During my May 2002 visit to Maine, I spent half a day at the Pejepscot Historical Society in Brunswick going through their files on Chamberlain's death and funeral, in February 1914. I found a treasure-trove of excellent articles, and the Society has graciously allowed me to use them on my site. I can't thank then-Executive Director Deborah Smith, and her staff, enough, for allowing me to do this.

These first articles will deal with the actual newspaper obituaries about Chamberlain's death, and will be in as close to chronological order as I can make them out to be.

Any errors found will be mine, and mine alone. Please email me, for permission to use excerpts in your own research.

This is the house in Portland, Maine, where Chamberlain died, on February 24, 1914.


Hero of Little Round Top Passes Away At Portland on Tuesday.

Maj. General, Governor, President of Bowdoin, His Brilliant Record

Portland, Me., Feb. 24--Major General Joshua L. Chamberlain, one of the best known officers of the Civil War, an ex-governor of Maine and former president of Bowdoin College, died today in this city.

General Chamberlain was brevetted brigadier general at "Little Round Top" for heroism on the field of battle, and at the close of the war was brevetted major general.

[NOTE: the author of this Portland obituary is incorrect. Chamberlain was promoted to full Brigadier General by General Ulysses S. Grant in June 1864--and not because of Gettysburg.]

The memorable defence of Little Round Top, which brought recognition of his personal gallantry, also earned him the sobriquet, which has endured ever since, of "The hero of Little Round Top".

Gen. Chamberlain rendered distinguished service in many engagements, but the part to which he referred with the greatest pride was that which he took at Appomattox, where at the direction of Gen. Grant he received the formal surrender of the arms and colors of Gen. Robert E. Lee and his army.

The funeral of General Chamberlain will be held from Portland City Hall [Friday forenoon]. It will be a military funeral and the members of the State Militia will take part.

Other details had not been completed this evening.


Battle Wound Fatal to Maine's Famous Hero of Little Round Top.

Former Governor and President of Bowdoin College and One of the Best Known Officers of the War of the Rebellion

Portland, Me., Feb. 24--Major General Joshua L. Chamberlain, one of the best known officers of the Civil War, an ex-governor of Maine and former president of Bowdoin College, died today in this city. General Chamberlain was brevetted brigadier general at Little Round Top for heroism on the field of battle [sic--see note above], and at the close of the war was brevetted major general.

General Chamberlain had been in poor health for a number of years, suffering from the effects of injuries received in battle. He had several attacks which it was feared would result in his death, but he rallied each time and was able to continue until the last at his duties in the Portland custom house as surveyor of port, to which position he was appointed in 1900. He took cold recently and this aggravated his condition. He died shortly after 9:30 A.M.

The funeral of General Chamberlain will be held from Portland City Hall Friday forenoon. It will be a military funeral and the members of the state militia will take part.

Other details had not been completed as of this evening.


Gen. Chamberlain who served as governor from Maine from 1867 to 1871, was born in Brewer Sept. 8, 1828, and was a son of Joshua and Sarah Dupee (Brastow) Chamberlain. His great grandfather was an officer in the war of the Revolution, his grandfather a colonel in the war of 1812, and his father served as a lieutenant colonel of Maine militia during the trouble known as the Aroostook war.

He was educated by tutors at Maj. Whiting's Military Academy at Ellsworth and at Bowdoin college, from which he graduated in '52. He then entered the Bangor Theological seminary, graduating in 1855.

The reception by critics and the public at his master's oration on Law and Liberty at Bowdoin in 1855, resulted in his being offered an instructorship in logic at that college. He also took over some of the branches of the chair of natural and revealed religion, just vacated by Prof. Stowe.

In 1856 he was elected professor of rhetoric and oratory at Bowdoin, holding the chair until 1862. In 1861 he was elected professor of the chair of modern languages.

Gen. Chamberlain volunteered for service during the second year of the Civil War and on Aug. 8, 1862, was mustered into the United States service as lieutenant colonel of the 20th Maine Volunteers. He served with the Army of the Potomac until the close of the war, rising to the command of the first division of the Fifth Corps.


At Gettysburg on July 2, 1863, he held the extreme left flank of the Union line, and his conduct in the defense of Round Top from the rebel assaults won for him the admiration of the army and public fame, which was recognized by the government in the bestowal of the medal of honor for distinguished gallantry.

In August of that year he was placed in command of Butterfield's renowned Light Brigade. Early in 1864, two brigades of the First Corps, formerly Doubleday's division, were assigned to him as a veteran brigade in the Fifth corps, to which was added a new regiment, the 187th Pennsylvania.

With this brigade he made the famous charge at Petersburg, June 18, in which he was desperately wounded. He was promoted to brigadier general on the field by Gen. Grant for gallant and meritorious conduct in leading the charge and his command engaged in the opening fight on the Quaker Road, March 29, 1865, where he was twice wounded and narrowly escaped with his life.


His conduct here again drew the attention of his superiors and he was brevetted a major general for "conspicuous gallantry and meritorious service in action".

In the battle of Five Forks he greatly distinguished himself and won special mention for his handling of troops. In the final action of the war at Appomattox courthouse, April 9, his corps commander said: "Gen. Chamberlain had the advance and was driving the enemy rapidly before him, when the flag of truce came in".

At the formal surrender of Lee's army he was designated to command the parade before which the arms and colors of the Confederacy were at last laid down. It is characteristic of him that he received the surrender with a salute of honor.

After Lee's surrender, Gen. Chamberlain was one of the few volunteer general officers retained in the regular establishment, and was ordered to Mexico where the presence of Maximilian for a time, gave promise of trouble.

When the regular army was reorganized he was offered a colonelcy. He declined, however, and was mustered out of the service on Jan. 16, 1866.


He returned to Maine and resumed his chair at Bowdoin, to be elected governor of the state that summer by the largest majority which had ever been given a candidate here, up to that time. He was three times reelected and rapid strides were made in the industrial development of the state during his administrations.

On retiring from office in 1871 he was elected president of Bowdoin college, serving for 12 years. His administration was a liberal one and he advocated the extension of the curriculum. New chairs were added to the faculty and new buildings erected during his term of office. He was a trustee at the time of his death, having been a member of the board since 1867.

In 1876 he was elected major general of Maine militia. It was due largely to his tact and firmness that the state troops were not ordered out during the "count out" days at Augusta when the state capital was thronged with armed men and bloodshed seemed certain.

At the founding of the Military Order of the Loyal Legion in Philadelphia he gave the address, choosing Loyalty as his subject. His many other public addresses have attracted wide notice.


During his army service Gen. Chamberlain was wounded six times twice very severely, and once so terribly that his recovery is without precedent. It was the result of this wound which was responsible for his death.

He was married in December 1855 to Miss Frances C. Adams of Boston, whose death occurred some years ago. He leaves two children, Grace Dupee--the wife of Horace G. Allen of Boston--and Harold Wyllys Chamberlain of Brunswick, a graduate of Bowdoin in the class of '81.

Gen. Chamberlain spent his early life in Brewer and still has many friends there.


Local Grand Army men pay tribute to Chamberlain

The news of the death of General Chamberlain spread rapidly through this city and there were many expressions of the admiration in which he was held by Waterville people. It happens, however, that Mr. George W. Reynolds, the only Waterville man now living who served under General Chamberlain when he was lieutenant colonel of the Twentieth Maine, was out of the city. Past Department Commander James L. Merrick was also away from home but Postmaster Perham S. Heald and Captain Silas Adams voiced the sentiment of the Waterville veterans as follows:


"I am shocked to hear of the death of General Chamberlain", said Perham S. Heald. "He was in the 20th Maine and I was in the 19th Maine. When he was fighting at Little Round Top I was in the Second Corps, commanded by General Hancock. It was not my good fortune to meet him until after the war was closed, but it was then, at gatherings of the Grand Army, that I learned to appreciate his great qualities as a gentleman and a soldier.

"The state of Maine by his death loses one of the nation's sturdiest defenders and one of her most versatile men. He has been a teacher, a statesman and one of our most beloved citizens".


"The death of General Chamberlain is a loss to us all", said Captain Silas Adams yesterday. "He has been a member of the Loyal Legion ever since it was organized in '67. He has been one of our strong, faithful, outspoken members in that order. When General Chamberlain came in there was always a cheer went up for him. He always had something good to say. We looked upon him as our leader and was loved by the whole society. He is the last of the major generals of our state

"General Chamberlain stands as one of the brightest soldiers, not only of the State of Maine, but of the United States."


Selden Connor and F.W. Plaisted on Death of General Chamberlain

(Special to the Sentinel)

AUGUSTA, Feb. 24 -- Ex-Governor Selden Connor tonight paid the following tribute to the memory of the late Gen. Joshua L. Chamberlain:

"Chamberlain, a 'most parflt gentll knight', has left us and the world is much the poorer for the loss. It will always be the richer for the memories that remain of his long, useful and brilliant life. It is given to but few men to win respect, admiration and honor by so many titles and in so many fields of activity and usefulness. As a patriot-soldier, the story of his achievements forms one of the brightest pages of the history of the great war. As a statesman he served his state faithfully and admirably. As its governor and in many other capacities in which his services were called into requisition. As a scholar and orator he delighted the many thousands whom he addressed throughout the country. As a teacher of young men his presence reinforced his instruction in the upbuilding of character, and the formation of manly worth and his aspirations. And in all, the outward graces of his person and the clear light of the spirit shining through a noble countenance marked him a Christian gentleman.

