By William F.B. Vodrey
The Cleveland Civil War Roundtable
Copyright © 2008, All Rights Reserved
Editor’s note: This article is adapted from the presentation William Vodrey made to the Cleveland Civil War Roundtable in February 2006.
Michael Shaara’s Pulitzer Prize-winning 1974 novel The Killer Angels and the movie Gettysburg reintroduced a new generation to a long-obscure hero of the battle, Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain. Chamberlain, then colonel of the 20th Maine infantry regiment, saved the Union left with a desperate bayonet charge down Little Round Top on July 2, 1863. Chamberlain’s reputation was also boosted by Ken Burns’s PBS series The Civil War. He was a genuine hero, much deserving of our study, admiration and respect. Had he not been where he was, when he was, the Confederacy might well have won the Civil War.
But who was Chamberlain, really? It’s easy to run out of adjectives in describing him, just as it’s easy to make him sound too good to be true: courageous, learned, selfless, resolute, thoughtful, articulate, modest. But even Jeff Daniels’s excellent portrayal of him in Gettysburg doesn’t convey the full picture of Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain.
Bruce Catton called him a “hawk-nosed theologian turned soldier.” James M. McPherson wrote, “A man of letters and peace, he became an outstanding warrior.” Geoffrey C. Ward, author of the book accompanying Ken Burns’s series, wrote, “I confess that [I began further research of Chamberlain] with some trepidation, concerned that our admiring portrait of him might somehow have been overdrawn, that a persistent biographer would have turned up flaws in a character that had seemed to us astonishingly consistent. I needn’t have worried. Chamberlain is just as impressive as we thought he was – and more interesting.”
Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain was born September 8, 1828 in Brewer, Maine, to Joshua Chamberlain Jr. and Sarah “Sally” Brastow. He was called “Lawrence” by his parents and the four siblings who came along over the years: Horace, Sarah, John, and Thomas; the latter two would later serve under his command in the 20th Maine. Chamberlain’s ancestors had come from Massachusetts to Maine in the late 1700s; a female ancestor had been falsely accused of witchcraft and died in a Cambridge jail in September 1692. Chamberlain came from a distinguished military background, although he modestly would have been the first to deny it: his great-grandfather served in the colonial and Revolutionary wars, his grandfather was a colonel in the War of 1812, and his father acted as second-in-command of Maine forces in the so-called Aroostook War against New Brunswick in 1839.
In his youth, Chamberlain read, farmed, hunted, and sailed the family sloop off Bangor, Maine. His mother wanted him to be a clergyman, but his father wanted him to go to West Point and become a soldier. His mother won, but only in the short term. Chamberlain was educated at a military academy in Ellsworth, Maine, and graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Bowdoin College in Brunswick in 1852. In 1855, he earned a Bachelor’s of Divinity at the Bangor Theological Seminary.
On December 7, 1855, he married Frances Caroline Adams, daughter of Ashur and Emily Adams of Boston, and a distant cousin of President John Quincy Adams. Chamberlain and his wife “Fannie,” as she was called, shared a love that would endure despite the strains of war and Chamberlain’s own long and devoted public service, which sometimes left Frances feeling neglected. They had two children who lived past infancy, Grace Dupee, born in 1856, and Harold Wyllys, born in 1858. Unfortunately, they also lost an unnamed infant son just a few days after birth in October 1857; as well as a daughter, Emily Steele, who died only a few months old in 1860; and another infant daughter, Gertrude Loraine, who was born and died in 1865.
The year of his wedding, Chamberlain was appointed instructor in natural and revealed religion at Bowdoin College. He succeeded Calvin Stowe, whose wife Harriet Beecher Stowe wrote Uncle Tom’s Cabin while Chamberlain was a student at the college. It was the beginning of a distinguished lifelong teaching career: from 1856 to 1862 he was professor of rhetoric; from 1857 to 1861 instructor in modern languages, from 1861 to 1865 (in title, if not in actual duties) professor of modern languages.
