Here’s one for XBrad, because I know this is his favorite Civil War story. I’m stomping around Gettysburg today and made the required stop at this monument:
Yes the monument for the 20th Maine Infantry Regiment.
Most visitors would stop there, then head back to the car. But as anyone who has read Killer Angels will recall, there was more to the story.
About 400 feet east of that monument is this marker:
When the 20th’s commander, Colonel Joshua L. Chamberlain, first arrived on Little Round Top the afternoon of July 2, 1863, he sent Company B to deploy as skirmishers on his left. Forty men under Captain Walter Morrell. These men were arguably the left flank of an army. They deployed along this stone wall.
As the Confederates pushed, and bent back the main part of the 20th’s line, a gap developed between Morrill’s skirmishers and Chamberlain’s line. Here’s the view back to Little Round Top from the wall:
Alabama troops attempted several charges up those slopes. But Chamberlain held. In the confusion, he had to assume Morrill was lost. With no reinforcements and limited ammunition, Chamberlain opted for a desperate charge down the slope. When that charge wheeled down, Morrill’s men rose to deliver shots into the rear and flank of the Confederates, then joined the charge.
Happened right here:
I could go on about courage, leadership, and decisiveness on the battlefield. But you’ve probably already heard that lesson.
Heck, I just think it’s six kinds of cool that I’m typing this and adding photos while standing on the actual ground!