"His fellow citizens deeply lament the loss of this true son of the state and faithful servant of his country, who so greatly endeared himself to them, and will transmit his memory in all honor. His comrades who always welcomed his presence and his eloquent words with the warmest enthusiasm are filled with grief that he who was among the highest representatives of their brotherhood-in-arms has been taken from them."


Ex-Governor Frederick W. Plaisted tonight paid tribute to the late Gen. Joshua L. Chamberlain in these words:

"The death of General Joshua L. Chamberlain will be felt as a personal loss to every citizen of Maine. He died full of years and honors, loved and admired by all. He made a part of Maine's history such as has been permitted to no other of her citizens. He stands today alone, a majestic figure, as he stood 50 years ago on Little Round Top at Gettysburg. In peace as in war he played an important part. His life is an inspiration to every Maine boy. He was a hero if ever there was one, scholar, soldier, statesman. He will always be remembered as one of Maine's truly great men. The record of his achievements will be his most enduring monument. His memory will be revered as long as his nation, which he did so much to preserve, shall endure".


From the "Maine State Press and Turf, Farm and Home":


Brave Soldier Crosses River to Pitch His Tent for All Time with Great Commander

Major-General Joshua L. Chamberlain is dead. The famous old soldier, referred to by many as the "grandest survivor in Maine" of the civil war passed away quietly at his home on Ocean avenue, Portland, Tuesday, Feb. 24th.

The passing of this famous warrior was not unexpected. For many weeks he had been ill, but only recently he seemed to be on the high road to recovery and it looked as if he might be able to resume his duties as surveyor of the port of Portland, for all of his 85 years. Another bad attack followed and from this the general could not recover.

While he was the last surviving major-general in the State of Maine, Gen. Chamberlain was not the last of the brigadier-generals, for former Gov. Selden Connor of Augusta holds that rank and is now the last of the brigadiers in Maine.

Honors were heaped upon Gen. Chamberlain and in every position he occupied he reflected the great trust imposed in him by the people of the State. No man was more deserving of being honored than he, for the little [?] old soldier, blue-eyed and gray mustached, was one who inspired the profoundest respect in everyone whom he met. A genial smile, a pertinent anecdote and a kindly greeting were always his salutation to a friend.

Only last summer his picture was painted by Robert V.V. Sewall, the distinguished New York artist, while both artist and general were at Monhegan. Hundreds who have seen this picture have pronounced it a wonderful likeness. The general himself was pleased with it, but once he jocularly remarked: "My friends say there is not fire enough in the eyes". Perhaps there wasn't, but at that the beautiful portrait reflected the general as he was and as his friends have known him, now a man of peace, but once a man of war.


Story of Life of Soldier and Statesman by One Who Knew Him Well

The news went over Portland very rapidly yesterday morning of the death of General Chamberlain, and where men were gathered he was spoken of and always with a respect bordering on reverence, and it may be quite reaching it, because he was of all the men of Maine the best known and honored.

"He always spoke to me", said a longshoreman, and there was a touch of pride in his voice. "He was a lion to the last", said a young man who had keenly observed him. "He was our greatest man", was said by the head of a leading firm. All thought of him yesterday and all will think of him today, but more those who were under his command, his old soldiers, and the men of the Grand Army of the Republic who were his comrades, and those who knew him better than all the rest, the members of his own family circle.

So the news of the death of the hero went from house to house, office to office, shop to shop, and wherever it went there was a feeling of profound sorrow.

It would be no easy thing to adequately tell the story of such a life, and here only an outline sketch can be given, because he was so much to so many, filled so large a place in life and loomed so great as an historical figure, that he could be written of almost without limit.

There was a book auction in a store near the Customs House after a fire in Monument square and it fell to the lot of the writer to secure a message from the Southland and it gave among other things a poem written by Mrs. Margaret Junkin Preston of General Robert E. Lee. Half an hour or so later he found General Chamberlain in his office at the Custom House and he asked to see the book, and found and read aloud the tribute to General Lee, prefacing it with a brief but impressive and eloquent tribute to the great Confederate leader. Then he paused and as he handed back the book he said, "No higher and no better tribute could be paid to any man than that, and General Lee deserved it".

And now it may well be given here and applied to the fallen Union soldier, and it can be said of him, "General Chamberlain deserved it".


Yes, "Let the tent be struck!" Victorious morning

Through every crevice flashes in a day

Magnificent beyond all earth's adorning:

The night is over; wherefore should he stay?

And wherefore, should our voices choke to say,

'The General has gone forward"?

Life's foughten field not once beheld surrender;

But with superb endurance, present past,

Our pure Commander, lofty, simple, tender,

Through good, through ill, he'd his high purpose fast,

Wearing his armor spotless,--till at last

Death gave the final Forward.