In 1862, Chamberlain was granted a two-year leave of absence for study abroad. Despite protests from the faculty (which didn’t want to lose so fine a teacher on the battlefield), he instead enlisted as lieutenant colonel of the 20th Maine Infantry regiment. Israel Washburn was the Governor of Maine at the time, and before he signed Chamberlain’s commission, he was warned about the young professor by other jealous claimants to the post: Chamberlain was “no fighter,” one man wrote; another contemptuously said that Chamberlain was “nothing at all.” As McPherson later wrote, Chamberlain “was not the only college professor in the Union army, but he was surely the only man in either army who could read seven languages: Greek, Latin, Hebrew, Arabic, Syriac, French, and German.” Certainly he was more of a scholar than a soldier then.
In May 1863, however, Chamberlain became colonel of the 20th Maine upon the promotion of its colonel, Adelbert Ames. Chamberlain taught himself to be a soldier from both books and hard experience; his courage and fortitude soon became legendary. Chamberlain took part in 24 engagements in the Civil War, among them Antietam, Fredericksburg (at which he and his men, stranded overnight on the battlefield, were compelled to pile the bodies of their dead comrades before them as shields against the Confederate guns), Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, Spotsylvania, Cold Harbor, Petersburg, and Five Forks. Over the course of the war, troops under Chamberlain’s command took 2,700 prisoners and seized eight Confederate battle flags. He was wounded six times, and narrowly escaped capture three times – once, at Five Forks, thanks to a badly-faded uniform coat and a quickly improvised Virginia drawl: “Surrender? What’s the matter with you? What do you take me for? Don’t you see these Yanks right onto us? Come along with me and let’s break ’em.” His would-be captors were then themselves promptly captured. After Antietam he saw President Lincoln visit the battlefield, and wrote, “We could see the deep sadness in [Lincoln’s] face, and feel the burden on his heart thinking of his great commission to save this people and knowing that he could do this no otherwise than as he had been doing – by and through . . . these men.”
There is virtual unanimity among historians that Chamberlain’s finest wartime hour was in the late afternoon on the second day of Gettysburg, July 2, 1863. Chamberlain was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor “for daring heroism and great tenacity” for his regiment’s defense of Little Round Top, although he would not accept the medal until 1893, thirty years later. Lt. Col. Joseph B. Mitchell later wrote in his book on Civil War Medal of Honor winners,
If, on the afternoon of July 2, 1863 a less capable officer had been in command of the 20th Maine, the Battle of Gettysburg would probably have been a Southern victory. Of all the Congressional Medals of Honor awarded in the history of our country, that won by Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain is particularly outstanding.
Confederate and Union troops contesting Little Round Top, Shelby Foote agreed, “fought as if the outcome of the battle, and with it the war, depended on their valor: as indeed perhaps it did, since whoever had possession of this craggy height on the Union left would dominate the whole fishhook position.”
Chamberlain’s 20th Maine, along with the 83rd Pennsylvania, the 44th New York, and the 16th Michigan were part of Col. Strong Vincent’s brigade, and were rushed to the crest of Little Round Top when Brigadier General Gouverneur K. Warren, General Meade’s chief of engineers, noticed that the high ground was unguarded against a Confederate advance. Geoffrey C. Ward describes the scene:
“As Chamberlain and his two brothers, Tom and John, rode abreast together toward the hill, a Confederate shell narrowly missed them. ‘Boys,’ the colonel said, ‘another such shot might make it hard for Mother. Tom, go to the rear of the regiment and see that it is well closed up! John, pass up ahead and look out a place for our wounded.'”
The fighting was fast and furious, and the Confederates charged up the hill repeatedly. Some forty thousand rounds were fired on that slope in less than an hour and a half; saplings halfway up the hill were gnawed in two by bullets.
