Joshua Chamberlain

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During the American Civil War, Joshua Chamberlain, an American professor-turned-soldier, led the 20th Maine Regiment to a brilliant victory at Gettysburg. During the Civil War, he gained a battlefield promotion and was severely wounded six times. Chamberlain portrayed himself to succeeding generations as a guy with outstanding wartime leadership abilities. After the war, he served four times as the governor of Maine and then became the president of Bowdoin College, where he had been a professor and an alumnus. After his death, a definitive narrative of the conflict titled ‘The Passing of the Armies’ became one of his most famous writings. A true legend of the American Civil War, he was a brilliant scholar who entered the military out of a deep desire to serve his country. Even though his work as a college professor is obscure, he was regarded as one of the era’s intellectuals, changing a lot of failures into literati. In the Union army, he participated in over twenty engagements and attained the rank of major general. He spent his golden years writing and speaking about his numerous and mundane wartime experiences.

Youth and Early Life

Lawrence In Brewer, Maine, Joshua Chamberlain was born to Joshua Chamberlain and Sarah Dupree. He was very close to his mother because his father was constantly strict with him.
In addition to horseback riding, he enjoyed sailing, swimming, and birdwatching as a young lad.

As a result of a speech issue he endured for the remainder of his life, he was a shy child who never enjoyed speaking in front of others. In 1848, he enrolled at Bowdoin College and graduated four years later.

After getting married, he attended the Bangor Theological Seminary and began a career as a rhetoric professor. He began teaching nearly all of the courses listed in the prospectus, with the exception of science and math.

Joshua Chamberlain’s Career

In 1861, he was appointed to the chair of modern languages and became fluent in numerous languages, including Greek, Latin, French, Hebrew, Arabic, Italian, and Syriac.
In 1861, when the Civil War broke out, he desired to serve his nation. The following year, much to the ire of the Bowdoin faculty, he joined the war as lieutenant colonel of the 20th Regiment of Maine Volunteers.

In 1862, he was put in control of an entire regiment after learning the ways of being a soldier rapidly via dedication and observation while serving under Commander Adelbert Ames. The Union Army of the Potomac’s 20th Regiment was assigned to the 3rd Brigade, 1st Division, V Corps.

The 20th Maine participated in the Battle of Fredericksburg, which was a humiliating Union defeat. The subsequent months of 1862 passed without incident.
One of the most significant fights of his career occurred on July 2, 1863, at Gettysburg, where he was made colonel of his regiment.

He led his brigade during the Battle of Spotsylvania and the Battle of Bethesda Church in 1864. In the same year, he was assigned commander of the new 1st Brigade of Pennsylvania regiments for the 1st Division. As the new commander, he once again fought valiantly at Rives’ Salient but was severely injured during this combat.

He was elevated to Brigadier General by General Ulysses Grant on the battlefield.
During the Civil War against the Confederacy in 1865, he was nearly captured. President Lincoln advanced him to the rank of major general because of his exceptional leadership and bravery, despite being wounded twice. The “Battle of Five Forks” was a key win for the Union in the same year.

Following the conclusion of the war, the Union Army of Potomac staged a grand assessment to commemorate Chamberlain and the fallen soldiers. After the conclusion of the war, he resumed his normal daily life.

In 1866 and 1869, he received an honorary doctor of law degree from Pennsylvania College and Bowdoin, respectively, before becoming a college professor. In contrast to his thrilling life on the battlefield, however, he did not find his job interesting.

In 1866, he chose to enter politics and was elected Governor of Maine, a position he held for four terms, the last of which he completed in 1870.

In 1871, he returned to Bowdoin College, where he was elected president by the college’s delegates. During his tenure as President, he offered extremely unorthodox and unpopular ideas to the college. Realizing that he could not effect significant change, he resigned in 1883. During this time, he was also elected as the state’s military leader.

In his last years, he engaged in a number of economic endeavors and wrote about his wartime experiences. The publication ‘The Passing of the Armies’ was written by Chamberlain and released a year after his passing.

Joshua’s Major Battles

When the army opted to strike during the Battle of Gettysburg in 1863, Chamberlain’s decision rescued the army and led to a win. Despite the fact that a number of Union soldiers had been maimed and despite Colonel Vincent’s orders not to reveal the Union’s position, he decided to launch a counterattack.

Chamberlain was granted command of the 3rd Brigade, 1st Division, and Fifth Corps when the Union forces secured victory under his leadership following this crucial decision. Blood and Fire at Gettysburg is the title of his memoir about his experiences at Gettysburg.

Awards & Achievements

He was awarded one of the highest military accolades, the Congressional Medal of Honor.
In 1893, he was awarded the Medal of Honor for his valor at the Battle of Gettysburg.

Personal History and Legacy

He fell in love with the church choir member Frances (Fanny) Caroline Adams. They were married in 1855; she was three years his senior.
The couple had five children, of which one died in infancy and two in early childhood.

He was exceptionally courteous and caring toward his fellow soldiers, and he took personal responsibility for ensuring that the deceased’s personal belongings were returned home.
During a battle, he was afflicted with a severe case of malaria, and he sustained multiple wounds during his countless battles.

After succumbing to severe combat wounds, he passed away and was interred at Pine Grove Cemetery in Brunswick, Maine.
His legacy is lengthy and intriguing. The Pejepscot Historical Society maintains the Joshua L. Chamberlain Museum, which was converted from his residence.

Chamberlain Village in the city of Bristol is named after him.
The genuine Medal of Honor awarded to Chamberlain was donated to the Pejepscot Historical Society in 2013.
He has been referenced numerous times in popular culture, the media, and literature.

Estimated Net Worth

Joshua is one of the wealthiest and most prominent War Heroes. According to our investigation, Wikipedia, Forbes, and Business Insider, Joshua Chamberlain has an estimated net worth of $1.5 million.


Shipyard Brewing Company named an ale after this renowned American army hero and professor, adorning the brew’s label with a photograph and profile of him.