Portrait of Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, Portrait

Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain was immortalized in Michael Shaara’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, The Killer Angels, and in the movie Gettysburg, which was based upon that novel.  [Library of Congress]

Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain - Facts

September 8, 1828–February 24, 1914

Key facts about Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain a Union military commander who earned the Congressional Medal of Honor for his heroics at the Battle of Gettysburg.

Advertisements

Full Name:

  • Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain

Birth Date:

  • September 8, 1828

Birth Location:

  • Brewer, Maine

Parents:

  • Joshua and Sarah “Sally” (Brastow) Chamberlain

Education:

  • Bowdoin College (1852)

Occupation:

  • College professor
  • Military officer
  • Politician

Career Summary:

  • Brigadier General (USVA)
  • Brevet Major General (USVA)
  • Governor of Maine
  • President of Bowdoin College

Spouse:

  • Frances “Fannie” Caroline Adams (1855)

Nickname(s):

  • Lion of the Round Top
  • Bloody Chamberlain

Place of Death:

  • Portland, Maine

Date of Death:

  • February 24, 1914

Place of Burial:

  • Pine Grove Cemetery in Brunswick, Maine

Significance:

  • Chamberlain’s parents were Joshua and Sarah “Sally” (Brastow) Chamberlain.
  • Chamberlain entered Bowdoin College in 1848 and graduated in 1852.
  • Chamberlain met and became friends with Harriet Beecher Stowe while attending Bowdoin College.
  • In 1855, Chamberlain earned a bachelor’s degree in divinity at Bangor Theological Seminary.
  • Chamberlain married Frances “Fannie” Caroline Adams on December 7, 1855.
  • From 1855 to 1862, Chamberlain was a professor at Bowdoin College.
  • Chamberlain was fluent in 10 languages.
  • In 1862, Chamberlain enlisted in the 20th Maine Regiment, a part of the Army of the Potomac.
  • Chamberlain fought at the Battle of Fredericksburg (December 11 -15, 1862).
  • Chamberlain was promoted to the rank of colonel in June 1863.
  • Chamberlain became famous at the Battle of Gettysburg (July 1 – July 3, 1863) for his defense of a hill named Little Round Top.
  • Chamberlain acquired the nickname, “the Lion of the Round Top,” for actions at the Battle of Gettysburg (July 1 – July 3, 1863).
  • Chamberlain was stricken with malaria in 1863 and removed from active duty until April 1864.
  • Chamberlain was seriously wounded by a gunshot to the leg and groin during the Second Battle of Petersburg on June 18, 1864.
  • Expecting Chamberlain to die from his wounds at Petersburg, Ulysses S. Grant gave him a battlefield promotion to brigadier general on June 19, 1864.
  • Chamberlain recovered from his wounds at Petersburg and returned to active duty in November 1864.
  • Chamberlain was wounded in the arm and chest at the Battle of Lewis’s Farm (March 29, 1865).
  • President Abraham Lincoln brevetted Chamberlain to the rank of major general following the Battle of Lewis’s Farm (March 29, 1865).
  • On the morning of April 9, 1865, Chamberlain officially received Confederate General Robert E. Lee’s request for a cessation of hostilities, to arrange for surrender at Appomattox Court House, Virginia.
  • Chamberlain presided over the surrender of the Confederate infantry at Appomattox Court House on April 12, 1865.
  • Chamberlain is remembered for the dignity and respect he accorded the defeated Confederate troops during the surrender ceremonies at Appomattox Court House.
  • During the Civil War, Chamberlain was wounded six times.
  • In 1866, Chamberlain was elected to the first of four one-year terms as Governor of Maine.
  • In 1871, Chamberlain was appointed as president of Bowdoin College.
  • In 1883, Chamberlain was forced to resign his position at Bowdoin College due to ill health cause by his Civil War wounds.
  • In 1893, Chamberlain was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for his heroics at the Battle of Gettysburg (July 1 – 3, 1863) thirty years earlier.
  • Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain died on February 24, 1914 at Portland, Maine.
  • Chamberlain is buried Pine Grove Cemetery in Brunswick, Maine.
  • Chamberlain’s memoirs, entitled The Passing of Armies, were published in 1915, one year after his death.
  • He was immortalized in Michael Shaara’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, The Killer Angels, and in the movie Gettysburg, which was based upon that novel.
Advertisements

Citation Information

The following information is provided for citations.

  • Article Title Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain - Facts
  • Coverage September 8, 1828–February 24, 1914
  • Author
  • Keywords joshua lawrence chamberlain
  • Website Name American History Central
  • Access Date July 27, 2021
  • Publisher R.Squared Communications, LLC
  • Original Published Date
  • Date of Last Update April 28, 2021
GET THE BEST OF AMERICAN HISTORY CENTRAL DELIVERED TO YOUR INBOX!
SIGN UP
By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to receive news, offers, updates, and additional information from R.Squared Communications, LLC and American History Central. Easy unsubscribe links are included in every email.
CLOSE [X]