Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain (born Lawrence Joshua Chamberlain, September 8, 1828 – February 24, 1914) was an American college professor from the State of Maine who volunteered during the American Civil War to join the Union Army. He became a highly respected and decorated Union officer, reaching the rank of brigadier general (and brevet major general). He is best known for his gallantry at the Battle of Gettysburg, for which he was awarded the Medal of Honor. Following the war, he served as Governor of Maine.
Chamberlain in the 1860s
|32nd Governor of Maine|
January 2, 1867 – January 4, 1871
|Preceded by||Samuel Cony|
|Succeeded by||Sidney Perham|
|6th President of Bowdoin College|
|Preceded by||Samuel Harris|
|Succeeded by||William De Witt Hyde|
September 8, 1828
|Died||February 24, 1914 85) (aged|
|Resting place||Pine Grove Cemetery, Brunswick, Maine|
(m. 1855; died 1905)
|Alma mater||Bowdoin College|
|Awards||Medal of Honor|
|Nickname(s)||"Lion of the Round Top", "Bloody Chamberlain"|
|Allegiance||United States (Union)|
|Years of service||1862–1866|
|Battles/wars||American Civil War|
Chamberlain was commissioned a lieutenant colonel in the 20th Maine Volunteer Infantry Regiment in 1862 and fought at the Battle of Fredericksburg. He became commander of the regiment in June 1863. On July 2, during the Battle of Gettysburg, Chamberlain's regiment occupied the extreme left of the Union lines at Little Round Top. Chamberlain's men withstood repeated assaults from the 15th Regiment Alabama Infantry and finally drove the Confederates away with a downhill bayonet charge. Chamberlain was severely wounded while commanding a brigade during the Second Battle of Petersburg in June 1864, and was given what was intended to be a deathbed promotion to brigadier general. In April 1865, he fought at the Battle of Five Forks and was given the honor of commanding the Union troops at the surrender ceremony for the infantry of Robert E. Lee's Army at Appomattox Court House, Virginia.
After the war, he entered politics as a Republican and served four one-year terms of office as the 32nd Governor of Maine. He served on the faculty, and as president, of his alma mater, Bowdoin College. He died in 1914 at age 85 due to complications from the wound that he received at Petersburg.
Early life and education
Chamberlain was born in Brewer, Maine, the son of Sarah Dupee (née Brastow) and Joshua Chamberlain, on September 8, 1828. Chamberlain was of English ancestry and could trace his family line back to twelfth century England, during the reign of King Stephen. He was the oldest of five children. It is said that he was his mother's favorite while his father was tough on him. He was very involved in his church, mostly singing in the choir. His mother encouraged him to become a preacher while his father wanted him to join the military, but he felt a reluctance towards both options. He suffered a speech impediment until shortly after graduating from college. He entered Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine, in 1848 with the help of local tutor and professor, William Hyde. Chamberlain learned to read Ancient Greek and Latin 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 Bowdoin professor Calvin Stowe. Chamberlain would often go to listen to her read passages from what would later become her celebrated novel, Uncle Tom's Cabin, which was being published in serial form in the abolitionist paper, The National Era. He also joined the Peucinian Society, a group of students with Federalist leanings. A member of the Phi Beta Kappa academic honor society and a brother of the Alpha Delta Phi fraternity, Chamberlain graduated in 1852.
Chamberlain married Fanny Adams, cousin and 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. 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 at the Siege 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.
