Chamberlain Joshua Lawrence 18281919

Born in Brewer, Maine, on 8 September 1828, Chamberlain (see Plate H3) was educated at a military academy at Ellsworth, then graduated from Bowdoin College in 1852; finally he graduated from the Bangor Theological Seminary in 1855. He was then named a professor at Bowdoin, the post that he held when the Civil War began.

Commissioned lieutenant-colonel of the 20th Maine in August 1862, he subsequently became the tin it's colonel. Given his military academy and teaching experience, he seems to have been well regarded in the regiment Major Holman Melcher wrote home on 27 June 1863 that "Our beloved Col. Chamberlain is not able to command us owing to sickness, but he is on the recovery and we all hail the day he is able to resume his command of the regiment."

Joshua Chamberlain saw active service from Antietam to Appomattox; but it was 2 July 1863, the second day of Gettysburg, that brought him his most famous moment. Vincent's brigade was hurried to hold a position at the far left of the Union line, and the 20th Maine was posted on the extreme left of the brigade - arid thus of the whole Union army - with orders to hold the commanding height of Little Round f> >p. Law's Alabama brigade moved against them, and Chamberlain"* men held off assault after assault Finally, with the regiment ammunition exhausted, Chamberlain calicd for a bayonet assault, leadin¿z it d \ the hill in person against the weary Confederates (who, in fact, were pre: firing to retire as ¡he 20th'scharge hit them). For this action, aitei . . < : .nuberlain was awarded the Medal df Honor. Chamberlain de^ ■ - « : - ielense of Little Round Top in a letter to Maine's governor on 21 i . v

"We were assigned to the extreme left of our line of battle, where the fiercest assault was made. A whole Rebel Brigade was opposed to this Regiment, charging on us with desperate fury, in column of Regiments, so that we had to contend with a front of fresh troops after each struggle. After two hours fighting on the defensive, our loss had been so great, 8c the remaining men were so much exhausted, having fired all our 'sixty-rounds' & all the cartridges we could gather from the scattered boxes of the fallen around us, friend & foe, I saw no way left but to take the offensive & accordingly we charged on the enemy - trying 'cold si eel' on them. The result was we drove them entirely out of the field, killing one hundred 8c fifty of them & taking three hundred & eight prisoners & two hundred & seventy five stand of arms."

Although not wounded at Gettysburg, in all Chamberlain would be wounded six times during the war Later a brigade commander, he saw heavy action in the 1864 campaign against the Army of Northern Virginia. While leading his men in an attack against Petersburg he was seriously -indeed, it was believed mortally - wounded by a bullet that passed through his lower light abdomen. He was given a Held promotion to brigadiergeneral; as Grant later described it, "Colonel JJL. Chamberlain, of the 20th Maine, was wounded on the 18th. He was gallantly leading his brigade at the time, as lie had been in the habit of doing in all the engagements in which he had previously been engaged. He had several time been recommended for a brigadier-generalcy for gallant and meritorious conduct On this occasion, however, 1 promoted him on the spot, and forwarded a copf Of my order to the War Department, asking that my act might be confirmed and Chamberlain's name sent to the Senate for confirmation without any delay. This was done...

Despite continual pain from his wound, which never did heal completely, Chamberlain returned to the front in November 1864. At Five Forks (1 April 1865) he was breveted a major-general for his conduct; and a week later it was to Chamberlain that Gen. Grant gave the honor of receiving the formal surrender of the Army of Northern Virginia at Appomattox.

After the war he was offered a regular army commission, but declined it and was mustered out in January 1866. Returning to Maine, lie was elected governor of the state, a post he won in two following elections. After leaving office in 1870 he returned to Bowdoin to become the college's president, also lecturing in political science and public law. He did maintain his military interests, however, serving as major-general of Maine's militia. He also had business interests in Florida, as well as serving as surveyor of the port of Portland, Maine; and he wrote about the war. He died at Portland in his 91st year, on 24 February 1919, as a long-delayed consequent t- of his Civil War wounds.

