medan varje studerade juridik. Horace kunde till och med ha hamnat i den tredje kammarherrens bror som tjänstgjorde i 20: e Maine - tillsammans med Joshua och Thomas, den yngsta - om han inte hade dött bara nio månader innan enheten bildades.

En kort paus från kriget: Ellis Spear lät ta detta foto när han var ledig i Portland, Maine. Motsatt: Foderhatten som Spear bar i 20: e Maine. (Hayes -familjesamlingen på MaineLegacy.com)

Spear och Chamberlain hade en slags återförening när de befann sig i samma infanteriregemente under sensommaren 1862. Vid bildandet av 20: e Maine fick Spear en position som kapten efter att ha rekryterat huvuddelen av männen för vad som blev att enhetens kompani G. Chamberlain inte personligen rekryterade medlemmar av regementet, utan beviljades en kommission som överstelöjtnant - andra i kommandot - av guvernören. Under kriget tog Spear också hand om Thomas, tog honom in i hans sällskap, marknadsförde honom och till och med rekommenderade honom för kommando över enheten när Spear själv befordrades.

Under efterkrigstiden avtog inte kärleken som Spear hade till den äldre kammarherren. De korresponderade, deltog i återträffar och andra evenemang tillsammans och delade en nyckelroll i att minnas sitt gamla regemente. År 1896 skrev Spear till Tom Chamberlain och förklarade hans försök att övertyga kongressen att anta en lagförslag som höjer generalpensionen från $ 25 i månaden till $ 100. "Skriv till mig och tipsa mig om hur han är och om han förmodligen kommer att vara i Maine i sommar och var." Spear skrev. "Jag kanske har möjlighet att träffa honom på sommaren och jag hoppas att vi ses."

Tre år senare förespråkade Spear fortfarande pensionshöjningen. I ett brev till rep. Amos Allen (R-Maine) skrev han: ”[Joshua Chamberlain] är sjuttio år gammal och fattig. Han behåller det bästa utseende han kan, och är känslig och stolt, och är den sista mannen som vädjar eller till och med erkänner fattigdom. ” Spear lade till stort beröm för sin tidigare befälhavare. ”Jag var med honom när han sårades, och jag vet hur allvarligt det var. Den vanliga tron ​​var att han inte skulle återhämta sig från det. Hans är det mest iögonfallande och enstaka fallet i staten med framstående tjänst i kriget, gammalt och fattigt. ”

Spears beskrivning av Chamberlains fattigdom kan ha varit överdriven - den gamle generalen ägde ett hem i Brunswick, ett större sommarhem några mil bort och en yacht - men breven avslöjar en fortsatt respekt och beundran från Spears sida och ett aktivt försök att bry sig för sin tidigare kamrat. Ändå visade hans ansträngningar att hjälpa till i Chamberlains ekonomiska situation, även när han konspirerade med Tom för att hålla dem från sin bror, att Spears känslor var mycket mer medkännande än något annat.

Oavsett Joshua Chamberlains ekonomiska situation sent i livet avböjde han inte ett erbjudande på $ 500 från Kosmopolitisk tidning 1912 för att skriva en beskrivning av hans roll i slaget vid Fredericksburg för ett nummer som firar 50 -årsjubileet för den striden. Han blev inte heller avskräckt flera månader senare när samma förlag bad om en liknande artikel om Gettysburg för Hearsts tidning 1913.

De ursprungliga manuskripten till dessa två artiklar har aldrig hittats, så en detaljerad jämförelse av deras ursprungliga formulering mot vad som dök upp på trycket efter att redaktörer gjorde sitt arbete är inte möjligt. Båda tidningarna ägdes dock av William Randolph Hearst, mannen som uppfann sensationell journalistik och till och med anklagades av några för att ha startat kriget mellan USA och Spanien 1898. Även om historien troligen är apokryf, är Hearst berömd för att ha skickat ut den välkända illustratören, Frederic Remington, till Kuba för att täcka kriget. Remington telegraferade snart hem och sa: ”Allt tyst. Det finns inga problem här. Det blir inget krig. Vill återvända. ” Hearst påstådda svar var "Du tillhandahåller bilderna, jag tillhandahåller kriget" - och han gjorde just det och använde sina tidningar för att tvinga den amerikanska regeringen att förklara krig.

"Hearst -redaktörerna stympade och 'korrigerade' min 'Gettysburg' så att jag inte har försökt få kopior av deras tidning där den förekom." - Joshua L. Chamberlain

Hearsts redaktörer följde utan tvekan sin ägares ledning och lockade läsare att köpa kopior av hans tidningar genom att publicera dramatiskt förskönade berättelser som väckte allmänhetens intresse, oavsett om de var sanningsenliga eller inte. Det är klart att redaktörer tog betydande friheter med båda styckena som Chamberlain levererade till Hearst -tidskrifter, särskilt det andra stycket om Gettysburg, som han skrev innan han läste den publicerade versionen av hans uppsats från Fredericksburg.

När vänner och beundrare nämnde Hearst -artikeln "Through Blood and Fire at Gettysburg", skämde Chamberlain och beklagade att den "är mycket inskränkt och förändrad genom att redaktören infogar" bindväv "." När en kvinnlig beundrare komplimangerade honom för pjäsen, svarade Chamberlain, "The Hearst Editors stympade och" korrigerade "min" Gettysburg "så att jag inte har försökt få kopior av deras tidning där den förekom."

Att läsa dessa artiklar påverkade Spear starkt, vars minnen från kriget var mörka och tragiska. Han betraktade denna typ av "fåfänga härliga" skrifter som avskyvärda, men hade aldrig chansen att diskutera dem med sin tidigare befälhavare, som dog inom ett år efter publiceringen av Gettysburg -artikeln. Hade han gjort det kan han ha blivit förvånad över att de publicerade versionerna inte var Chamberlains smak.

Utan kopior av Chamberlains ursprungliga utkast kan vi inte helt förklara hur mycket av varje artikel som kom från hans penna och hur mycket överdriften eller uppfinningen var av en sensationell Hearst -redaktör. Det finns dock ledtrådar. Till exempel, i Gettysburg -stycket finns ett förmodat brev, tryckt ordagrant i fullständig form, från en 15: e Alabama -soldat som erinrade om att han i Gettysburg upprepade gånger hade Chamberlain i sikte, men "någon konstig uppfattning" hindrade honom från att dra avtryckaren. Han avslutade med att säga: "Jag är glad över det nu, och jag hoppas att du är det."

Ingenstans i alla de omfattande brevsamlingar som Chamberlain mottog under sin livstid finns det antingen en kopia av detta brev eller något omnämnande av detta avsnitt. Ändå har Hearst publicerat det i fullständig form. Det som finns i en av dessa samlingar är ett brev från en Bowdoin -alumn som 1903 besökte ett hotell i söder som ägdes av en veteran i 15: e Alabama. I den förde historikern vidare veteranens berättelse om hur han hade skjutit mot Chamberlain på Little Round Top, men ”Chamberlains liv räddades bara genom handling av en privatperson som sprang framför översten och själv fick skottet som dödade honom. ”

Även om det inte finns några direkta bevis för att stödja föreställningen, kan man lätt föreställa sig att Chamberlains utkast innehöll en hänvisning till detta faktiska brev, från vilket Hearst -folket föreställde sig och faktiskt skapade en liknande men mer dramatisk berättelse och skapade ett helt brev att dramatisera med den.