All hearts grew sudden pa's'ed: yet what said he

Thus summoned?--"Let the tent be struck!"--For when

Did call of duty fail to find him ready

Nobly to do his work in sight of men,

For God's and for his country's sake---and then,

To watch, wait, or go forward?

We will not weep,--we dare not! Such a story

As his large life writes on the century's years,

Should crown our bosom with a flush of glory.

That manhood's type, supremest that appears

Today he shows the ages. Nay, no tears

Because he has gone forward!

Gone forward? Whither? Where the marshall'd legions,

Christ's well-worn soldiers, from their conflicts cease;

Where Faith's true Red-Cross knights repose in regions

Thick-studded with the calm, white tents of peace,--

Thither, right joyful to accept release,

The General has gone forward!

Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain was born in Brewer, Sept. 8, 1828, and was of mixed English and French, of Puritan and Huguenot lineage. It was an ideal New England home, the harsher lines of Puritan discipline and creed softened by the grace and graciousness of the French proclaimers of religious and civil liberty. He was a bright and active boy, and the leader of his playmates, and a leader he remained as long as he lived. He had his part in the hard life of a Maine farm of the long ago, but it helped to make him strong of body and resolute of spirit.

He was as tender as a girl, and never willingly harmed any of the wild things of the woods. He took his gun with him when he went into the forest to avoid questioning, but not for the purpose of killing game. Long after one who knew him well said of him: "The wild things seemed to understand him, and had no fear. The squirrels would sit close over head and shower him with cone-chips and chatterings, the partridge lead her cherished brood right past his feet, the rabbit stand at gaze with trusting eye and studious ears". So he remained through life this great and knightly Maine solder.

His father desired for him a military career and sent him to the Military academy of Major Whiting, at Ellsworth, and his mother longed to see him a minister of the gospel. He joined the Congregational church, and decided to gratify his mother by his choice of a profession, and thought of himself as a future missionary. With that end in view he prepared for college and graduated from Bowdoin in 1852, and in 1855, delivered a still recalled bration on Law and Liberty. He entered the Bangor Theological Seminary, wrote and preached his required four sermons and received a call to the pastorate of three churches.

He did not accept and waited for the end of his course at the Seminary. As a boy he met the Indians of Maine, and now he went with his father to the St. Lawrence and saw something of real Indian life in the woods. He graduated in 1855, received a license to preach and was then called to fill the chair of instructor in the Department of Natural and Revealed religion in Bowdoin college just vacated by Professor Stowe, the husband of Harriet Beecher Stowe. In 1857, he became also the instructor in French and German, and in 1861, was elected professor of the Modern Languages of Europe. In 1862, he was granted a leave of absence for two years for the purpose of pursuing his studies in Europe.

The Union was calling for men, and there was soldier blood in the veins of the quiet professor and he responded, and offered his services to the Governor just as many years later when there seemed to be danger of war between the United States and Spain the old soldier tendered his services to President McKinley, and asked to be sent to the front.

The faculty of Bowdoin objected. They felt that he was eminently useful in his then position and that he ought not to enter the army, and they even sent a delegation to the Governor to protest against his appointment to a military position on the ground of his unfitness for command and for a military life.

He was offered and declined the colonelcy of a regiment then about to be raised and asked then for some less important position, and was appointed and accepted (the) lieutenant colonelcy of the 20th Regiment of Maine Volunteers was commissioned on the 8th of August, 1862, and in 20 days had recruited the regiment, turned over the command to Colonel Ames and in one week was on the front line at the second battle of Bull Run.

General Chamberlain was in more than 20 battles, and he bore himself as a skilful commanding officer from the time he entered until he left the service. He was literally at the front all of the time when not in a hospital trying to recover as far as he could from terrible wounds. He took part in what was later well termed "the sharp engagement at Shepardstown Ford in the battle of Antietam", and he did his best at the disastrous battle of Fredericksburg. During the winter he induced a number of young regular army officers to hold a school of military instruction and he was an apt pupil.

In the following May after acting alone since February as the commanding officer, he was commissioned colonel of his regiment. At Gettysburg, July 2, 1863, he held the extreme left of the Union line and ever after was justly termed "The Hero of Little Round Top". He was recommended for promotion to the rank of brigadier general but he was without political influence and nothing immediately came of it, but when he received the Congressional Medal of Honor the grounds for conferring it were stated to have been "For daring heroism and great tenacity in holding his position on Little Round Top, and carrying the advance position on the Great Round Top, in the battle of Gettysburg Pa., July 2, 1863".

