By Dr. Pelham Mead (c) Western Writers Association 2019.


SCENE 1-INT. DAY -TEA AND A READING AT THE STOWE HOME 2 The sign on the front of the house says Professor Calvin Ellis Stowe and Mrs. Harriet Beecher Stowe. A group of Bowdoin students including Joshua L. Chamberlain have come to Harriet Beecher Stowe’s house every Saturday night to hear a reading from her newspaper serial called, “Uncle Tom’s Cabin.” Harriet Beecher Stowe is age 40, and the wife of Professor Calvin Ellis Stowe at Bowdoin College, Maine.

HARRIET BEECHER STOWE (30) Come on in Joshua, and friends. Take a seat in the parlor and help yourself to some tea. I am going to read the first installment of my article to the National Era newspaper .

JOSHUA L. CHAMBERLAIN (17) Thank you Mrs. Stowe. My classmates and I would love to join you in tea and story telling. Thomas, Albion, Jordan and Edward take a seat gentlemen. Tea anyone? Sugar?

ALBION HENRY (17) This is a fine house you have here Mrs. Stowe.

HARRIET BEECHER STOWE Thank you Albion. We don’t own it, we rent the house.

JOSHUA L. CHAMBERLAIN Is Professor Stowe in today?

HARRIET BEECHER STOWE No, Joshua he is at Bowdoin college grading papers in his office.

JOSHUA L. CHAMBERLAIN He is always busy. 2.

HARRIET BEECHER STOWE Is everyone comfortable? Well then let’s started. I called my series,”Uncle Tom’s Cabin,” As you all know it is a story about slavery in America. Let me begin and afterward we can talk about the characters and your impressions. “Late in the afternoon of a chilly day in February, two gentlemen were sitting alone over their wine, in a well-furnished dining parlor, in the town of Peoria, in Kentucky. There were no servants present, and the gentlemen with chairs closely approaching seemed to be discussing some subject with great earnestness. For convenience sake, we have said, hitherto, two gentlemen. One of the parties, however, when critically examine, did not seem, strictly speaking to come under the species. H was a short, thick-set man, with coarse commonplace features, and that swaggering air of pretension which marks a low man who is trying to elbow his way upward in the world. He was much overdressed, in a gaudy vest of many colors, a blue neckerchief, be-dropped gayly with yellow spots, and arrange with a flaunting tie, quite in keeping with the general air of the man. His hands, large and coarse, were plentifully bedecked with rings: and he wore a heavy gold watch chain, with a bundle of seals of portentous size, and a great variety of colors, attached to it, -which, in the ardor of conversation, he was in the habit of flourishing and jingling with evident satisfaction. His conversation was in free and easy defiance of Murray’s Grammar,* and was garnished at convenient intervals with various profane expressions, which not even the desire to be graphic in our account shall induce us to transcribe. His companion, Mr. Shelby, had the appearance of a gentleman; and the arrangements of the house, and the general air of the housekeeping, indicated easy, and even opulent circumstances. As we before stated, the two were in the midst of an earnest conversation. ‘That is the way I should arrange the matter,” said Mr. Shelby. “ (MORE) 3.

HARRIET BEECHER STOWE (CONT’D) I can’t make trade that way-I positively can’t, Mr.

Shelby,” said the other, holding up a glass of wine between his eye and the light. “Why, the fact is Haley, Tom is an uncommon fellow; he is certainly worth that sum anywhere,- steady, honest, capable, manages my whole farm like a clock.” You mean honest, as niggers go,” said Haley, helping himself to a glass of brandy. “No; I mean, really, Tom is a good, steady, sensible, pious fellow. He got religion at a camp-meeting, four years ago; and i believe he really did get it. I’ve trusted him, since then, with everything I have,- money, house, horses-and let him come and go round the country, and I always found him true and square in everything.” “Some folks don’t believe there is a pious niggers Shelby,” said Haley, with a candid flourish of his hand,” but I do. I had a fellow, now, in the yer last lot I took to Orleans-’t was as good as a meetin, now, really, to hear that critter pray; and he was quite a gentle and quiet like. He fetched me a good sum, too, for I bough him cheap of a man that was ‘bliged to sell out; so I realized six hundred on him. Yes, I consider religion a valeyable thing in a nigger, when it’s the genuine article, and no mistake.”

“Well, Tom’s got the real article, if ever a fellow had,”



HARRIET BEECHER STOWE (CONT’D) So, we see Shelby sold Tom and little Harry. I wanted to bring out the character of Tom as being a good Christian, and show the depredation, and sadness of a slave family being separated, and the consequences.

JOSHUA L. CHAMBERLAIN That is a great story Mrs. Stowe. I cannot wait to read your sequel to Uncle Tom’s Cabin. 4.

ALBION HENRY You certainly go to the heart of the slavery problem in America Mrs. Stowe. Do you think those people in the south will enjoy reading this newspaper story?

HARRIET BEECHER STOWE I have no expectation anyone in the south will like this story because it exposes the human side of the story of slavery, and how slaves are treated as a commodity to sell and trade.

JAMES SMITHE (17) That Haley guy is certainly a low life. You describe him well Mrs. Stowe. Already I dislike Haley in the story. I was very moved when little Harry was brought out and then sold with Tom.

HARRIET BEECHER STOWE I tried to show the emotion of selling a slave. Even a Christian man, like Shelby, who is in debt, is forced to sell two of his slaves, and break up a slave family for Money.

JAKE ROONEY (16) Is Mr. Shelby going to be one of your main characters Mrs. Stowe?

HARRIET BEECHER STOWE Yes he is Jake. In the second chapter, I will expand on the characters a little more. The first chapter was to introduce Shelby and Haley and their conversations.

JOSHUA L. CHAMBERLAIN It makes you appreciate being free and not being treated like a slave in America. I wonder if the slaves in America will ever be free?

HARRIET BEECHER STOWE The newspaper is helping me pay the rent and that is a plus. 5.

AlBION HENRY (Laughing) hope they paid you enough Mrs. Stowe.


ALFRED GREEN (16) What can we expect in the next installment of your story?

HARRIET BEECHER STOWE I am going to show Mr. Shelby’s wife’s reaction to selling Tom and little Harry. Also Eliza another slave with a child who was a young slave woman of beauty and grace runs away and is chased.

JOSHUA L. CHAMBERLAIN I am looking forward to the next installment Mrs. Stowe. You have given me food for thought about slavery and it’s terrible aftermath.

HARRIET BEECHER STOWE I am glad you all enjoyed the reading. You comments are most encouraging and I am eager to continue my story. I hope you all come back next week for more discussion as I expand on the characters and Shelby and his wife and their slaves.

JOSHUA L. CHAMBERLAIN Thank you for the tea Mrs. Stowe and We will see you next week. Say hello to your husband Professor Stowe. I took his religion class and it was fabulous.

HARRIET BEECHER STOWE Good bye all of you. God Bless.




The next day Joshua L. Chamberlain gets into a heated discussion at the Bowdoin College student lounge about slavery.


3 6.

ALBION HENRY You know Joshua what Mrs. Stowe said makes a lot of sense how people feel no guilt in selling slaves like cattle.

HAROLD P. GLEENING (17) I believe that niggers ought to be left alone. I come from Maryland and in my State, niggers are treated fairly considering they are slaves.

JOSHUA L. CHAMBERLAIN I think in Maine we have deeper Christian values where every man or woman should be treated equally. After all, it is in our Constitution.

HAROLD P. GLEENING Constitution crap. Slaves have been around for thousands of years. Are the northern states going to give niggers from Africa free run of the country? I don’t think so.

ALBION HENRY You are entitled to your opinion Harold but those of born and raised in Maine feel differently than you do.

SAMUEL H. BONDS (16) Mark my words the slavery issue is going to divide our nation at some point in time. It is just a matter of time before well meaning Northerners do something to make some Southerners angry and all hell is going to break loose.

JOSHUA L. CHAMBERLAIN You may well be right Sam, time will tell. Anyone for a game of pool?




4 7.



Joshua L. Chamberlain graduated from Bowdoin College and went on to study at Seminary School. Later, he returns as a Professor of Rhetoric at Bowdoin College.

The scene opens in Professor Joshua Chamberlain’s classroom in Bowdoin College, Maine in the year 1860, and the month of April. The classroom is an old style lecture room with the seats in a circular pattern on stepped levels going up six rows, all facing a semi-circle floor space at the front of the classroom, with nothing but a lectern. Professor Chamberlain is a young professor, age 33, who has no facial hair, and is almost six feet tall. His dark hair, and dark brown eyes show the great intellect he possesses.


JOSHUA L. CHAMBERLAIN (30) So students when you stand in front of a group of people you need to project your voice. Mr. Spear will you stand please, and walk to the back of the class. Now tell us about your speech and project your voice so that we can all hear you clearly.

ELLIS SPEAR (18) Thank you Sir. Gentlemen my speech involves Equality for Slaves in America.

JOSHUA L. CHAMBERLAIN Thank you Mr. Spear. You can stop there. You see Gentlemen, Mr. Spear kept his head up, and made eye contact with the entire class. He projected his voice above our heads to be clearly heard. Nice job Mr. Spear. Well, we are out of time for today’s Rhetoric class. I look forward to hearing all of your Speeches next week. Thank you and you are dismissed.

Professor Chamberlain folds up his books as the class leaves and then heads across the street of the campus to his house.




The Chamberlain home is a beautiful single story house across the street from the Bowdoin college campus.

JOSHUA L. CHAMBERLAIN Hello, Fanny am home. Where is Grace and Harold?


FRANCIS CAROLINE ADAMS CHAMBERLAIN (33) They are taking an afternoon nap dear. How did your Rhetoric class go today?

JOSHUA L. CHAMBERLAIN It went well, and I think all the students will all do well with their speeches next week.

FRANCIS CAROLINE ADAMS CHAMBERLAIN I have a tea party with Anne Potunk (40) wife of Professor Potunk (55) this evening. I prepared dinner in advance for you, and the children. There is fried chicken, potatoes, and peas wrapped up for this evening. Just heat everything up in the oven.

JOSHUA L. CHAMBERLAIN Thank you sweetie. Enjoy your tea party this evening. I have some College paperwork to do this evening. You know Fanny this slavery issue is becoming more and more defined. Even my students are talking about it. Harriet Beecher Stowe had a point when she used to read to us students many years ago. Slavery is against all Christian values. It is demeaning to man and woman.

FRANCIS CAROLINE ADAMS CHAMBERLAIN The woman’s circles talk about slavery and the underground railroad all the time Joshua. The tension between the Northern states and the Southern states is going to come to a head, like a pimple and bust.

6 9.

JOSHUA L. CHAMBERLAIN You may well be right Fanny. I have given it a great deal of thought over the past ten years since Harriet planted the thoughts in my mind with her book, “Uncle Tom’s Cabin.”

FRANCIS CAROLINE ADAMS CHAMBERLAIN Do you miss her and her husband? He was your professor and mentor as I recall.

