ACX 89


Lewis addison armistead and joshua lawrence chamberlain

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Lewis addison armistead, was born on february 18th 1817, in the home of his great-grandfather, john wright stanly, in new bern, north carolina, son of walker keith armistead and elizabeth stanly armistead. Armistead’s grandfather, john stanly, was a u.S. Congressman and his uncle edward stanly served in post as military governor of eastern north carolina during the civil war. Walker armistead and his five brothers served during the war of 1812 and one of them, major george armistead was the commander of fort mchenry during the british attack that inspired the words to the star spangled banner. Lewis attended the united states military academy,at westpoint but resigned following an incident in which he broke a plate over the head of fellow cadet jubal early. His influential father managed to obtain for his son a second lieutenant’s commission in the 6th u.S. Infantry on july 10, 1839, at roughly the time his classmates graduated. He was promoted to first lieutenant on march 30, 1844. Armistead’s first marriage was to cecelia lee love, a distant cousin of robert e. Lee, in 1844. They had two children: walker keith armistead and flora lee armistead. Armistead then served in fort towson, arkansas, fort washita near the oklahoma border. Serving in the mexican-american war, he was appointed brevet captain for contreras and churubusco. He was to be wounded at the battle of chapultepec and, was appointed a brevet major for molino del rey and chapultepec.Armistead continued in the army after the mexican war, assigned in 1849 to recruiting duty in kentucky, where he was diagnosed with a severe case of erysipelas, but he later recovered. In april 1850, the armistead’s lost their little girl, flora lee, at jefferson barracks. Armistead was posted to fort dodge, but in the winter he had to take his wife cecelia to mobile, alabama, where she died december 12, 1850, from an unknown cause. He returned to fort dodge. In 1852 the armistead family home in virginia burned, destroying nearly everything. Armistead took leave in october 1852 to go home and help his family. While on leave armistead married his second wife, the widow cornelia taliaferro jamison, in alexandria, virginia, on march 17, 1853. They both went west when armistead returned to duty shortly thereafter.The new armistead family traveled from post to post in nebraska, missouri, and kansas. The couple had one child, lewis b. Armistead, who died on december 6, 1854, and was also buried at jefferson barracks next to flora lee armistead. He was promoted to captain on march 3, 1855. His second wife, cornelia taliaferro jamison, died on august 3, 1855, at fort riley kansas, during a cholera epidemic. Between 1855 and 1858 armistead served at posts on the smokey hill river in the kansas territory, bent’s fort, pole creek, laramie river, and republican fork of the kansas river in nebraska territory. In 1858, his 6th infantry regiment was sent as part of the reinforcements sent to utah in the aftermath of the utah war. Not being required there, they were sent to california with the intention of sending them on to washington territory. However, a mohave attack on civilians on the beale wagon road diverted his regiment to the southern deserts along the colorado river to participate in the the mojave expedition of 1858-59.With the outbreak of the civil war, captain armistead was in command of the small garrison at the new san diego depot in san diego, which was occupied in 1860. Armistead was friends with winfield scott hancock, serving with him as a quartermaster in los angeles, california, before the civil war. Accounts say that in a farewell party before leaving to join the confederate army, armistead told hancock, “goodbye; you can never know what this has cost me.”when the war started, armistead departed from california to texas with the los angeles mounted rifles, then travelled east and received a commission as a major, but was quickly promoted to colonel of the 57th virginia infantry regiment. He served in the western part of virginia, but soon returned to the east and the newly christened, army of northern virginia. He fought as a brigade commander at seven pines, and under lee in the seven days battles (where he was chosen to spearhead the bloody, senseless assault on malvern hill, and second manassas. . At the battle of antietam,(sharpsburg) he served as lee’s provost marshal, a frustrating job due to the high levels of desertion that plagued the army in that campaign. Then he was under command in the division of major general george pickett at fredericksburg and, with longstreet’s first corps, until thespring of 1863, he missed the battle of chancellorsville.In the battle of gettysburg, armistead’s brigade arrived the evening of july 2, 1863. Armistead was mortally wounded the next day while leading his brigade towards the center of the union line in pickett’s charge. Armistead led his brigade from the front, waving his hat from the tip of his saber, and reached the stone wall at the “angle”, which served as the charge’s objective. The brigade got