Chamberlain, Joshua L.

civilwartalk

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#1
"I am not of Virginia blood; she is of mine."

-- Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, referring to the number of times he had been wounded while campaigning in Virginia
 

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#2
"In great deeds, something abides.
On great fields, something strays.
Forms change and pass, bodies disappear but spirits linger
to consecrate ground for the vision place of the soul.
And reverent men and women from afar and generations that
know us not and that we know not of, shall come here to ponder
and to dream and the power of the vision shall pass into their
souls."

-Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain
 

johan_steele

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#3
"On our part not a sound of trumpet more, nor roll of drum; not a cheer nor word nor whisper of vain glorying… but an awed silence rather, and breath holding, as if it were the passing of the dead." General Chamberlain 12 April 65
 

dawna

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#5
"But out of that silence rose new sounds more appalling still; a strange ventriloquism, of which you could not locate the source, a smothered moan, as if a thousand discords were flowing together into a key-note weird, unearthly, terrible to hear and bear, yet startling with its nearness; the writhing concord broken by cries for help, some begging for a drop of water, some calling on God for pity; and some on friendly hands to finish what the enemy had so horribly begun; some with delirious, dreamy voices murmuring loved names, as if the dearest were bending over them; and underneath, all the time, the deep bass note from closed lips too hopeless, or too heroic to articulate their agony...It seemed best to bestow myself between two dead men among the many left there by earlier assaults, and to draw another crosswise for a pillow out of the trampled, blood-soaked sod, pulling the flap of his coat over my face to fend off the chilling winds, and still more chilling, the deep, many voiced moan that overspread the field."

Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain: 20th Maine,
At the end of the first day's fighting at Fredericksburg,
"The Civil War Archive",
Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers, p192
 

hoosier

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#6
Though Chamberlain is most often associated with weighty and eloquent statements such as those cited earlier in this thread, he did have a more humorous side.

From a letter to his daughter Grace, here is Chamberlain's description of a small boy's definition of salt.

Salt is "that stuff that makes pertaters taste ser bad when you don't put none of it on 'em."
 

larry_cockerham

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#7
Col. William C. Oates would have kicked Chamberlain's butt at Little Roundtop had the bullets not run out. Since he couldn't win in battle, Oates took Chamberlain to court where they argued for years about placement of monuments on the battlefield. Oates became governor of Alabama, as did Chamberlain in Maine. To the victor go the 'historians'. We Confederates remember Oates if no one else does! The men of the 15th Alabama depended on him for survival. Many of them made it vertical to Appamattox.
 

larry_cockerham

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#9
Yes, that was reportedly Chamberlain's incentive for one last thrust down the hill. I suspect it was a rather bloody mess all around.
 

ole

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#11
Agreed, Ken! That series of fights was every bit as impressive, if not more important than LRT. Guess it pays to be able to toot your horn better than the next guy.

Ole
 

larry_cockerham

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#12
My own fightin' ancestor with the 48th Virginia was looking at those yankees at Culp's Hill. Same scorecard as was given to the 15th Alabama. To the victor go the spoils.
 

unionblue

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#13
"...On they come, with the old swinging route step and swaying battle flags. In the van, the proud Confederate ensign. Before us in proud humiliation stood the embodiment of manhood; men whom neither toils and sufferings, nor the fact of death could bend from their resolve; standing before us now, thin, worn, and famished, but erect, and with eyes looking level into ours, waking memories that bound us together as no other bond; was not such manhood to be welcomed back into a Union so tested and assured? On our part not a sound or trumpet more, nor roll of drum; not a cheer, nor word, nor whisper or vain-glorying, nor motion of man, but an awed stillness rather, and breath-holding, as if it were the passing of the dead!"

Col. Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, (Confederate surrender at Appomattox).

Unionblue
 

unionblue

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#14
"The 'lost cause' is not lost liberty and rights of self-government. What is lost is slavery of men and supremacy of States."

Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, in a speech in dedication of the 20th Maine Infantry's marker on Little Round Top in October of 1889.
 

unionblue

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#15
"Had slavery been kept out of the fight, the Union would have gone down....We did not go into that fight to strike at slavery directly; we were not thinking to solve that problem, but God, in his providence, in His justice, in his mercy, in His great covenant with our fathers, set slavery in the forefront, and it was swept aside as with a whirlwind, when the mighty pageant of the people passed on to its triumph."

-- Joshua Chamberlain, quoted in the Boston Journal, January 4, 1878.
 



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