Joshua Chamberlain’s exploits on Little Round Top have gained worldwide fame since the release of the film Gettysburg. Several books on Joshua Chamberlain have appeared in recent years, but most have been either hero-worship or have relied too heavily on his own account of his actions.Edward Longacre has joined the front ranks of American Civil War historians with The Cavalry at Gettysburg, General John Buford, and Custer and his Wolverines. Now he provides the first biography of Joshua Chamberlain that places his Civil War career in the full context of his life before and after the war, explores all aspects of his character, and draws on independent, and occasionally contradictory, eyewitness accounts of his battlefield actions. Previously unknown aspects of Chamberlain’s experiences before the war and at Antietam, Fredericksburg, Gettysburg and Appomattox are presented to a wider audience here for the first time. Edward Longacre’s meticulous research suggests that Chamberlain’s own accounts of some of his actions can no longer be taken entirely at face value and that his character had a darker side, but the various flaws and failings of Chamberlain the real man as recounted here serve in the end to emphasize rather than diminish the remarkable nature of his accomplishments.

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