Joshua Chamberlain and "the Misfits of the 2nd Maine"

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John Hartwell

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Being a "hero" doesn't necessarily help a poor man's bank account, nor supply him with common sense or a moral compass.

I can find only the following brief notice in the Portland Daily Eastern Argus, of 8 February 1870:

"An old thief, Andrew J. Tozier, who has operated in various parts of this State has at last come to grief. He has just been arraigned before the Supreme Court of Androscoggin County and found guilty of robbing a store at Livermore Falls of $2000 worth of clothing four years ago. He was sentenced to five years in the State Prison."

And, be of good cheer
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, being called a "psycho" and "nuttier than a fruitcake" doesn't prevent anyone from doing something heroic and worthwhile.
 
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Redcoat

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See Page 132 -33 Stand Firm Ye Boys From Maine by Thomas A Desjardin

"Litchfields's demonstrations of his lack of principle didn't end with his war service. Further evidence of his flawed character lies in a misadventure that he took part in during 1870....
.. he collaborated with four out of town (Rockland) "professionals" to rob the local Lime Rock Bank.

.. The old Quartermaster finally got his just deserts when the Judge read his conviction on charges of larceny, ordering him to serve four years hard labor in the state prison at Thomaston.

Source State v Alden Litchfield, Dockett #223 Supreme Judicial Court Records 1871...
 

Hawkeye Brehm

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And, be of good cheer View attachment 170969 , being called a "psycho" and "nuttier than a fruitcake" doesn't prevent anyone from doing something heroic and worthwhile.
I stopped worrying about what other people think a while back. :wink:

The thing to remember is that rumors and hearsay were present 150 years ago, just as they are today. We need to approach them with the same methods of objective analysis, regardless of time frame or whether one is heralded as a "hero".
 
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John Hartwell

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Gen. Chamberlain gave what was perhaps his first public account of "The Maine 20th at Gettysburg," in a lecture in December 1865, that gives a good idea of his rhetorical style. It was printed in in the Daily Eastern Argus of Dec. 20, and I attach it below below.

In it Chamberlain gives particular mention of two 2nd Maine men: one was "James R. Martin, who was tried and not found wanting. ... He was seen fighting in the foremost ranks, and one hour after, a ghastly wound in the head laid him low. 'My mother will not know,' said he. 'Tell her I do not die a coward!' A beautiful sight here presented itself. The clouds of smoke were lifting from the field, and through the mist of battle could be seen our colors, planted in the ground and held firmly by our sergeant, with musket in his hand. That soldier was Andrew Jackson Tozier of Plymouth, a man and place well-named."
 

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GwilymT

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Isn't if funny how we don't like to acknowledge the fact that all men who get honours were not necessarily good men. Andre Tozier MOH for example was not always a good man.

From Wikipedia:

Tozier, along with Lewis Cushman, who was both his half-brother and his uncle, participated in a multi-year crime spree, stealing cattle, clothing and other items across several Maine counties. On August 29, 1865, Tozier, Cushman and an accomplice robbed the clothing store of Michael Larkin in East Livermore, Maine. On April 9, 1868 in Cherryfield, Maine, the two men stole six oxen and drove them to near the state capitol of Augusta before butchering them and selling the meat.

Tozier proved to be an elusive criminal. He was charged with crimes in three different counties but was acquitted in one and had the charges dismissed in another. In 1869, however, prosecutors had enough evidence of his guilt in the clothing store robbery—including the cooperation of Cushman who implicated Tozier—that he pled guilty and was sentenced to five years at hard labor in the state prison. Shortly after he was transferred to the prison, however, Tozier was pardoned of all crimes by the Governor of Maine, who just happened to be his former commander in the 20th Maine, Joshua L. Chamberlain.

Chamberlain not only pardoned his former color sergeant, but he took him and his wife in as boarders at his home in Brunswick, Maine, and helped him to reform. While living with the Chamberlains, Tozier and his wife Lizzie had a daughter whom they named Grace after Chamberlain's daughter, then a teenager.
Neat story. To me, this is a further credit to Chamberlain. One of his boys was in trouble and needed direction and help. Chamberlain did what was in his power.
 
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Joshism

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how someone can be both one's half-brother and uncle. Just trying to work that one out makes my head spin.
Perhaps uncle by marriage, not biologically?

I know of at least one instance of an uncle being only three years older than his biological nephew. So the new stepparent from a large family might have had a much younger sister.
 
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