Chamberlain The Art of Little Round Top

redbob

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That doesn't matter in the least. What matters is what did happen there, not some speculative "might have been." The dead are just as dead, the deeds (on both sides) just as heroic, whether the fight's outcome "saved the army" or not.

That the fight was more, or less, "significant" in the long run, does not diminish the deeds of the men who fought there, and should not be used to belittle them.
In no way am I belittling the sacrifices made there, but I feel that LRT is an overblown event among the events of the day.
 

rpkennedy

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This question will reveal my PURE ignorance of events at Gettysburg: Did the two sides actually come hand-to-hand on Little Round Top, or did the rebel forces withdraw right away? I know the opposing units were close enough to see each other. I wonder if they actually came hand-to-hand.

Not really. The Alabamans were already beginning to fall back when the Maine men charged but there may have been some as small pockets were overrun.

Ryan
 

redbob

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I believe that the Chamberlain cabal is among the strongest on this forum and if you question the actions that day that in some way you are attacking him.
 
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rpkennedy

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In no way am I belittling the sacrifices made there, but I feel that LRT is an overblown event among the events of the day.

On that, I agree. LRT was important but not the be-all, end-all that it sometimes is portrayed. That said, Chamberlain performed outstandingly on July 2nd and should receive all the praise possible. An untried commander with a regiment that had seen only brief combat at Fredericksburg and who has to deal with 100 very unhappy soldiers from the 2nd Maine is told that he is the end of the Union line and to hold his position. After 30-odd minutes of extremely intense fighting and with no ammunition remaining, his brigade commander has been shot, and knowing that he can't hold back another attack, Chamberlain ordered a bayonet charge. From a veteran commander, these events would be remarkable.

Ryan
 

redbob

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On that, I agree. LRT was important but not the be-all, end-all that it sometimes is portrayed. That said, Chamberlain performed outstandingly on July 2nd and should receive all the praise possible. An untried commander with a regiment that had seen only brief combat at Fredericksburg and who has to deal with 100 very unhappy soldiers from the 2nd Maine is told that he is the end of the Union line and to hold his position. After 30-odd minutes of extremely intense fighting and with no ammunition remaining, his brigade commander has been shot, and knowing that he can't hold back another attack, Chamberlain ordered a bayonet charge. From a veteran commander, these events would be remarkable.

Ryan
Agreed.
 

John S. Carter

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I'm not sure how different they should be. Chamberlain's been suffering backlash for holding that position since well before Killer Angels. It's generally on the grounds other men had incredible fights that day too. He was a politician, haven't run into one who set out to make themselves look bad. His is an amazing story we can't dismiss just because someone chose to tell ' Gettysburg ' through his experience there.

I don't know. He didn't get shot through the hip while sitting on a rock writing his memoirs. Sometimes it's ok to memorialize remarkable men who stepped up, even if they did become politicians. This one could have sat out the war and went anyway- been paying for it ever since.
Are you saying that a NOVEL created Chamberlain a heroic figure?.He held the flank of the Union against three charges after which he took the daring leap into immortality .The condition of these Confederate forces was total exhaustion from having to claim the steep sloop , but"To the Victor comes the Fable".Then there is Vincent Strong who set the stage at Little Round Top which really lead the the victory.What Chamberlain and the Maine did was courageous,but when one faces no further threat do you call it heroic? Makes a nice story for a novel or movie but other actions were more heroic .
 

rpkennedy

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Are you saying that a NOVEL created Chamberlain a heroic figure?.He held the flank of the Union against three charges after which he took the daring leap into immortality .The condition of these Confederate forces was total exhaustion from having to claim the steep sloop , but"To the Victor comes the Fable".Then there is Vincent Strong who set the stage at Little Round Top which really lead the the victory.What Chamberlain and the Maine did was courageous,but when one faces no further threat do you call it heroic? Makes a nice story for a novel or movie but other actions were more heroic .

The novel made his actions popular. Unfortunately, the novel kind of set aide some other men who deserve as much praise as Chamberlain (Warren, Vincent, Weed, Hazlett, and O'Rorke for example). That said, I don't blame Chamberlain for that although he, like an awful lot of officers, played up his own role, especially later on.

In addition, when he went on the offensive, Chamberlain was not aware that the Alabamans were reforming for a withdrawal.

Ryan
 

7thWisconsin

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No - it was not the "Killer Angels" that resurrected Chamberlain's reputation. It was John Pullen's highly important 1950s regimental history, "The 20th Maine." It was the first of the "modern" regimental histories in that it wasn't written by one of the regimental veterans, and it appeared at the beginning of the centennial celebration. It was, and still is, a highly readable and accurate history. I ran into it long before I ever read the "Killer Angels" which clearly leaned on it for reference. BTW - I would recommend Pullen's book without reservation.
 

John S. Carter

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No - it was not the "Killer Angels" that resurrected Chamberlain's reputation. It was John Pullen's highly important 1950s regimental history, "The 20th Maine." It was the first of the "modern" regimental histories in that it wasn't written by one of the regimental veterans, and it appeared at the beginning of the centennial celebration. It was, and still is, a highly readable and accurate history. I ran into it long before I ever read the "Killer Angels" which clearly leaned on it for reference. BTW - I would recommend Pullen's book without reservation.
Let the story of Chamberlain at Gettysburg pass as one incident that altered the outcome ,never to say that if Colonel Strong Vincent had not seen the importance of Round Top there may have not been a courageous charge and Chamberlain and his Maine division may have remain nonessential to the battle.Then also it was.Strong Vincent who placed Chamberlain in the position,he must have been a very good judge of men in his command.As to his performance thought the remaining years from what has been written he was a very successful commander and even was one of the commands with Grant when Lee surrendered.If there is fault it is that none of the Confederate command moved to take that position till Yankee cannons where on top.NOTICE .I do not fault Lee ,just wish he had listened to Longstreet on that first day
 

zburkett

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Location
Orange County, Virginia
While we are on Chamberlin, I read somewhere that as the Confederates came in to surrender at Appomattox and the Union troops started to cheer it was Chamberlin that called them to attention and ordered "Present Arms." If that is true then that probably did more to save the Country than anything he did in battle.
 
Joined
Jan 24, 2017
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Is this the image you have? It's quite 'haunting'.
 
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