- May 25, 2013
In Trulock's book, in one of many locations / sources, it goes into greater detail on pages 438 and 443 how these gentlemen not only were the ones who bent the line back, but also initiated the charge - not the "textbook maneuver" based on the film. One such quote states, "there was a story among the men that Chamberlain never gave the order (to charge), but they (the men) spontaneously charged when men in Company K shouted to advance and recover some downed men (prompted by Lt. Melcher); the left wing followed when ordered by Spear after he heard the 'shout' and the whole line started to move...contrary to Chamberlain's official report (pg. 443)
I think you should read those pages again because Trulock does a great job in showing how unreliable Spear's testimony was and how it changed from what he said previously. She also shows how other members of the regiment back up Chamberlain's account.
Your account above is dizzying, company K commanded by Nichols shouted the advance, but they got the idea from Melcher?
Desjardin, by the way, recently pointed out that Melcher was behind Chamberlain.
Believing Spear's word over Chamberlain's will surely get confusing, as he changed his mind so much. I looked at some of the differences here: