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The Grand Old Man of Maine: Selected Letters of Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, 1865-1914 (Civil War America) Hardcover

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The Grand Old Man of Maine: Selected Letters of Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, 1865-1914 (Civil War America) + Bayonet! Forward: My Civil War Reminiscences + The Twentieth Maine: A Classic Story of Joshua Chamberlain and His Volunteer Regiment
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Product Details

  • Series: Civil War America
  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press (December 9, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0807828645
  • ISBN-13: 978-0807828649
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 6.4 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,278,035 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"Jeremiah Goulka should be commended for his work in bringing together Chamberlain's postwar correspondence. His words serve as a reminder that the experience of war remained with the veterans long afer the guns fell silent."
Civil War History

"Goulka deserves thanks . . . for giving us a deeper understanding of a genuine American hero."
Civil War News

From the Inside Flap

A selection of the post-war letters of Union General Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain (1828-1914), the college professor who became a Civil War hero and one of its most widely admired figures. After the war Chamberlain returned home to Maine where he was elected to three terms as governor, served as president of Bowdoin College, and became an infliuential chronicler of the Army of the Potomac. These letters, arranged chronologically, shed light on Chamberlain's varied career and illuminate his views on military history, politics, and education.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

30 of 30 people found the following review helpful By John Deppen on September 27, 2004
Format: Hardcover
While some in the Civil War community complain of "Chamberlain fatigue," it is difficult to gripe about this marvelous new collection of postwar correspondence from one of the most articulate officers on either side of the conflict.

Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain survived the Civil War - including a horrible wound at Petersburg - to become one of Maine's most prominent citizens. His postwar career included four terms as governor of Maine, a stint as president of Bowdoin College, numerous business enterprises, and perhaps most importantly, many years as a writer and lecturer on his Civil War experiences.

The correspondence included by editor Jeremiah Goulka covers nearly every aspect of Chamberlain's personal and professional life. Chamberlain's heartfelt letters to his family, especially those to his wife Fannie, reveal him to be a loving, thoughtful husband and father. His relationship with Fannie, stormy and difficult though it was for many years, survived numerous crises until Fannie's death in 1905.

Chamberlain's Civil War experiences transformed him, and his separation from the army often left him feeling restless. In 1870, Chamberlain wrote to the King of Prussia and offered his services in Prussia's war with France. In 1898, Chamberlain contacted the Secretary of War to volunteer for the Spanish-American War. Even with all his postwar positions and projects, Chamberlain never quite filled the space in his soul left empty by the end of the Civil War.

Critics of Chamberlain, in his lifetime and in our own time, claim that he inflated his role at Little Round Top in an attempt to horde the glory of that important engagement. At least one letter included in this volume refutes this criticism.
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