Friday, July 29, 2011

Civil War travelogue: Joshua Chamberlain's grave

Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain
If you're a Civil War buff, you're well acquainted with the amazing story of Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain.

A professor at Bowdoin College in Maine, Chamberlain enlisted in the Union army on Aug. 8, 1862, then became a decorated officer and eventually rose to brigadier general. As colonel of the 20th Maine Infantry at Gettysburg, Lawrence achieved fame (and earned a Congressional Medal of Honor) for his leadership at Little Round Top, where his men helped hold (barely) the extreme left flank of the Union army. I get goose bumps every time I watch that scene in the movie "Gettysburg." Just great stuff.

Chamberlain survived some the worst fighting of the war at  Fredericksburg, Antietam, Chancellorsville, Spotsylvania Courthouse and Petersburg.  He was wounded several times and even had his horse shot out from under him. After the war, Chamberlain became governor of Maine and then president of Bowdoin College, his alma mater. He died at age 85 in 1914, apparently of lingering war wounds.

Chamberlain is buried at Pine Grove Cemetery, on the Bowdoin College campus in Brunswick, Maine.  ESPN colleague Matt Volk, a Bowdoin grad, visited Chamberlain's grave recently and shot these photos of the great man's final resting place.

Chamberlain, wounded several times during the Civil War, died in 1914. (Photos by Matt Volk)


  1. Anonymous6:10 PM

    he was 85 when he died in portland maine in he house .

  2. Anonymous3:51 PM

    Chamberlin was the last Civil War veteran to die as a direct cause of his wounds. His wounds caused him health problems for all of his remaining years after the war before finally succumbing to those wounds in 1914.

  3. Anonymous3:56 PM

    In 1893, 30 years after the battle that made the 20th Maine famous, Joshua Chamberlain was awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions at Gettysburg. The citation commends him for his "Daring heroism and great tenacity in holding his position on the Little Round Top against repeated assaults, and carrying the advance position on the Great Round Top." He later volunteered for recommissioning and duty in the Spanish-American War, but was turned down due to his age and health.