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.
- Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain
- September 8, 1828
- Brewer, Maine
- Joshua and Sarah “Sally” (Brastow) Chamberlain
- Bowdoin College (1852)
- College professor
- Military officer
- Brigadier General (USVA)
- Brevet Major General (USVA)
- Governor of Maine
- President of Bowdoin College
- Frances “Fannie” Caroline Adams (1855)
- 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
- 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.