Chamberlain Joshua Chamberlain, Little Round Top, and the Memorial That Never Was

suzenatale

Sergeant Major
Joined
May 25, 2013
I have been pestering the folks at Gettysburg National Park to dig up information on the proposed Chamberlain monument for use on my website, http://www.joshualawrencechamberlain.com/monumentgettysburg.php
The thing that most interested me was evidence that Chamberlain did not want the statue to be built. The new issue of "From the Fields of Gettysburg" discusses the evidence they have turned up.

"A few months ago, prior to the arrival of the frigid weather we are now enjoying, I had the pleasure of bringing a group of visitors around Little Round Top. It was a fairly predictable tour. We visited the requisite sites as we made our way south along the crest of the hill, namely the Gouverneur Warren statue, Hazlett’s Battery and the 44th and 140thNew York Monuments. We roughly followed the progress of the battle on July 2nd. It was a good forty-five minutes before we made our way into the trees and down a tail-like ridge known as “Vincent’s Spur” which runs across the southern face of Little Round Top. Our final stop of the program was at the 20th Maine Monument, which is situated on a shelf of rocks well below the summit and nearly on its reverse slope.....​
keep reading at:
http://npsgnmp.wordpress.com/2014/0...le-round-top-and-the-memorial-that-never-was/
 
Joined
Aug 25, 2013
Location
Hannover, Germany
I hadn't seen this thread before and just came across the quoted article while searching the web for the answer to today's trivia question. Just wanted to share it with you - but how could I have thought that suzenatale hadn't found it earlier?
Pretty interesting that Chamberlain seemed to be reluctant to have his statue built at Gettysburg. Noble of him, but a pity for today's visitors, I think.
 

suzenatale

Sergeant Major
Joined
May 25, 2013
I hadn't seen this thread before and just came across the quoted article while searching the web for the answer to today's trivia question. Just wanted to share it with you - but how could I have thought that suzenatale hadn't found it earlier?
Pretty interesting that Chamberlain seemed to be reluctant to have his statue built at Gettysburg. Noble of him, but a pity for today's visitors, I think.
Chamberlain did not want a statue, but I think he would approve of a good cause in his honor. In memory of the 100th anniversary of his death I have started a memorial fund through the Joshua Chamberlain Society to help wounded veterans http://www.joshualawrencechamberlain.com/memorialfund.php
I encourage people to give if they can, fingers crossed we will raise enough money to support another veteran.
 
Joined
Aug 25, 2013
Location
Hannover, Germany
Suzenatale, a truely wonderful idea! As I felt that keeping my fingers crossed might not be enough, I have just visited the website and wanted to donate but I'm not sure if I can do it with my credit card. Do you know anything about that? Money transfer or cheque isn't good, the banking fees are too high.
 

redbob

Major
Regtl. Staff Shiloh 2020
Joined
Feb 18, 2013
Location
Hoover, Alabama
Colonel William Oates (who led the Confederate troops on their Little Round Top attack), fought long and hard to have a
monument placed at the high water mark of the Confederate advance on Little Round Top and Chamberlain personally fought it every time.
 

suzenatale

Sergeant Major
Joined
May 25, 2013
Colonel William Oates (who led the Confederate troops on their Little Round Top attack), fought long and hard to have a
monument placed at the high water mark of the Confederate advance on Little Round Top and Chamberlain personally fought it every time.

Actually Chamberlain only disagreed on where the monument was to be placed. The Park Commission used that as an excuse to brush Oates off, so Oates wrote to Chamberlain thinking that solving that disagreement would allow his monument project to move forward.

In reply Chamberlain first wrote to the Park Commission,

"The agreement of the general statements as heretofore made by Col. Oates and myself, I consider remarkable, and I greatly regret that he should now find occasion to accuse me of withholding from him any measure of just recognition of his skillful and bold attack, and the splendid gallantry of the 15th Alabama, for which I have ever felt a peculiar regard.
The matter of monuments is in your charge, not mine. All I could wish is that they be placed in accordance with historical truth."
Then Chamberlain wrote to Oates,

"In this letter I find your impressions place me at a disadvantage in your estimation on two very different grounds; first in that our former correspondence by way of letters made so little impression on you that you are lead to deny having such correspondence; and secondly in that you ascribe to my influence with the Government authorities their refusal to permit the erection of a monument to the 15th. Alabama on the ground where they fought..."

http://www.joshualawrencechamberlain.com/jlcalabamamonument.php

Chamberlain makes clear to both the Park Commission and Oates that whether or not the monument would be erected was up to the Park, however he did disagree with the placement.

