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May 27, 2007

Blood and Fire

Joshua L. Chamberlain – ISBN – 1879664178

This little monograph (29 narrative pp and another 30 pp of pictures and copies of Chamberlain’s notes) is one of the best little-known “secrets” on the Civil War. For those who require a reminder, Chamberlain was the professor become soldier whose regiment, the 20th Maine, shouldered the defense of Little Round Top on the second day of the battle at Gettysburg.

He achieved the rank of General, was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for his activities there, and was at Appomattox to accept the surrender of the Southern Army under Robert E. Lee, in which situation he was both heroic and noble, having his troops salute those surrendering, while his band play “Dixie.” He encouraged the “Rebs” to maintain their dignity in defeat . . . and permitted it!

This is his description of the brilliant battle for Little Round Top, the indisputable turning point of the Civil War.

It is brief, gripping—indeed exhilarating—and well worth the few minutes it takes to read. For the buffs there is no need to describe the battle, though it is worth reading in the first person, and for the uninitiated it is a brief and definitive treatise on the subject. As such it ought to be read.

Read it!

Posted by respeto at May 27, 2007 12:07 PM