COUCH, Darius Nash (1832-97)

Darius Couch (see Plate D2) was born in Putnam County, New York, on 23 July 1A graduate of West Point in 1842, he was sent to the Mexican War with Company 11, 4th US Artillery. There he took ill from severe intestinal dysentery which, coupled with the rheumatic lever from which he also appears to have suffered, virtually crippled him at various times throughout the rest of his lite. Couch recovered in time to sec his first action at Buena Vista (22-23 February 1847), of which he wrote that

Moustache Seculo Xix

This engraving of Darius Couch was made from a photograph taken when he was still a brigadier-general. Often ill following service Jn the far South as a young officer, he declined the chance to become commander of the Army of the Potomac during the Gettysburg campaign instead of Meade.

Couch was something of an intellectual; he had taken leave from the army after the Seminole War, pursuing fiefd research into the flora and fauna of northern Mexico for the Smithsonian Institution, and in 1852 he discovered a species of platyfish which was named In his honor, Xiphophorus couchiana.

he Saw "piemy signs of the battle. Wounded men who had crawled to a cover, horses likewise without their masters, stragglers behind bushes, etc, the dead and dying lying side by side, I nerved myself in the sight and looked on unmoved.*

Breveted a first lieutenant for his gallant conduct in this battle, Couch subsequently saw sen-ire in the Seminole War (1849-50), for which he was commended by the Secretary of War. He resigned his commission in 1855 to marry, and joined a topper manufacturing business run by his father-in-law in Taunton, Massachusetts. This was a period when many dedicated officers despaired of a career in the tiny, cash-starved peacetime army, where promotion was desperately slow even for men of proven meri t.

When l lie Civil War broke out, Couch was authorized by the state governor to raise the 7th Massachusetts Infantry, which he led to Washington in July 186L He was quickly appointed a brigadier-general of volunteers and given a brigade command. When the Army of the Potomac hegan the Peninsula campaign (April-May 1862) he commanded the 1st Division, IV Corps, "It was a miserably fought affair," he wrote of his first battle in the campaign, at Williamsburg; "... a few thousand Confederates held us ail in check seeing thai our people went in by driblets." Couch's disillusionment with the army commander, George McClellan, deepened during the Seven Days, when he complained that we commenced falling back at 11pm leaving many gallant men desperately wounded and in the enemy's hands... a perfect rout.,, the same soldiers that had fought so magnificently during the last seven days were now a mob."

Suffering from one of bis recurrent bouts of illness, Couch offered to resign after these battles, but his resignation was not accepted and he went on sick leave. In September 1862 he was back in command of a division and, on 7 November 1of II Corps. He led his corps at Fredericksburg (13 December 1862), where he argued against Burnside's plan of attack. Subsequently the second in command of the army under Hooker, Couch found himself in effective command at Chancellorsville (1-6 May 1863) when the latter was stunned by the turn of events. Couch ably organized a defense, stabilizing the front after it had apparently fallen apart, and was twice wounded

While he was on sick leave after Chancellorsnlle he met Lincoln, who offered him command of the Army of the Potomac, but he declined for health reasons, instead suggesting George Meade. ( . inch w^s then named to command the Department of the Susquehanna - ri^ht in the path of Lee's invasion of Pennsylvania, which was pan or hi* department Couch disagreed with state politicians during the campaign, anri afterwards was sent to command the 2nd Division, Will < brp> n Vishville, Tennessee, where he saw much action. The end of the ^r und htm in North

George A. Custer rose from being a distinctly unpromising West Point cadet In the class of 1861, to brigadier-general of volunteers at the age of 23, to major-general's rank by the end of the war.

