Chamberlain Day 1

Chapter 8 – This poem, Chamberlain Day 1, focuses on Colonel Chamberlain’s actions as the 20th Maine marches to Gettysburg. On July 1st, 1863, the 20th Maine Infantry, under the command of Colonel Joshua Chamberlain, played a pivotal role in the American Civil War as they marched from Maryland into Pennsylvania. This day marked the beginning of the Battle of Gettysburg, one of the most significant and decisive battles of the war. The 20th Maine, a regiment composed of mostly volunteers from Maine, was part of the Union Army’s V Corpa. As they moved from Maryland into Pennsylvania, the soldiers of the 20th Maine were undoubtedly aware of the gravity of the situation.

by Christopher Rudolph © 2015

Chamberlain Colonel Joshua Chamberlain

Chapter 9 – Chamberlain Day 1

Chamberlain rode slowly forward

Underneath the blistering sun

Some people came out to cheer

But most were silent and glum


At noon they reached Pennsylvania

Friendlier than Maryland

Fifes and drums resounding

By the Union Army Band


Ladies handed out

Freshly baked bread

“Better fill the bellies now

Will be late when again fed”


Mounted in his saddle

Eating the bread fresh baked

Took a look back

And saw a huge blue snake


He was at the head

Of the Union V Corps

Flags tilted floating

Band playing tunes adored


Arriving in Hanover at 3 PM

Dead bodies lay in rows

J.E.B. Stuart’s cavalry had been there

“Where now?” They didn’t know


The people were delighted

To see the men of Blue

Waving and cheering, “Hurrah for the Union!”

As they wearily passed through


The V Corps had now marched

One hundred miles in five days

There was fighting ahead in Gettysburg

The horizon held dark haze


A mix of smoke and dirt

Hovered high in the air

Wagons of suffering wounded

Gave everyone a scare


Gloomy news came

The Rebels did beat and pound

The I and XI Corps

Retreated to hills south of town


The day passed

The moon was now high

It was well past midnight

When they finally arrived


They saw a Gettysburg hill

Troops and tents were spread

The battle would resume at dawn

Creating more piles of the dead


Go to Chapter 9

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