American Civil War
At the beginning of the American Civil War, Chamberlain believed the Union needed to be supported against the Confederacy by all those willing. On several occasions, Chamberlain spoke freely of his beliefs during his class, urging students to follow their hearts in regards to the war while maintaining that the cause was just. Of his desire to serve in the War, he wrote to Maine's Governor Israel Washburn, Jr., "I fear, this war, so costly of blood and treasure, will not cease until men of the North are willing to leave good positions, and sacrifice the dearest personal interests, to rescue our country from desolation, and defend the national existence against treachery." Many 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). He then promptly enlisted unbeknownst 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 Col. Adelbert Ames. The 20th was assigned to the 3rd Brigade, 1st Division, V Corps in the Union Army of the Potomac. One of Chamberlain's younger brothers, Thomas Chamberlain, was also an officer of the 20th Maine, and another, John Chamberlain, visited the regiment at Gettysburg as a member of the U.S. Christian Commission until appointed as a chaplain in another Maine Volunteer regiment. The 20th Maine fought at the 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 missed the Battle of Chancellorsville in May 1863 due to an outbreak of smallpox in their ranks (which was caused by an errant smallpox vaccine), keeping them on guard duty in the rear. Chamberlain was promoted to colonel of the regiment in June 1863 upon the promotion of Ames.
Battle of Gettysburg
Chamberlain became most famous for his achievements during the Battle of Gettysburg. On July 2, the second day of the battle, Union forces were recovering from initial setbacks and hastily regrouping into defensive 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. Chamberlain's brigade, commanded by Col. Strong Vincent, was sent to defend Little Round Top by the army's Chief of Engineers, Brig. Gen. Gouverneur K. Warren. 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 Regiment Alabama Infantry, commanded by 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 recognized 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." While battlefield conditions make it unlikely that many men heard Chamberlain's order, most historians believe he initiated the charge.
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 maneuver, capturing 101 of the Confederate soldiers and successfully saving the flank. This version of the battle was popularized by the book The Killer Angels and the movie Gettysburg, but there is debate on the historical validity of this account. Chamberlain sustained two slight wounds in the battle, one when a shot hit his sword scabbard and bruised his thigh, and another when his right foot was hit by a spent bullet or piece of shrapnel. Chamberlain also personally took a Confederate prisoner with his saber during the charge. After initiating the maneuver, he came upon a Confederate officer wielding a revolver who quickly fired, narrowly missing his face. Chamberlain remained steadfast, and with his sword at the officer's throat accepted the man's arms and surrender. The pistol Chamberlain captured at Gettysburg can still be seen on display in the Civil War exhibit of the Maine State Museum. For his tenacity at defending Little Round Top, he was known by the sobriquet Lion of the Round Top. Prior to the battle, Chamberlain was quite ill, developing malaria and dysentery. Later, due to this illness, he was taken off active duty until he recovered.
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", Chamberlain was awarded the Medal of Honor.
Medal of Honor citation
The President of the United States of America, in the name of Congress, takes pleasure in presenting the Medal of Honor to Colonel Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, United States Army, for extraordinary heroism on 2 July 1863, while serving with 20th Maine Infantry, in action at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, for 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.
Siege of Petersburg
In April 1864, Chamberlain returned to the Army of the Potomac and was promoted to brigade commander shortly before the Siege of Petersburg and given command of the 1st Brigade, First Division, V Corps. In a major action on June 18, during the Second Battle of Petersburg, Chamberlain was shot through the right hip and groin, the bullet exiting his left hip. 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 Lt. Gen. 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 Maj. Gen. Gouverneur K. Warren: "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 regained 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 that almost caused amputation), and nearly being captured, Chamberlain was successful and brevetted to the rank of major general by President Abraham Lincoln. Chamberlain gained the name "Bloody Chamberlain" at Quaker Road. Chamberlain kept a Bible and framed picture of his wife in his left front "chest" pocket. A Confederate shot at Chamberlain. The bullet went through his horse's neck, hit the picture frame, entered under Chamberlain's skin in the front of his chest, traveled around his body under the skin along the rib, and exited his back. To all observers Union and Confederate, it appeared that he was shot through his chest. He continued to encourage his men to attack. All sides cheered his valiant courage, and the Union assault was successful.
On the morning of April 9, 1865, Chamberlain learned of the desire by General Robert E. 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 Maj. Gen. 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 12.
