Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain
Honor. Bravery. Awesome.
Evidence 1: Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain was a true gentleman of Civil War.
Warrant 1.1: Before the war began, Chamberlain was a professor of Rhetoric (argument) at Bowdin College in Maine. He concluded that
"I fear, this war, so costly of blood and treasure, will not cease until men of the North are willing to leave good positions, and sacrifice the dearest personal interests, to rescue our country from desolation, and defend the national existence against treachery."
His colleagues felt differently and none of them was willing to serve. When his request of leave for military service was denied, he took a sabbatical to study languages in Europe. And then secretly joined the Union Army without even telling his family.
Warrant 1.2: Because of his position as a professor and his family's military history, Chamberlain was offered the rank of Corporal immediately upon enlisting. He refused and said he preferred to:
"learn the business first."
Warrant 1.3: At the end of the war, Chamberlain was selected to preside over the official surrender of the Confederate Infantry. As the Confederates march down the road, Chamberlain ordered his men to come to attention and 'carry arms' to show their respect. His gesture upset many Unionists. General Gordon, the Confederate commander of the surrendering troops later said that Chamberlain was:
"one of the knightliest soldiers of the Federal Army."
Evidence 2: Chamberlain's bravery.
Warrant 2.1: Chamberlain received the Medal of Honor for his actions at Little Round Top at the Battle of Gettysburg. His men were holding an important strategic position. When they ran out of ammunition, he called for an unlikely textbook maneuver that forever secured his place in history. Oh, and he was suffering from malaria and dysentery at the time.
Warrant 2.2:Throughout the war he fought in over
battles, was cited for bravery
times, and had
different horses shot out from under him.
Warrant 2.3: At the Siege of Petersburg, he was shot through the hip and groin. He stuck his sword into the ground so he could remain upright and encourage his troops not to retreat. Doctors were certain he would die and northern newspapers even reported his death. His family tried to convince him to resign. Instead he was back in command just four months later.
He suffered complications from his wound for the rest of his life and at 85 years old became the last person to die from wounds as a result of the war.