Chamberlain later wrote,
“The facts were that, being ordered to hold that ground – the extreme left flank of the Union position – [‘at all hazards’] and finding myself unable to hold it by the mere defensive, after [more than an hour’s fighting, and after] more than a third of my men had fallen, and my ammunition was exhausted, as well as all we could snatch from the cartridge boxes of the fallen – friend and foe – upon the field, and having at that moment right upon me a third desperate onset of the enemy with more than three times my numbers, I saw no way to hold the position but to make a counter-charge with the bayonet, and to place myself at the head of it.”
Chamberlain added in a masterpiece of understatement, “It happened that we were successful.” Another Maine soldier there that day, Theodore Gerrish, remembered it vividly:
“The order is given, ‘Fix bayonets!’ and the steel shanks of the bayonets rattle upon the rifle barrels. ‘Charge bayonets! Charge!’ Every man understood in a moment that the movement was our only salvation, but there is a limit to human endurance and… for a brief moment the order was not obeyed, and the little line seemed to quail under the fearful fire that was being poured upon it… [then] with one wild yell of anguish wrung from its tortured heart, the regiment charged.”
“…I remember that, as we struck the enemy’s onrushing lines, I was confronted by an officer, also in front of his line, who fired one shot of his revolver at my head within six feet of me. When, in an instant, the point of my sabre was at his throat, he quickly presented me with both his pistol and his sword, which I have preserved as memorials of my narrow escape… We cleared the enemy entirely away from the left flank of our lines, extended and secured the commanding heights still to our left, and brought back from our charge twice as many prisoners [from the 15th and 47th Alabama] as the entire number of men in our own ranks.”
Col. William C. Oates of the 15th Alabama admitted, “When the signal was given we ran like a herd of wild cattle.” Chamberlain and “his men saved Little Round Top and the Army of the Potomac from defeat… Great events sometimes turn on comparatively small affairs.” Another Confederate soldier simply said, “We were never whipped before, and [we] never wanted to meet the 20th Maine again.”
General James C. Rice, Chamberlain’s immediate superior at Gettysburg, wrote in his official report,
“For the brilliant success of the second day’s struggle, history will give credit to the bravery and unflinching fortitude of [the 20th Maine] more than to any equal body of men upon the field – conduct, which as an eyewitness, I do not hesitate to say, had its inspiration and great success from the moral power and personal heroism of Colonel Chamberlain. Promotion is but a partial reward for his magnificent gallantry on the hard-won field of Gettysburg.”
Chamberlain himself was far more modest, writing many years later, “It seems to me I did no more than should have been expected of me, and what it was my duty to do under the sudden and great responsibilities which fell upon me there.” McPherson has written that the novel The Killer Angels does “an ironic injustice to Chamberlain. Shaara’s novel ends with Lee’s retreat from Gettysburg, and thus ends most readers’ knowledge of Chamberlain. Yet he went on to become one of the most remarkable soldiers of the Civil War – indeed, in all of American history.”
His skills recognized by Grant and others, Chamberlain rose to command of the 1st Brigade, 1st Division, Fifth Corps. On June 18, 1864, in the fighting before Petersburg, he was wounded so badly that it was thought he would die. A ricocheting minie ball went through his left thigh, smashing both hips, severing arteries, and piercing his bladder. Chamberlain stayed on his feet, rallying his men as he leaned on his sword, waiting until the troops had passed out of sight before sinking to the ground. Told of the extent of Chamberlain’s wounds, which had proved fatal to many another soldier before, General Ulysses S. Grant promoted him to brigadier general on the field, the first soldier to be so honored, and one of only two in the entire war. In his memoirs, Grant wrote,
“Colonel J.L. Chamberlain, of the 20th Maine, was wounded on the 18th [of June]. He was gallantly leading his brigade at the time, as he had been in the habit of doing in all the engagements in which he had previously been engaged. He had several times been recommended for a brigadier-generalcy… On this occasion, however, I promoted him on the spot, and forwarded a copy of my order to the War Department, asking that my act might be confirmed without delay. This was done, and at last a gallant and meritorious officer received partial justice at the hands of his Government, which he had served so faithfully and so well.”
Perhaps Grant was thinking of Chamberlain when he later remarked, “You can never tell what makes a general. Our war, and all wars, are surprises in that respect.”