Thus Chamberlain was responsible for one of the most poignant scenes of the American Civil War. As the Confederate soldiers marched down the road to surrender their arms and colors, Chamberlain, on his own initiative, ordered his men to come to attention and "carry arms" as a show of respect. In memoirs written forty years after the event, 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 stated that his salute to the Confederate soldiers was unpopular with many Unionists, 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 U.S. 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.
|Democratic||Eben F. Pillsbury||41,947||37.6|
|Democratic||Eben F. Pillsbury||45,990||44.5|
|Democratic||Eben F. Pillsbury||29,264||27.9|
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 because of 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.
After resigning from Bowdoin in 1883, he went to New York City to practice law. Chamberlain served as Surveyor of the Port of Portland, Maine, a federal appointment, and engaged in business activities, including real estate dealings in Florida (1885) and a college of art in New York, as well as hotels. He traveled to the West Coast to work on railroad building and public improvements. 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." 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 notability however. This original medal was lost, and later rediscovered in 2013, and donated to the Pejebscot Historical Society in Brunswick, Maine. A second, redesigned medal issued in 1904 is currently housed at Bowdoin College.
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.
In 1905, Chamberlain became a founding member of the Maine Institution for the Blind, in Portland, now called The Iris Network. Chamberlain's wife herself was visually impaired, which led him to serve on the organization's first board of directors.
Beginning with his first election as governor of Maine and continuing to the end of his life, Chamberlain was active in the Grand Army of the Republic. Despite continual pain and discomfort from his wounds of 1864, he made many return visits to Gettysburg and delivered speeches at soldiers' reunions. He made his last known visit on May 16 and 17, 1913, while involved in planning the 50th anniversary reunion. Because of deteriorating health, he was unable to attend the reunion less than two months later.
Chamberlain died of his lingering wartime wounds in 1914 in Portland, Maine, at the age of eighty-five. He is interred at Pine Grove Cemetery in Brunswick, Maine. Beside him as he died was Dr. Abner O. Shaw of Portland, one of the two surgeons who had operated on him in Petersburg 50 years previously. A full study of his medical history strongly suggests that it was complications from the wound suffered at Petersburg that resulted in his death. He was the last Civil War veteran to die as a result of wounds from the war and considered by some the last casualty of the war.
Chamberlain's home, located across Maine Street from the Bowdoin College campus, is now the Joshua L. Chamberlain Museum and is owned by the Pejepscot Historical Society, which maintains an extensive research collection on Chamberlain. Memorabilia on display include the minié ball that almost ended his life at Petersburg, his original Medal of Honor, and Don Troiani's original painting of the charge at Little Round Top. Tours of the home are conducted by volunteer docents from late May until mid-October.
The village of Chamberlain, Maine, in the town of Bristol, is named for him.
Medal of Honor
In September 2013, the original Medal of Honor awarded to Chamberlain in 1893 was donated to the Pejepscot Historical Society, which owns the Joshua L. Chamberlain Museum in Brunswick, after being authenticated by the Maine State Museum, the Library of Congress, the Smithsonian Institution, and the Awards and Decorations Branch of the Department of the Army. The donor, who chose to remain anonymous, found it in the back of a book bought during a church sale at the First Parish Church in Duxbury, Massachusetts; Chamberlain's granddaughter Rosamond Allen, his last surviving descendant, had donated her estate to that church upon her death in 2000. Chamberlain's alma mater of Bowdoin College has a 1904 Medal of Honor belonging to Chamberlain in its possession. The original 1893 medal is on display at the Chamberlain Museum.
|Wikisource has original works written by or about:|
Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain
- Maine, Her Place in History, his speech at the Centennial Exhibition (1877)
- Ethics and Politics of the Spanish War (1898)
- Universities and Their Sons, editor (1898)
- Property: Its Office and Sanction (1900)
- De Monts and Acadia (1904)
- Ruling Powers in History (1905)
- The Passing of the Armies (1915)
A special edition of his Paris report on "Education in Europe" was published by the United States government (Washington, 1879).