If the "Hero of Little Round Top" was not made a brigadier-general, he had a command of that rank, and the Light Brigade, as it was called, composed of veteran soldiers, that is, of men who had been many times under fire, was assigned to him, and he handled it with admitted skill and coolness at the battle of Rappahannock Station, where he was injured and was forced for a time to go to the Georgetown seminary hospital. As soon as he could sit up he asked to be assigned to active duty, but instead was detailed to act as a member of a general court martial, and while engaged in the performance of an unpleasant duty he met Col. Alexander Hamilton of New York, a grandson of Gen. Alexander Hamilton, and later a major-general. After the war, Gen. Hamilton was assisted by Gen. Chamberlain to collect material for his life of his grandfather, and a few years ago when he was over 90, Gen. Hamilton came here and met Gen. Chamberlain at the custom house, and the two old officers talked over their far-off battles together, and after the visitor left Gen. Chamberlain said: "Gen. Hamilton out-ranked all of us at one time, but he was a brother-in-law of Gen. Halleck and did not receive during the latter part of the war independent commands." It was an historic meeting, and one likely to be remembered by all who witnessed it.

As has been said, Gen. Chamberlain was of soldier blood. His grandfather, Col. Joshua Chamberlain, held that rank during the war of 1812 and his father took part as a lieutenant-colonel of militia during the border troubles with Great Britain, then and still known as the Aroostook War.

As soon as he could walk unassisted and when he was far from being fit for active duty, he asked to be sent back to the front, rejoined his command at Spottsylvania court house, and was selected by Gen. Warren to take command of a brigade composed of nine picked regiments known as a "forlorn hope", and to make an assault on the works of the enemy. He reached the designated point at night, but in the morning found that he was in danger of being outflanked and succeeding in retiring without loss from a very dangerous position. He was in succession in the battles of Totopotomoy, North Anna, Bethesda church and Cold Harbor, and served with marked distinction. He was then by special orders placed in command of a new brigade of five veteran regiments and a new regiment and with it went immediately into action and made one of the great charges of the entire war, that on Rives' Salient in the Petersburg lines, June 18, 1864. He carried the advance position known as "Fort Hell", brought up three batteries and prepared to hold it, but to his surprise was ordered by Gen. Grant to charge a strongly entrenched position in front.

The order was a verbal one and was given to him by a staff officer, and he could not believe that the general could understand the real nature of the work before him, and so sent back a hastily written note to the effect that the entire army would hardly be able to take the intrenchments in the face of the Confederate army and over ground certain to be swept by 20 pieces of artillery. He was told in reply that there was to be a general forward movement, but that the army "must guide on him", that is, that his command must lead in the advance.

Long after Captain De Lacy of the 143rd Pennsylvania wrote a blood stirring story of the charge of Chamberlain's brigade, and it is hard to read it even now without emotion. Col. Chamberlain led his troops and the guns of Fort Mahone, and the Union soldiers ever after called it "Fort Damnation", swept the ground of the advance. His horse was killed under him, and his color bearer fell. He picked up the flag, a red Maltese cross on a field of white, and waved it as a signal to his men that he was still their leader. Then he was shot in the right side near the hip joint, a minie ball passing through his body. The flag went down but he braced himself with his sword, and as his men passed him he gave the order: "Break files to pass obstacles", and he was the obstacle. Then he dropped and they went on to be slaughtered. He saw with despair their conditions and gave his last word on that field: "Take a regiment of Bucktails and protect the batteries. Tell Major Bigelow we will take care of his flank. Tell the senior colonel to take charge of the brigade".

He could do and say no more. He was carried on the shoulders of his men for 16 miles to City Point. Neither he or anyone else expected that he could live but his brother, Major Thomas Chamberlain, brought up Dr. Shaw, the surgeon of the regiment, who did all he could do for him. He lay in unspeakable agony for two months literally marking time and expecting death every day. How he lived no one knows. He was a hero all his life, and well deserved what General Gordon of the Confederate army said when he termed him "one of the knightliest soldiers of the Federal army".

Neither then or later, or even during the agonies of his last sickness, and the old wound caused his death would he allow opiates to be administered to him, but bravely faced in war and in peace all fate might have in store for him, and it is not too much to say that in old age he showed more knightly qualities than when he led his great charge on the entrenchments of General Lee.

His great charge led to his promotion. He did not lead aimlessly. He did not lead another light brigade, but the splendid sacrifice of the men of Chamberlain's brigade paved the way to victory. He was promoted by General Grant to brigadier general on the field and he forwarded a copy of his order to the war department and asked that his act be confirmed and President Lincoln at once sent his name to the Senate. Years after when the silent soldier was fighting his last battle at Mount McGregor, and was making an heroic effort to write for the benefit of his family his memoirs, he spoke of the charge and of the making of Col. Chamberlain a general, and added: "At last a gallant and meritorious officer received partial justice at the hands of his government which he had served so faithfully and so well".

He was forced to suffer and for a long time there did not seem to be any hope for him but he was young and in his case the strong mind won a victory over the feeble body and again he requested to be sent to the front. General Ayres of the regulars asked that he be assigned to his division but he wanted to go back to the volunteers and his wish was gratified. He returned to his old command and saw very active service but for two months had to be lifted on and off his horse.

