|Union Colonel Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain|
The Hero of Gettysburg
Photo courtesy of US Library of Congress
The following is one entry and comment FROM FIELDS OF FIRE AND GLORY by Rod Gragg. Published by Chronicle Books, San Francisco, CA, 2002
June 19th, 1864
My darling wife
I am lying mortally wounded the Doctors think but my mind & heart are at peace. Jesus Christ is my all-sufficient savior. I go to him. God bless & Keep & comfort you, precious one, you have been a precious wife to me. To know & love you makes life & death beautiful. Cherish the darlings & give my love to all the dear ones. Do not grieve too much for me. We shall all soon meet. Live for the children. Give my dearest love to Father, mother and Sallie & John. Oh how happy to feel yourself forgiven. God bless you evermore precious, precious one.
Colonel Chamberlain surprised everyone and recovered from his wound. He was promoted to brigadier general in the field by General Grant, was eventually awarded the Congressional Medical of Honor, and at war's end was selected formally to receive the surrender of General Robert E. Lee's army at Appomattox. At the surrender, he set an example of reconciliation by ordering the Northern troops to salute the defeated Southerners. After the war, he was elected to four terms as governor of Maine and served thirteen years as president of Bowdoin College. He died February 24, 1914 in Portland, Maine.