Usma Class Pics 1861George Custer

Carolina; resigning his commission on 9 June 1865, he returned home, where he ran unsuccessfully for governor of Massachusetts. After this defeat he moved to Connecticut, where he became the state's adjutant general. Couch died at Norwalk in February 1897.

CUSTER, George Armstrong (1839-76)

George Custer was born on 5 December 1839 in New Rumley, Ohio. While a teacher in Ohio he was appointed to West Point in 1857, Graduating last in his class of 1861, he was then assigned as a staff officer in the Army of the Potomac, i le distinguished himself several times while holding the brevet rank of captain on the staffs of George ^ B.McClellan and Alfred Pleasonton, and at the age of only 23 was appointed a brigadier-general of volunteers on 29 June 1863. He was assigned to command a brigade of Michigan cavalry in Judson KM pat rick's division, first leading it at Gettysburg a few days later. Colonel J.H.Kidd, 6th Michigan Cavalry, later described the new brigadier:

"George A,Custer was, as all agree, the most picturesque figure of the civil war,.. Brave but not reckless; self-confident, yet modest; ambitious, but regulating his conduct at all times by a high sense of honor and duty; eager Tor laurels, but scorning to wear them unworthily; ready and willing to act... quick in emergencies, cool and self-possessed, his courage was of the highest moral type, his perceptions were intuitions.., lie was not a reckless commander. He was not regardless of human life... He was kind to liis subordinates, tolerant of their weaknesses, always ready to help and encourage them. He was brave as a lion, fought as few men fought, but h was from no love of it."

Kidd also described his appearance: "An officer superbly mounted who sat his charger as if to the manor born. Tall, lithe, active, muscular, straight as an Indian and as quick in his movements, he had the fair complexion of a school girl. He was clad in a suit of black velvet, elaborately trimmed with gold lace, which ran down the outer seams of his trousers, and almost covered the sleeves of his cavalry jacket. The wide collar of a blue navy shirt was turned down over the collar of his velvet jacket, and a necktie of brilliant crimson was tied in a graceful knot at the throat, the long ends falling carelessly in front. The double rows of buttons on his breast were arranged in groups of twos, indicating the rank of brigadier-general. A soft, black hat with wide brim adorned with a gilt cord, and rosette encircling a silver star, was worn turned down on one side giving % him a rakish air. His golden hair fell in

Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain

graceful luxuriance nearly or quite to his shoulders, and his upper lip was garnished with a blonde mustache. A sword and belt, gilt spinas and top boots completed his unique outfit." He fun her admitted ihai "Custer with flashing eye and flowing hair, charging at the head of his men, was a grand and picturesque figure, the more so by reason of his fantastic uniform, which made him a conspicuous mark for the enemy's bullets, but a coward in Custer's uniform would have become the laughing stock of the army."

Made a major-general of volunteers after Appomattox, he reverted to lieutenant-colonel {>11 the regular army list after the war, assigned to the 7th Cavalry. Court-martialed for being absent without leave, and unwise in his public pronouncements, he was nevertheless restored to duty and took part in the 1867 campaign against the Sioux and Cheyenne; the Yellowstone Expedition of' 1873; che expedition into the Black Mills in 1874; and the Cheyenne and Sioux campaign of 1876. Ii was during a detached march in this latter campaign that he divided his regiment in the face of a much larger Indian force at the Little Nig Horn on 25 June 1870, in which action he and all the men under his personal command lost their lives.

Custer in the saddle, wearing his trademark flowing cravat, but an otherwise subdued uniform. The "boy general" had pienty of physical courage and was admired by his men, serving well when under direct supervision; he distinguished himself at the head of the Michigan cavalry brigade at Gettysburg, arid in the later Shenandoah Valley campaign. His talent for independent command would be demonstrated at Little Big Horn in 1676, however.

