Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain Historical Marker
Born as Lawrence Joshua Chamberlain on Sept. 8, 1828, to Sarah Dupee and Joshua Chamberlain in Brewer, Maine, Colonel Chamberlain was severely wounded near this location during the Battle of Petersburg. Given the success of his charge against Confederate works despite his wounds, General Ulysses S. Grant promoted Chamberlain "on the spot." The precise location where Chamberlain was wounded is debated, New evidence led to the decision to move this historical marker to this location in 2016, but some local historians believe that the original location was more accurate.
Backstory and Context
During the Battle of Fredericksburg, Chamberlain stated in his journal that he used the fallen for shelter and pillow while listening to bullets zip into the corpses. On July 2, 1863, Chamberlain led men on the extreme left at the Battle of Little Round Top during the Battle of Gettysburg. His regiment ran out of ammunition and were exhausted, but under Chamberlain's leadership, the Maine men executed a bayonet charge and secured General Meade's left flank. Chamberlain's men prevented a possible disaster for the Union and he was awarded the Medal of Honor for "conspicuous gallantry."
After the war, Chamberlain went back to Maine and served as governor for four years. After his time in politics, he became a leading educator and administrator. By 1883, he was forced to retire due to his previous wounds from the war. The aging Chamberlain tried to volunteer for the Spanish-American War but his service was denied owing to age and health. On February 24, 1914, the "Lion of Little Round Top" died at the age of 85 in Portland, Maine.