I en uppsats som han aldrig publicerade dissekerade Spear analytiskt Chamberlains ”My Story of Fredericksburg” punkt för punkt och avslöjade vad han såg som orimliga uttalanden. Åldrad och sjuk (han var 78 när Gettysburg -artikeln nådde tryck), ventilerade Spear sina frustrationer över många av Chamberlains "minnen" från dessa två strider.

Bland de mer avslöjande finns beskrivningen i Chamberlains Fredericksburg -berättelse om när regementet, på väg in i den dödliga malströmmen vid Marye's Heights, stötte på en löshund. I sina memoarer minns Spear att under en vila "[en] liten hund kom och gnällde av skräck, uppenbarligen någons husdjur och jag tog honom i famnen och höll honom medan jag stannade kvar där." Berättelsen om samma egensinniga hund framträdde dock i Chamberlains artikel i Fredericksburg helt annorlunda: "Mina ögon togs av en gul hund, som satt bulten upprätt med ögonen riktade mot sin döde herre." Hunden förblev där fixerad, lojal till slutet, trots susning av kulor och sprängning av skal. ”Det hade verkligen varit synd, nästan en helgelse, att störa det förmynderskapet. Och vi lämnade honom där. ”

Samma avsnitt i beskrivningen av Fredericksburg inkluderade ett möte med en duvflock som vägrade fly från tumultet, trots deras förmåga att flyga.

Oavsett om dessa konton skrevs som utarbetade av Chamberlain eller om det var en helt eller delvis uppfinning av någon Hearsts skrivare som hade för avsikt att sälja fler tidskrifter, kan vi bara spekulera. Det finns dock en talande anmärkning, skriven av Chamberlain i marginalen av ett tidigt tryckt exemplar skickat till honom för kommentar. Vid sidan av den här delen av texten skrev han, "Var vänlig släng av hund- och ampduvavsnitt." Trots hans vädjan förblev dessa melodramatiska "avsnitt" kvar i det sista trycket.

Om dessa ledtrådar om hur redaktörerna för tidiga 1900-talstidningar-åtminstone de som ägs av WR Hearst-skrev om artiklar för att tillfredsställa sina läsare, så är den "fåfänga" som Ellis Spear tyckte så osmaklig i hans tidigare väns skrifter, professor, befälhavare och veteran, var bara uppfinningen av någon annan än Chamberlain. Om detta var fallet, och om Chamberlain hade överlevt tillräckligt länge för att de två gamla kamraterna skulle kunna dela sin avsky med resultatet av dessa två litterära ansträngningar, hade Spear kanske förstått deras sanna källa och den så kallade "Chamberlain-Spear Controversy" kanske aldrig har kommit till mer än tre fjärdedelar av ett sekel senare.

Pine Tree State -infödda Tom Desjardin är chef för Maine's Bureau of Parks and Lands. Desjardin, en tidigare historiker vid Gettysburg National Military Park, är författare till flera böcker, inklusive Stand Firm Ye Boys From Maine. Han var också konsult för skådespelaren Jeff Daniels under inspelningen av filmen 1993 Gettysburg.

Stäng samtal: Melcher, (ovan) och Chamberlain dödades nästan inom några veckor efter varandra 1864 - Melcher vid Spotsylvania Court House i maj och Chamberlain (nedan) i Petersburg den 18 juni (Maine State Archives)


Varför kullen kallade Little Round Top Mattered

När slaget vid Gettysburg utvecklades under den första dagen höll unionens trupper en rad höga åsar som löpte söderut från staden. I södra änden av åsen fanns två distinkta kullar, lokalt kända i åratal som Big Round Top och Little Round Top.

Den geografiska betydelsen av Little Round Top är uppenbar: den som kontrollerade marken kunde dominera landsbygden i väster i miles. Och med det mesta av fackföreningsarmén arrangerat norr om kullen, representerade kullen den yttersta vänstra flanken av unionslinjerna. Att förlora den positionen skulle vara katastrofalt.

Och trots det, eftersom ett stort antal trupper intog positioner under natten till den 1 juli, förbises Little Round Top på något sätt av förbundets befälhavare. På morgonen den 2 juli 1863 var den strategiska kullen knappt upptagen. En liten avdelning av signalmän, trupper som skickade order via flaggsignaler, hade nått toppen av kullen. Men ingen större stridsavdelning hade kommit.

Unionens befälhavare, general George Meade, hade skickat sin ingenjörschef, generalguvernör K. Warren, för att inspektera de federala positionerna längs kullarna söder om Gettysburg. När Warren anlände till Little Round Top insåg han omedelbart dess betydelse.

Warren misstänker att de konfedererade trupperna masserar för ett överfall på positionen. Han kunde få en närliggande vapenbesättning att skjuta en kanonkula in i skogen väster om Little Round Top. Och det han såg bekräftade hans farhågor: hundratals konfedererade soldater rörde sig i skogen när kanonkulan seglade över deras huvuden. Warren hävdade senare att han kunde se solljuset glittra av deras bajonetter och gevärsfat.


20th Maine Volunteer Infantry Regiment

Det finns två monument och en företagspositionsmarkör till 20th Maine Volunteer Infantry Regiment i Gettysburg.

Om det 20: e Maine Volunteer Infantry Regiment i Gettysburg

Det 20: e Maine Volunteer Infantry förde 386 män till Gettysburg, varav 29 dödades, 91 skadades och 5 försvunna. Namnen på de skadade är listade på monumentet på Little Round Top.

Överste Chamberlain och sergeant Andrew Tozier tilldelades hedersmedaljen för sina handlingar den 2 juli. Kammarherre för “ vågad hjältemod och stor uthållighet i att hålla sin position på Little Round Top mot upprepade överfall, och bära fram positionen på Great Round Top ” Tozier som, “I förlovningskrisen denna soldat, en färg bärare, stod ensam i en avancerad position, regementet hade bärs tillbaka och försvarade sina färger med musket och ammunition plockad upp vid hans fötter. ”

Överste Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, 20: e Maine ’s befälhavare i slaget vid Gettysburg, har blivit en av de mest kända männen i inbördeskriget tack vare romanen Killer Angels och filmen Gettysburg. Han sårades sex gånger, tjänade hedersmedaljen och fortsatte efter kriget som guvernör i Maine och president för Bowdoin College.

Vänster sida av huvudmonumentet till 20: e Maine på Little Round Top

Huvudmonument för 20: e Maine

Huvudmonumentet ligger på sydöstra sidan av Little Round Top. (Little Round Top tour map) Detta markerar mitten av linjen som regementet höll under sitt berömda försvar av Little Round Top den 2 juli. Det tilldelades 1886 av staten Maine.

Från framsidan av huvudmonumentet på Little Round Top

Tjugonde Maine

Volontär infanteri
Tredje brig. Första div.
Femte kåren

Från höger sida om huvudmonumentet på Little Round Top

Här 20: e Maine -regementet,
Överste J.L. Chamberlain befälhavande, bildande
extremvänster om den nationella stridslinjen
den 2 juli 1863 avvisade
attack av extremhögern på Longstreet ’s
Korp och laddade i sin tur och fångade 308
fångar. Regementet förlorade 38 dödade eller
dödligt skadade och 93 sårade ur
358 förlovade.

Detta monument uppfördes av överlevande från
detta regemente e.Kr. 1888. Markerar nästan
platsen där färgerna stod.