JOSHUA L. CHAMBERLAIN Yes, Professor Stowe taught Religion at Bowdoin for five years and I was fortunate to have him as a Professor and mentor. He and his wife taught me a lot about Slavery and the significance of man in a Christian world. Yes, again, I miss both of them.




Professor Chamberlain is having coffee in the Bowdoin College Student Center, and several students are having a conversation with him about the war.


ELLIS SPEAR Professor Chamberlain what is your opinion about slavery?

JOSHUA L. CHAMBERLAIN Mr. Spear, I used to listen to Harriet Beecher Stowe read chapters from her book, Uncle Tom. Early on I took a stand against slavery that it was cruel and inhuman.

WILLIAM W. MORRELL (18) What can we do about undoing slavery? 10.

JOSHUA L. CHAMBERLAIN It is a complicated solution when the northern states want to impose their will on the souther states over slavery.

JAMES H. NICOLS (20) Do you think the southern states will succeed from the Union of States?

JOSHUA L. CHAMBERLAIN It is very possible, especially if they think the next President elected goes against the southern interests

ELLIS SPEAR I understand the faculty want you to become the Chairman of the Modern European Languages department Professor

JOSHUA L. CHAMBERLAIN Yes, they have been pushing for me to accept the new position because I speak 9 different languages, but I love teach Rhetoric

ELLIS SPEAR I hope you accept the new position Professor.




Two months later. A knock at Professor Chamberlain’s office door.

PROFESSOR UPHAM (50) Professor Chamberlain, it is Professor Upham calling.

8 11.

JOSHUA L. CHAMBERLAIN Come right in Professor Upham. How are you going today? Have a seat.

PROFESSOR UPHAM Professor Chamberlain I don’t wish to be a nag, but the faculty has approved that new Chairman’s position of Modern Languages of Europe with lifetime tenure, and an increase in salary. You are the most qualified person in the faculty that can speak 8 or 9 different languages. I just wanted to motivate you to take this position. It would be an improvement in your faculty status and your career. If you don’t take the position the Faculty will nominate a temporary Instructor instead for Modern Languages.

JOSHUA L. CHAMBERLAIN We have spoken about this before Professor Upham, and I love teaching Rhetoric as you know. You make the position of Chair of Modern Languages of Europe more attractive with life-time tenure, and a raise in salary. For the past few years I have declined this position, but perhaps the incentives will change my mind. Is there a possibility of a year’s leave to travel through Europe and learn more about languages?

PROFESSOR UPHAM Yes, of course. All expenses will be paid for your wife, and your children to travel through all of Europe with a bonus of $50 for expenses. Travel and lodging will be paid by the college.

Joshua L. CHAMBERLAIN I will think about your proposal but I am inclined to stay with my current faculty position.




One year later. Once a month Bowdoin College has a faculty meeting to discuss academic and administrative matters.



WILLIAM SMYTH, (45) M.A. PROFESSOR OF MATH AND NATURAL PHILOSOPHY Gentlemen, As President of the Faculty Council, I call this meeting to order. Will the secretary read the list of those faculty present for the record.


As secretary to the faculty council I have recorded the following present, Timothy Childs-Professor of Surgery, Paul A. Chadbourna-Professor of Chemistry and Natural Sciences, Israel T. DanaProfessor of Material Medica, and Therapeutics, Egbert C. Smyth-Collins Professor of Natural and Revealed Religion, David S. Conant- Professor of Anatomy and Physiology, Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain-Professor of Rhetoric and Oratory, Cyrus Stone-Tutor in Greek, and William RusselProfessor in Elocution. Are there any professors or instructors I missed? If not all names are in the record.

WILLIAM SMYTH, Old business is written out and handed to everyone. Do I have motion to propose accepting the Old Business. Yes, Mr. Chadbourne proposes accepting the old business. And a second please. Yes, Mr. Conant seconds the motion. That being done we move onto new business. The Board of Governors of Bowdoin College has asked the faculty council to approve the appointment of William J. Maltby, M.A. As Professor Elect of Modern Languages. All in favor say aye, Yes it is a majority. Opposed, none. The motion is carried to appoint William J. Maltby as Professor Elect of Modern Languages. Welcome Professor Elect Maltby.

(MORE) 13.

WILLIAM SMYTH, (CONT’D) The next order of business is the approval of the Faculty council budget for the school year 186-61. All in favor say aye. All opposed No. The motion is carried. I give the floor to Mr. Cyrus Stone.

CYRUS STONE (26) TUTOR IN GREEK Gentlemen if you know of any student who is struggling with Greek, please send them to me so that I can help them pass with a proper grade.

Thank you.

WILLIAM SMYTH, Discussion is slated on the agenda regarding social issues. There has been much talk, and concern regarding the national slavery situation. I give the floor to Professor Egbert Smyth.

EGBERT C. SMYTH (48) Gentlemen. The national scene on slavery is becoming a crisis that has even affected our state of Maine. The underground railroad that assists runaway slaves, and delivers them to Canada where they can be free, and safe has come to Portland, Brewster, and other communities in Maine. We as academicians have a responsibility to be pro-antislavery in our classes and professional activities. There is no room for Southern sympathizers in our ranks. Bowdoin College has a long history of promoting equal treatment of all mankind, and slavery goes against our Christian heritage. I hope you are all in agreement with me.

The faculty all voices agreement with “Here here.”

ISRAEL T. DANA (50) PROFESSOR OF MEDICA AND THERAPEUTICS Gentlemen, I agree with Professor Smyth. We must keep a Christian attitude toward slavery and support it being abolished. Our students will follow our lead and that is as it should be. 14.

DAVID S. CONANT (60) PROFESSOR OF ANATOMY AND PHYSIOLOGY I concur with both Professor Dana and Smyth. It is of the upmost importance that we model the proper Christian position that slavery is an act against men and God.

TIMOTHY CHILDS (62) PROFESSOR OF SURGERY (55) We have been aware for some time that the underground railroad of runaway slaves has been operating in Portland and Brewster and many other cities in Maine. What every aid we can give these courageous Christians that help transport and hide these runaway slaves from Bounty hunters even as far north as Maine, should be our Christian duty.

JOSHUA L. CHAMBERLAIN I second Dr. Childs comments and ask that they be put into the official records along with other comments made by other Professors today.

WILLIAM SMYTH, If there aren’t any other comments I bring this meeting to a close. Coffee and tea will be served after the meeting in the faculty lounge. Thank you all for coming today.






Three months later. Joshua was aware that at some point in time Harriet Bleecher Stowe, and her Husband helped the underground Railroad hide runaway slaves in Ohio, before she came to Maine. A stranger asks to see Joshua regarding the underground railroad in Brewster, Maine accosts Joshua on the Bowdoin College campus.

SYLIS GOLDFARB (40) Sir, Professor Chamberlain I presume? My name is Sylis Goldfarb and I am a close friend of Harriet Bleecher Stowe and her husband. 15.

JOSHUA L. CHAMBERLAIN How may be of service Sir?


SYLIS GOLDFARB I expect you to keep my conversation secret if that is possible Sir. I and several other abolitionists are responsible for the underground railroad right here in Brewster, Maine.

JOSHUA L. CHAMBERLAIN Really? was not aware of that fact sir.


SYLIS GOLDFARB Harriet used to hide runaway slaves in her house in Ohio you know?

JOSHUA L. CHAMBERLAIN She mentioned it a few times when we went over to her house when I was a student at Bowdoin College.

SYLIS GOLDFARB I was wondering if we could ask for your help with the underground railroad Mr. Chamberlain?

JOSHUA L. CHAMBERLAIN That is a very dangerous undertaking Sir, and I am a respected member of the Bowdoin College faculty. It would not be wise to break the law since I represent Bowdoin College.

SYLIS GOLDFARB Well then maybe your wife Francis can help with the underground railroad?

JOSHUA L. CHAMBERLAIN I think not. I sympathize with what you are doing, but I cannot be a part of anything that is illegal, no matter the importance of the flight of runaway slaves. Good day to you sir. 16.

SYLIS GOLDFARB I am sorry you feel that way Sir. Harriet said you would be a strong supporter of the underground railroad.





Joshua Chamberlain returns home that same day to talk to his wife about the underground railroad, and the strange little man Sylis Goldfarb.





JOSHUA L. CHAMBERLAIN You will never guess what happened to me today?


JOSHUA L. CHAMBERLAIN A man named Sylis Goldfarb accosted me on campus today, and said he knew Harriet Beecher Stowe, and then in the same breath he asked me to join the underground railroad in our town Brewster.

FRANCIS CAROLINE ADAMS CHAMBERLAIN Really? I did not know there was an underground railroad in Brewster? What did this man look like?

JOSHUA L. CHAMBERLAIN I was short and bald with a large mustache and a crumpled suit and dirty shoes. He did not look like a gentlemen. He had an accent I could not quite place, even with my background in languages. Perhaps, a New York accent? I am not sure. 17.


JOSHUA L. CHAMBERLAIN I told him as a faculty member of Bowdoin College I had to set an example and could not get involved in any illegal activity such as hiding runaway slaves, even though I am against slavery.

FRANCIS CAROLINE ADAMS CHAMBERLAIN You gave the right answer. I think that little man was handing around town the other day when I went shopping?

JOSHUA L. CHAMBERLAIN Well he is gone now and the issue is over.





Several months after Joshua’s encounter with Mr. Goldfarb, some slaves are shot in Brewster, and killed trying to escape from Runaway Slave Bounty Hunters from down South.


ELLIS SPEAR Professor Chamberlain, did you hear the news?

JOSHUA L. CHAMBERLAIN No, what is the news Mr. Spear?

ELLIS SPEAR Two runaway slaves were shot last night trying to escape two Bounty hunters. It seems the underground railroad was hiding them in someone’s house, waiting for a wagon to take them to Canada and two burley Bounty Hunters showed up in Brewster, and started asking questions about two male runaway slaves. A gentlemen name Goldfarb was driving the wagon with two slaves hidden under a pile of straw.

(MORE) 18.

ELLIS SPEAR (CONT’D) He was shot and killed, and the two slaves were shot when they attempted to run away. The Sheriff wants to arrest them but the Law is on their side.

JOSHUA L. CHAMBERLAIN Hard to believe someone looking for a Bounty has the legal right to cross State boundaries seeking runaway slaves. Shooting them makes no sense, because now they are dead and useless to the owner of the slaves. It just makes not sense. We live in troubled times Ellis.

ELLIS SPEAR I was surprised to learn the underground railroad for runaway slaves was in Brewster.

JOSHUA L. CHAMBERLAIN Is the sheriff going to arrest the bounty hunters?

ELLIS SPEAR No, they are long gone after shooting both the slaves and the white man helping them.

JOSHUA L. CHAMBERLAIN So much for justice. How sad to get all the way to Maine a few hundred miles from the Canadian border and freedom, only to be shot down in cold blood?

An hour later back at the Chamberlain home.

JOSHUA L. CHAMBERLAIN (CONT’D) Fanny did you hear the news?

