They were fateful days for Joshua Chamberlain and the country. On July 2, 1863, Chamberlain, the commander of the 20th Maine Regiment, won the decisive fight on Little Round Top during the battle of Gettysburg. The following day, the 20th Maine regiment is relieved of its position on the left flank of the Union forces on Little Round Top, after the previous day’s bloody and decisive fight, and moves into a reserve line on Big Round Top.
“Chamberlain seems to have been something of a prodigy,” says Associate Professor of History Patrick Rael in an article profiling the leadership success of Joshua Chamberlain. The piece begins: “Honor and genius converged in Joshua Chamberlain to produce one of the unlikeliest heroes of the Civil War.”
The article notes that despite his being a brigade commander, Chamberlain continued to put himself in danger, and was revered by his troops for it.
“More than any other quality, Civil War soldiers looked to their officers to display physical courage in battle, and this Chamberlain did,” Rael says.