- Hardcover: 328 pages
- Publisher: Stan Clark Military Books; Limited 1st edition (July 1, 2003)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1879664216
- ISBN-13: 978-1879664210
- Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.3 x 1.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #269,267 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Bayonet! Forward My Civil War Reminiscences Limited 1st Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
That on-going litany of real world disappointments is what makes Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain so important to the American story. In Chamberlain, we find one of the few genuine heroes, so far revealed in our short, national history.
In this volume, we read Chamberlain's (mostly) post-war speechs and reports on some of the most critical actions of the Civil War. Despite his meteoric rise from Lieutenant Colonel to Major General in four, awful years, Chamberlain does not turn the spot light upon himself. Despite being awarded the Medal of Honor, Chamberlain does not see himself as special. Instead, in speech after speech, Chamberlain gives credit (by name) to his soldiers and to his God. Like Alvin York, another American hero who would follow him 50 years later, Chamberlain was truly humble, and in his humility could be found the seeds of his heroism.
This book, like Chamberlain's other writings is a magnificent primer for those who would seek to give selfless service to their nation, their God, or both.
Chamberlain is a talented writer- of his time. The reader should be prepared to endure some hefty dependent clauses. At times the prose is so purple as to be a little nauseating. In these dark moments it's worth remembering two things: one, Chamberlain wrote in the style of his century, and two, he nearly died several times in defense of his country, so, deal with it.
Once acclimated, however, the reader is treated to some fascinating stuff. Chamberlain's "Bivouac with the Dead" - his description of the horrifying night he spent in front of Marye's Heights at Fredericksburg, where he and his men stacked the bodies of their dead comrades up in piles to act as barricades against Confederate bullets - is unforgettable.
His descriptions of the Battle of Five Forks are similarly vivid. Chamberlain describes leading a near-suicidal charge against a heavily fortified Confederate position with a good eye for detail. After being seriously wounded and left for dead by his own men Chamberlain observed the battle prone, belly up, and relates the curious view of men charging past him, guidons flapping, then staggering back, whipped and bloodied, all within his constrained window of vision. If for nothing else, the book should be read for these portions.
Of course most of the book's readers will be looking for Chamberlain's account of the 20th Maine's heroic defense of Little Round Top, and only the most voracious Civil War buffs will find the effort unsatisfying.Read more ›
This book is a must for the die hard civil war fan. There is nothing quite like hearing it from someone who was there. Also, Joshua Chamberlain was a College Professor. He was a very smart man. As a result his writings are very advanced. The flow is slow at times. He talks about things that don't seem to relate. However this is history. It is like talking to a person of the past.
The pieces give you a perspective that can't be remade elsewhere. You get a taste of what is going through his head, what moved him, what stood out to him. You get a sense of the emotion of the moment no third party source can get. This angle helps you not only learn about the event but to feel the event.
You also get a day to day feel. This book goes over things that are insignificant in the grand scheme of things. This attack or that attack happens, people die but the war didn't end. Then the same thing happens again. Through that you see how war was an every day thing. Soldiers did not see a future through those things. You also see what they think is big then. He goes over in some detail about the Battle of Five Forks. That is the final battle that pushes out Lee from Petersburg. History gives it a quick pass. There you can catch how history sees things differently.
This is a good reference book for serious students. This isn't an entertaining read though.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is not a straight narrative, exactly, but a collection of memoirs and speeches re Chamberlain's Civil War experiences. Read morePublished 15 months ago by Nathan Forbes
Bought for my ten year old grandson, difficult to read, uses word no longer used, but good book for buffs.Published 19 months ago by harold monore
Makes your skin come alive, you can smell the gunpowder and feel the blood. Chamberlain is an evocative writer even 150 years removed.Published 21 months ago by David Holman
Excellent --- arrived in great condition --- as advertised. Thank youPublished 21 months ago by Bomberpilot13
Thank you for your prompt service. The book arrived as anticipated. I love it! Thank you again. It was a good read, even though I was at that time serving in a combat zone.Published on August 15, 2014 by Terry Chang
Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain of the 20th Maine became a legendary figure of the Civil War. After the war, Colonel Chamberlain (later Maj. Read morePublished on November 4, 2013 by Joe Owen