General Lee was nearing the end of his brilliant military career and the confederacy was not far from the last ditch. Gen. Chamberlain was assigned by General Grant to the command of a brigade under Gen. Sheridan, and made the brilliant opening fight on the Quaker Road, March 29, 1865, when his horse was shot under him and he was wounded in the left arm and breast. He was given at once the brevet rank of a major general, and two days later on the White Oak Road, he charged and won a lost field. He was suffering greatly from former and recent wounds but he refused to give up his command and April 1, again won the commendation of his superior officers by his gallant conduct and the way he handled his troops at the battle of Five Forks.

His headlong charge at the battle of the Quaker Road, carried him wounded into the very midst of the enemy and there were cries of "surrender" but his prompt "surrender you idiots. What d'ye take me for? This is no time for fooling. Face these Yanks and stop this rout." The confederates actually followed him to his own lines.

The end had come, April 9, at Appomattox court house, he was ordered by Gen. Sheridan to lead the advance and his commanding officer in his report said, "In the final action General Chamberlain had the advance and was driving the enemy rapidly before him when the announcement of the surrender was made. The first flag of truce from Gen. Longstreet came to him, and he was assigned by General Grant to receive the formal surrender of the arms and colors of the confederate army."

There were many years later two versions of that scene. General Chamberlain told how he ordered his command then drawn up and forming a long line which the defeated confederates must pass, to salute when the bugler gave the signal. He recalled how General John B. Gordon rode at the head of his division of veterans, and how his sad face changed when the salute of honor was given to him, and the story of General Gordon deserves to be copied and to be remembered now.

"As my command in worn-out shoes, and ragged uniforms but with proud mien marched to the designated spot to stack their arms and to surrender their cherished battle-flags, they challenged the admiration of the brave victors. One of the knightliest solders of the federal army, General Joshua L. Chamberlain of Maine, called to his troops in line as my men marched in front of them and the veterans in blue gave a soldierly salute to those vanquished heroes--a token of respect from Americans to Americans, a final and fitting tribute from Northern to Southern chivalry".

Years passed and the two distinguished soldiers had long been fast friends. Gen. Chamberlain was sick, as it seemed to himself and to others with but small hope of recovery, and {copy cut here} soldier he said: "Dear old fellow, can't bear to lose you". Months went by, the northern soldier rallied and the southern commander died, and when Gen. Chamberlain was told of the death of Gen. Gordon he stepped into a stairway, sat down and wept bitterly. The bravest of the brave, it could have been said of him as Thackeray said of Col. Newcomb: "His heart was like that of a little child".

After the surrender of the army under Gen. Lee he was placed in command of his division and had to guard a territory of many miles, and to restore order. One great trial he had when the news of the death of President Lincoln reached the army, and when the men were stirred to anger by a splendidly eloquent but injudicious sermon of a chaplain. When ordered to march to Washington he was offered a public dinner by the citizens of Dinwiddie County, but asked that the money be given to the poor.

With his division of veteran soldiers he took part in the final grand review at Washington.

"When Grant was there, and Johnson stood where a thunderbolt had made room for him", and his command had the head of the column of the Army of the Potomac.

He was assigned to the command of a provisional corps raised to be sent to Mexico under Gen. Sheridan in the event of the refusal of Napoleon III to withdraw the French troops then supporting the tottering throne of Maximilian, but there was no necessity for their presence.

The regular army was reorganized and Gen. Chamberlain was offered a colonelcy, with the right of final retirement with the rank of brigadier-general, but he declined, as he said, to be a soldier in time of peace, and was finally mustered out Jan. 16, 1866, and the historic part of his career was over, but not his activity along many lines.

He returned to Maine and as he had been offered positions in the regular army so he was given his choice of several diplomatic offices, but the State of Maine needed his services and in 1866 he was elected Governor and was re-elected for three consecutive terms, of course, for one year each, as was then the rule. He had enough to do while Governor. The Prohibitionists demanded a strict enforcement of the prohibitory law and especially a State constabulary, and he was unable to agree with them on that point and made enemies. Then he let the law take its course in the case of a colored man who had been convicted of the highest of crimes, and he insisted in the straightening out of all accounts connected with the sending of troops to the field during the war.

He made his administration successful by going straight ahead without regard to popular clamor. In 1870 he received on the part of the State the body of George Peabody. He welcomed President Grant when he came to Maine on the occasion of the opening of the European & North American railway, and he assisted Hon. W.W. Thomas, Jr., in establishing a Swedish colony in Aroostoock county.

He was a Republican, but he did not give unqualified assent to all the party measures. He approved, of the course of Hon. William Pitt Fessenden during the impeachment proceedings against President Johnson, and Horace Greeley tried to induce him to be the vice presidential candidate in 1872, but he declined and voted for President Grant.