The New York newspapers reported Chamberlain’s death. However, he astounded everybody by not only surviving, but by taking to the field again just five weeks after being shot, still not completely healed. When his initial term of enlistment expired in 1864, Chamberlain was urged by his wife, family and friends to go home, but he would hear none of it. “I owe the country three years service. It is a time when every man should stand by his guns. And I am not scared or hurt enough yet to be willing to face to the rear, when other men are marching to the front. . . . And I am so confident of the sincerity of my motives that I can trust my own life & the welfare of my family in the hands of Providence.”
On March 29, 1865, in fighting along the Quaker Road near Five Forks, Chamberlain was shot again. Chamberlain had been so prominent in his leadership in the face of danger that Sheridan himself exclaimed, “By God, that’s what I want to see! General officers at the front!” However, within hours, as Ward writes, “a minie ball pierced [Chamberlain’s] horse’s neck, tore though his left arm, then smashed into his chest just beneath his heart. A folded sheaf of orders and a pocket mirror backed with brass saved his life, but the ball still had enough force to spin round his torso, rip through the seam of his coat, and knock from his saddle the aide riding next to him. Chamberlain slumped into temporary unconsciousness. But when he came to and saw that his men had started to buckle under the intense Rebel fire, he insisted on riding up and down the lines, waving his sword and urging his men to hold. They did, while cheering their bloodied commander – whose courage so impressed the Confederates that they began to cheer him, too.”
The newspapers again reported Chamberlain’s death. As McPherson writes, “[He] went Mark Twain one better: he twice had the pleasure of reading his own obituary.” Chamberlain’s distinguished conduct in attacking Lee’s right flank, despite his two cracked ribs and a bruised arm, earned him a brevetted rank of major general of volunteers.
In the final campaign of the war in the East leading up to Lee’s surrender at Appomattox, Chamberlain commanded two brigades of the First Division of the Fifth Corps, and was personally selected by Grant to receive the Confederate surrender. The event has passed into legend, of course, not the least because of Chamberlain’s gallantry. Lee and Grant were elsewhere by then; Chamberlain faced Confederate General John B. Gordon at the head of the Army of Northern Virginia. Chamberlain ordered his men to salute their defeated countrymen, and Gordon would forever remember that Chamberlain saw to it that the Army of the Potomac “gave [them] a soldierly salute… a token of respect from Americans to Americans… [in a gesture of] mutual salutation and farewell… honor answering honor.” Bruce Catton noted that not everyone approved of the gesture at the time: Chamberlain “scandalized fire-eating patriots but gratified future generations” by ordering the salute.
With the rest of the Army, Chamberlain mourned the death of President Lincoln, but he discouraged talk of revenge against the South for John Wilkes Booth’s crime. Chamberlain led the Fifth Corps in the Grand Review on May 23, 1865, a bright, clear day in Washington, and sat with President Andrew Johnson and other dignitaries in a reviewing stand opposite the White House. He wrote many years later,
“It [was] the Army of the Potomac. After years of tragic history and dear-bought glories, gathering again on the banks of the river from which it took its departure and its name;… having kept the faith, having fought the good fight, now standing up to receive its benediction and dismissal, and bid farewell to comradeship so strangely dear… What far dreams drift over the spirit, of the days when we questioned what life should be, and answered for ourselves what we would be!”
On June 16, 1866, Chamberlain was mustered out. Due to his fragile health, he declined an offer of a colonelcy in the regular Army and a command on the Rio Grande. He was by then a celebrated war hero, probably the most famous man from Maine after Hannibal Hamlin, Lincoln’s first Vice President. He decided to enter politics and, in November 1866, was elected Governor of Maine by the largest majority in the state’s history. He was reelected three times (Maine governors in those days served one-year terms), facing down political rivals and rebellious legislators with equal determination. Had the political winds blown just slightly differently, Chamberlain would likely have been a U.S. Senator and perhaps even, in time, President of the United States – and wouldn’t that have been something? We could do much worse, then and now.
