Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain will always remain as one of my favorite persons of the 19th Century. He was a common man, a professor at Bowdoin College in Maine, who volunteered for the Union Army.
At the Battle of Gettysburg in 1863, he led the 20th Maine Infantry Regiment and held the end of the Union line. Having been ordered to hold the line at all costs, he eventually led a bayonet assault against the advancing Confederate Army. He held his ground.
For his actions that day Chamberlain would receive the Congressional Medal of Honor. At war’s end, he would be a Major General. And it would be he, above all other officers, who General U.S. Grant chose to receive the surrender of the Confederate Army.
As the Confederates stacked their arms to return home, Chamberlain ordered his men to salute the departing Confederates.
One incredible man.