FRANKLIN, William Buel (1823-1903)

William Franklin (see Plate D3) was born on 27 February J 823 ai York, Pennsylvania. Ranker! first in the West Point class of 1843 (in which U.S. Grant ranked 21st), lie was commissioned into the Corps of Topographical Engineers, He took part in the Great Lakes survey and explorations in the Rocky Mountains. In the Mexican War he earned a brevet for bravery at Buena Vista.

From 1848 to 1852 he was an assistant professor at West Point; between 1852 and the Civil War he was in Washington, where he was in charge of building the Capitol dome and the monolithic

Treasury addition. Ou the outbreak of the Civil

War lie was commissioned colonel of the 12th US Infantry, and shortly thereafter a brigadier-general of volunteers on 17 May l8f>L He commanded a brigade at First Bull Run (21 July) » and was given a divisional command that September. He sewed in this capacity in the Peninsula campaign (April-May 1862), during which he was given command of VI Corps. McClellan complained to his wife in August 1862 that Franklin showed "little energy", adding "I do not at all doubt Franklin's loyalty now, but his efficiency is very little - 1 am very sorry that it has turned out so. The main, perhaps the only cause is that he lias been & still is sick one ought not to judge harshly a person in that condition."

Nevertheless, leading his corps with distinction, Franklin commanded the troops at Crampton's Gap at South Mountain {!4 September 1862), and three days later fought at Antietam. Burnside picked him to command the Left Grand Division, consisting of I and VI Corps, at Fredericksburg that December, Franklin was bitter about Burnside's botched attack: "Both his staff'and Smith s are talking outrageously, only repeating though, no doubt, the words of their generals," wrote Charles Wain wright after the battle. "Burnside may be unfit to command ibis army; his present plan may be absurd, and failure certain; but his lieutenants have no right to say so to their subordinates. As it is, Franklin has talked so much and so loudly to this effect ever since the present move was decided on, that he has completely demoralized his whole command, and so rendered failure doubly sure. 1 lis conduct lias been such that he certainly deserves to be broken,"

Burnside wanted Franklin removed from command, but Lincoln refused; instead he accepted Burnside's resignation. Marsena Patrick reported the rumor going through the army on 1 I January 1863: "The contest is between Franklin & Hooker for the succession.1' Eventually, however, he had to record on 28 January that "Gen, Franklin was ordered to turn over the Command of the grand Division & report in Washington. Many persons think it is probable that Franklin will have a i rial. Undoubtedly there is a great deal of disloyal ty> according to Judge Holt's interpretation of that word, in Franklin's command."

William Buel Franklin

William Buel Franklin as a majorgeneral - a Harper's Weekly engraving after a Brady photograph. Academically one of the most distinguished of all Union general officers, he graduated top of his class at West Point and became a celebrated engineer. His high reputation saved his career when his outspoken criticism of superiors brought him into serious disfavor.

William Buel Franklin as a majorgeneral - a Harper's Weekly engraving after a Brady photograph. Academically one of the most distinguished of all Union general officers, he graduated top of his class at West Point and became a celebrated engineer. His high reputation saved his career when his outspoken criticism of superiors brought him into serious disfavor.

Franklin was not court-martialed; Capt. Charles Francis Adams Jr, 1st Massachusetts Cavalry, wrote that Franklin was "on the whole considered the ablest officer we have," and such a reputation may have saved him. However, he was not restored at once to a senior command. After some months he was given XIX Corps in the West, during both the Sabine I'ass expedition and the Red River campaign (March-May 1864); he was wounded during the latter. At the end of the war Franklin was named president of the board for retiring disabled officers- However, his outspokenness against Burnside had so turned his fellow generals against him thai lie resigned his commission in 1866.

After the war Franklin served as vice-president and general manager of Colt's Fire Arms Manufacturing Co. until 1888, During that time he also supervised the building of the Connecticut state capitol, and was a Democratic presidential elector in the 1876 election. He was named commissioner general of the United States for the Paris Exposition in 1888, Returning lo Connecticut, he died there on 8 March 1903, and is buried at York. Pennsylvania.

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