- Lieutenant Colonel (second in command under Adelbert Ames), 20th Maine (August 8, 1862)
- Colonel, commanding 20th Maine (May 20, 1863)
- Commanding 3rd Brigade, 1st Division, V Corps (August 26 – November 19, 1863)
- Commanding 1st Brigade (June 6–18, 1864)
- Brigadier General of Volunteers (June 18, 1864)
- Commanding 1st Brigade (November 19, 1864 – January 5, 1865)
- Commanding 1st Brigade (February 27 – April 11, 1865)
- Brevet Major General of Volunteers (March 29, 1865)
- Commanding 1st Division (April 20 – June 28, 1865)
- Commanding 1st Brigade, 3rd Division, Wright's Provisional Corps, Middle Department (June 28 – July, 1865)
- Mustered out of volunteer service (January 15, 1866)
In popular culture
Chamberlain emerged as a key character in Michael Shaara's Pulitzer Prize–winning historical novel about Gettysburg, The Killer Angels (1974), and in a prequel novel by his son, Jeff Shaara, Gods and Generals (1996). Chamberlain is portrayed by actor Jeff Daniels in the film Gettysburg (1993) and Gods and Generals (2003), based on the books. His portrayal in these books and films significantly enhanced Chamberlain's reputation in the general public, making him into a more popular and well known figure.
Tom Eishen's historical novel Courage on Little Round Top is a detailed look at Chamberlain as well as Robert Wicker, the young Confederate officer who fired his pistol at Chamberlain's head during the 20th Maine's historic charge down Little Round Top.
I am Kilrain of the 20th Maine and I fight for Chamberlain
'Cause he stood right with us when the Johnnies came like a banshee on the wind
When the smoke cleared out of Gettysburg, many a mother wept
For many a good boy died there, sure, and the air smelled just like death
I am Kilrain of the 20th Maine and I'd march to hell and back again
For Colonel Joshua Chamberlain—we're all goin' down to Dixieland
The book The Lost Regiment and the subsequent series by author William R. Forstchen chronicle the adventures of the "35th Maine", a Union regiment from Maine having been transported to an alien planet. The regiment was based on the 20th Maine, with the main character and commander of the regiment, Andrew Lawrence Keane, also being a college professor.
In the alternate history 2003 novel Gettysburg: A Novel of the Civil War, written by Forstchen and Newt Gingrich, Chamberlain is featured as a character. In the book, an alternate history of the Civil War, Chamberlain makes a heroic stand similar to the real life battle on Little Round Top. Unlike in real life, Chamberlain is overwhelmed, wounded, and forced to surrender, but he survives and returns in the third book of the series, Never Call Retreat (2005).
A musical, Chamberlain: A Civil War Romance, with book and lyrics by Sarah Knapp and music by Steven M. Alper was commissioned by Maine State Music Theatre in 1993 and received its premiere at that theatre in July, 1996. That production starred Mark Jacoby as Chamberlain and Sarah Knapp as Fannie Chamberlain. It was revived in a revised form by Maine State in 2014. According to its bookwriter, the musical is "an exploration of the perennial conflict between public duty and private devotion. This musical ... not only celebrates a great Civil War hero, but also examines a universal theme: How a person's sense of duty and destiny affect his personal life."
Another Forstchen work, "A Hard Day For Mother", is a short story from the first volume in the variety anthology series Alternate Generals. That work is based on the premise of: "what if Chamberlain was on the Confederate side at Gettysburg?" The story assumes that a decade before the outbreak of the Civil War Chamberlain had taken a teaching job at a Virginia military academy and developed a love for the state of Virginia; that with the outbreak of war he joined the Confederate side under Robert E. Lee; that in Gettysburg he gained the Little Round Top for the Confederacy, fighting against his own brother Tom commanding the 20th Maine; that thereby Chamberlain won the battle and the entire war for the Confederacy; that he later remained in the independent Confederacy and was eventually elected its President; and that his reconciliatory attitude towards the North led to Confederacy and the United States eventually holding referendums and freely deciding to re-unite in 1914, following Chamberlain's death.
