Colonel Chamberlain

Chapter 3 – This poem introduces Colonel Chamberlain. He needs to convince a group of soldiers from Maine to join them in an upcoming battle. He is a Colonel in the Union Army V Corps, 1st Division, 3rd Brigade, leading the 20th Regiment from Maine.

by Christopher Rudolph © 2015

Colonel Chamberlain Colonel Joshua Chamberlain

Chapter 3 – Colonel Chamberlain of Maine


Early in the morning

20 miles south of PA

Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain

Awoke to a hot day


Just a year ago

He was a professor eminent

Teaching rhetoric at Bowdoin

Now a Colonel of a regiment


Part of the V Corps

He led the 20th of Maine

250 farmers, fishermen, loggers

Now soldiers well trained


His aide told him news

2nd of Maine disbanded

Soon 120 mutineers

He would be handed


They had seen too much death

And since they did enlist

These strong lumber jacks

Were famously feared for fierce fists


But they had seen enough

A dozen or more battles

Men were dazed

Nerves completely rattled


Yet they were ordered now

To fight or die

He had orders to shoot them

If they didn’t comply


They arrived ragged

Hungry and extremely parched

But orders had been given

20th Maine was to lead the march


For a battle monumental

Would be fought in the upcoming days

A ferocious fight was brewing

Somewhere in PA


There was little time

To talk to these rugged men

No time to write

His speech down in pen


He must trust his gut

His instinct and insight

Speak from his heart

Inspire them to fight


34 years old

Picturesque and tall

He spoke honestly

Heeding the call


The choice was theirs

He made it very clear

Death from him

They should not fear


He spoke of liberty

And justice for all

To free mankind

From slavery’s cruel jaws


Fight for a land

Where no one has to bow

To royalty privileged

Judged only by knowhow


And after all they were 

From Maine all brothers

And in the end

They must fight for each other


His brother Tom

Told him of their changed sentiment

All but six would fight

Adding 114 to their regiment


And so the men from Maine

Took the honorable lead

Onto PA

Where thousands upon thousands would bleed


Go to Chapter 4

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