Sunday, January 22, 2017

Bayonet! Forward: My Civil War Reminiscences by Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain

Bayonet! Forward: My Civil War Reminiscences by Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain-328 pages

General Chamberlain was Colonel of the 20th Maine at Little Round Top at the Battle of Gettysburg and successfully defended it with a bayonet charge. He was also at Fredericksburg, Petersburg, White Oak Road, Five Forks, and several other major Civil War battles in which the Union Army of the Potomac fought. Additionally, he (his division) was chosen to take the official surrender of arms of the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia after Lee's surrender at Appamattox. I have previously read a biography about Chamberlain and one of his works and immediately wanted to read this book when I came across it on Goodreads. This was a good read and Chamberlain is clearly a good orator and writer, after all he was professor of rhetoric and oratory at Bowdoin College in Maine before his enlistment. His thoughts and remembrances of his experiences during the Civil War are compelling and thought-provoking, although glorifying of war and his experience a bit. One can tell that he was an intellectual, thoughtful man who was also humble and contrite. His thoughts on his peers and superiors are particularly compelling. Overall, this was a good read.

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