In 1871 he was elected the president of Bowdoin College and remained its head for 12 years and continued his connection with it as a lecturer until 1885. He had become involved in political disputes dating back to his administration as Governor when he appointed Hon. Lot M. Morrill a senator to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Senator Fessenden in 1869, instead of giving the place to Hon. John B. Brown of Portland, who would at the end of his term have made way for himself. When Senator Morrill did resign it was with the expectation that Gen. Chamberlain would be appointed to fill out his unexpired term, but the Hon. James G. Blaine was chosen instead. In 1876 he was elected by the Legislature a major general of the militia of Maine, and in his official capacity had much to do with the shaping of results in 1880 at Augusta.

There were 12 days when almost anything was possible and when the preserver of the peace and the defender of law and order may be said to have been General Chamberlain. From the first he had advocated submitting all questions in dispute to the judges of the Supreme court. He represented all there was just then of lawful authority {copy cut here} to preserve the peace and protect the public property.

"Take your case to the court", was his advice to the leaders on both sides but they were all in a fighting mood for a while. General Chamberlain believed that there was a plot to assassinate Senator Blaine, and his own assassination was openly advised and once a crowd collected with that avowed purpose as was then asserted. Hon. Eugene Hale framed the questions finally referred by the Republicans to the court, but before the answer of the court was received the Fusionists organized the Legislature and elected Hon. Joseph S. Smith Governor. He promptly removed General Chamberlain, who, however, declined to recognize him in any way, and in the end the decision of the court was accepted and General Chamberlain gave up his trust and gladly went back to Brunswick. During the stormy 12 days he had his staff with him at Augusta but not a single company of the militia. It is not however too much to say that the count out matter in 1880 finished his political career.

Honors were his in other directions. In 1866 Pennsylvania college made him a doctor of laws and a similar degree was given to him by Bowdoin in 1869. In 1876 he was a member of the Paris exposition commission. In 1890 he went to Italy and Egypt, and in the same year was appointed by President McKinley surveyor of customs at this port and was reappointed by President Taft. He was a past department commander of the department of Maine, G.A.R. When President Roosevelt came here during his administration he met General Chamberlain and gave him a very cordial reception.

He ranked high as an orator and at times was very eloquent especially when speaking to the old soldiers. He was at once a student and a man of action, a teacher and a great executive officer. Of his military ability and of the value of his services to the country during the civil war there can be no question. His wife to whom he was devotedly attached died in 1905, and he is survived by his son Harold W. Chamberlain and a daughter, Mrs. Grace Dupee Allen, wife of Hon. Horace G. Allen of Boston.

Great as a soldier. Faithful as a chief magistrate. A life long advocate of the highest form of human freedom liberty under law. The most eminent citizen of Maine. Almost the last of the commanders of the civil war. Knightly in war and genial in peace. Brave as a Bayard, and as modest and unselfish as dauntless this generation cannot, and coming generations may not, see his like again in this State of his birth. Max.

From the "Portland Evening Express & Daily Advertiser", Feb. 24, 1914:


Memorial Services at Bowdoin College Probably Sunday Afternoon

BRUNSWICK, Feb. 24 (Special to the Express-Advertiser)--News of the death of Gen. Joshua L. Chamberlain was received in Brunswick this morning with expressions of regret. Gen. Chamberlain has made Brunswick his home almost continuously since he graduated from the Bangor Theological School in 1856. His home on the corner of Maine and Potter streets is one of the landmarks of the town. Many people delight to visit it to view the many historic relics which Gen. Chamberlain had in his den and on account of the association that the house has had with the history of the town in its earlier days, many men who later became famous having lived or roomed in the building.

Among those who spoke feelingly regarding Gen. Chamberlain's death was Major Ray T. Eaton, who said: "It is with profound sorrow that I learn of the death of Gen. Chamberlain, and I believe that every patriot citizen, and that includes nearly the entire population of our State, feels as deeply as I do the loss we have sustained in his death which, though not entirely unexpected, comes as a great shock. His prominence as a citizen and his superb record as a soldier mke him one of Maine's best assets. His reputation in both these respects was world wide. In every battle in which he engaged he not only honored himself but glorified the State of Maine. I would rather have it said of me what Gen. Grant said of him when promoting him on the field, than to hold the best office the people could bestow. As a resident of Brunswick he was deeply interested in our local affairs and now that he has answered the last roll call we look back with pride that he dwelt among us and claimed us as his friends. Time and space do not permit me to say all that I might say of him as I knew him. We may rest assured that history will give him the high place to which he is entitled."