Från vänster sida av huvudmonumentet

Namnen på officerarna och männen i den tjugonde
Maine Volontärer som dödades eller dog av
sår mottagna i denna åtgärd:

Från huvudmonumentets baksida

Priv. Oscar Wyer Co. F
” Charles F. Hall ” F
” Benjamin W. Grant ” F
” Frank B. Curtis ” F
” Elfin J. Ross ” F
Serg. William S. Jordan ” G
Corp. Melville C. Law ” G
Priv. James A. Knight ” G
1: a Serg. Charles W. Steele ” H
Serg.George W. Buck ” H
” Isaac M. Lathrop ” H
Priv. Aaaron Adams ” H
” Goodwin S. Ireland ” H
” Iredell Lamson ” H
” Alexander E. Lester ” I
1: a Serg. George S. Noyes ” K
Priv. James R. Merrill ” K
” William F. Merrill ” K
” Stephen C. Chase ” K
” Williard W. Buxton ” K

Placering av huvudmonumentet för det 20: e Maine infanteriregementet

Huvudmonumentet för 20: e Maine ligger på Little Round Top söder om Gettysburg. Det ligger på sydöstra sidan av Little Round Top, cirka 170 meter söder om parkeringsområdet längs Sykes Avenue och cirka 65 meter nordost om korsningen mellan Sykes, Warren och Wright Avenues. (39 ° 47 󈧚.1 ″N 77 ° 14 󈧎.1 ″W)

Företag B positionsmarkör på Little Round Top

En markör som visar positionen för det 20: e Maine -regementets kompani B under försvaret av Little Round Top ligger 100 meter öster om huvudmonumentet. Kapten Morrill och ett 40 -tal män från kompani B anslöt sig av en grupp amerikanska skarpskyttar placerades här för att ge lite skydd åt flanken i 20: e Maine.

Monument till kompani B från 20: e Maine -infanteriet i Gettysburg

Från monumentet till företag B på Little Round Top:

Företagets position B,
20: e jag. Vols., Kapten Walter G. Morrill,
fristående som skärmskyttar,
attackera fiendens högra flank,
eftermiddagen den 2 juli 1863.

Placering av företagets B -positionsmarkör

Monumentet till Company B i 20th Maine på Little Round Top ligger på sydöstra sidan av Little Round Top, cirka 100 meter öster om huvudmonumentet. (39 ° 47 󈧘.0 ″N 77 ° 14 󈧉.0 ″W)

Monument till det 20: e Maine -regementet på Big Round Top

Ett tredje monument för 20: e Maine i Gettysburg ligger nära toppen av Big Round Top. Den visar den position till vilken 20: e Maine avancerade under kvällen den 2 juli och som den innehöll under morgonen den 3: e. Monumentet invigdes 1889.

Monument till det 20: e Maine -infanteriet på Big Round Top

Från monumentet på Big Round Top:

20: e Maine Reg. 3d Brig. 1: a. Div. 5: e kåren Överste Joshua L. Chamberlain erövrade och höll denna position på kvällen den 2 juli 1863 och förföljde fienden från dess front på linjen markerad med dess monument nedan. Regt. förlorade i striden 130 dödade och sårade av 358 förlovade. Detta monument markerar extremvänstern av unionslinjen under striden på 3d -dagen.

Plats för det 20: e Maine -monumentet på Big Round Top

Monumentet till den 20: e Maine på Big Round Top ligger söder om Gettysburg cirka 350 meter uppför den relativt branta vandringsleden till toppen av Big Round Top. (39 ° 47 󈧏.9 ″N 77 ° 14 󈧚.4 ″W) Leden till vandringsleden ligger på södra sidan av South Confederate Avenue, som är en väg österut. Besökare kanske vill besöka detta monument först innan de fortsätter längs South Confederate Avenue till Little Round Top.

Rekommenderad läsning:

Den tjugonde Maine: En klassisk berättelse om Joshua Chamberlain och hans volontärregemente

“ Enkel bästa inbördeskrigsenhetens historia Jag har läst. ”
“ Den slutgiltiga redogörelsen för detta modiga regemente ”
– Amazon recensioner


Thomas D. Chamberlain föddes i Brewer, Maine, den yngsta av fem barn. Unga Tom växte upp på familjegården i Brewer med sina fyra äldre syskon: Joshua Lawrence (född 1828), Horace Beriah (1834), Sarah Brastow (1836) och John Calhoun (1838). Deras uppväxt verkar ha varit strikt och religiöst men också kärleksfull. Thomas var en busig och sympatisk pojke--hans bror kallade honom för en "liten skurk"-och som familjens bebis var han sin mors favorit. Thomas var den enda son som inte gick på college. Om detta berodde på brist på intelligens, tillämpning eller lutning, är okänt. I mitten av tonåren arbetade Thomas som kontorist i en mataffär i Bangor.

Chamberlains farfars far var soldater i det amerikanska revolutionskriget och hans farfar hade tjänstgjort under kriget 1812. Hans far hade också tjänstgjort under det abortiva Aroostook-kriget 1839. Hans bror Joshua var också i armén.

År 1862 gick Chamberlain med i fackföreningsarmén. Hans motiv var blandade - personliga, patriotiska och religiösa.

Han placerades snart i det nybildade 20: e Maine -infanteriet tillsammans med sin bror Joshua, som blev överste vid regementet.

Det 20: e Maine -regementet marscherade till slaget vid Antietam, men deltog inte i striderna. De kämpade i slaget vid Fredericksburg och led lätta offer i attackerna på Marye's Heights, men de tvingades tillbringa en eländig natt på det frysande slagfältet bland de många sårade och döda från andra regementen. De missade slaget vid Chancellorsville i maj 1863 på grund av ett utbrott av smittkoppor i deras led, vilket höll dem på vakt i ryggen. I juni 1863 befordrades Joshua till överste vid regementet, efter befordran av sin första överste, Adelbert Ames, till brigadkommando. Thomas Chamberlain var inblandad i de flesta andra striderna där 20: e Maine utkämpade, framför allt slaget vid Gettysburg.

Slaget vid Gettysburg Redigera

Under försvaret av Little Round Top kom 20: e Maine under kraftig attack från Confederate 15th Alabama -regementet, en del av divisionen som leddes av generalmajor John Bell Hood, och efter cirka 3-4 timmars strid sprang det 20: e Maine helt ur ammunition. Chamberlains bror Joshua kände igen de fruktansvärda omständigheterna och beordrade sin vänstra vinge att reagera på rebellerna genom att ladda nedförsbacke med fasta bajonetter och därmed avsluta konfedererade attacken på backen. Den 20: e Maine och den 83: e Pennsylvania fångade tillsammans över 400 soldater från de angripande konfedererade styrkorna. Joshua skadades lätt i foten av en förbrukad kula. Thomas var oskadd, förutom ”flera repor”. Som ett resultat av deras tappra försvar av kullen fick bröderna Chamberlain, särskilt Joshua Chamberlain, och 20: e Maine ett stort rykte och de var föremål för många publikationer och berättelser.