- Trulock, p. 26.
- His house is preserved as a historical landmark to this day.
- Eicher, pp. 168-69.
- Soul of the Lion: A Biography of General Joshua L. Chamberlain by Willard M. Wallce, pg.17
- Chase, p. 63.
- As cited in: Thomas A. Desjardin, Joshua L. Chamberlain, Greystone Communication, 1999, p. 22.
- Desjardin, pp. 4-5.
- Desjardin, Thomas (2009). Stand Firm Ye Boys From Maine. New York, NY: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-538231-0.
- "Valor awards for Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain". Hall of Valor. Military Times. Retrieved 21 February 2016.
- Longacre, p. 243.
- Desjardins, p. 118, states that General Grant personally selected Chamberlain from all of the officers in the army. Marvel, pp. 259-60, attributes the Grant story to Chamberlain's memory in the "dim, distant light of old age." Longacre, pp. 244-47, does not connect General Grant directly to the choice of Chamberlain, and further states that "By the turn of the 20th century, after Chamberlain had commemorated the surrender parade in numerous speeches and publications, some of the Union participants would quarrel with his presentation of events. They would charge him with making it appear that his brigade alone took part in the ceremony, ignoring other elements of the Fifth Corps also present for Gordon's surrender as well as to receive the surrender of General Longstreet's corps that same afternoon. These critics would also charge Chamberlain with implying that he had received arms and flags throughout morning and afternoon instead of during only a portion of the day as evidence suggested. Other veterans would claim that General Bartlett, not Chamberlain, had been Grant's choice to preside at the parade and that Chamberlain took over only because his superior was summoned elsewhere at the last minute. Critics of a later day would even deny that Chamberlain and Gordon had exchanged salutes of honor."
- Chamberlain, p. 196.
- Marvel, p. 261.
- Editorial (April 2017). "Four Years, Five Wounds". Civil War Times. 56 – via Academic Search Ultimate.
- Carlton, Patrick (2001). The Practice of Leadership: The Life and Times of Joshua L. Chamberlain (PDF). Las Vegas, Nevada: University of Nevada, Las Vegas. p. 71.
Rines, George Edwin, ed. (1920). . Encyclopedia Americana.
- Gilman, D. C.; Peck, H. T.; Colby, F. M., eds. (1905). . New International Encyclopedia (1st ed.). New York: Dodd, Mead.
- "A Maine Civil War Hero Meets a Daughter of the South", www.theiris.org, June 20, 2013.
- "Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain and the Great Reunion", worldpress.com, April 6, 2013.
- Schmidt, Jim. "The Medical Department: A Thorn in the Lion of the Union", Civil War News, October 2000.
- Patrick, Bethanne Kelly. Maj. Gen. Joshua L. Chamberlain
- Koenig, Seth (9 September 2013). "Joshua Chamberlain's original 1893 Medal of Honor found at church sale, donated to Brunswick history group". Bangor Daily News. Bangor, Maine. Retrieved 11 September 2013.
- O'Brien, Miles (July 14, 1998). "Like father, like son: Jeff Shaara completes Civil War trilogy". The Cable News Network. Retrieved July 2, 2016.
- Largent, Kimberly J. "An Interview with Jeff Daniels Writer, Director, Actor ... and Student of the Civil War". eHistory. Retrieved July 2, 2016.
- Verdino-Süllwold, Carla Maria. "BWW Interviews: Sarah Knapp and Steven M. Alper Revisit Chamberlain". Broadway World. Wisdom Digital Media. Retrieved 5 June 2017.
- Knapp, Sarah. "Chamberlain: A Civil War Romance". Chamberlain: A Civil War Romance. Knapp & Alper. Retrieved 5 June 2017.