After his fourth term as Governor, Chamberlain returned to his beloved Bowdoin College, serving as president from 1871 to 1883. His sole defeat in the less bloody but no less heartfelt struggles of academia came when he insisted that students take part in military drill. Some students complained that drill took time away from their studies, and dissatisfaction with the new requirement spread quickly. A brewing boycott was quelled when Chamberlain threatened to expel any student who didn’t take part in drill, but drill was eventually made voluntary and then dropped altogether. “Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain,” Ward wrote, had at last “been beaten by an army of unruly schoolboys.”
From 1874 to 1879, he was also professor of mental and moral philosophy and a lecturer on political science and public law, continuing to lecture on these subjects until 1885. In time, he would teach every subject in the school’s curriculum besides mathematics.
During the winter of 1878-79, Maine was wracked by political controversy. The Democratic and Greenback Labor parties, led by Gov. Alonzo Garcelon, teamed up to seize control of the state legislature in a hotly-disputed election. There was a flurry of accusations of voting fraud. The state’s Republicans formed a rival legislature. Chamberlain was still a major general of the Maine militia, and he ordered the offices of the governor and his council sealed, their records secured.
“Each side accused him of favoring the other. He paid no attention. Partisan newspapers demanded his arrest, even his assassination. Finally an armed and ugly crowd stormed into the capitol, threatening to shoot him. Chamberlain met them in the rotunda. ‘Men,’ he called out, ‘you wished to kill me, I hear. Killing is no new thing to me. I have offered myself to be killed many times, when I no more deserved it than I do now…. It is for me to see that the laws of this state are put into effect, without fraud, without force, but with calm thought and sincere purpose. I am here for that, and I shall do it. If anybody wants to kill me for it, here I am. Let him kill!’ Chamberlain opened his coat and waited. A Civil War veteran pushed to the front of the crowd. ‘By God, old general,’ he shouted, ‘the first man that dares to lay a hand on you, I’ll kill him on the spot.’ The mob melted away.”
Chamberlain kept the peace until the Maine Supreme Court ruled that the Republicans had fairly won the election, and the crisis passed.
In later life, Chamberlain didn’t slow down much. He spoke for Maine at the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia in 1876. He was one of the U.S. commissioners at the Universal Exposition in Paris in 1878, and wrote a widely-praised report on European methods of education. From 1884 to 1889, he kept himself busy with railroad and industrial investments in Florida; he found the warm weather there was better for his still-fragile health. ”There are great opportunities to get health and wealth [here],” he wrote to his sister Sarah, “and also to do good, and help other people.” In 1900, he was appointed by President McKinley to be Surveyor of the Port of Portland, Maine, a post he held until his death.
Chamberlain was a prolific and talented writer. His The Passing of Armies: An Account Of The Final Campaign Of The Army Of The Potomac is a detailed description of the final exhausting days of the war, when the Army of the Potomac broke through Lee’s lines around Petersburg and Lee tried to escape to the southwest. Although Chamberlain’s writing may be a bit flowery for modern readers, the book is still an interesting account of the final death agonies of Lee’s army, and the growing exhilaration of the Federal troops, particularly of the Fifth Corps, giving chase. Chamberlain also stoutly defends Gen. Gouverneur K. Warren against those (Gen. Phil Sheridan among them) who criticized Warren’s conduct at the Battle of Five Forks. And when silence falls at last at Appomattox, you can easily imagine you are there.
Chamberlain also wrote a definitive history of Maine, faithfully attended reunions of the 20th Maine and gave many, many speeches to veterans organizations around the country on his own experiences and the need to remember those who died in the Civil War. He helped survey the Gettysburg battlefield soon after the war, and he attended both the 25th and 50th anniversaries of the battle in 1888 and 1913, overwhelmed by memories of his men’s sacrifices. It was, he wrote, “a radiant fellowship of the fallen.” His wife Fannie died on October 18, 1905, just two months before their fiftieth wedding anniversary.