FRANCIS CAROLINE ADAMS CHAMBERLAIN Yes, it is all over the newspaper front page. Slaves Shot attempting to escape. Didn’t you say that man Goldfarb approached you about supporting the underground railroad? 19.

JOSHUA L. CHAMBERLAIN Yes, he was shot driving the wagon with the slaves hidden under a pile of hay. The bounty hunters had no mercy.

FRANCIS CAROLINE ADAMS CHAMBERLAIN Are they going to be arrested Joshua?

JOSHUA L. CHAMBERLAIN I am afraid not. One of my students Ellis Spear told me they are already out of Maine and headed back down south. The sheriff has no jurisdiction our of state.


JOSHUA L. CHAMBERLAIN I am afraid so. There seems to be two kinds of justice, justice for the white man and justice for the slave.

FRANCIS CAROLINE ADAMS CHAMBERLAIN This is all very tragic. All of the women are talking about this and the underground railroad right here in Brewster.





Professor Chamberlain has been giving great thought to enlisting in the Union Army, and hopefully, asking the Board of Directors at Bowdoin College to allow him to use his academic leave to enroll in the Army.


JOSHUA L. CHAMBERLAIN Fanny, I need to talk to you about something of great importance.


JOSHUA L. CHAMBERLAIN Fanny, I have been giving it great thought, and I have decided it is time to answer the call to defend my country in this War of the States.

FRANCIS CAROLINE ADAMS CHAMBERLAIN You cannot be serious. What about me, and the children? Who will look out for us?

JOSHUA L. CHAMBERLAIN I thought about that, and my cousin Jessica has offered to come and live with you to help you with the children and the house. If the College approves, they will pay a stipend for my academic leave for accepting the Department Chair position for Modern Languages of Europe. You will be well taken care of my dear.

FRANCIS CAROLINE ADAMS CHAMBERLAIN I am against War, and killing people, Joshua as you well know. My father, being a Pastor, has always taught me to value prayer, and not war. Please reconsider and stay home with your family. I like being a College Professor’s wife and the life-style that goes with it. Have you spoken with your father about this?

JOSHUA L. CHAMBERLAIN No, not yet. I wanted to discuss it with you first and work out all the details if I receive an officer’s commission.

FRANCIS CAROLINE ADAMS CHAMBERLAIN I am not speaking to you the rest of the day Joshua.

You really disappoint me with your plans. I will pray you change your mind. Meanwhile, I am angry with you for abandoning your family.

JOSHUA L. CHAMBERLAIN I am sorry Fanny. That is all I can say. What more can I do? Please I beg your understanding. We do not need to fight over this. Please, Fanny, I beg your understanding. 21.

FRANCIS CAROLINE ADAMS CHAMBERLAIN I am not talking to you. That is it. Go tell your father and see what he says.

An hour later Joshua is at his father’s house, Joshua Chamberlain Jr. Joshua Chamberlain Jr. Is a tall man with grey to white hair and long bushy sideburns. He is a strict man of which Joshua always had differences with.

JOSHUA L. CHAMBERLAIN JR. (65) Nice to see you in the early afternoon son. How is everything at Bowdoin college?

JOSHUA L. CHAMBERLAIN It is fine since I accepted the Chair of Modern Languages of Europe position, and an increase in pay, and a one to two year leave to travel through Europe with my family.

JOSHUA L. CHAMBERLAIN JR. That sounds great, would you like a whiskey?

JOSHUA L. CHAMBERLAIN No thank you father. I have come on a mission of great importance. I know you always wanted me to go to West Point, and I refused, and went to Bowdoin College instead, and Seminary school after. I have rethought my position on the War of the States, and now after a year, many of my students who have graduated, have gone on to become officers in the Union army. I have decided to ask the Bowdoin College Board of Trustees to allow me to apply my academic leave toward enrolling in the Union army.

Joshua L. CHAMBERLAIN JR. Really? That comes as a shock to me. You always hated War and the Military, even when we sent you to Military school early on in your teen years. Why now?


News has come that the North has lost some battles with the South at Antietam and Bull Run, and perhaps the Northern Army underestimated the Southerner Army? This engagement was to be over in six months, and now it has dragged on for over a year, and may continue for many years more. I want to represent the State of Maine as an Officer in the Union Army, and fight the expansion of slavery in the south.

JOSHUA L. CHAMBERLAIN JR. That is a fine speech son, but war is not guns, and glory. You will see your best friends gunned down in front of you. Soldiers will have their limbs blown off by cannons. Are you really ready for all of that fear and blood?

JOSHUA L. CHAMBERLAIN I do not have any military experience, but I am a quick learner. I will learn all I can about military tactics by reading and experience.

JOSHUA L. CHAMBERLAIN JR. Well then Joshua if you mind is made up you have my blessing. You have better write the Governor right away because they are mustering a new 20th Maine Volunteers regiment in Camden.

JOSHUA L. CHAMBERLAIN I will father and thank you for your blessing. Please look after Fanny and the children for me after I leave.

JOSHUA L. CHAMBERLAIN JR. Of course I will look in on her often. She is welcome to come to our house with the children when ever she wants. God bless.





Professor Joshua Chamberlain is sitting at his roll top desk, and is writing a letter to the Governor Israel Washburn of Maine requesting an appointment as an officer representing the State of Maine in the Civil War.


JOSHUA L. CHAMBERLAIN (Speaking out loud while writing a letter) To His Excellency Governor Washburn, In pursuance of the offer of reinforcements for the war, I ask if your Excellency desires, and will accept my service.

Perhaps it is not quite necessary to inform your Excellency who I am. I believe you will be satisfied with my antecedents. I am a son of Joshua Chamberlain of Brewer. For seven years past, I have been Professor in Bowdoin College. I have always been interested in military matters, and what I do not know in that line I know how to learn. Having been lately elected to a new department here, I am expecting to have leave, at the approaching Commencement, to spend a year or more in Europe, in the service of the College. I am entirely unwilling, however, to accept this offer, if my Country needs my service or example here.



Nearly a hundred of those who have been my pupils, are now officers in our army; but there are many more all over our State, who, I believe, would respond with enthusiasm, if summoned by me, and who would bring forward men enough to fill up a Regiment at once. I can not free myself from my obligations here until the first week in August, but I do not want to be the last in the field, if it can possibly be helped.

(MORE) 24.

JOSHUA L. CHAMBERLAIN (CONT’D) I am sensible that I am proposing personal sacrifices, which would not probably be demanded of me; but I believe this to be my duty, and I know I can be of service to my Country in this hour of peril.

I shall acquiesce in your decision Governor, whether I can best serve you here or in the field. I believe you will find me qualified for the latter as for the former, and I trust I may have the honor to hear a word form you, and I remain, Yours to Command, J.L. Chamberlain

A knock on the office door. A student sticks his head in the door.

ELLIS SPEAR Professor Chamberlain are you too busy to talk with me for a few minutes?

JOSHUA L. CHAMBERLAIN Come right in Ellis. What can I do for you?

ELLIS SPEAR I just heard that the Bowdoin Faculty have passed a vote disapproving the use of you leave for the purpose of entering the Military.

JOSHUA L. CHAMBERLAIN I expected that because the leave was really intended for academic purposes and no military. At least I tried. I guess I am simply going to have to resign instead, because my mind is resolved to enter the Military.

ELLIS SPEAR Well many of the students are behind you at least. Keep a positive mind, and maybe something will work out. I will see you later. Thanks for your time Professor. 25.

Two days later Joshua Chamberlain receives a favorable letter back from the Governor to come and see him immediately.

JOSHUA L. CHAMBERLAIN Fanny, thank God. I just received a letter back from the Governor inviting me to come and see him in his office.

FRANCIS CAROLINE ADAMS CHAMBERLAIN I am happy for you Joshua, but sad for our family.

JOSHUA L. CHAMBERLAIN Do not worry Fanny. I will be fine.



SCENE 6- INT. DAY- THE OFFICE OF DR. JOHN D. LINCOLN, AUGUST 2, 1862 Dr. John D. Lincoln was a highly respected physician of some political influence in Maine. Dr. Lincoln, after speaking with Joshua Chamberlain, about joining the Union Army in July of 1862, promised to support Joshua’s efforts to be appointed an officer in the Maine regiments by writing to his friend Governor Washburn..



DR. JOHN D. LINCOLN, PHYSICIAN (60) Dear Governor Washburn, I am writing in support of Professor Joshua Chamberlain for an appointment as an Officer in the Maine regiments.

Joshua is not only a man of energy and sense, but he is as capable of governing a Regiment as any out of West Point….



Many young men would rally around his standard as the world around a hero. I trust and speak for all your friends here, that you feel induced to appoint him to some honorable position.





Upon receipt of the Governor Washburn’s invitation to visit him in the capitol on August 8, 1862, Professor Chamberlain set out on horse to Augusta the Capitol of Maine, and the Governor’s mansion. Governor Washburn is a distinguished gentlemen with the wide sideburns so popular in the day.


ISRAEL WASHBURN, GOVERNOR OF MAINE (50) Welcome Professor Chamberlain, or shall I call you Joshua?

JOSHUA L. CHAMBERLAIN Joshua is fine Governor Washburn.

ISRAEL WASHBURN, GOVERNOR OF MAINE (60) I received your fine letter, and I am aware of your family’s history in support of American in previous wars. I also received a letter from a friend, and supporter of yours, a Dr. John D. Lincoln. I personally know Dr. Lincoln, for we have been friends for years, and I take his recommendation seriously, therefore, I am awarding you the commission of Lieutenant Colonel of the 20th Maine regiment which is newly organized.

JOSHUA L. CHAMBERLAIN Thank you Governor Washburn, you wouldn’t be sorry for appointing me to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.

ISRAEL WASHBURN, GOVERNOR OF MAINE One more thing Professor Chamberlain, I have assigned Colonel Adelbert Ames as the Colonel of the 20th Maine volunteers division. He is a West Post graduate, and was wounded at Bull Run in the first year of the war. 27.

JOSHUA L. CHAMBERLAIN Thank you again Governor and I will look forward to meeting Colonel Adelbert Ames soon.

ISRAEL WASHBURN, GOVERNOR OF MAINE Thank you for coming Professor Chamberlain and I know you will make Maine proud. My aide will show you out. Good bye and good luck.







A few weeks after his appointment. After Joshua Chamberlain received his appointment as a Lieutenant Colonel, he had but a few weeks to recruit as many volunteers as he could to fill up the 20th Maine Regiment of Volunteers. The recruits were assembled in Portland, 30 miles south of Chamberlains house.


ELLIS SPEAR Professor Chamberlain how is the recruiting coming along for the 20th Maine Regiment?

JOSHUA L. CHAMBERLAIN Slowly Ellis. Thank you for your efforts and other Bowdoin graduates of the class of 1862.

ELLIS SPEAR I just heard that the town of Brunswick called a town meeting, and voted a $100 dollar bonus for each man enlisting by the 26th of August.

