News Archive 2009-2018

National Letter Writing Month: A Wounded Chamberlain’s Letter from the War Archives

Civil War hero Joshua Chamberlain, having been shot June 18, 1864, during the Siege of Petersburg and believing he was going to die (he would live another 50 years), penned a letter to his wife, shared here amid National Letter Writing Month and the Civil War’s sesquicentennial, with thanks to the George J. Mitchell Department of Special Collections & Archives.

June 19, 1864

My darling wife

I am lying mortally wounded the doctors think, but my mind & heart are at peace Jesus Christ is my all-sufficient savior.  I go to him.  God bless & keep & comfort you, precious one.  You have been a precious wife to me.  To know & love you makes life & death beautiful.  Cherish the darlings & give my love to all the dear ones  Do not grieve too much for me.  We shall all soon meet  Live for the children & give my dearest love to Father & mother & Sallie & John  Oh how happy to feel yourself forgiven  God bless you evermore precious precious one.




Visit the Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain digital archive.

One thought on “National Letter Writing Month: A Wounded Chamberlain’s Letter from the War

  1. Cathy Rocco

    As the parent of a Bowdoin alum. I enjoy the Bowdoin Daily Sun very much. I just watched the Ken Burns Civil War series again on our local PBS station and must admit prior to my son attending Bowdoin, I didn’t notice the sections about Chamberlain much more than the others. During this viewing,I appreciated his intellect and insight much more. He really was a remarkable man. Since it is the 150th anniversary of the Civil War maybe more mention will be made of him around the college. I think I’ll write my son a real letter in honor of Chamberlain and National Letter Writing Month. Thanks for the inspiration!

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