Efter Gettysburg Edit

Efter Gettysburg var de stora striderna där Thomas Chamberlain och 20: e Maine var inblandade Slaget vid Spotsylvania Court House och Belägringen av Petersburg. Vid belägringen av Petersburg var den 20: e Maine i reserv, medan Joshua (mot hans bättre omdöme) ledde sin Pennsylvania Bucktail -brigad i en anklagelse om en del av de konfedererade försvaret som kallas Rives's Salient. För att rikta sina trupper, träffades Joshua av en miniboll, som gick in precis under hans högra höft, nickade hans urinblåsa och urinrör och stannade vid hans vänstra höft. Ett sådant förödande sår borde ha varit dödligt, och när han anlände till fältsjukhuset, tre mil bakom linjerna, befarades hans liv. Thomas Chamberlain, tillbaka med sitt regemente, fick så småningom höra nyheterna. Han och kirurgen i 20: e Maine, Dr Abner O. Shaw, åkte till sjukhuset där Joshua dog. När Thomas väntade arbetade Dr Shaw, tillsammans med Dr Morris W. Townsend i 44: e New York, hela natten för att försöka rädda Joshua Chamberlains liv. Trettiofem år senare skrev Joshua Chamberlain att, efter att kirurgerna hade slutat: "Tom stod över mig som en bror, och en sådan som han var." Anmärkningsvärt överlevde överste Chamberlain för att njuta av sin "på plats" -kampanj till brigadgeneral, även om han aldrig återgick till full kondition. Ett antal biografer av Joshua Chamberlain säger att hans liv räddades genom sin brors Thomas verksamhet.

Appomattox kampanjredigering

Efter Petersburg var Thomas Chamberlain och 20: e Maine inblandade i slaget vid Five Forks (för vilket han tilldelades Brevet Lieutenant Colonel för sin tapperhet) och slaget vid Appomattox Courthouse. I slutet av kriget marscherade 20: e Maine från Appomattox, Virginia, den 2 maj och nådde Washington, DC, den 12 maj, där det sedan slutligen mönstrades ur tjänst den 16 juli 1865. Han avslutade kriget med rang som överstelöjtnant.

Efter kriget, trots sitt framstående militära rekord, drev Chamberlain från ett jobb till ett annat. Han led av alkoholism samt svår lungsjukdom och hjärtsjukdom. Han dog 55 år gammal i Bangor, Maine.

Chamberlain var en karaktär i Michael Shaaras Pulitzer-prisvinnande historiska roman, Killer Angels. Han skildrades också i filmen baserad på den romanen, Gettysburg, spelad av skådespelaren C. Thomas Howell, som upprepade den rollen i Gudar och generaler prequel, baserad på romanen, Gudar och generaler, skriven av Jeff Shaara, Michael Shaaras son. Chamberlain framställs i de två filmerna som en energisk, ungdomlig sidekick till sin befälhavare och storebror, Joshua Chamberlain (spelad av Jeff Daniels).


Avgiften som räddade unionen: Gettysburg 20th Maine bajonettavgift på Little Round Top, 2 juli 1863

Little Round Top av Edwin Forbes

Den vänstra flanken bestod av 386 officerare och män från 20: e Maine -regementet och 83: e Pennsylvania. När han såg förbunden skifta runt sin flank, sträckte Chamberlain först sin linje till den punkt där hans män befann sig i en fil med en fil, sedan beordrade den sydligaste halvan av hans linje att svänga tillbaka under en vila efter en annan konfedererad laddning. Det var där de nekade linjen ” — bildade en vinkel mot huvudlinjen i ett försök att förhindra den konfedererade flankeringsmanöver. Trots stora förluster höll 20: e Maine genom två efterföljande anklagelser från 15: e Alabama och andra konfedererade regementen i totalt nittio minuter.

Chamberlain (med vetskap om att hans män var slut på ammunition, att hans antal höll på att tömmas och att hans män inte skulle kunna avvisa en annan konfedererad anklagelse) beordrade sina män att utrusta bajonetter och motattack. Han beordrade sin vänstra flank, som hade dragits tillbaka, att gå framåt i en ‘ högerhjulig framåt ’ manöver. As soon as they were in line with the rest of the regiment, the remainder of the regiment would charge akin to a door swinging shut. This simultaneous frontal assault and flanking maneuver halted and captured a good portion of the 15th Alabama.[16] While Chamberlain ordered the advance, Lieutenant Holman Melcher spontaneously and separate to Chamberlain’s command initiated a charge from the center of the line that further aided the regiment’s efforts.

Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain ordered the bayonet charge on Little Round Top.
During their retreat, the Confederates were subjected to a volley of rifle fire from Company B of the 20th Maine, commanded by Captain Walter G. Morrill, and a few of the 2nd U.S. Sharpshooters, who had been placed by Chamberlain behind a stone wall 150 yards to the east, hoping to guard against an envelopment. This group, who had been hidden from sight, caused considerable confusion in the Confederate ranks.

Thirty years later, Chamberlain received a Medal of Honor for his conduct in the defense of Little Round Top. The citation read that it was awarded for “daring heroism and great tenacity in holding his position on the Little Round Top against repeated assaults, and ordering the advance position on the Great Round Top.” About Little Round Top

Little Round Top (left) and [Big] Round Top, photographed from Plum Run Valley in 1909

Relaterade inlägg:

Comments on this entry are closed.

Hi Gerard– Thanks for this post. Here are two links to paintings from the National Guard’s Heritage Series about July 2, 1863. The first is “The Twentieth Maine,” http://www.nationalguard.mil/Resources/Image-Gallery/Historical-Paintings/Heritage-Series/Twentieth-Maine/

Not to detract from the valor of Chamberlain’s charge at Little Round Top, the First Minnesota suffered appalling casualties in preventing the Confederates from pushing the Union forces off Cemetery Ridge on July 2. “The unit’s flag fell five times and was raised again each time. The 47 survivors [out of 262 men] rallied back to General Hancock under the senior surviving officer, Captain Nathan S. Messick. The 82% casualty rate stands to this day as the largest loss by any surviving military unit in U.S. history during a single day’s engagement.”

Two of my great-great-grandfathers were in one of the German-speaking Pennsylvania regiments at Gettysburg. They were not hotheads– their high respect for the Confederate soldiers they met at Gettysburg has been passed down through my family’s history. I hope Gerard will add a few words about the need to avoid another bloodletting like the one we endured from 1861 through 1865.

I’ve been there, many times, but I won’t tell the story. But I will say that the most amazing thing I ever saw was in the Gettysburg museum and it can’t be appreciated until you see it with your own bare eyeballs. Hundreds upon hundreds of bullets that met in mid-air on display on a wall. And those are just the ones that were found. I’m sure more than that are still in the ground.

Think of that. 2 bullets hitting in mid air is an almost impossibility if you tried to do it. But hundreds upon hundreds of them? The hellfire must have been thick enough to go hiking on. How does anybody survive something like that?

I was born there.
I seen that wall for the first time when I was about 8, and then many times after. It bore right into my skall. I learned everything possible about the civil war and gettysburg in particular and Lincoln was my hero. 40 years later I found out that most of what I learned was a lie. A goddamned lie. It was about then that I started to grow a deep distrust for this rotten assed gov’t. How dare they lie to me that way then, and now? If not for people like me they wouldn’t exist, and they lie to me? Over and over and over? I have no use for it. Any of it. Ever.

Too bad my side didn’t win their independence on that battlefield. I’d have preferred the outcome if the 15th Alabama had drove a bayonet into Chamberlin’s abolitionist guts and rolled the whole Yankee line up.

Amazing battle and extraordinary courage on both sides. But the battle that saved the Union? Nope, not even close. It probably had almost no noteworthy effect on the course of the battle. I rest my case upon a lecture of the battle given to me and my fellow officers by the US Army’s Chief of Military History (Ph.D., Princeton University), Brig. Gen. Nelson (can’t recall his first name), who I would say spoke with authority. I posted about it back in 2013 (with the same video, too!). “Little Round Top battle was not a decisive action.”

I hear ya Ghostsniper. I never thought much about the civil war when I was growing up. My best friend in high school was a black guy who couldn’t get enough of it. I never doubted the official narrative until one day my friend told me straight out that Lincoln started the war intentionally.