JOSHUA L. CHAMBERLAIN That is great to hear. With the State Bounty, and the Federal advance, that would total $185. The result would be a good sum for a poor man to leave behind. 28.

ELLIS SPEAR Many of my classmates of the class of 1862 have already signed up for positions as officers of the 20th Maine.

JOSHUA L. CHAMBERLAIN That is even better news, Ellis. I am hoping the bounty for three year draftees is enough of an incentive to get them to sign up.

ELLIS SPEAR I recruited Bowdoin graduates, William w. Morrell, and James H. Nicols to help with recruiting men to the 20th Maine.

JOSHUA L. CHAMBERLAIN Keep up the good work Ellis. I am confident we will fill the ranks needed for our division. It looks like we are getting plenty of volunteers for the 20th Maine regiment.




The date is August 29, 1862, and officers of the Regular Army appeared in Portland, Maine to muster volunteers for the 20th Maine division.


COLONEL LEONARD TARIFF, US ARMY REGULAR (40) Gentlemen, I am here from the Regular U.S. Army to muster the 20th Maine Volunteers into service for their Country. Gentlemen line up, and sign your name on the official U.S. Federal form here on the table. Hurray up with it now.

JOSHUA L. CHAMBERLAIN How many have you mustered Colonel Tariff? 29.

COLONEL LEONARD TARIFF, US ARMY REGULAR We have 979 officers, and men, mustered so far Lieutenant Colonel Chamberlain. Just a little short of 1,000. It looks like the 20th of Maine is the last Regiment to be raised in Maine this summer, and you seem to have all the leftover men, from other regiments in addition. Gentlemen, on Sept. 2nd you are scheduled to depart by train from Portland. We will assemble on Sept. 1, 1862, and remain in temporary barracks. We leave at the bugle call early in the morning. Now all of you need to swear allegiance to the Union.


SCENE 3- EXT. NIGHT- PORTLAND MAINE CAMP Several days later, on September 2, 1862, after raining all night the day, the time for departure had arrived. The bugle sounded off at 3:00 am in the morning. All of the volunteers had two hours to get all their equipment together and Federal issued uniforms. Chamberlain’s wife Fanny arrived in Portland the day before with her father Rev. George Adams to see Joshua off. Fanny spent the night with her husband Joshua in a rain soaked tent along with her father Rev. George E. Adams who dampened any romantic spirit

JOSHUA L. CHAMBERLAIN Are you comfortable Fanny? I am sorry all they have is Army cots and blankets. Are you OK Rev. Adams?

REV. GEORGE E. ADAMS (65) Yes, these accommodation will do fine if the rain would just stop.

FRANCIS CAROLINE ADAMS CHAMBERLAIN I am fine Joshua. Just mover your cot close to mine.

We can share two blankets to keep warm.

JOSHUA L. CHAMBERLAIN There the cots are together now so we can get some sleep. We are getting up at 3:00 am to allow the men plenty of time to pack their things and be on the train on time. 30.

FRANCIS CAROLINE ADAMS CHAMBERLAIN Bless you Joshua. Come to be with me. Sorry father these are the only accommodations in town.

REV. GEORGE E. ADAMS Everything is fine daughter. We are showing our support to your husband who is going off to war to be a hero.

JOSHUA L. CHAMBERLAIN I hadn’t planned on being a hero father. No matter I just felt it was my time to support the Union. Good night father Adams.

REV. GEORGE E. ADAMS Good night Fanny and Joshua.

3:00 a.m.

BUGLER BOY (16) (Plays Reveille the wake up call for soldiers)

COLONEL ADELBERT AMES (26) All right men line up after you get your uniform. I assume all of the officers have seen to having their own uniforms custom tailored? How many men are in uniform? Are you the College Professor given the rank of Lieutenant Colonel without any military experience?

JOSHUA L. CHAMBERLAIN Yes sir I am and there are Only two in uniform sir. Major Charles D. Gilmore is in uniform. He served with the 7th Maine Sir..

COLONEL ADELBERT AMES Wow, what a hell of a regiment? We have our work cut out for us Lieutenant Colonel Chamberlain.

JOSHUA L. CHAMBERLAIN Yes, Sir we do. 31.

COLONEL ADELBERT AMES Alright Lieutenant Colonel Chamberlain have the officers load the men on the train.

JOSHUA L. CHAMBERLAIN Yes, sir (saluting)

Fanny arrives in a wagon minutes later on a dark and damp morning.

FRANCIS CAROLINE ADAMS CHAMBERLAIN I took a wagon to prevent from getting wet to see you off Joshua. How are you? Your children will miss you. I told them you were going away for a little while and they cried.

JOSHUA L. CHAMBERLAIN Where is your father, Rev. Adams?

FRANCIS CAROLINE ADAMS CHAMBERLAIN He is walking to the train station to show how strong he is. Oh, here he comes now.

REV. GEORGE E. ADAMS (65) Good morning Joshua. I see you have your uniform already. I wish you well son. Even though I am against war, I hope you make Maine proud. Good bye, and keep in touch. I know Fanny will miss you very much. Take care now.

JOSHUA L. CHAMBERLAIN Hug me one more time Fanny. You know I love you and I promise to come back when the war is over.

Getting on the train.

JOSHUA L. CHAMBERLAIN (CONT’D) Good bye everyone. Wish me luck.

TRAIN CONDUCTOR (40) All Aboard. All Aboard. Take your seats gentlemen we have a long ride ahead.

Fanny is seen bundled up in a horse and carriage waving in the distance.

Fade OUT. 32.




Four days into his command Lieutenant Colonel Chamberlain received 120 badly needed troops. The transfer order describe the men as mutineers from the recently decommissioned 2nd Regiment of Maine. In fact, the men were transported by armed guards.

GENERAL GEORGE MEADE (50) Note written by General Mead: To the Commander of the 20th Maine. I am transferring the 120 remaining troops from the 2nd Maine to the 20th Maine, since they still have one year left of service. Since these men have refused to fight and take up arms, they had to be put under guard. You are instructed to make them do their duty or shoot them if they refuse. (Signed General Meade)

JOSHUA L. CHAMBERLAIN After reading the report from General Meade I seem to have a predicament here Sergeant Thomas.

ROGER VANLEUVAN (23) SERGEANT 2ND MAINE Colonel Ames and Lieutenant Colonel Chamberlain, I have been selected by the men of the 2nd Maine to represent them in their grievance. We had men enlisted for two and three year terms and the men with the two year terms have left already forcing the 2nd Maine to be decommissioned. We signed up to fight with the 2nd Maine, not some other group of soldiers from Maine, Sir.

JOSHUA L. CHAMBERLAIN I understand Sergeant Vanleuvan. Most of your men come from a town near to where I was born. In faith, I have added your names to the official 20th Maine rooster as soldiers, and not as prisoners. I appreciate your grievance, and I promise to write the governor of Maine and see what I can do for your cause. Meanwhile, taking up arms will avert the possibility of a court marshal. I have a group of young volunteers that have no military experience, and we need you veterans of the 2nd Maine to help us learn how to fight the rebels.

(MORE) 33.

JOSHUA L. CHAMBERLAIN (CONT’D) If you wish to join with the 20th Maine, and help us win this war step forward two steps. (Looking down the long line) Well, all but six men have stepped forward ,and I am grateful to you all.

Sergeant place the six men that did not step forward under arrest, and put them in chains. That will be all, fall out.

SERGEANT THOMAS (Speaking to the Six Men) You are under arrest for mutiny in the ranks and subject to a full court marshal, at which time you may be shot by the articles of War. Private put the leg irons on these men and put them in the brig.

JOSHUA L. CHAMBERLAIN Thank you for your service soldiers of the 2nd Maine. You honor your fallen comrades, and you honor Maine so that we will win this terrible war.








One year later the 20th Maine, after the battle of Fredericksburg, is marching north to Pennsylvania seeking confederate troops. The Union troops, and 20th of Maine, camped at Hanover, Pennsylvania on the first day of July 1863. All day they had been marching north from Maryland. Colonel Adelbert Ames has been promoted to General Meade’s staff. Lieutenant Colonel Joshua Chamberlain is promoted to Colonel of the 20th Maine regiment after FREDERICKSBURG battle.



Sergeant Thomas have the 20th Maine camp here for the night. 34.

SERGEANT THOMAS Yes, Sir. Troops dismount. Set up camp. We will rest here for the evening. Colonel Chamberlain I hear that some Union troops were attacked by the Confederates at Gettysburg. That sounds like Lee is ahead of us in Pennsylvania.

JOSHUA L. CHAMBERLAIN When are the forage wagons getting here sir? The men are hungry and tired.

SERGEANT THOMAS I don’t know but they should get here soon. I can’t wait for a cup of coffee.

JOSHUA L. CHAMBERLAIN I will have the men get the fires going for when the wagons arrive.


The wagons arrived a half an hour later, and the men eagerly unloaded the local meats, and vegetables the wagon was able to collect from local farmers. After eating, everyone turned in, worn out from marching all day.

Less than two hours later, suddenly the startling bugle-call, “The General” it blasted out over the encampment. “To the March.”


SERGEANT THOMAS What is happening Colonel Chamberlain I just heard the Bugle call that woke me up?

JOSHUA L. CHAMBERLAIN It was the General Bugle call sir and To March, I am not sure sir what is going on but we are being told to ready a forced march to Gettysburg.

SERGEANT THOMAS Gettysburg? That doesn’t sound good. Damm, and I was just starting to get a full night of sleep. Where is my horse? 35.

JOSHUA L. CHAMBERLAIN That will be a forced march of about 16 miles Sir. I will have an orderly prepare your horse.

SERGEANT THOMAS Damm, it is still dark out. Get the colors. Form the 20th Maine into companies, and let’s march.

JOSHUA L. CHAMBERLAIN I will send out the order. Sergeant have the Cavalry mount up. Infantry get in file and ready to march. Hurray men.

In the middle of the night, houses were passed by with young girls waving their handkerchiefs at the gallant men marching bye in the foggy night.

SERGEANT THOMAS It is about an hour before sunrise. Should the men take a rest for an while Colonel?.

JOSHUA L. CHAMBERLAIN I will pass the command to the Captains of each company. I need a little rest myself. See to it that all the companies are informed Sergeant.



(Joshua falls asleep and begins to dream of Fanny his wife) Dream- Fanny you look so pretty today in that new dress. Where are you going?

FRANCIS CAROLINE ADAMS CHAMBERLAIN (In the dream) I am going back to my father Joshua.

JOSHUA L. CHAMBERLAIN (In the dream) Why, Fanny are you leaving me.

FRANCIS CAROLINE ADAMS CHAMBERLAIN (In the dream) You have not been kind to me and the children. 36.

JOSHUA L. CHAMBERLAIN (In the dream) I have given you everything dear. What more do you want?

FRANCIS CAROLINE ADAMS CHAMBERLAIN (In the dream) You are married to your teaching job, not to me.

JOSHUA L. CHAMBERLAIN (In the dream) But, Fanny, let me make it up to you.