- "Alternate Generals", Baen, 1998, a collection of short alternate history stories, edited by Harry Turtledove and Roland J. Green.
- "Civil War (A-L); Chamberlain, Joshua entry". Medal of Honor recipients. United States Army Center of Military History. August 6, 2009. Retrieved July 13, 2010.
- Chamberlain, Joshua L. (1992). The Passing of the Armies: An Account of the Final Campaign of the Army of the Potomac, Based upon Personal Reminiscences of the Fifth Army Corps. Bantam. ISBN 978-0-553-29992-2.
- Chase, Henry (1893). Representative Men of Maine. Portland, Maine: The Lakeside Press.
- Desjardin, Thomas A. (1995). Stand Firm Ye Boys from Maine: The 20th Maine and the Gettysburg Campaign. Thomas Publications. ISBN 978-1-57747-034-2.
- Eicher, John H.; David J. Eicher (2001). Civil War High Commands. Stanford, California: Stanford University Press. ISBN 978-0-8047-3641-1.
- Eishen, Thomas (2004). Courage on Little Round Top. Skyward Publishing. ISBN 978-1-881554-38-7.
- Levinsky, Allan M. (2006). "Chamberlain's Stand Against Political Upheaval: His second Little Round Top". Discover Maine: Maine's History Magazine. 3: 18–21.
- Longacre, Edward G. (1999). Joshua Chamberlain: The Soldier and the Man. Combined Publishing. ISBN 978-0-306-81312-2.
- Marvel, William (2000). A Place Called Appomattox. University of North Carolina Press. ISBN 978-0-8078-2568-6.
- Natale, Susan (February 9, 2013). "joshualawrencechamberlain.com".
- Nesbitt, Mark (1996). Through Blood & Fire: Selected Civil War Papers of Major General Joshua Chamberlain. Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania: Stackpole Books. ISBN 978-0-8117-1750-2.
- Pullen, John J. (1999). Joshua Chamberlain: A Hero's Life and Legacy. Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania: Stackpole Books. ISBN 978-0-8117-0886-9.
- Smith, Diane Monroe (1999). Fanny and Joshua : the enigmatic lives of Frances Caroline Adams and Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain. Gettysburg, PA: Thomas Publications. ISBN 978-1577470465.
- Trulock, Alice Rains (2001). In the Hands of Providence: Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain and the American Civil War. University of North Carolina Press. ISBN 9781469615660.
- Wallace, Willard M. (1991). Soul of the Lion: A Biography of General Joshua L. Chamberlain. Gettysburg, Pennsylvania: Stan Clark Military Books. ISBN 978-1-879664-00-5.
- Lemke, William (1997). A Pride of Lions: Joshua Chamberlain & Other Maine Civil War Heroes. Covered Bridge Press.
- Rasbach, Dennis A. Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain and the Petersburg Campaign: His Supposed Charge from Fort Hell, his Near-Mortal Wound, and a Civil War Myth Reconsidered. El Dorado Hills, CA: Savas Beatie, 2016. ISBN 978-1-61121-306-5.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain.|
|Wikiquote has quotations related to: Joshua Chamberlain|
- Joshua Chamberlain Seeks Assistance for Jaffa Adams Colonists, 1867 Shapell Manuscript Foundation
- Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain Digital Archive at Bowdoin College
- Chamberlain-Adams Family Papers. Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University.
- www.joshualawrencechamberlain.com A collection of primary resources
- Index to Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain's Pages
- Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain Biography
- Joshua Chamberlain: Maine's Favorite Son
- Tribute to Major General Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain
- Joshua L. Chamberlain, a Biographical Essay
- Medal of Honor recipients on Film
- Joshua L. Chamberlain Museum in Brunswick, Maine Managed by the Pejepscot Historical Society
- The Iris Network (formerly the Maine Institution for the Blind)
- Works by Joshua Chamberlain at LibriVox (public domain audiobooks)
| Governor of Maine
| President of Bowdoin College
William DeWitt Hyde