I thought he was joking, but he wasn’t. That was years ago, but since then i’ve discovered he was right. That war was intentionally provoked by Lincoln, and it was done to stop European trade from moving out of New York to Southern ports, taking 200 million dollars per year with it.

We are still living with the consequences of that war today, though many of us don’t recognize it because we don’t see the roots of what has happened regarding Federal power.

We are way far away from what the founders intended regarding Federal power.

Who started the war and why? The Northerners knew at the time and said so. “
The Civil War did not start over slavery.”


(Appeared in July, 1996, Camp Chase Gazette and reprinted by permission)

Jim Morgan has written on various topics for CCG over the years. His somewhat divergent Civil War interests include artillery and music. In addition to writing artillery articles, he has produced a tape of Civil War music called "Just Before the Battle" and is now working on a second tape. Currently living in Lovettsville, Va, Jim works as the Acquisitions Librarian for the U.S. Information Agency in Washington, DC.

In November, 1896, Ellis Spear, formerly of the 20th Maine, sent a manuscript to Joshua L. Chamberlain, his old commanding officer, with the request that Chamberlain review it. The manuscript, authored by Spear, covered certain events from the wartime history of their regiment and Spear wanted Chamberlain's comments and evaluation.

In his response, Chamberlain noted some of the then-recent writings about the 20th Maine at Little Round Top, saying that "quite a number of things have been put in distorted perspective lately."1

"The Melcher incident," Chamberlain said, referring to Lieutenant Holman S. Melcher, "is also magnified. He is now presented to the public as having suggested the charge. There is no truth in this. I had communicated with you before he came and asked me if he could not advance his company and gather in some prisoners in his front. I told him to take his place with his company that I was about to order a general charge. He went on the run and did, I have no doubt, gallant service but he did no more than many others did, - you for instance, on whom so much responsibility devolved in bringing up the left wing and making it a concave instead of a convex line in the sweeping charge." 2

Nearly a century has passed since that Chamberlain-Spear exchange and the question, "Who saved Little Round Top?," has not been much debated during that time. Though some have claimed the honor for Brigadier General Gouverneur Warren because of his perception, for Colonel Strong Vincent because of his initiative, or for Colonel Patrick O'Rourke because of his regiment's timely arrival on the right, the question, as it relates to the overall action, has had a generally accepted answer. The savior of Little Round Top was Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain.

Recently, however, the Melcher challenge was revived in a 1994 work titled, With a Flash of His Sword: The Writings of Major Holman S. Melcher, 20th Maine Infantry. Edited by William B. Styple, and generally reflecting its sub-title, this book also includes reports, letters, speeches, and articles by Chamberlain, Spear, several other members of the 20th Maine, and Colonel William C. Oates of the 15th Alabama, all of whom were involved at Little Round Top. It is largely from these additional materials that the editor reconstructs the argument for Melcher.

Beginning with a slightly veiled reference to Killer Angels, Mr. Styple criticizes the "novelization of history," 3then declares categorically that it was Lieutenant Melcher, not Colonel Chamberlain, who conceptualized and led the bayonet charge which immortalized the 20th Maine.

Melcher, it is true, does not appear in Killer Angels, though Michael Shaara readily acknowledged having condensed some of the action and left out several individuals whom he judged to be "minor characters."4 Whether or not that judgement is correct, it was a simple exercise of artistic license in what is, after all, a work of fiction.

More importantly, Melcher's story is not unknown. He is mentioned in many relevant works, from the original pieces cited by Mr. Styple to John Pullen's definitive regimental history, The Twentieth Maine. He appears in Willard Wallace's Soul of the Lion and in Alice Rains Trulock's more recent biography, In the Hands of Providence: Joshua L. Chamberlain and the American Civil War. Lieutenant Melcher has not been neglected by history.

Though the various documents clearly show that Melcher behaved gallantly during the Little Round Top action, they "prove" only the old bromide that different men, viewing the same battle from different points and perspectives, will have different impressions of what went on.

At the end of his third chapter, Styple sums up his argument with a list of 10 conclusions about the Round Top fight. Of these, however, only three -- numbers one, two, and four -- relate directly to his contention that Melcher, rather than Chamberlain, deserves the credit for the charge. The other seven, though no doubt true enough, are, at best, interesting side issues.

To cite just one example, conclusion number five states that Colonel Oates "was planning to retreat before the charge was made."5 Oates himself later said that he had, in fact, already ordered such a retreat and there seems no reason to doubt him. But Chamberlain could hardly have read Oates' mind and was facing an enemy who had given him no indication of quitting the contest. That Colonel Oates "was planning to retreat" is simply beside the point.

The three conclusions noted above, however, address the issue more directly and therefore warrant close analysis.

Number 1: "The charge of the Twentieth Maine was an impulsive and spontaneous effort in order to protect their wounded comrades in front. 'Bayonets' was the only command given."

Mr. Styple contends that Chamberlain never ordered a charge, but that Melcher, out of compassion for the wounded, took it on himself to advance, and that it was his courageous personal example which led the rest of the regiment to follow his lead.

In support of this argument, Styple quotes a July 6 after-action report in which Chamberlain writes, "I ordered the bayonet. The word was enough. It ran like fire along the line."6

He further quotes from Chamberlain's 1889 speech at the dedication of the 20th Maine's monument on Little Round Top. In this speech, Chamberlain said, "(i)n fact, to tell the truth, the order was never given, or but imperfectly . There was only time or need for the words, 'Bayonet! Forward to the right!'"7 As far as they go, these two statements support Mr. Styple's contention.

Chamberlain, however, wrote two after-action reports on July 6. Mr. Styple quotes only from the second. In the first, Chamberlain wrote, "(a)s a last, desperate resort, I ordered a charge (underlined in the original). The word 'fix bayonets' flew from man to man."8

Melcher himself later says that Chamberlain "gives the order to 'fix bayonets,' and nästan (my emphasis) before he can say 'charge' the regiment . leaps down the hill."9

This is all somewhat misleading and easily could degenerate into an argument over semantics. It does, however, demonstrate the danger of interpreting such texts literally without accounting for the possibility of hyperbole on the part of the writer.

At issue here is not whether Chamberlain actually said, "Charge!," or even whether he remembered precisely what he said during that very busy couple of hours, but whether, at any time, he gave his men some understandable order or instruction about the movement which put the 20th Maine into the history books. In the documents cited by Styple, statements made by Chamberlain (pp. 42, 123, and 296) and Melcher (p. 133), as well as by Private Theodore Gerrish (pp. 68-69), Captain J.H. Nichols (p. 72), Sergeant William T. Livermore (pp. 77-78), Corporal Elisha Coan (p. 84), Captain Howard L. Prince (p. 115), and Lieutenant Samuel L. Miller (p. 259) all either clearly state or reasonably can be interpreted to mean that he did.

It seems especially clear that the idea of an offensive movement came from Chamberlain. "It was too evident," he stated in his first report, "that we could maintain the defensive (underlined in the original) no longer."10

More to the point, Melcher seems only to have wanted to move his company forward and even asked his Colonel's permission to do this. Such a movement would have been a limited and essentially defensive action, while his request for permission shows that what happened was neither "impulsive" nor "spontaneous."

