The twentieth maine

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The twentieth Maine (which was a union regiment during the civil war) was formed in

August 1862 after the call to arms by Abraham Lincoln. The twentieth Maine was put

under the command of Colonel Adelbert Ames, who had distinguished himself at the

battle of Bull Run and was a strict military man, who immediately put his men to drilling

to prepare them for the war. Ames developed a quick bond with lieutenant colonel

Joshua L. Chamberlain, who had been a collage professor so he adapted very well to

military strategies, so Ames spent a lot of time teaching him military art.

The twentieth Maine fought in a couple of battles but there part in those battles

was very minor so with my report I will mainly focus on the large battles that they

fought in.

There first major battle was fought at Fredericksburg. The union army under the

command of General Burnside had just reached the Rappahannock River and Burnside

ordered his engineers to build pontoon bridges across the river. On the other side of the

river general lee had sent a group of solders under the command of general Barksdale to

slow down the union attempts to cross the river. After a couple days of this Burnside got

fed up and decided to bomb Fredericksburg and try to dislodge the confederates from

where they were hiding, but the plan failed and Burnside was forced to make a crossing

upstream away from where he had planned. So Burnside sent his men across the river

expecting heavy resistance but, general lee had decided to put up his defenses outside

the city on some hills. The position was a great one the union soldiers would have to

cross open ground to reach the hills and lee new they would have no chance. Burnside

after waiting a couple days sent a brigade against the confederate left flank, which was

commanded by Stonewall Jackson, and the attack almost broke through but Stonewall's

men were able to hold fast. The next day an attack was sent at the right flank, which

was commanded by James Longstreet, the first attack got completely destroyed when it

reached a ditch. The union soldiers were forced to withdraw after leaving a bridge

behind that would allow the next attack to cross with no problems. The twentieth main

was part of the seconded attack. They charged past the ditch and then started heading

for the stonewall that Longstreet’s men were behind. There was so much firing coming

from behind the stone wall that the twentieth Maine was pinned down. The only way

to stay hidden was to pile up dead bodies in front of you so that the confederate

soldiers couldn’t see you to shoot at you. They stayed pinned down over night and the

next day they charged from their position and where able to take the stone wall, the

only problem with this was the fact that the confederate’s behind the stone wall was

the first line of defense and there was an even bigger line of defense behind them. Over

the next night they were recalled and the union army retreated back across the


After the way that the twentieth Maine performed in the field colonel Adelbert

Ames was promoted to general, general Burnside was also replaced by General Joe hooker.

After another failer in the field by the union army, under Hooker at

Chancellorsville, the union forces retreated back north out of Virginia. It was at this

point that lee decided to attack the north instead of defend as his army had been

doing the rest of the time. His army marched to a town called Gettysburg and thus

would start the most important battle in the war. The union army, which had just been

placed under the command of George Meade, had set up a horseshoe shaped defensive


The left side commanded by general sickles moved forward to a different defensive

position to defend devils den, instead of little round top. His men were massacred at

the spot he chose to defend, and the union flank was now open to attack. Another

general by the name of warren saw this developing and quickly took the third corpse,

which contained the twentieth Maine, and put them in a defensive position on the left

flank. The twentieth Maine was put on little round top.

When colonel chamberlain, who was now in commanded of the twentieth Maine,

first got to little round top he sent out company B (there were companies all the way to

K) to defend big round top. Because he saw that if the confederates put cannon up

there his position would be indefensible. He did not here word from company B before

the attack started. The attack came at both his front and flank so he set his men up in

an angle defense. in the first charge the twentieth Maine hadn’t fixed bayonets and the

confederates had but even sow the twentieth Maine was still able to drive them back.

After even more charges by the confederates the twentieth Maine had run out of

ammo, Chamberlain also saw at this point that the confederates were about to charge

so he decided to charge them himself. When the twentieth Maine charged it through

the confederates into a panic and they started retreating. One of the confederate

companies turned and was about to fire a volley that would have ended the union

charge, when B company as well as some union sharpshooters, which had been hiding

behind a stonewall, fired a volley that sent the confederates running.

Gettysburg would be won the next day after Pickets charge. The twentieth Maine

would also go on to fight in more battles such as wilderness. They would also be there

at the end at Appomattox court house, and would be honored by being one of the few

companies present when the confederates laid down their arms. The regiment received

several medals of honor including one for Chamberlain for his actions at little round

top. Chamberlain later in the war was promoted to brigadier general; he was also shot

multiple times during the war and would eventually die from one when he was in his

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