Those of you on Facebook may have seen this recirculating (special thanks to our FB friend MJ for sharing it). It was a first for me, and I figured I'd post it here for anyone who missed it.
By Sarah Handley-Cousins
"At this year’s sesquicentennial of the battle of Gettysburg, thousands of visitors will wander the battlefields, contemplating the terrible and magnificent events of those three days. Many will make their way to one of the most compelling spots on the battlefield, the rocky tor called Little Round Top, where they will ponder, discuss, and probably argue about the deeds of one of the battle’s most famous participants, Col. Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain of the 20th Maine.
On July 2, 1863, Chamberlain, who had been a professor at Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Me., before the war, cemented his place in history by playing a crucial role in the defense of Little Round Top, protecting the Union line’s vulnerable left flank. After being prominently featured in Michael Shaara’s book “The Killer Angels” and its film adaptation, “Gettysburg,” Chamberlain is one of the most popular figures of the Civil War era. Visitors to Gettysburg this July won’t be able to make it down the street without seeing Chamberlain’s face on signs, T-shirts and key chains.
For most of those visitors, Chamberlain’s story begins and ends with his actions at Gettysburg. In reality, it was far more complicated – and much less glorious."
The rest here: The Wounded Lion of the Union . (Ugh. Technical difficulties with the darn link. Please stand by...)
* Click "continue to nytimes.com"
The last paragraph deserves quoting as well:
"Almost 20 years after the ball slammed through him, Chamberlain searched out the spot where he fell on the field at Petersburg. Bullets still littered the ground. As he gathered a few, Chamberlain asked “what it was all for, & what would come of it.” Undoubtedly many other disabled veterans wondered just the same thing."