An hour later.

SERGEANT THOMAS What time is it Colonel Chamberlain?

JOSHUA L. CHAMBERLAIN Seven o’clock Sir. We are east of Gettysburg. Orders are to move across Rock Creek, and up the Baltimore Pike toward Gettysburg.

As the Union troops marched up Baltimore Pike they reached an open field overlooking the town of Gettysburg.

JOSHUA L. CHAMBERLAIN (CONT’D) Sergeant, on our front and left are the troops of the Eleventh, and First Corp and on our right are the Twelfth Corp. Something big is brewing.

SERGEANT THOMAS I can vouch for that with all our troops massing outside Gettysburg. Where are we now?

JOSHUA L. CHAMBERLAIN I think this is called Cemetery Hill Sergeant. The map shows the Baltimore Pike, and the Taneytown Road Merging together.

(MORE) 37.

JOSHUA L. CHAMBERLAIN (CONT’D) Second Corp of Hancock’s has taken position on the ridge from Cemetery going south. On the end of that line is Third Corp, General Sickles Corp is forming.

SERGEANT THOMAS I hope Meade knows what the hell he is doing?

Suddenly a burst of artillery exploded overhead.

SERGEANT THOMAS (CONT’D) The bugle is sounding, “To the Left at utmost speed.” Let’s move out quickly. I will Inform the Captains Colonel Chamberlain.

JOSHUA L. CHAMBERLAIN Sergeant are the Horses ready? (Yelling) Double quick men to the left.

SERGEANT THOMAS Follow the Fifth Corp. Where is the Third Corp?




The Confederate troops are massed on Seminary Ridge at Gettysburg appraising what the Union line is doing. General Robert E. Lee instructs General Longstreet to begin moving his corp to the right of the Union line in an attempt to flank the Union line.

GENERAL ROBERT E. LEE (50’S) COMMANDER OF THE ARMY OF VIRGINIA General Longstreet I want you to take two of your divisions and swing around the left flank of the Union line. Let’s take a ride down the line to see what the Union troops are doing.

GENERAL LONGSTREET (50’) CONFEDERATE ARMY OF VIRGINIA We will have to backtrack General in order to swing to the right, without the Union line seeing what we are doing? 38.

GENERAL ROBERT E. LEE I gave an order General and I expect you to carry it out immediately, and not wine and carrying on how difficult it will be. Just do it. Thank you.

GENERAL LONGSTREET Yes, Sir, General. I will give the orders for the 4th and 15th Alabama regiments and the 4th and 5th Texas regiments to swing around and try and find the Union left flank.

LIEUTENANT COLONEL WILLIAM OATES, CONFEDERATE OFFICER All right men, ya’ll move out, ya’ here. We are marching toward the small hill on the Union’s left flank.

Later that day after a long hot march by the Texas and Alabama regiments to Big Round Top.

SERGEANT JIMMY BOB LEIGH (21) CONFEDERATE Colonel the men are thirsty after that long hot march.

LIEUTENANT COLONEL WILLIAM OATES, CONFEDERATE OFFICER Gather up 22 men to take up all the men’s canteens and go back to Plum creek, and get fresh water for everyone by filling up their canteens.

SERGEANT JIMMY BOB LEIGH Yes, sir. I will pass the command to the Alabama regiment.

22 men gather up all the canteens and head back to Plum creek. Captain Morrell and the US. 2nd Sharpshooters and company B are stationed at the rear of the confederate line by Colonel Chamberlain. The 22 confederate soldiers stumble right into a trap and are taken prisoner.

CAPTAIN MORRELL (35) Who goes there? 39.


CAPTAIN MORRELL Hands up Rebs our my men will shot every one of you. What are you doing with all those canteens?

PRIVATE BILLY BOB JONES, CONFEDERATE ARMY We’d be getting some water for our buddies.

CAPTAIN MORRELL Drop the canteens and get down on the ground. Tie them up boys and gather up the canteens. The Rebs wouldn’t need water in this hot water today. Laughing. Line them up now hup, two, one, two and march.

LIEUTENANT COLONEL WILLIAM OATES, CONFEDERATE OFFICER Where are the boys with the canteens? We cannot wait any longer, Captain call for a charge up the hill. Bugle sound the charge. Charge.

CAPTAIN WILLIAM K. BUFORD (31) Charge boys. Cut ‘em yankees down. Charge.

The confederates charge five times up and retreat down Little Round Top.

SERGEANT JIMMY BOB LEIGH Colonel we have made five charges up the hill and each time we were forced back. What are we going to do now?

LIEUTENANT COLONEL WILLIAM OATES, CONFEDERATE OFFICER Hang in there Sergeant. I am working on a plan now. Where is the water, damm it. We need that water now. Sergeant send someone back to Plum creek and see what happened to the lads. 40.

CAPTAIN WILLIAM K. BUFORD Colonel without any water the men cannot clean their weapons of black powder residue that is caked on the inside of their rifle barrels. They cannot ram the rod down the rifle barrel because the soot buildup.

LIEUTENANT COLONEL WILLIAM OATES, CONFEDERATE OFFICER Damm it I don’t understand where the hell those 22 men are with the canteens?

PRIVATE BEN JOSEPH LIVERFORD (19) CONFERATE ARMY OF VIRGINIA Colonel, we found no trace of the 22 men who went for water. Maybe they ran away or maybe they were captured by the Yankees? We don’t know where they are.

LIEUTENANT COLONEL WILLIAM OATES, CONFEDERATE OFFICER That is just great. Now we do not have any more canteens for water. That is a major problem.


Back at the Army of Virginia headquarters a while later.


GENERAL ROBERT E. LEE General Longstreet how are you Alabama and Texas regiments doing flanking the Union left line?

GENERAL LONGSTREET We had five attacks up that little hill only to be turned back each time.

GENERAL ROBERT E. LEE So what stopped them from taking the hill? 41.

GENERAL LONGSTREET They ran out of water Sir. It seems they sent 22 men back to Plum creek for water, and they were captured by the Federal body. Rifles could be cleaned of residue.

GENERAL ROBERT E. LEE Damm the luck. Our scouts said the hill was unoccupied on the first day. What the hell happened?





General Warren discovers Little Round Top has no Union troops defending it, and the left flank of the Union line. He sends for reinforcements immediately.

JOSHUA L. CHAMBERLAIN They are about a mile ahead sir, almost to Emmitsburg road. We are bing told to hold for a minute. A staff officer from General Warren just rode up.

STAFF OFFICER (40) Where is General Sykes? It is urgent I speak with him. I have a message from General Warren.

General Sykes rides up on his horse.

GENERAL SYKES (50) Yes, what is the urgency?

STAFF OFFICER General Meade sent General Warren to inspect a small hill at the left end of the Union line, since the Confederates seem to be moving to the left of the Union lines in an attempt to flank the Union line. When General Warren got to this hill called Little Round Top, he found only the Union Signal corp there. The hill is not defended by any troops, and the Confederates are headed straight toward this hill.

(MORE) 42.

STAFF OFFICER (CONT’D) General Warren has asked you to send any regiments you can spare to set up a defensive line on this hill or the confederates will flank the Union line.

Before General Sykes can issue any orders Colonel Strong Vincent jumps at the opportunity and moves his regiment quickly toward Little Round Top hill.

COLONEL STRONG VINCENT (40) Men, double quick to Little Round Top before the Confederate get there, and flank our line. Hurray men.

Colonel Strong Vincent’s division hurried to Little Round Top where General Warren was waiting.

JOSHUA L. CHAMBERLAIN Follow Colonel Strong Vincent’s regiment to little Round Top quickly. (Yelling) Stay behind Vincent’s regiment men. Follow that log bridge over Plum Run. We will continue on the farm-road leading to the base of the mountain Chamberlain.

SERGEANT THOMAS We are moving as quickly as we can manage sir.

30 minutes later the Union troops arrive on Little Round Top.

GENERAL WARREN (50) I am glad you boys made it here in time. Send word to the Union battery below to throw a solid shot into the mass of woods near Devils Den.

Minutes later a whistling sound is heard overhead.

SERGEANT THOMAS Do you hear that overhead? It is our batteries sending solid shot into the woods down in Devils Den. Hurray for them. 43.

GENERAL WARREN Look, there, just as I thought see the glitter of musket-barrels, and bayonets in the slanting sunlight? Yup, there is a nest of Confederates down there getting ready to attack our Third Corp.

JOSHUA L. CHAMBERLAIN We had better scramble quickly up that rugged peak to establish a defensive line around that mountain called Little Round top.

SERGEANT THOMAS The terrain is really rugged with large boulders and jagged rocks, with only a few straggling trees. It is going to be rough going crossing this mountain.

Suddenly, a series of several cannon shots travel over the heads of the Union line.

SERGEANT THOMAS (CONT’D) Cannon shells overhead duck down Colonel.

Shells were bursting overhead as the Confederates opened a volley of cannon shells upon the face of Little Round Top to prevent the Union troops from getting into a defensive position. Tree tops were brought down and hissing fragments fell from shells above. The three brothers Joshua, John and Tom are riding on horses toward Little Round Top when another cannon volley explodes over their heads.

JOSHUA L. CHAMBERLAIN Brothers Tom and John, duck, here comes a cannon volley.

TOM CHAMBERLAIN (25) That was a close one brother.

JOHN CHAMBERLAIN (30) Did you hear that shell explode Joshua. Too close for me.

JOSHUA L. CHAMBERLAIN Boys, I don’t like this. Another shot might make it hard for mother. Tom go to the rear of the regiment and see that is closed up. John, pass up ahead and look out a place for our wounded. I wish we had a surgeon.

(MORE) 44.

JOSHUA L. CHAMBERLAIN (CONT’D) The old ones are gone and we have not gotten any replacements. Sergeant see to it that the men reach the crest of the mountain quickly.

CAPTAIN ELLIS SPEAR Keep you heads down men. The cannon volleys are heavy. Seek shelter behind those boulders.




The 20th Maine reaches the southern face of Little Round Top to find Colonel Strong Vincent there with a concerned look on his face.

COLONEL STRONG VINCENT Gentlemen of the 20th Maine. I place you here (pointing to the slope on Little Round Top). This is the left of the Union line. You understand. You are to hold this ground at all hazards.

SERGEANT THOMAS Colonel Chamberlain and I both understand Colonel. We will protect this rotten hill at all costs.

JOSHUA L. CHAMBERLAIN We have no supports on the left Sergeant. I will dispatch Captain Morrill in that direction with orders to move along up the valley to our front and left, between us, and the eastern base of Great Round Top; to keep within supporting distance from us, and to act as exigencies of the battle should require.

SERGEANT THOMAS Good idea Colonel. We only have 358 men to cover the left side of this hill. I am sure the confederates have twice that number waiting to rush up this hill, and bury us. 45.

JOSHUA L. CHAMBERLAIN We have the seasoned men of the 2nd and 7th Maine, Sir, that will keep the new volunteers of the 20th of Maine in line. We are going to need every man we can get. I will release the Pioneers, and provost guards and send them to their companies. The drummer boys will assist the wounded back at the temporary hospital.

