Written by Christopher Rudolph © 2015
Chapter 24 – This poem, Colonel Chamberlain End of 3rd Day, focuses on Chamberlain’s thoughts after the third day of the Battle of Gettysburg. For now, the Union has won this battle. He is confident that he is fighting for the right cause, but the war is not yet over. He knows he will need to continue to fight until the North totally wins or he is dead.
Chapter 24 – Colonel Chamberlain – End of 3rd Day – July 3rd, 1863
In the evening he left the regiment
Off by himself all alone
Wandering out to the field
Beyond the blasted wall of stone
Along the long tree lined slope
He found a rock bare
Littered dark lumps everywhere
Mesmerized he stared
Still slightly in shock
From the bombardment that afternoon
He laid back as the rain fell
Underneath the rising moon
He knew he had been witness
To a battle monumental
To be written down in history books
Forever sublime and providential
He knew he was on the right side
Of history’s righteous path
Those fighting against
Had just felt its mighty wrath
Those Rebels were courageous
But despite their bravery
Their cause was wrong and misguided
Smeared by the Evils of slavery
Union soldiers had fought bravely
Warrior Angels at their side
Might of right triumphant
Souls divinely allied
But this struggle would continue
The war was not yet done
He would continue fighting until the end
Either dead or with victory won
Note – Arrangements were made for a formal surrender ceremony (at Appomatox) to take place on April 12, 1865 during which 28,000 Confederate soldiers formed up and laid down their colors and weapons. General Grant selected General Joshua L. Chamberlain to take charge of this ceremony. He asked for his old brigade, the Third Brigade, First Division, V Corps (which included his old regiment, the 20th Maine) to have the honor of representing the Union Army during this ceremony.
Note – Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain was wounded 6 times during the Civil War.
Thank you for posting this amazing poem. I will share this with my seven Grandchildren to help them understand how the Civil War was fought & won! My husband have ancestors that fought in this monumental Civil War! One man, Richard Nelson, will be celebrated at our next Family Reunion! I hope I can get some of my grand children to read out parts of this amazing poem!
Monumental….. This should be required reading in every school in this country….. As a Nation, we should have the ancestry of these gallant men revealed…. before and now – to bring this enormous event closer to Americans- that we should never forget their valor and determination!