But, as I might be biased, I shall quote from a website dedicated to the 15th Alabama,

"It now seems unlikely, in light of the historical evidence, that the Gettysburg Park Commission was inclined to place any monument honoring the 15th Alabama at Gettysburg, even had Chamberlain agreed with Oates on the details of the battle. After Chamberlain wrote to Oates, he sent a copy of his letter to John Nicholson of the War Department's Gettysburg National Park Commission. Nicholson wrote back: " I wish to congratulate you upon the dignified, manly, soldierly and gentlemanly way in which you have replied to him," Nicholson wrote. "It is very clear that General Oates has not the slightest idea of admitting the views of any one in the controversy except himself." Nicholson added that the monument debate was being turned over to the chairman of the commission. Several months later, the commission turned down Oates's request for a monument to the 15th Alabama on Little Round Top."

http://15thalabamaavi.tripod.com/id10.html
 

suzenatale

Sergeant Major
Joined
May 25, 2013
Suzenatale, a truely wonderful idea! As I felt that keeping my fingers crossed might not be enough, I have just visited the website and wanted to donate but I'm not sure if I can do it with my credit card. Do you know anything about that? Money transfer or cheque isn't good, the banking fees are too high.
Are you worried they will charge you a fee if you use your credit card? I can ask the Joshua Chamberlain Society if you want, I'm not sure if they have ever had an overseas donor.
 
Joined
Aug 25, 2013
Location
Hannover, Germany
Are you worried they will charge you a fee if you use your credit card? I can ask the Joshua Chamberlain Society if you want, I'm not sure if they have ever had an overseas donor.

No, no, I'm not worried about a fee with the credit card, I was worried about a fee if I I had to do money transfer or cheque!
Mmmh, well maybe they didn't have an overseas donor before ... but "pecunia non olet" :D
Anyway, if the would accept my money, I'm ready to give it!
 

suzenatale

Sergeant Major
Joined
May 25, 2013
No, no, I'm not worried about a fee with the credit card, I was worried about a fee if I I had to do money transfer or cheque!
Mmmh, well maybe they didn't have an overseas donor before ... but "pecunia non olet" :D
Anyway, if the would accept my money, I'm ready to give it!
The link on this page should work with a credit card
http://stl.chamberlainsociety.org/donate.php

just put "for JLC memorial fund" in the field "include a message with your payment"
 

marinegrunt

First Sergeant
Joined
Mar 14, 2014
Location
New York City
Oates was later appointed a brigadier general of volunteers during the Spanish American War. I would think that would do something to put any leftover rancor aside regarding the 15th Alabama. These men were tough, skilled soldiers who assaulted high ground in 90 degree heat with no water after a hard march. They should have a monument at the point of furthest advance. Someone else said it, but I read somewhere that Chamberlain's issue was the location of such a monument, not that one was proposed. To be fair, he and his men gave a lot to defend that hill, so if he was reluctant to give his blessing you can't really blame him. Brave men the 15th Alabama were, but they were also an enemy.
 

suzenatale

Sergeant Major
Joined
May 25, 2013
I could use some help figuring out what exactly the park commissions rules were on placing monuments to soldiers under the rank of General. Park rangers have given me so many different answers that my head is spinning. Some actual documents might help to clear it.
I am under the impression at the moment that the 83rd PA could not place Vincent on their monument due to a rule set up by Pennsylvania for their monuments. However I have also heard it said that the park commission had a rule that limited monuments to generals and above. Has anyone heard of such a rule? If there was it doesn't seem to have come up as a problem in the correspondence about the Chamberlain monument. I do see however a rule in 1910 that would allow monuments to "officers and soldiers who for a conspicuous and exceptional act of heroism may be deemed by the Secretary of War entitled to special commemoration."
http://books.google.com/books?id=GAESAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA301#v=onepage&q&f=false
 
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