SERGEANT THOMAS How long is this cannonade going to continue?

JOSHUA L. CHAMBERLAIN I don’t know, but when it stops then the troops will attack this hill. We have the 83 Pennsylvania to our right and the 44 New York and the 16th Michigan.

COLONEL STRONG VINCENT Gentlemen, I think it would be more profitable for the 20th Maine to go to the clearer space on the right of the regiment. You will be able to seek cover and shoot from there. The cannonade is deafening, can you hear me?

SERGEANT THOMAS Yes, Colonel Vincent. We will move the 20th Maine to the clearer space on the right of the regiment immediately. Companies move to the right.

JOSHUA L. CHAMBERLAIN Yes, Sir will inform the commanders.


Suddenly, the thunder of artillery crashing into the tree tops and rocks stopped. A lull occurred and a strange silence came over Little Round Top.

SERGEANT THOMAS The cannons have stopped Colonel Chamberlain. You know what that means?

JOSHUA L. CHAMBERLAIN We can assume the confederates are at the base of Little Round Top getting ready to charge up the hill. 46.

A Lieutenant Nichols comes rushing up the hill to talk to Lieutenant Colonel Chamberlain,

LIEUTENANT NICHOLS (27) Colonel the confederates seem to be moving to the right.

JOSHUA L. CHAMBERLAIN Let me see from on top of this big rock. I can see groups of gray moving to gain our left flank. No doubt about it. You are right Lieutenant Nichols.

LIEUTENANT NICHOLS How many troops do you think Lieutenant Colonel Chamberlain?

JOSHUA L. CHAMBERLAIN I don’t know, but it is a lot of troops for sure, perhaps double our numbers? Lieutenant pass the word for all the Captains to report to me immediately. Sergeant, we going to shift to the left to prevent the confederate troops from flanking us.

SERGEANT THOMAS Yes, Sir, I will see to it that the Captains follow your orders.

Ten minutes later all of the Captains had formed around Colonel Chamberlain.

JOSHUA L. CHAMBERLAIN Gentlemen, I want you to the front fire at the hottest, without special regard to its need or immediate effect, and at the same time, as the opportunity presented itself to take side steps to the left, coming gradually into one rank, file-closers and all. Color guard, do you hear me? Move the colors to the extreme left behind that giant boulder for protection. This will move our line bending back at a right angle. Do all of you Captains understand my orders? Be gone then and pass the word to your men. Hurray, the confederates are about to attack. 47.

SERGEANT THOMAS What about the Union artillery Sir?

JOSHUA L. CHAMBERLAIN General Warren has sent Hazlett with his battery D of the Fifth Regulars. They have to scale the side of the mountain without aid of horses, because it is too steep. It will be a difficult climb for them carrying the canons by hand.



Lieutenant Colonel Oates lines up his troops for the attack after a forced march on a hot day and the Alabama men are exhausted and without any water.

LIEUTENANT WILLIAM OATES, CONFEDERATE OFFICER Gentlemen I need not tell you how important it is for us to take this hill. It could be the key to outflanking the Union line and taking them from behind. The terrain is difficult and there is little actual cover as you charge up the hill. Check your ammunition and get ready to charge.

Minutes later

LIEUTENANT COLONEL WILLIAM OATES, CONFEDERATE OFFICER Alabama regiments ready, Texas regiments ready, charge. Bugle sound the charge.

SERGEANT JIMMY BOB LEIGH Surprisingly there seems to be a lot of Union resistance Colonel.

LIEUTENANT COLONEL WILLIAM OATES, CONFEDERATE OFFICER How the hell is that possible. Yesterday there was no body. Follow me men. Let’s kill those damm Yankees. (A shot whizzes by) Damm that was close. Keep shooting men. Take ‘em down. 48.

CAPTAIN ELLISON (30) CONFEDERATE I’ve been hit damm. God it hurts.

CONFEDERATE PRIVATE I just tripped on one of my buddies who is dead with a shot right through his head. His eyes popped out.


LIEUTENANT JOHN OATES , CONFEDERATE (25) I only took one bullet in the arm brother. Oh…and another, and yet another, Help me…another shot, my left arm and chest. (Falls to the ground dead).

CONFEDERALE CORPORAL Colonel the Yanks are holding their line and we are loosing a lot of men. They have a lot of men firing down at us as we try to climb the steep slope.

CAPTAIN BRAINARD, CONFEDERATE I taken a shot. “Oh God I can see my mother.”

LIEUTENANT COLONEL WILLIAM OATES, CONFEDERATE OFFICER Retreat. Bugler sound the retreat. We will regroup at the bottom of the hill and assess our losses.

Captains count your losses. Combine your companies if you lack enough men. We are going to make a second charge. Are you ready men? Let’s run them over. Death to the Yankees. Bugler sound the charge.

Fifteen minutes later under a deadly volley of fire from the 20th Maine, The 18th Alabama is forced to retreat.

LIEUTENANT COLONEL WILLIAM OATES, CONFEDERATE OFFICER (CONT’D) Retreat. Bugler sound Retreat. To the bottom of the hill. Keep your cover. 49.

Minutes later.

LIEUTENANT COLONEL WILLIAM OATES, CONFEDERATE OFFICER (CONT’D) Well men they haven’t beat us yet. I am sure this time we will overcome them. Are you with me?

Charge, Bugler sound the Charge. Follow me lads.

The south lives forever. Charge.

CONFEDERALE CORPORAL Duck Colonel. A shot almost hit you. Hide behind this bolder with me. It is really hard to gain ground on such a rocky and steep slope and shoot your musket at the same time.


LIEUTENANT COLONEL L. B. FEAGIN I’m hit in the leg. Private give me a hand and pull me behind that tree.


COLONEL STRONG VINCENT Oh, my God the confederates have attacked the 16 Michigan line, and they are having great difficulty holding the line against an onslaught of confederates.

UNION PRIVATE Colonel Vincent, Sir, we are about to be overrun Sir. We cannot hold against so many confederates.

COLONEL STRONG VINCENT Keep the line together. Keep firing to drive them back. Just cut them down with a volley of shots. Hold your ground men. 50.

Shots are hitting every tree and breaking branches off. Other volleys are ricocheting off the boulders in all directions. The smoke from the muskets creates a fog where no one can see what is going on.

UNION PRIVATE I am hit sir. cannot see. The blood is all over my face.


COLONEL STRONG VINCENT Take this scarf Private, and cover your wound. Can anyone take this private back to the hospital?

Colonel Strong Vincent rushes into the 16th Michigan line with his sword held high, and shouting encouragement to the men of the Michigan line.

COLONEL STRONG VINCENT (CONT’D) Don’t yield an inch now, men, or all is lost.(Yelling)

Suddenly, a volley of shots came from the confederate line and Colonel Strong Vincent fell to the ground severely wounded.

COLONEL STRONG VINCENT (CONT’D) Damm it I am hit. Captain keep up the volley. Don’t give an inch.

CAPTAIN GREENWOOD (24) Colonel the 144th New York regiment are coming to the rescue.

COLONEL PATRICK O’RORKE (25) Follow me men. (Shouting) Charge, push those confederate bastards back.

A volley of Confederate shots ring out. Colonel Patrick O’Rouke falls to the ground after being hit by a shot.

CAPTAIN GREENWOOD Thank God, the 140th New York regiment came to reinforce us. COLONEL speak to me. Damm he is dead. 51.

A volley of shots from the confederate line cut almost everyone charging their line. The 16th Michigan line holds firm with the support of the 140 New York regiment. Colonel Patrick O’Rorke is cut down.

JOSHUA L. CHAMBERLAIN Colonel O’Rorke has been shot and is down. His 140th New York regiment has reinforced the 16th Michigan, and their line has held Sir.

SERGEANT THOMAS Good, the confederates almost broke through the 16th Michigan line. God, they have a lot of troops. Do I hear Hazlett’s guns firing from the summit of this hill?

JOSHUA L. CHAMBERLAIN Yes he has ten pound rifled Parrotts cannons that are cutting into the confederates as they charge up the slope. It is a miracle they made it to the top without horses.

For the next hour the intensity of the cannon volley and the confederates firing up the slope at the Union line continued. Smoke from the rifles and muskets is covering the slope of Little Round Top reducing the ability to see anything.

JOSHUA L. CHAMBERLAIN (CONT’D) We seem to be almost surrounded. Keep firing to the last shot. My God where are my men? All I see is grey coats. Stay behind the tree Colonel.

UNION PRIVATE Colonel do you have any more ammunition?

JOSHUA L. CHAMBERLAIN No, but we are waiting for more to be delivered. Look for cartridges on the ground from the dead.

SERGEANT THOMAS I am running out of ammunition Colonel Chamberlain.

JOSHUA L. CHAMBERLAIN Here are some more shot Sergeant. Use it wisely. 52.

The sounds of men yelling, screams of pain, names of girlfriends traveled over the noise of musket shots and cannons from the crest of the hill. Chamberlain comes across a wounded Union Private.

JOSHUA L. CHAMBERLAIN (CONT’D) Soldier you are wounded. Are you OK? You have a ghastly wound across your forehead. Go back to our field hospital and get your head tended to.

A half an hour later.

JOSHUA L. CHAMBERLAIN (CONT’D) Hey, Soldier didn’t I send you back to the hospital a while ago? I see you got bandaged for your head.

That is good, but what are you doing back here?

UNION PRIVATE I had to come back to help my buddies Colonel. My head is fine, just a scratch. I will be OK.

The confederate volley of shot got even more intense. Smoke was everywhere, and the sound of hundreds of rifles shooting sounded like one giant bang.

CHARLES DUNKERK, UNION CORPORAL Billy boy, duck. Another shot hit the tree next to me. Boy that was close. How much ammunition have you got left Billy?

BILLY BANISH, UNION PRIVATE I have only a dozen shot left Corporal.

CHARLES DUNKERK Pass the word, Hold the line, no matter what.

BENTLEY BROWN, PRIVATE Colonel we are all running low on ammunition. What are your orders Sir?

As the smoke cleared.

JOSHUA L. CHAMBERLAIN Sergeant, the Color Sergeant Andrew Tozier is in trouble. Only two of the color guard are left. (MORE) 53.

JOSHUA L. CHAMBERLAIN (CONT’D) The others have been shot in the cross-fire. Sergeant send some men down to protect the colors with Tozier quickly. Tom come here. Listen brother, I want you to go down to the line, and close the gap with men from neighboring companies if possible. Contract the center to repel the confederates from breaking through the middle of our line. Do you understand?

TOM CHAMBERLAIN Yes, brother, mean Colonel.


JOSHUA L. CHAMBERLAIN OK, get going Tom. Sergeant Thomas I am not sure my brother Tom can close up our line in the middle, so I want you to go down and help him out. Move quickly Sergeant, the confederates are close to breaking through the middle of our line.

SERGEANT THOMAS Yes, Sir, am on my way.