Hon. Garrett Potter, secretary of the Board of Trustees of Bowdoin College, of which Gen. Chamberlain was a member, said: "Gen. Chamberlain was the most versatile and distinguished citizen of Maine. He graduated at Bowdoin in 1852 at the age of 24. During the span of two generations since he taught logic, theology, rhetoric, oratory, modern languages, philosophy, political science and public law in the college, was successively lieutenant colonel, colonel, brigadier general and major general in the Civil War where he was twice promoted for bravery on the field of battle, was Governor of Maine for three {sic} years (NOTE: it was actually four one-year terms), president of the college for 12, and at his death one of her board of trustees. In all these various capacities he rendered eminent service and he will be mourned throughout the length and breadth of the State and beyond its borders".

Prof. Henry Johnson, who is one of the few men now serving on the Bowdoin College faculty who was also a member of that faculty when Gen. Chamberlain was at its head, said: "Gen. Chamberlain was a life long student of unusually wide interests. Idealism was the very atmosphere of his world of thought. His theories of life and action were marked by a boldness which would have been recklessness in another less thoughtful and imaginative than he. The disappointments which such a generously self-giving nature as his was destined to encounter were many but they were often worth more to the causes which espoused than the sober successes of the cautious". At Dr. Alfred Mitchell who was a member of the class of 1859 of Bowdoin College which was the first class to have Gen. Chamberlain as an instructor, said: "I regret very sincerely to learn of the death of my former highly valued teacher, and much esteemed friend Gen. Chamberlain, who distinguished himself as a scholar, citizen and soldier".

Major Gilbert M. Elliott of the National Guard said: "It seems to me that Gen. Chamberlain's life might well be a stimulus to us of the younger generation. He was a soldier, scholar, statesman, but through all and above all, he was a patriot. He was one of those soldier statesmen who was able to foresee what the militia which had come down to his time from the beginnings of things in this Country, but as a paper organization only, could be to the Country if it were properly trained and he lived long enough to see many of his ideas carried out. His life has been an incentive, to all the citizen soldiers of the State especially to us of his home town and his advice will be missed indeed."

Dean Kenneth C.M. Sills of Bowdoin College said: "I think the most beautiful tribute that can be paid to Gen. Chamberlain is the tribute of Gen. Morris Schaff, a former {Union} officer, in his article on the Sunset of the Confederacy, in which speaking of Chamberlain's chivalry at the surrender of Lee he said: 'Great in the broad and high sense was the cause battled for, and spontaneous and knightly was this act of Chamberlain's lending a permanent glow to the close of the war, like that of banded evening clouds at the end of an all-day beating rain. It came from the heart and went to the heart; and when taps shall sound for Chamberlain, I wish that I could be in hearing as Maine's granite coast with its green islands and moonlight reflecting coves takes them up in succession from Portland to Eastport and as the ocean's voice dies away, e'er the vast wildernesses of hemlock, spruce and pine repeating them with majestic pride for her beloved son'."

President William DeWitt Hyde of Bowdoin College was profoundly grieved to learn of Gen. Chamberlain's death and said, that he would be unable to make a statement at this time, but that the college would probably hold a memorial service in his honor Sunday afternoon.

Dr. George T. Little, the librarian of Bowdoin College, said: "To a Bowdoin undergraduate of the seventies, the distinguished soldier, statesman and scholar who has just died will always remain President Chamberlain. His personal dignity made doubly impressive by his soldierly bearing, the aroma of his dauntless courage which no one who lived in war days could forget, his elegance of speech in no wise concealing his force of character rendered an interview with him in that flag-draped private study, one of the great events of the college career. In the classroom, his fairness and fullness of exposition, his persistent probing of the student as to underlying principles, left a mark upon the minds and beliefs of many who did not then realize it, but who now give glad testimony to his influence over their lives."


From the "Evening Express and Daily Standard", Portland, Maine

Tuesday, Feb. 24, 1914


General Joshua L. Chamberlain, that whom, yesterday, Maine had no more honored son, has passed away. Ripe in years, ripe in scholarship, ripe in experience, the days of his earthly activities are over, but Gen. Chamberlain long will live as the patriot and the scholar. To him came the very unusual experience of being made a general on the field of battle; to him fell the great distinction of receiving the sword of that other truly great soldier, Robert E. Lee, at the time of his surrender; to him, in four separate elections, was given the distinction of being elected as the chief executive of his State. But of all his varied life experiences, none perhaps was treasured so much by him as the fact that he was given the opportunity to influence for good so many lives while he was the president of Bowdoin College. He was one of Nature's noblemen but more than that, he was a noble man. For years, still continuing his activities in life, he has been a patient sufferer, never free from pain, because of the wounds received in his Country's service. Well may we all set aside some time from our daily lives to pay tribute to his memory, to do honor to his character and to hold him up as an example to coming generations.

(NOTE: The author of this short obituary is wrong. Chamberlain NEVER received General Lee's sword in surrender at Appomattox--and for years after the war, Chamberlain himself publicly denied receiving it. For some reason, this story stays alive, even today.)
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