Time took its toll on him and his comrades-in-arms, as it does to us all. Chamberlain said at a 1901 Memorial Day parade,
“On each returning Memorial Day your thinning ranks, your feeble step, your greyer faces are tokens that would make me wholly sad, were it not for something undying in your eyes. And you, strong as your hearts are, do not wholly master the feeling that all is declining that made your worth, and the only struggle you can make now is against fast-coming oblivion. You hold together by the power of things you will not forget; though a shadow comes out of the cloud chilling you with the notion that these things and you are doomed to be forgotten.”
Chamberlain, however, never forgot why he and all the men in blue fought. He wrote,
“Slavery and freedom cannot live together. Had slavery been kept out of the fight, the Union would have gone down. But the enemies of the country were so misguided as to rest their cause upon it, and that was the destruction of it and of them. We did not go into that fight to strike at slavery directly; we were not thinking to solve that problem, but God, in His providence, in His justice, in His mercy, in His great covenant with our fathers, set slavery at the forefront, and it was swept aside as with a whirlwind, when the mighty pageant of the people passed on to its triumph.”
He also wrote soon after the war,
“There is a phrase abroad which obscures the legal and the moral questions involved in the issue, – indeed, which distorts and falsifies history: ‘The War Between the States.’ There are here no States outside of the Union. Resolving themselves out of it does not release them. Even were they successful in entrenching themselves in this attitude, they would only relapse into territories of the United States. Indeed, several of the States so resolving were never in their own right either States or Colonies; but their territories were purchased by the common treasury of the Union, and were admitted as States out of its grace and generosity… There was no war between the States. It was a war in the name of certain States to destroy the political existence of the United States.”
Chamberlain’s wound from Petersburg never really healed; he lived in continual pain for the rest of his life, and for many years had a silver tube in his gut to drain the wound. Bruce Catton wrote that Chamberlain “somehow carried the wound around with him for the better part of half a century, building a military career on what a modern Army doctor would probably consider total disability.” Doctors attending him at his death on February 24, 1914 directly attributed his passing to infection of the wound, four months shy of fifty years since he was wounded at Petersburg, thus making Chamberlain “almost certainly the last Civil War soldier to die of wounds received in action,” as Catton would note. It was the eve of another great war that would change America forever. Chamberlain was buried with full military honors, and you may find his grave beside that of his wife, in Pine Grove Cemetery, near the Bowdoin campus in Brunswick.
Geoffrey Ward writes that late in Chamberlain’s life, “when an author asked him for a first-person account of the action that had won him the Medal of Honor, Chamberlain declined, not wishing to appear immodest. ‘It would be impossible for you to say anything… that would savor of boasting,’ the writer responded [at once], ‘for your record as a brave soldier is so well known that self praise would necessarily fall far below what those who remember the dark days know to be true of you.'”
Perhaps General Charles Griffin of the Fifth Corps said it best in describing Chamberlain:
“You yourself, General, a youthful subordinate when I first took command of this division, now through so many deep experiences risen to be its tested, trusted, and beloved commander, – you are an example of what experiences of loyalty and fortitude, of change and constancy, have marked the career of this honored division…. You have written a deathless page on the records of your country’s history, and… your character and your valor have entered into her life for all the future.”
But I think I should let Chamberlain himself have the last word, for by his life and in his service he proved its fundamental truth: “War is for the participants a test of character: it makes bad men worse and good men better.”
