The End

Chapter 23 – This poem, The End, 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.

Written by Christopher Rudolph © 2015

531px-Joshua_Chamberlain_-_Brady-Handy  Joshua Chamberlain

Chapter 23 – The End


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 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.

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“Christopher Rudolph exercises his study of the Confederacy’s invasion of Pennsylvania to create a poem. He relates the story of the campaign and Battle of Gettysburg with insight and care for detail. It will appeal to the student and the enthusiast.” –  Donald J Frey – Civil War Author, Longstreet’s Assault – Pickett’s Charge, In The Woods Before Dawn, The Adventures of Daniel Buchwalter in the Western Army, and others.

A “Monumental piece.” Janet Morgan Riggs – President of Gettysburg College

“Excellent, and a great way to get students interested in history! It’s extremely creative, and a great approach to teaching.” – Diane Zazzali DeBella – Writing Professor at University of Colorado

 “I loved it. Quite a tour de force.” – Judy Hammer – High School English and Drama Teacher

This battle was fought for three days from July 1st to July 3rd, 1863. It is estimated that there were over 50,000 casualties in the two armies fighting (28,000 from the Confederate Army and 23,000 from the Union Army). It was the bloodiest battle of the entire Civil War.

Battle of Gettysburg Poem

by Christopher Rudolph © 2015

Chapter 1 – Army of Northern Virginia

Chapter 2 – Army of Potomoc

Chapter 3 – Colonel Chamberlain

Chapter 4 – General Buford

Chapter 5 – The First Shot

Chapter 6 – Buford Day 1

Chapter 7 – Railroad Cut

Chapter 8 – Chamberlain Day 1

Chapter 9 – Buford Night 1

Chapter 10 – Chamberlain Day 2

Chapter 11 – General Longstreet

Chapter 12 – Charge of 1st Minnesota

Chapter 13 – Charge of 20th Maine

Chapter 14 – Little Round Top

Chapter 15 – Culp’s Hill

Chapter 16 – Longstreet Night 2

Chapter 17 – Chamberlain Day 3

Chapter 18 – Longstreet Day 3

Chapter 19 – East Cavalry Field

Chapter 20 – Pickett’s Charge

Chapter 21 – Bloody Angle

Chapter 22 – The Aftermath

Chapter 23 – The End

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