farther in the charge than any other, an event sometimes known as the high water mark of the confederacy, but it was quickly overwhelmed by a union counterattack. Armistead was shot three times just after crossing the wall. His wounds were not believed to be mortal, being shot in the fleshy part of the arm and below the knee, and according to the surgeon that tended him, none of the wounds caused bone, artery, or nerve damage. When he went down he gave a masonic sign asking for assistance. A fellow mason, captain henry h. Bingham, a union officer and later a higher officer and then a very influential congressman, came to armistead’s assistance and offered to help. Bingham informed armistead that his old friend, hancock, had been commanding this part of the defensive line, but that hancock, too, had just been wounded. . He was then taken to a union field hospital at the george spangler farm where he died two days later. Dr. Daniel brinton, the chief surgeon at the union hospital there, had expected armistead to survive because he characterized the two bullet wounds as not of a “serious character.” he wrote that the death “was not from his wounds directly, but from secondary fever and prostration.” lewis armistead is buried next to his uncle, lieutenant colonel george armistead, commander of the garrison of fort mchenry during the battle of baltimore, at the old saint paul’s cemetery in baltimore, maryland.Joshua lawrence chamberlainjoshua chamberlain was born in brewer, maine, on september 8, 1828 to joshua and sarah dupee chamberlain, the oldest of five children. He entered bowdoin college in brunswick, maine, in 1848, after teaching himself to read ancient greek in order to pass the entrance exam. While at bowdoin he met many people who would influence his life, including harriet beecher stowe, the wife of a bowdoin professor. Chamberlain would often go to listen to her read passages from what would later become her celebrated novel, uncle tom’s cabin. He also joined the peucinian society, a group of students with federalist leanings. Chamberlain graduated from bowdoin in 1852.He married fanny adams, adopted daughter of a local clergyman, in 1855, and they had five children, one of whom was born too prematurely to survive and two of whom died in infancy. Adams’s father did not at first approve of the marriage, but later approved and shared a mutual respect with his son-in-law. Chamberlain studied for three additional years at bangor theological seminary in bangor, maine, returned to bowdoin, and began a career in education as a professor of rhetoric. He eventually went on to teach every subject in the curriculum with the exception of science and mathematics. In 1861 he was appointed professor of modern languages. He was fluent in nine languages other than english: greek, latin, spanish, german, french, italian, arabic, hebrew, and syriac.Chamberlain’s great-grandfathers were soldiers in the american revolutionary war. One, franklin chamberlain, was a sergeant in the battle of yorktown. His grandfather, also named joshua chamberlain, was a colonel in the local militia during the war of 1812 and was court-martialed (but exonerated) for his part in the humiliating battle of hampden, which led to the sacking of bangor and brewer by british forces. His father also had served during the abortive aroostook war of 1839. Chamberlain himself was not trained in military science, but felt a strong desire to serve his country. He maintained strong beliefs in regard of the growth of secession, in that chamberlain believed the union needed to be supported by all those willing to action against the newly formed confederacy. On several occasions chamberlain spoke freely of his beliefs during his class urging students to follow their hearts in regards to the war while issuing his own proclamation that the cause was just. Many of the faculty at bowdoin did not feel his enthusiasm for various reasons and chamberlain was subsequently granted a leave of absence (supposedly to study languages for two years in europe). This leave allowed him to enlisted unbeknown to those at bowdoin and his family. Offered the colonelcy of the 20th maine regiment, he declined, according to his biographer, john j. Pullen, preferring to “start a little lower and learn the business first.” he was appointed lieutenant colonel of the regiment on august 8, 1862, under the command of colonel. Adelbert ames. The 20th maine volunteers, were to be part of the v corps in the union army of the potomac.Chamberlain’s regiment marched to the battle of antietam, but did not participate in the fighting. The 20th maine fought at the subsequent battle of fredericksburg, suffering relatively small numbers of casualties in the assaults on marye’s heights, but were forced to spend a miserable night on the freezing battlefield among the many wounded from other regiments. Chamberlain chronicled this night well in his diary and went to great length discussing his having to use bodies of the fallen for shelter and a pillow while listening to the bullets zip into the corpses.The 20th was to miss the battle of chancellorsville, due to an outbreak of smallpox within the