Bibliography – Books
Boritt, Gabor S., ed. Why the Confederacy Lost (Gettysburg Civil War Institute Books) (Oxford University Press, N.Y. 1992)
Bowen, John Battlefields of the Civil War (Chartwell Books, London 1986)
Carroll, Les The Angel of Marye’s Heights: Sergeant Richard Kirkland’s Extraordinary Deed at Fredericksburg (Palmetto Bookworks, Columbia, S.C. 1994)
Catton, Bruce A Stillness at Appomattox (Army of the Potomac, Vol. 3) (Doubleday & Co., N.Y. 1953)
Catton, Bruce American Heritage Picture History of the Civil War (American Heritage Publishing Co., N.Y. repr. 1982)
Catton, Bruce Glory Road: The Bloody Route from Fredericksburg to Gettysburg (Doubleday & Co., N.Y. 1954)
Catton, Bruce Never Call Retreat (Centennial History of the Civil War, Vol. III, Doubleday & Co., N.Y. 1965)
Chamberlain, Joshua Lawrence The Passing of Armies: An Account Of The Final Campaign Of The Army Of The Potomac (G.P. Putnam’s Sons, N.Y. 1915; Bantam Books repr. 1993)
Clark, Charles E. Maine: A History (W.W. Norton & Co., N.Y. 1977)
Coddington, Edward B. The Gettysburg Campaign: A Study in Command (Scribner’s, N.Y. 1968)
Commager, Henry Steele, ed. The Blue and the Gray: The Story of the Civil War as Told By the Participants (Bobbs-Merrill Co., N.Y. 1950)
Foote, Shelby The Civil War: A Narrative (Random House, N.Y. 1963)
Golay, Michael To Gettysburg And Beyond: The Parallel Lives Of Joshua Chamberlain And Edward Porter Alexander (Crown Publishers, N.Y. 1994)
Johnson, Allen and Dumas Malone, eds. Dictionary of American Biography Volumes 1 – 10, Supplements, Index (Charles Scribner’s Sons, N.Y. 1929)
McPherson, James M. Battle Chronicles of the Civil War 1863 and 1865 (MacMillan Publishing Co., N.Y. 1989)
McPherson, James M. Battle Cry of Freedom: The Civil War Era (Oxford History of the United States) (Oxford University Press, N.Y. 1988)
McPherson, James M. and Mort Kunstler Gettysburg: The Paintings of Mort Kunstler (Turner Publishing Co., Atlanta 1993)
Mitchell, Joseph B. The Badge of Gallantry: Recollections of Civil War Congressional Medal of Honor Winners (MacMillan Publishing Co., N.Y. 1968)
Racine, Philip N., ed. “Unspoiled Heart”: The Journal of Charles Mattocks of the 17th Maine (Voices of the Civil War) (University of Tennessee Press, Knoxville 1994)
Reeder, Red The Northern Generals (Duell, Sloan & Pearce, N.Y. 1964)
Shaara, Jeff Gods and Generals (Ballantine Books, N.Y. 1996)
Shaara, Michael The Killer Angels (Ballantine Books, N.Y. 1974)
Trudeau, Noah Andre Bloody Roads South: The Wilderness to Cold Harbor, May-June 1864 (Little, Brown, N.Y. 1989)
Trudeau, Noah Andre Out of the Storm: The End of the Civil War, April-June 1865 (Little, Brown, N.Y. 1994)
Trulock, Alice Rains In the Hands of Providence: Joshua L. Chamberlain and the American Civil War (University of North Carolina Press, 1992)
Wallace, Willard M. Soul of the Lion: A Biography of General Joshua L. Chamberlain (Stan Clark Military Books, Gettysburg 1960; repr. 1991)
Ward, Geoffrey C., with Ric Burns and Ken Burns The Civil War: An Illustrated History (Alfred A. Knopf, N.Y. 1994)
Wheeler, Richard Witness to Gettysburg (Stackpole Military History Series) (Harper & Row Publishers, N.Y. 1987)
Wood, W.B. and Major Edmonds Military History of the Civil War, 1861-1865 (Jack Russell Publishers, N.Y. 1959)
Bibliography – Periodicals and Other Media
Hansen, Liane “Jeff Shaara Discusses Writing Gods and Generals ” Weekend Edition/Sunday (National Public Radio transcript, June 30, 1996)
Hennessy, Thomas A. “One Hundred Years Ago – Gettysburg,” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, p. 35 (July 1, 1963)
Unknown author, “Survivor,” American Heritage (December 1978)
Ward, Geoffrey C. “Hero of the 20th,” American Heritage (November 1992)
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