Chamberlain indicated to Spear in the 1896 letter quoted above that he had decided on the charge before Melcher approached him. Perhaps this is so, though time has a way of becoming very fluid at such stressful moments. Chamberlain also may have expanded on Melcher's more limited suggestion or he may have thought to charge about the same time that Melcher thought to advance his company. Various comments can be interpreted to support various conclusions and, as the line already had moved up and down the hill several times anyway, the idea of some sort of movement must have been in the minds of many of the men.

In any case, the evidence does not support an absolute declaration that the charge resulted simply from a spur-of-the-moment impulse by Lieutenant Melcher. It does, however, lend credence to the view that Chamberlain gave some sort of order or instruction beyond simply shouting "Bayonets!" This point will be explored further below.

Number 2: A "right wheel forward," was never ordered by Chamberlain. His first report stated that, "an extended right-wheel" was made only after the initial charge and the breaking of the first enemy line."

What Mr. Styple calls "his first report," actually was Chamberlain's second report. In the first, after noting his order to charge, Chamberlain wrote, "The men dashed forward with a shout. The two wings came into one line again, and extending to the left, and at the same time wheeling to the right, the whole Regiment described nearly a half circle."11

The "first enemy line" being, at most, 30 yards away, it is not surprising that the wheel did not develop until after that line was hit and broken. The 20th Maine did not have the manpower actually to flank the 15th Alabama, so wheeling before hitting the Confederate line would only have exposed it's own flank. "Extend-ing to the left," as Chamberlain said, the Maine men hit as far on the Alabamians' right as they possibly could before wheeling. They had no other choice.

Could an order to wheel have been given after the Confederate line was hit? This seems highly unlikely. Such an order would not only have to have been given, but effectively communicated to the extended and already advanced left, and then properly executed, all while the 20th was fully in motion, scattered through the woods, mixed up with the prisoners, and otherwise distracted.

Could the wheel have happened without an order? This is possible, but, again, unlikely. In fairness, it must be admitted that, by following the lay of the land, the attack more or less naturally would have drifted to the right anyway once the saddle between the Round Tops was reached. Still, mere "drift" does not seem an adequate explanation for a movement described by an eyewitness as looking "like a great gate upon a post."12

One other point. If the forward movement had been made on impulse with no order to wheel, the two wings of the regiment would have charged down the hill away from each other. Had that happened, Chamberlain could not possibly have made the statement quoted above from his first July 6 report.

Wheeling an infantry line requires considerable control and coordination even on the drill field. In the conditions then existing on Little Round Top, the very fact that the maneuver happened strongly suggests that clear preparatory instructions were given and that enough time passed between those instructions and their execution that the men knew exactly what was expected of them. Who but the regimental commander would have given either the instructions or the order to advance?

In other words, before he shouted "Bayonets!," Chamberlain must already have somehow informed his regiment that he was going to order a wheel. So why did he not mention any preparatory instructions in his July 6 reports?

Perhaps a better question is "why should he have done so?" Is it really necessary to detail in an after-action report background information which might reasonably have been inferred by the report's intended readers? Could Chamberlain not have thought that his statement, "I ordered a charge," combined with his short description of the wheel, were enough to make the point?

Chamberlain did, however, provide some of this background in his 1889 monument dedication speech at the regimental reunion and in articles written in 1907 and 1913. Given the various late-century writings on the topic, with the differing perspectives they brought to the public debate, and considering the mysterious rift which developed between himself and Spear in later years, a rift which included Spear's strident public attacks on him, Chamberlain, quite reasonably, might only then have felt a need to detail the background for the historical record.

In the 1889 speech he noted that, having decided on the bayonet charge, he "at once sent to the left wing to give them notice and time for the required change of front."13

In the very short 1907 piece, Chamberlain expressed this by saying that he "sent word to the senior officer on my left to make a right wheel of the charge and endeavor to catch the enemy somewhat in flank on the right."14

He addressed the same point in his 1913 essay, "Through Blood and Fire at Gettysburg," by noting that he "communicated this to Captain Spear of the wheeling flank, on which the initiative was to fall."15 And, of course, he mentioned this to Spear in the 1896 letter with which this essay began. These statements clearly demonstrate that Chamberlain sent a runner to inform Spear of his decision, a quite logical thing for him to have done.

Spear claimed in a 1913 article never to have received any orders 16. This could easily be true, given both the normal condition on a battlefield and the fact that Sgt. Reuel Thomas, serving as Chamberlain's designated messenger that day, was wounded during the fight. Spear's claim, however, does not support the argument that no order ws given.

The historical record, in any case, is quite clear that the wheel happened. Chamberlain described it in both of his July 6 reports. Oliver Willcox Norton, the brigade bugler, states in his classic, The Attack and Defense of Little Round Top, that Chamberlain "made a right wheel with his line, which cleared the valley of the Confederates."17 Captain A.M. Judson, in his History of the 83rd Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers, made the "gate upon a post" comment noted above, stating specifically that the line of the 20th Maine "swing (sic) around upon a moving pivot, like a great gate upon a post, until its left had swept down through the valley and up the sides of Big Round Top."18

Melcher himself made a revealing comment in an 1885 newspaper article (cited by Mr. Styple) when he wrote of how the Confederates "were driven in their flight, at first (emphasis mine), directly to the rear of the line of battle of our army."19 Obviously speaking of the initial thrust of the 20th Maine's sharply refused left wing, Melcher implies the development of the wheel with the phrase, "at first," which itself implies that the general direction of the Confederate retreat changed during the course of the action.

Parenthetically, this also explains how several dozen Confederates (those on their own far right) ended up behind the Union lines. When the Federals wheeled, the men who had retreated "directly to the rear" were cut off. Their only possible escape lay to the east. Either in panic or in a deliberate attempt to circle around the Union troops and get back to their own lines, they moved directly, if only temporarily, out of harm's way, and ultimately were killed or captured in fields east of the Round Tops.

Finally, we know that the 20th Maine took prisoners from Alabama and Texas regiments which were to the 15th Alabama's left. To do this, the 20th had to have swept around to its own right.

So the right wheel happened. It was not parade ground pretty and very likely was not even made by the entire regiment, as some portion of the 20th Maine's left wing must have pursued those Confederates who fled "directly to the rear." Nevertheless, it happened, which means that at least some of the men in the refused left knew about it, which in turn means that Chamberlain had indeed passed the word -- whether Spear got it or not.

Knowing specifically what they were to do, the veteran soldiers of the 20th Maine were ready to do it. Thus, at the critical moment, "the word was enough."

Number four: Col. Chamberlain did not lead the charge. Lt. Holman Melcher was the first officer down the slope.

Though directly related to Mr. Styple's argument, this is a very minor point and could even be called a quibble. Even granting Melcher the honor of being first down the slope (and such an interpretation is perfectly plausible), he did not "lead" the charge in a command sense, which is what the conclusion implies. Chamberlain probably was standing in his proper place behind the line when he yelled "Bayonets!," so if indeed "the word was enough" to get the men started, he could not have gone first as the entire line would have moved out ahead of him.

But it does not matter. The questions, "who was first down the hill?" and "who led the charge?" are different questions which should not be posed as one.

The Melcher papers are a valuable addition to the literature of the war. As a challenge to the traditional wisdom about Little Round Top, however, the Melcher argument is rather like the assault of the 15th Alabama -- a tenacious and courageous effort, to be sure, but one which ultimately falls short.

The question, therefore, remains: who saved Little Round Top? Given the available historical evidence, the answer likewise must remain: Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain.<>


Maine History Online

While most Civil War regiments were created with men from one geographical region, the 20th Regiment Infantry, Maine Volunteers was formed in August 1862 to absorb the overflow of volunteers.