ranks. This outbreak saw the regiment serve in the rear on continuous guard duty. Chamberlain was promoted to colonel of the regiment in june 1863, upon the promotion of colonel ames. Chamberlain achieved fame at the battle of gettysburg, where his valiant defence of a hill named little round top on the second day of the battle of gettysburg, union forces were recovering from initial defeats and hastily regrouping into defencive positions on a line of hills south of the town. Sensing the momentary vulnerability of the union forces, the confederates began an attack against the union left flank. Sent to defend the southern slope of little round top by colonel strong vincent, chamberlain found himself and the 20th maine at the far left end of the entire union line. He quickly understood the strategic significance of the small hill, and the need for the 20th maine to hold the union left at all costs. The men from maine waited until troops from the 15th alabama infantry regiment, under col. William c. Oates, charged up the hill, attempting to flank the union position. Time and time again the confederates struck, until the 20th maine was almost doubled back upon itself. With many casualties and ammunition running low, col. Chamberlain recognised the dire circumstances and ordered his left wing (which was now looking southeast, compared to the rest of the regiment, which was facing west) to initiate a bayonet charge. From his report of the day: “at that crisis, i ordered the bayonet. The word was enough.”the 20th maine charged down the hill, with the left wing wheeling continually to make the charging line swing like a hinge, thus creating a simultaneous frontal assault and flanking manoeuvre, capturing many of the confederate soldiers and successfully saving the flank. Chamberlain sustained two slight wounds in the battle, one when a shot hit his sword scabbard and bruised his thigh, and another when his foot was hit by a spent bullet or piece of shrapnel. For his tenacity at defending little round top he was known by the sobriquet lion of the round top. Later in 1863, he developed malaria and was taken off active duty until he recovered.April 1864, saw chamberlain return to the army of the potomac and was subsequently given a brigade command shortly, before the siege of petersburg. There, in a major action on june 18, at rives’ salient, chamberlain was shot through the right hip and groin. Despite the injury, chamberlain withdrew his sword and stuck it into the ground in order to keep himself upright to dissuade the growing resolve for retreat. He stood upright for several minutes until he collapsed and lay unconscious from loss of blood. The wound was considered mortal by the division’s surgeon, who predicted he would perish; chamberlain’s incorrectly recorded death in battle was reported in the maine newspapers, and lieutenant general ulysses s. Grant gave chamberlain a battlefield promotion to the rank of brigadier general after receiving an urgent recommendation on june 19 from corps commander major general gouverneur k. Warren, warren stated, “he has been recommended for promotion for gallant and efficient conduct on previous occasion and yesterday led his brigade against the enemy under most destructive fire. He expresses the wish that he may receive the recognition of his services by promotion before he dies for the gratification of his family and friends.” not expected to live, chamberlain displayed surprising will and courage, and with the support of his brother tom, was back in command by november. Although many, including his wife fanny, urged chamberlain to resign, he was determined to serve through the end of the war.In early 1865, chamberlain was given command of the 1st brigade of the 1st division of v corps, and he continued to act with courage and resolve. On march 29, 1865, his brigade participated in a major skirmish on the quaker road during grant’s final advance that would finish the war. Despite losses, another wound (in the left arm and chest), and nearly being captured, chamberlain was successful and brevetted to the rank of major general by president abraham lincoln.In all, chamberlain served in some twenty battles and numerous skirmishes, was cited for bravery four times, had six horses shot from under him, and was wounded six times.On the morning of april 9, 1865, chamberlain learned of the desire by general lee to surrender the army of northern virginia when a confederate staff officer approached him under a flag of truce. “sir,” he reported to chamberlain, “i am from general gordon. General lee desires a cessation of hostilities until he can hear from general grant as to the proposed surrender.” the next day, chamberlain was summoned to union headquarters where major general charles griffin informed him that he had been selected to preside over the parade of the confederate infantry as part of their formal surrender at appomattox court house on april twelfth.Thus chamberlain was responsible for one of the most poignant scenes of the civil war. As the confederate soldiers marched down the road to surrender their arms and colours, chamberlain, on his own initiative, ordered his men to come to attention and “carry arms” as a show of respect. Chamberlain described what happened next: gordon, at the head of the marching column, outdoes us in courtesy. He was riding with downcast eyes and more than pensive look; but at this clatter of arms he raises his eyes and instantly catching the significance, wheels his horse with that superb grace of which he is master, drops the point of his sword to his stirrup, gives a command, at which the great confederate ensign following him is dipped and his decimated brigades, as they reach our right, respond to the ‘carry.’ all the while on our part not a sound of trumpet or drum, not a cheer, nor a word nor motion of man, but awful stillness as if it were the passing of the dead.Chamberlain’s salute to the confederate soldiers was unpopular with many in the north, but he defended his action in his memoirs, the passing of the armies. Many years later, gordon, in his own memoirs, called chamberlain “one of the knightliest soldiers of the federal army.” gordon never mentioned the anecdote until after he read chamberlain’s account, more than 40 years later.Chamberlain left the army soon after the war ended, going back to his home state of maine. Due to his immense popularity he served as governor of maine for four one-year terms after he won election as a republican. His victory in 1866 set the record for the most votes and the highest percentage for any maine governor by that time. He would break his own record in 1868. During his time in office he was attacked by those angered by his support for capital punishment and by his refusal to create a special police force to enforce the prohibition of alcohol.After leaving political office, he returned to bowdoin college. In 1871, he was appointed president of bowdoin and remained in that position until 1883, when he was forced to resign due to ill health from his war wounds. He also served as an ex-officio trustee of nearby bates college from 1867 to 1871.In january 1880, there was a dispute about who was the newly elected governor of maine, and the maine state house was occupied by a band of armed men. The outgoing governor, alonzo garcelon, summoned chamberlain, the commander of the maine militia, to take charge. Chamberlain sent home the armed men, and arranged for the augusta police to keep control. He stayed in the state house most of the twelve-day period until the maine supreme judicial court’s decision on the election results was known. During this time, there were threats of assassination and kidnapping, and on one occasion he went outside to face down a crowd of 25-30 men intending to kill him, and both sides offered bribes to appoint him a united states senator. Having gratified neither side in the dispute, he did not become a senator, and his career in state politics ended.Chamberlain served as surveyor of the port of portland, maine, a federal appointment, and engaged in business activities, including real estate dealings in florida and a college of art in new york, as well as hotels and railroads. He also wrote several books about maine, education, and his civil war memoir, the passing of the armies. From the time of his serious wound in 1864 until his death, he was forced to wear an early form of a catheter with a bag and underwent six operations to try to correct the original wound and stop the fevers and infections that plagued him, without success.In 1893, 30 years after the battle that made the 20th maine famous, chamberlain was awarded the medal of honor for his actions at gettysburg. The citation commends him for his “daring heroism and great tenacity in holding his position on the little round top against repeated assaults, and carrying the advance position on the great round top.”beginning with his first election as governor of maine, continuing to the end of his life, even as he suffered continual pain and discomfort from his wounds of 1864, chamberlain was active in the grand army of the republic and made many return visits to gettysburg, giving speeches at soldiers’ reunions.In 1898 at the age of 70, still in pain from his wounds, he volunteered for duty as an officer in the spanish-american war. Rejected for duty, he called it one of the major disappointments of his life.As in many other civil war actions, controversy arose when one of his subordinate officers stated that chamberlain never actually ordered a charge at gettysburg. The claim never seriously affected chamberlain’s fame or notoriety, however. In may 1913, he made his last known visit to gettysburg while involved in planning the 50th anniversary reunion. Due to deteriorating health, he was unable to attend the reunion two months later.Chamberlain died of his lingering wartime wounds in 1914 at portland, maine, age 85, and is buried in pine grove cemetery in brunswick, maine. Beside him as he died was dr. Abner shaw of portland, one of the two surgeons who had operated on him in petersburg, some fifty years previously. He was the last civil war veteran to die as a result of wounds from the war. A full study of his medical history strongly suggests that it was complications from the wound suffered at petersburg that resulted in his death.