Thirty minutes later.


TOM CHAMBERLAIN Colonel, I am back. Sergeant Thomas, and I shored up the line in the center by moving some of the men close to the middle, into the gap to stop the grey coats.

JOSHUA L. CHAMBERLAIN Good job Tom. The smoke is clearing now. A Lull has occurred. Perhaps the confederates are regrouping? Oh my God, Sergeant look at all our men wounded, and dead in front of the line? I think I am going to be sick. I had not realized how many men were shot during our exchange of volleys with the confederates. It seems like we are down half out number of soldiers.

(MORE) 54.


SERGEANT THOMAS We must be done, half our strength by the looks of it, all the dead and wounded. What do you recommend Colonel?

JOSHUA L. CHAMBERLAIN I am going along the line to inspect our dead and wounded numbers.

Minutes later along the 20th Maine line.

JOSHUA L. CHAMBERLAIN (CONT’D) Private Sir. (Coming across a wounded man) I recognize you from earlier at Antietam, and Fredericksburg. You were busted down from Sergeant for refusing to give into some Bullying Quartermaster. It looks like you took a shot to the chest Private. Let me help you loosen your shirt. I have to stop that blood from flowing. My boy you shall be cared for.

PRIVATE GEORGE WASHINGTON BUCK (22) (Whispering) Tell my mother I did not die a coward.

JOSHUA L. CHAMBERLAIN You die a Sergeant. I promote you for faithful service, and noble courage on the field of Gettysburg. God look over you. Amen.

The Private died with his eyes looking skyward. The volley of shots began again as the 15th Alabama began opening fire upon the 20th Maine again.

SERGEANT THOMAS Here they come again Colonel. Muskets ready. They coming at us again Chamberlain. We are enveloped in fire. When is this going to end? 55.

JOSHUA L. CHAMBERLAIN We are doing our best to hold the line, but we are running out of ammunition. I will continue to run along the line pushing our men to hold the line.

Running along the Union line Lieutenant Colonel Chamberlain kept encouraging his men of the 20th Maine, but the same refrain came from the men.

PRIVATE UNION (Shouting from the line) Colonel, I am almost out of ammunition.

SERGEANT UNION Well, Colonel I am out of ammunition. What are your orders Sir. The next confederate assault should just about bury us. Sweet Mary protect us.

CORPORAL UNION Colonel Chamberlain keep your head down sir. We are holding, but most of the men are out of ammunition, and the confederates will soon realize it as our volley of shots gets smaller.

JOSHUA L. CHAMBERLAIN I hear you corporal. Hold on I will make a decision soon, and you will be the first to hear about it.

CAPTAIN ELLIS SPEAR Colonel, good to see you Sir. Things are looking bad I am afraid. We are just about out of ammunition. We have been grabbing our fallen comrades rifles, and using their ammunition. What are you going to do Sir? Shall we retreat or what?





FADE IN: 56.

LIEUTENANT WILLIAM OATES, CONFEDERATE OFFICER (28) Gentlemen, quick reassemble your companies and prepare for another charge up this damm hill. Remember your loved ones in the South. We must take this hill for General Longstreet. He is counting on us.

CONFEDERATE SERGEANT Damm if we do Colonel and damm if we don’t. Those damm Yankees wouldn’t give an inch.

CONFEDERALE CORPORAL Wait till ya see th’m boys in the eyes and then blow their head off. Com’ on y’all we can lick these Yankees.


CONFEDERATE CAPTAIN Colonel they are charging down the hill with bayonets Sir.


CONFEDERATE PRIVATE Run, boys, they are going to kill all of us.

CONFEDERATE CORPORAL Holy cow, there are hundreds of them Yankees, Run y’all. Shit they are gaining on us.

The confederates turn and run like geese in a flock retreat. Everywhere the Union soldier are cutting down the rebels or taking them in surrender. The Confederates are so shocked that they all turn and beg for mercy. 57.



A young Lieutenant from the color guard comes running up to Lieutenant Colonel Chamberlain.


LIEUTENANT MELCHER (22) Colonel Chamberlain can I advance the Colors to retrieve our wounded and dead Sir?

JOSHUA L. CHAMBERLAIN It would be a dangerous move Lieutenant, but in a moment, I am about to order a charge.

LIEUTENANT MELCHER Yes, Sir, thank you Sir. I will tell the color guard of the impending charge Colonel.

JOSHUA L. CHAMBERLAIN Well Sergeant , it looks like Bayonets or death. Are you ready Sir? (Jumping up and shouting) “Bayonets.” (Charging down the hill behind Sergeant Tozier).


SERGEANT TOZIER Bayonets, charge. (Shouting)

LIEUTENANT MELCHER (Jumping up from the line, shouting) Come on boys, come on.

Sergeant Tozier the Color Sergeant, with the colors, led down the hill with Lieutenant Melcher, and Colonel Chamberlain sword held high right behind him. Behind them, 200 men of the 20th charged down the hill into the confederate ranks. Colonel comes across a Confederate Officer who has a pistol aimed toward Chamberlain’s head.

JOSHUA L. CHAMBERLAIN Yield (shouting to a confederate commanding officer who attempted to shoot him) Or I will push this saber through your throat. Give me you pistol. Sergeant take this officer prisoner, and hold his sword until I can get back to you later. (Shouting) Keep pushing them back lads. 58.

ELLIS SPEAR (Talking to a Confederate soldier) Do you surrender? Drop your musket or I will cut you in half.

PRIVATE UNION LINE (Bayonet toward a Confederate soldier’s chest) Submit or die soldier. Lie on the ground. Tie him up men.

CORPORAL UNION LINE I just cut a confederate’s arm clean off. My sword is dripping with blood. Oh my God this is hell.

SERGEANT UNION LINE I cannot see with all the blood in my eyes. There (stabbing) a confederate soldier through the chest with his bayonet. Take that reb.

JOSHUA L. CHAMBERLAIN (Coming across a Lieutenant Colonel of the confederates) Surrender or I will blow a hole in your head with these pistols.

CONFEDERATE SOLDIERS We surrender, We surrender. Don’t kill us Yankee.

CONFEDERATE LIEUTENANT COLONEL BULGER (28) I surrender Sir. I am your prisoner and I am wounded Sir. My name is Lieutenant Colonel Bulger, Sir.

JOSHUA L. CHAMBERLAIN Private, take care of this Confederate Lieutenant Colonel Bulger, and see to his wounds, and make sure he is tied up as a prisoner.

All around Union soldiers are impaling Rebel soldiers with their bayonets. The charge made a complete rout of the rebel troops, but the scene was a bloody massacre. Dead bodies were everywhere in the bushes, between the rocks and trees and in the high grass. The confederates were running away like cattle. 59.

UNION PRIVATE Yes, Sir. I will see to his wounds and have him bound up.

ELLIS SPEAR Keep pushing them back men. We have them on the run now.

SERGEANT ANDREW J. TOZIER, UNION COLOR SERGEANT Keep them running. Colors forward men.

LIEUTENANT MELCHER Drop your musket or I will pierce you like an olive Confederate. (The Confederate Soldier raised his musket ,and Melcher ran his bayonet through his stomach.

SERGEANT THOMAS I hear Morrill’s men picking off the Confederates from the rear.

JOSHUA L. CHAMBERLAIN The confederates are trying to make a second line but you can see the smoke from Morrill’s men, and the US Sharpshooters making mincemeat of the confederates. Hold back men. Pass the word Captains. We are pulling back. We have pushed the rebs as far back as we dare. Regroup, and let’s flank back to Little Round Troop, and tend to our dead and wounded. It’s been a great day for the Union.

CAPTAIN ELLIS SPEAR Colonel, Sir, we have about 400 prisoners sir.

JOSHUA L. CHAMBERLAIN Thanks you Captain. We will ask headquarters to help us move them to the rear under guard. See to the wounded. Captain Spear form a detachment to remove the bodies of our dead and see to it that all our wounded are taken to our temporary hospital. 60.

CAPTAIN ELLIS SPEAR Yes, sir, right away.

SERGEANT THOMAS Tell all the company commanders to regroup and then report to me.

JOSHUA L. CHAMBERLAIN Gentlemen, It seems like we have a victory in our hands, however, we must be ready just in case the Confederates get reinforcements.

CAPTAIN ELLIS SPEAR Regroup our men Sir. How are you feeling Colonel? That bayonet charge was a brilliant idea and it worked.

JOSHUA L. CHAMBERLAIN You know Ellis because I know you from the Bowdoin college days I am going to tell you when we charged my adrenalin shot up like a shot of whiskey. I was sure I would get shot right between the eyes and die on the mountain with the rest of my dead men who fought so hard. The bayonet charge was a decision urged on by desperation. I knew we did not have enough ammunition to withstand another assault, so it was charge or die in the rock pits.

ELLIS SPEAR I too felt a surge of fear and strength at the same time Colonel. I knew it was a desperate measure and I am glad you made that decision because the Confederates sure as hell were surprised when we went on the offensive.

JOSHUA L. CHAMBERLAIN Philosophically speaking we all saw the face of God today, and at the same time the face of Hell, and death. I knew we were outnumbered by the fact that the rebels were able to muster five charges up the hill and still kept coming back. They left half their men dead on the hill after five charges. I almost wish I had a pipe to smoke, and relax.

(MORE) 61.

JOSHUA L. CHAMBERLAIN (CONT’D) My nerves are in shock, and my damm foot is bleeding from a rock fragments or bullet fragments.

I tried to forget the pain, and drag my foot around as I walked up, and down the line urging our men to stay put. I kept hearing Colonel Strong Vincent in my mind, “hold the hill at all hazards.” He made me promise to do so. Damm shame he was shot down.

Too many good men lie on the rocky slope of this mountain. Captain Spear notify the men to fall out.








Nine o’clock the next morning, July 3rd, 1862, the 20th Maine was withdrawn, and replaced by the First Brigade. They were then sent to support Hancock’s troops near the left center of the Union line.

SERGEANT THOMAS Colonel Chamberlain, our orders are to support Hancock’s troops near the left center of the Union line. There go any dreams of getting a rest.

CAPTAIN ELLIS SPEAR Were are they putting us Colonel?

SERGEANT THOMAS We are to support Hancock’s troops near the center of the Union line in case the confederates charge Colonel. 62.

JOSHUA L. CHAMBERLAIN Captains move the troops forward to that stone wall a mile behind the Union front line.

At 2:00 a cannonade was heard from the front line where the 20th Maine was resting a mile behind the lines in support of Hancock’s troops.

SERGEANT THOMAS It has been quiet all day Colonel Chamberlain. Now at 2:00 all hell seems to have broken loose, but we are far from the action. Too bad.

JOSHUA L. CHAMBERLAIN It sounds like our cannons are cutting the rebel charge down from here.

UNION PRIVATE What is going on up at the line Colonel?

SERGEANT THOMAS We are not sure but it sounds like our Union artillery is unloading hell on the rebels.

A messenger arrives at 3:00 that afternoon.