Its members came together from across the state, in response to President Abraham Lincoln's call in July 1862 for 300,000 volunteers.

17th Maine Infantry volunteers, 1864

In late 1865 Joshua Chamberlain wrote of the 20th Maine, "It was made of the surplus recruits drifted together, the last of a call for 300,000 more.

"It was without pride. No county claimed them. No city gave them a flag. They received no words of farewell on leaving their state. No words of welcome on their return."

Scouts and guides with the Army of the Potomac, ca. 1865

Being primarily farmers and lumbermen before they enlisted, most of the men had no military background, but many were used to hard work and surviving in an often unforgiving environment, were familiar with firearms and had the benefit of having volunteered for service.

Colonel Adelbert Ames of Rockland, commander of the regiment, knew the soldiers were an independent lot and would not always obey orders with questioning or commenting on them.

Bowdoin College, Brunswick, 1862

Also lacking military experience, a number of officers were well educated, including 10 who had graduated from Bowdoin College.

Many were named officers because of their success at recruiting volunteers for the Maine regiments.

Commanding officer Col. Ames was trained as a military officer. He was a graduate of West Point and recipient of the Medal of Honor for his actions during the First Battle of Bull Run.

Joshua L. Chamberlain, ca. 1862

Joshua L. Chamberlain was the regiment's lieutenant colonel.

A professor at Bowdoin College before his enlistment, Chamberlain lacked military training, but made up for that deficit with his intelligence.

Chamberlain was a graduate of Bowdoin College and the Bangor Theological Seminary.

When Chamberlain went to the Governor of Maine to acquire a commission in the Army, the Governor offered him the rank of Colonel.

Chamberlain declined, saying that he would like to learn the position first and took the rank of lieutenant colonel instead.

Battlefield of the United States Civil War, 1861-1865

Soon, the 20th traveled by rail and steamer to Washington, D.C., to join the Army of the Potomac as part of Butterfield's "Light Brigade" of the Fifth Corps.

From there, they marched to Antietam (Sharpsburg), Maryland, and were held in reserve with the rest of the 5th Corps during the battle of September 16-17, 1862.

The Battle of Antietam, known as the bloodiest battle of the Civil War, was the 20th's first taste of the war.

The Union Army won a strategic victory as Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia withdrew after suffering considerable losses.

The Battle of Antietam also gave President Lincoln the victory he needed to implement a preliminary Emancipation Proclamation in September 1862 that freed slaves in rebel states. He issued the more detailed Proclamation in January 1863.

Thomas Chamberlain, Brewer, ca. 1864

Colonel Ames, who attempted to turn the untrained volunteers into an effective regiment, was respected by the troops -- but not liked.

Thomas Chamberlain, a young non-commissioned officer summed Ames up best when he wrote, "I tell you, he is about as savage a man you ever saw . . . I swear the men will shoot him the first battle we are in."

Chamberlain was the brother of Lt. Col. Joshua Chamberlain, later the commander of the regiment.

General Joshua L. Chamberlain, ca. 1910

In May 1863, Col. Ames was promoted to a Brigadier General in General Oliver Otis Howard's corps.

Joshua Chamberlain was promoted to Colonel and commander of the regiment.

The men took to Chamberlain, admiring him for his willingness to get into the midst of things alongside of them.

Map of Gettysburg battlefield, 1863

Throughout the winter and spring of 1863 the Union and Confederate Armies were making their way north with only a few minor engagements.

It was not until Gettysburg that the armies met in a full-scale fight.

The Battle of Gettysburg began July 1, 1863, and at the end of the first day the Union Army had dug in on Cemetery Ridge and had command of the battlefield while the Confederate Army had taken position on Seminary Ridge.

Dead artillery horses after fight at Trostle's house in Gettysburg

On July 2, 1862, Confederate Gen. James Longstreet recommended that the rebel army move around the end of the Union line, get behind Gen. George Mead's army and attack from that position, but Gen. Robert E. Lee ordered a direct attack.

Because Sickle's Third Corps failed to take its assigned position at the left end of the Union line, after the Confederate attack began, four regiments of Vicent's Brigade, including the 20th Maine moved into position at Little Round Top.

Chamberlain managed to move his troops into a position that surprised the Confederates and then, when the 20th Maine was close to losing its hold on the hill, Chamberlain ordered an unlikely attack with bayonets -- as the regiment was out of ammunition -- on the resting Confederate soldiers.

The 20th Maine suffered heavy casualties, but held Little Round Top and allowed a Union victory at Gettysburg.

McLean House at Appomattox

The regiment later participated in every major battle with the Army of the Potomac, but Gettysburg had been its moment in the sun.

It would never again have as many men in its ranks as it did at Little Round Top.

Col. Chamberlain was soon put in command of a brigade and in 1865 was promoted to Brigadier General and later put in command by Ulysses S. Grant of all Union troops during the surrender of the Confederates.

Chamberlain and 20th Maine, Gettysburg reunion, 1889

The 20th Maine regiment was mustered out of service on June 16, 1865. Out of a total enlistment of 1,621 men, nine officers and 138 enlisted men were killed or mortally wounded and one officer and 145 enlisted men died of disease, for a total of 293 lost.

The war had a profound affect on many soldiers and transition back into civilian life was not always easy. Abner R. Small summed up the war well when he wrote in a letter to a friend, "War and heroes sound well in history but the reality is known to but the few that survive the strife."

Sources: John J. Pullen, The Twentieth Maine: A Volunteer Regiment in the Civil War, Dayton, Ohio: Morningside House, 1984.

Thomas A. Desjardin, Stand Firm Ye Boys From Maine: The 20th Maine and the Gettysburg Campaign, Gettysburg, Pa.: Thomas Publications, 1995.


The Ballad of the 20th Maine

In 2019, almost a century after Maine adopted its state song “The State of Maine Song,” and seven years after the state adopted its state march “The Dirigo March,” Governor Janet Mills signed into legislation a bill which made “The Ballad of the 20 th Maine” the official state ballad of Maine. The ballad was written by Griffin Sherry, a member of the Maine-based folk band The Ghost of Paul Revere.

“The Ballad of the 20 th Maine” tells the story of Andrew Tozier, a member of the 20 th Maine Volunteer Infantry Regiment during the American Civil War. Beginning with his early life in Lichfield, Maine, the song follows him as a runaway teenager before he joins the Union army. The rest of the song focuses on Tozier’s role in the 20 th Maine’s iconic last stand at Little Round Top during the Battle of Gettysburg. Tozier, by that point injured, was the colors-bearer for the regiment, and thus “alone I stood with colors, flying proud and true, for to let my northern brothers know the battle was not through.”

Representative Scott Cuddy introduced the bill to recognize the song as Maine’s state ballad as a way to both recognize Maine musicians and to commemorate the sacrifice of Maine’s men who fought in the Civil War. The bill ended up passing unanimously in both chambers, but did face some initial objection in the State and Local Government Committee from two Republican representatives. Rep. Frances Head thought that the pro-Union message would be insulting to the South, while Rep. Roger Reed praised the confederate cause, saying that “Many of them were great Christian men on both sides. They fought hard and they were fighting for states’ rights as they saw them.”

While these comments were made by a minority group which had no effect on the final passing of the bill, they prompt an important discussion about controversy and commemoration. Even recognizing the smallest and most insignificant audience reactions to controversial pieces of commemoration can give great insight. The internet has given us access to reactions that we could never have from the past—for example, Andrew Gockel of Jefferson, Maine. Wrote on twitter that “Rep. Scott Cuddy of Maine is partaking too much of mind-altering drugs” in response to Cuddy’s initial bill proposal.

