In the Hands of Providence
Joshua L. Chamberlain and the American Civil War
Joshua Chamberlain of Maine forged an incredible career during the Civil War. An academic and theologian by training, this modest young professor left Bowdoin College to accept a commission as lieutenant colonel of the Twentieth Maine. He fought at Antietam and Fredericksburg, then led his regiment to glory at Gettysburg, where he ordered the brilliant charge that saved Little Round Top. Promoted to brigade command, Chamberlain won a battlefield promotion to brigadier general from Ulysses S. Grant for his distinguished conduct in the assaults against Petersburg. He was held in such high esteem by his superior officers that Grant accorded him the honor of receiving the formal Confederate surrender at Appomattox. There Chamberlain endeared himself to succeeding generations with his unforgettable salute to Robert E. Lee’s defeated army.
After the war, he went on to serve four terms as governor of his home state and later became president of Bowdoin College. He wrote prolifically about the war, including The Passing of the Armies, a classic account of the final campaign of the Army of the Potomac. This remarkable biography traces his life and times.
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