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Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain Resources

Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, 1874, While President of Bowdoin College
Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, 1874, While President of Bowdoin College

Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, Bowdoin professor, president, trustee and overseer, and member of the class of 1852, is best remembered as the Civil War general who commanded at Little Round Top during the Battle of Gettysburg. At Bowdoin, he is also remembered for his attempts to modernize the College: the founding of a Scientific Division and the establishment of a military drill are hallmarks of his Bowdoin presidency.

This guide contains information and links to his College administrative records and personal papers held by Special Collections & Archives, to sites beyond the College, and provides a suggested reading list of secondary sources.

Books Concerning Chamberlain
This is a suggested reading list; it is by no means comprehensive. If not available through your local library or bookstore, inquire at the Bowdoin Bookstore.


  • Deans, Sis Boulos. His Proper Post : A Biography of Gen. Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain. Kearny, N.J. : Belle Grove Publishing Co., 1996
  • Golay, Michael. To Gettysburg and Beyond : The Parallel Lives of Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain and Edward Porter Alexander. New York : Crown Publishers, c1994
  • Longacre, Edward G. Joshua Chamberlain : The Soldier and the Man. Conshohocken, Pa. : Combined Pub., c1999
  • Loski, Diana Halderman. The Chamberlains of Brewer. Gettysburg, PA : Thomas Publications, c1998
  • Perry, Mark. Conceived in Liberty : Joshua Chamberlain, William Oates, and the American Civil War. New York, N.Y., U.S.A. : Viking, 1997
  • Pullen, John J. Joshua Chamberlain : A Hero's Life and Legacy. Mechanicsburg, PA : Stackpole Books, c1999
  • Smith, Diane Monroe. Fanny and Joshua : The Enigmatic Lives of Frances Caroline Adams and Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain. Gettysburg, PA : Thomas Publications, c1999
  • Trulock, Alice Rains. In the Hands of Providence : Joshua L. Chamberlain and the American Civil War. Chapel Hill; London : University of North Carolina Press, 1992
  • Wallace, Willard Mosher. Soul of the Lion : A Biography of General Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain. New York : T. Nelson, [1960]
    Reprinted in 1991 by Stan Clark Military Books in Gettysburg, Pa.

Regimental Histories

  • Desjardin, Thomas A. Stand Firm Ye Boys From Maine : The 20th Maine and the Gettysburg Campaign. Gettysburg, Pa. : Thomas Publications, c1995.
  • Pullen, John J. The Twentieth Maine : A Volunteer Regiment in the Civil War. Philadelphia : Lippincott, [1957]
    Reprinted in 1980 and 1984 by the Morningside Press of Dayton, Oh.

Personal Reminiscences

  • Chamberlain, Joshua Lawrence. "Bayonet! Forward" : My Civil War Reminiscences. Gettysburg, Pa. : Stan Clark Military Books, 1994 Reprints of several pieces.
  • Chamberlain, Joshua Lawrence. "Blessed Boyhood! " : The Early Memoir of Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain. Brunswick, Me. : Bowdoin College, 2013. Annotations by Thomas A. Desjardin and David K. Thomson; with a foreword by U.S. Senator Angus S. King, Jr.
  • Chamberlain, Joshua Lawrence.  The Grand Old Man of Maine : Selected Letters of Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, 1865-1914.  Edited by Jeremiah E. Goulka; foreword by James M. McPherson.  Chapel Hill :  University of North Carolina Press, 2004
  • Chamberlain, Joshua Lawrence. Joshua L. Chamberlain: A Life in Letters. Edited by Thomas Desjardin. Oxford: Osprey, 2012
  • Chamberlain, Joshua Lawrence. The Passing of the Armies : An Account of the Final Campaign of the Army of the Potomac, Based Upon the Personal Reminiscences of the Fifth Army Corps. New York; London : G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1915
    Reprinted in 1974 by the Morningside Bookshop of Dayton, Ohio; and in 1994 by Stan Clark Military Books in Gettysburg, Pa.
  • Chamberlain, Joshua Lawrence. A Sketch : The Original 1905 Biography of Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain. Brewer, Me. : Brian L. Higgins, 1995, c1905

On the Battle of Gettysburg

  • Chamberlain, Joshua Lawrence. Through Blood and Fire at Gettysburg ... Gettysburg : Stan Clark Military Books, 1994
    Reprint of a 1913 Hearst's Magazine article.
  • Chamberlain, Joshua Lawrence. Through Blood & Fire. : Selected Civil War Papers of Major General Joshua Chamberlain. Edited by Mark Nesbitt. Mechanicsburg, Pa. : Stackpole Books, c1996
    Reprints of several pieces.
  • McPherson, James M. Gettysburg : The Paintings of Mort Kunstler ; text by James M. McPherson. Atlanta, Ga. : Turner Publishing ; Kansas City, Mo., 1993
  • Norton, Oliver Willcox. The Attack and Defense of Little Round Top, Gettysburg, July 2, 1863. Dayton, Ohio : Morningside Bookshop, 1978
    Reprinted in 1992 by Stan Clark Military Books of Gettysburg, Pa.
  • Pfanz, Harry W. Gettysburg--Culp's Hill and Cemetery Hill. Chapel Hill : University of North Carolina Press, c1993
  • Shaara, Michael. The Killer Angels : A Novel. New York : McKay, [1974]
    Frequently reprinted.
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