These reactions—both from elected officials and Twitter commentators—tell us about the state of our country and its position on commemoration of our own dark past. In an era when Confederate monuments are at the forefront of thought, it’s unfortunately difficult to be surprised that legislators are arguing that the Civil War was fought solely about “states’ rights.” As the country grapples with how to commemorate our history, reactions to new commemorations can reveal the truth about where we are—which is perhaps much less far along than we might think if we ignored the controversy


Maine Memory Network

While most Civil War regiments were created with men from one geographical region, the 20th Regiment Infantry, Maine Volunteers was formed in August 1862 to absorb the overflow of volunteers.

Its members came together from across the state, in response to President Abraham Lincoln's call in July 1862 for 300,000 volunteers.

17th Maine Infantry volunteers, 1864
Item 4127 info
Maine Historical Society

In late 1865 Joshua Chamberlain wrote of the 20th Maine, "It was made of the surplus recruits drifted together, the last of a call for 300,000 more.

"It was without pride. No county claimed them. No city gave them a flag. They received no words of farewell on leaving their state. No words of welcome on their return."

Scouts and guides with the Army of the Potomac, ca. 1865
Item 4288 info
Maine Historical Society

Being primarily farmers and lumbermen before they enlisted, most of the men had no military background, but many were used to hard work and surviving in an often unforgiving environment, were familiar with firearms and had the benefit of having volunteered for service.

Colonel Adelbert Ames of Rockland, commander of the regiment, knew the soldiers were an independent lot and would not always obey orders with questioning or commenting on them.

Bowdoin College, Brunswick, 1862
Item 4334 info
Maine Historical Society

Also lacking military experience, a number of officers were well educated, including 10 who had graduated from Bowdoin College.

Many were named officers because of their success at recruiting volunteers for the Maine regiments.

Commanding officer Col. Ames was trained as a military officer. He was a graduate of West Point and recipient of the Medal of Honor for his actions during the First Battle of Bull Run.

Joshua L. Chamberlain, ca. 1862
Item 5187 info
Maine Historical Society

Joshua L. Chamberlain was the regiment's lieutenant colonel.

A professor at Bowdoin College before his enlistment, Chamberlain lacked military training, but made up for that deficit with his intelligence.

Chamberlain was a graduate of Bowdoin College and the Bangor Theological Seminary.

When Chamberlain went to the Governor of Maine to acquire a commission in the Army, the Governor offered him the rank of Colonel.

Chamberlain declined, saying that he would like to learn the position first and took the rank of lieutenant colonel instead.

Battlefield of the United States Civil War, 1861-1865
Item 4287 info
Maine Historical Society

Soon, the 20th traveled by rail and steamer to Washington, D.C., to join the Army of the Potomac as part of Butterfield's "Light Brigade" of the Fifth Corps.

From there, they marched to Antietam (Sharpsburg), Maryland, and were held in reserve with the rest of the 5th Corps during the battle of September 16-17, 1862.

The Battle of Antietam, known as the bloodiest battle of the Civil War, was the 20th's first taste of the war.

The Union Army won a strategic victory as Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia withdrew after suffering considerable losses.

The Battle of Antietam also gave President Lincoln the victory he needed to implement a preliminary Emancipation Proclamation in September 1862 that freed slaves in rebel states. He issued the more detailed Proclamation in January 1863.

Thomas Chamberlain, Brewer, ca. 1864
Item 4332 info
Maine Historical Society

Colonel Ames, who attempted to turn the untrained volunteers into an effective regiment, was respected by the troops -- but not liked.

Thomas Chamberlain, a young non-commissioned officer summed Ames up best when he wrote, "I tell you, he is about as savage a man you ever saw . . . I swear the men will shoot him the first battle we are in."

Chamberlain was the brother of Lt. Col. Joshua Chamberlain, later the commander of the regiment.

General Joshua L. Chamberlain, ca. 1910
Item 4330 info
Maine Historical Society

In May 1863, Col. Ames was promoted to a Brigadier General in General Oliver Otis Howard's corps.

Joshua Chamberlain was promoted to Colonel and commander of the regiment.

The men took to Chamberlain, admiring him for his willingness to get into the midst of things alongside of them.

Map of Gettysburg battlefield, 1863
Item 4327 info
Maine Historical Society

Throughout the winter and spring of 1863 the Union and Confederate Armies were making their way north with only a few minor engagements.

It was not until Gettysburg that the armies met in a full-scale fight.

The Battle of Gettysburg began July 1, 1863, and at the end of the first day the Union Army had dug in on Cemetery Ridge and had command of the battlefield while the Confederate Army had taken position on Seminary Ridge.

Dead artillery horses after fight at Trostle's house in Gettysburg
Item 4286 info
Maine Historical Society

On July 2, 1862, Confederate Gen. James Longstreet recommended that the rebel army move around the end of the Union line, get behind Gen. George Mead's army and attack from that position, but Gen. Robert E. Lee ordered a direct attack.

Because Sickle's Third Corps failed to take its assigned position at the left end of the Union line, after the Confederate attack began, four regiments of Vicent's Brigade, including the 20th Maine moved into position at Little Round Top.

Chamberlain managed to move his troops into a position that surprised the Confederates and then, when the 20th Maine was close to losing its hold on the hill, Chamberlain ordered an unlikely attack with bayonets -- as the regiment was out of ammunition -- on the resting Confederate soldiers.

The 20th Maine suffered heavy casualties, but held Little Round Top and allowed a Union victory at Gettysburg.

McLean House at Appomattox
Item 4285 info
Maine Historical Society

The regiment later participated in every major battle with the Army of the Potomac, but Gettysburg had been its moment in the sun.

It would never again have as many men in its ranks as it did at Little Round Top.

Col. Chamberlain was soon put in command of a brigade and in 1865 was promoted to Brigadier General and later put in command by Ulysses S. Grant of all Union troops during the surrender of the Confederates.

Chamberlain and 20th Maine, Gettysburg reunion, 1889
Item 4163 info
Maine Historical Society

The 20th Maine regiment was mustered out of service on June 16, 1865. Out of a total enlistment of 1,621 men, nine officers and 138 enlisted men were killed or mortally wounded and one officer and 145 enlisted men died of disease, for a total of 293 lost.

The war had a profound affect on many soldiers and transition back into civilian life was not always easy. Abner R. Small summed up the war well when he wrote in a letter to a friend, "War and heroes sound well in history but the reality is known to but the few that survive the strife."

Källor:
John J. Pullen, The Twentieth Maine: A Volunteer Regiment in the Civil War, Dayton, Ohio: Morningside House, 1984.

Thomas A. Desjardin, Stand Firm Ye Boys From Maine: The 20th Maine and the Gettysburg Campaign, Gettysburg, Pa.: Thomas Publications, 1995.


Titta på videon: 20th Maine defense at little round top (Maj 2022).


Kommentarer:

  1. Vudonos

    Tack så mycket, coolt kreativt skrivet

  2. Vudozil

    Självklart har du rätt. Det är något med det, och det är en bra idé. Jag stöttar dig.

  3. Yedidiah

    I can suggest to come on a site where there is a lot of information on a theme interesting you.

  4. Macdougal

    Ursäkta att jag stör dig, det finns ett förslag om att ta en annan väg.

  5. Ehren

    Det - är meningslöst.

  6. Kulbert

    Bravo, du fick en utmärkt idé



Skriv ett meddelande