MESSENGER I have a message for Colonel Chamberlain of the 20th Maine regiment Volunteers.

JOSHUA L. CHAMBERLAIN I am Colonel Chamberlain. What is the message sir?

MESSENGER General Hancock wants you to know that he repulsed an attack by General Pickett with the Union artillery as they tried to charge the center of the line and were repulsed.



The next day some of the offices of the 20th Maine returned to Little Round Top to assess the situation.

31 63.

JOSHUA L. CHAMBERLAIN Colonel we are commanded to make a reconnaissance of Little Round Top.

COLONEL ADELBERT AMES That should be ugly.

An hour later the officers of the 20th Maine approached Little Round Top hill.

COLONEL ADELBERT AMES (CONT’D) We are here Chamberlain. There are our dead lined up shoulder to shoulder. We are going to have to bury them Colonel.

JOSHUA L. CHAMBERLAIN Yes, sir, I will tell the Captains to have their men dig a wide trench to bury our dead.

COLONEL ADELBERT AMES We don’t have any crosses to put on the grave site, so we can use all the empty ammunitions boxes, and carve the names of the dead on them.

JOSHUA L. CHAMBERLAIN That sounds like a good idea Colonel. I will have to keep track of all the numbers, and names of all the dead so that we could send letters home to their families. I remember Vincent and O’Rorke, and their deeds. Weed and Hazlett, all chief commanders. Billings, Kendall, Estes, Steele, Noyes, and Buck, Linscott, So many names of so many brave men. I am depressed, and I feel tears in my eyes Colonel. This is a low time in my life. We lost so many good men.

Later Lieutenant Colonel Chamberlain and Colonel and some of the 20th Maine officers passed by the field hospital and there lying in piles were arms and legs.

JOSHUA L. CHAMBERLAIN (CONT’D) Colonel let’s give our blessings to the wounded in the field hospital to the rear.

COLONEL ADELBERT AMES Lead on Chamberlain. 64.

JOSHUA L. CHAMBERLAIN Oh, my God look at that pile of amputated arms, and the other pile of cut off legs. I think I am going to be sick. I have to get off my horse for a minute.

COLONEL ADELBERT AMES I cannot look at this picture of death and dismemberment. Come on Chamberlain, we need to leave this hospital of pain, and dismemberment.

JOSHUA L. CHAMBERLAIN I need to walk a little Colonel. I will catch up in a few minutes. (Whispering) Jesus I pray give me strength) We lost over 200 souls this past July 2, Lord watch over their souls, for they died for a cause. Amen.




Early in the morning of July 5, 1862 the 20th Maine moved out across the fields on a reconnaissance with the 3rd Brigade through the Peach Orchard, and on Westward.

SERGEANT THOMAS Breastworks ahead Colonel. We need to stop and tear that down so the confederates can never us it again for defense.

JOSHUA L. CHAMBERLAIN Captain Spear see to it that breastworks is torn down to prevent future use by the confederates.

CAPTAIN ELLIS SPEAR Yes, Sir, come men we have some work to do over by that barn.

SERGEANT THOMAS What is in that burned barn Colonel over there Colonel?

32 65.

JOSHUA L. CHAMBERLAIN I don’t know Sergeant. I will ride over and investigate. (Moments later) Private can you open that barn door for me? Oh, sweet Jesus. Never mind close the door. Ahhh, the smell. Sergeant Thomas, you might not want to get too close.

SERGEANT THOMAS What do you mean? What is in the barn Colonel Chamberlain?

JOSHUA L. CHAMBERLAIN Dead bodies, burned bodies, charred bodies, and bloated dead bodies. This must have been a temporary hospital hit by artillery shells. Over there on the ground are twenty, no forty dead Zouaves of a Pennsylvania regiment with the bright red pants. Corporal Livermore, see to it that those Zouave men are buried properly not left bloating in the sun.

CORPORAL WILLIAM T. LIVERMORE (19) Yes, Colonel, come on boys give me a hand in burying those lads from Pennsylvania.

JOSHUA L. CHAMBERLAIN Gather up the guns men. We don’t want to leave them for the confederates to use.

An hour or so later.

CORPORAL WILLIAM T. LIVERMORE Colonel the Zouaves are all buried Sir as you commanded.

CAPTAIN ELLIS SPEAR Colonel we have collected six mule loads of rifles. You would think a whole army was killed. Can we exchange our Enfield rifles for the Springfield rifles that we collected Sir. The Springfield guns are a better shooting rifle than the Enfields.

JOSHUA L. CHAMBERLAIN Sure, Captain, go ahead and distribute the Springfield rifles you collect to our men. 66.

SERGEANT THOMAS What is that smell Colonel Chamberlain? Is it the dead bodies in the barn? I think there are some dead animals in the fields. Corporal Livermore, ride out to the fields over there .and check what the small is all about.


Twenty minutes later.

CORPORAL WILLIAM T. LIVERMORE (CONT’D) Colonel the fields Sir are littered with dead confederate soldiers, and horses. There are hundreds of dead horses, and their bodies are bloated from the heat. In some places the horses are stacked as high as a house. It is a dreadful site Colonel Chamberlain. The strangest thing is some of the dead confederates had their hands tied behind their back, and one dead confederate with a handkerchief tied over his mouth. From the nature of the wound of the poor fellow it looked like he might have been gagged to smother his screams.

SERGEANT THOMAS Our reconnaissances confirms the General Lee is in full retreat Colonel.

A horseman arrived riding across the fields. It was John Chamberlain the brother of Joshua Chamberlain.

JOHN CHAMBERLAIN Brother Joshua, I have a report for you regarding your wounded from the 20th Maine. On July 2nd the wounded were placed in some farm buildings with other units of the Fifth Corps, just east of little Round Top. On July 3rd the day of Pickett’s charge the buildings came under artillery fire from shells that missed the Union line, and flew overhead nearly hitting the farm buildings. The wounded were moved several miles to the southeast for their safety.

(MORE) 67.

JOHN CHAMBERLAIN (CONT’D) I personally inspected the area and noted that the wounded were suffering from the sun causing extreme suffering. I rigged up a temporary sunshade for them and the idea spread quickly and other men helped shelter the wounded that lay on the ground in the heat of the day. On July 4th when the rain began and the wounded were getting wet for lack of proper shelter. It was not until 5th that tents arrived to cover the severely wounded, but not enough tents to cover the wounded. The rest had to be covered with dog tents. Even straw bedding got wet. It was a terrible site to see brother.

JOSHUA L. CHAMBERLAIN I am glad you were there to help John. At least some received comfort in their agony and pain. The situation here with a barn full of dead and charred bodies is no better.

JOHN CHAMBERLAIN Among many other men of the 20th Maine, I came across a Private Byron Hilt who was shot in the shoulder on July 2nd. He was put on the hospital train to Philadelphia. I hope he will be treated well there? Captain Charles W. Billings, also of the 20th Maine, Company C was badly wounded on July 2 and carried into a barn where sixty-five of the worse cases of the Fifth corp were lying on the floor. He was so fearful of all the almost dead men next to him that he lost his mind for a while until we had him moved. A surgeon looked after Captain Billings and said he had a primary amputation on the field but he was infected now and the infection had spread to his brain. Poor soul.

JOSHUA L. CHAMBERLAIN All very sad stories John. Thank you for keeping me informed. It is almost to much to absorb looking at all this death with hundreds of dead bloating bodies lying in the sun.




In a heavy downpour the Union troops slogged through the heavy mud and rain unable to even see the men in front of them.

CORPORAL WILLIAM T. LIVERMORE Colonel the mud on Emmitsburg road must be two to six inches deep Sir. We have been marching since this afternoon and the night will soon be upon us. Any chance we will be stopping soon Sir?

JOSHUA L. CHAMBERLAIN I am sorry Corporal, I haven’t gotten any word from the Generals yet. I will let you know when I hear something.

Later that night around midnight the long muddy columns of Union troops came to a stop. The bugle sounded “Halt.”

CAPTAIN ELLIS SPEAR Company Halt. Secure your tents and shelters.

PRIVATE UNION LINE We will fix bayonets and stick our bayonets down in the mud, pitching out tents over our rifles.

PRIVATE 2 Good idea soldier and the faster we will be able to get out of this God damm rain. I am soaked to my skin everywhere on my body, especially my crotch which is a pool of water.

PRIVATE UNION LINE I just hate the idea of lying down in wet mud to go to sleep. At least it is soft, ha. Boy I have body lice everywhere and I haven’t taken a bath in over a month.

The next day another short march and bivouac. 69.

COLONEL ADELBERT AMES Does anyone know where we are going Colonel?

JOSHUA L. CHAMBERLAIN I think General Meade is following General Lees retreating Army Sir. We just went through Emmitsburg and are headed to Frederick almost due south.

PRIVATE UNION LINE You know buddy I am begging to realize that the officers make all the plans and ride horses and fought by enlisted men who walk.

JOSHUA L. CHAMBERLAIN It is July 7th today Colonel and we are still marching or riding in the rain. Does this rain ever stop? Another twenty mile march today. I hear we are headed back to Antietam again over the mountain range. Meade wants to try and cut General Lee’s troops off, rather than follow their exact route into a trap.

COLONEL ADELBERT AMES How strange to be back in Antietam again which brings back such bad memories for the men of the 7th of Maine, before we formed the 20th of Maine.

The next day July 8th the 20th Maine and the other Union troops camped next to South Mountain in the same field where the army have camped a year before. The men drank out of the same stream and washed in the same ditch as they had a year before. It was an eerie feeling returning to the same field as a year before.

COLONEL ADELBERT AMES (CONT’D) I have lost count of the days. What is today Colonel?

JOSHUA L. CHAMBERLAIN July 10th Sir. We are crossing the Antietam. It looks like General Meade intends to spread out the Union line facing Lee’s entrenchments. I am sending out some skirmishers Colonel to see if any Confederates are near. 70.

CORPORAL WILLIAM T. LIVERMORE Colonel Chamberlain, I have to report that company K of the 20th Maine has encountered some resistance from some Confederates hiding in the bushes.

COLONEL ADELBERT AMES How many of the 2nd Maine still refuse to fight Colonel?

JOSHUA L. CHAMBERLAIN About six men Sir. I have them under guard. Three decided to return to the ranks today but three hard asses still refuse to fight. I am going to have to turn them over to the Provost Guard today or tomorrow.

COLONEL ADELBERT AMES You have my permission to do so Colonel. Carry on. We are called to from for a dress parade this morning with the whole 3rd Brigade Colonel.

JOSHUA L. CHAMBERLAIN Yes, Sir, I have the men in file ready to march to the parade field. It must be something very important.

GENERAL WARREN Men of the 3rd Brigade. It is my pleasure to announce that Colonel Strong Vincent has been promoted to Brigadier General.

A loud clapping of hands and cheers arose from the men in the ranks for Colonel Strong Vincent was one of the heroes of the Little Round Top battle.

Map of Little Round Top, 1863, Gettysburg, Pa.

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