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Synopsis

Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain was a man of many hats, both in battle and in the classroom. Chamberlain is known today for being President of Bowdoin College in Maine and being one of the main heroes of Little Round Top while in command of the 20th Maine on Day 2 at Gettysburg. Chamberlains regiment earned lasting fame on July 2, 1863, holding the extreme left of the Union line at Gettysburg. Chamberlains actions repelling a series of attacks on Little Round Top earned him the Congressional Medal of Honor for conspicuous personal gallantry and distinguished service. Chamberlains name and the 20th Maines reputation were revived as a result of Michael Sharaas book Killer Angels, a very popular fictional account of the Battle of Gettysburg that hewed closely to what happened. When Sharaas book was turned into the movie Gettysburg, the popularity of the movie led to renewed interest in the 20th Maines actions on Day 2 at Gettysburg. There is still debate over whether Chamberlain ordered a charge down Little Round Top when the regiment ran out of gunpowder or whether it was uncoordinated. Either way, nobody argues that the unit served with distinction. After the war, the 20th Maines H.S. Melcher wrote an article about the 20th Maines actions on Little Round Top that was eventually published in the well known Battles & Leaders series. This edition of Battles & Leaders of the Civil War: The 20th Maine at Little Round Top includes Melchers article and Joshua Chamberlains post-battle report that subsequently became part of the Official Records. This edition is also specially formatted with a Table of Contents and pictures of Gettysburgs important commanders.

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