Thursday, November 6, 2008

The 20th Maine - Gettysburg

Tucked among the rocks of Little Round Top, the squat monument to the 20th Maine Infantry rests where its men fought off repeated attacks on the second day at Gettysburg. Because the fight on the end of the Union line was popularized first in The Killer Angels then the movie Gettysburg, the Maine men receive more attention for their efforts that day than perhaps are deserved in comparison to other worthy units. The fight, however, did result in a heroic stand for the Union men against a determined enemy fighting uphill. Col. Joshua Chamberlain reported as the armies met: "From that moment began a struggle fierce and bloody beyond any that I have witnessed, and which lasted in all its fury, a full hour. The two lines met, and broke and mingled in the shock. At times I saw around me more of the enemy than of my own men. The edge of conflict swayed to and fro - now one and now the other party holding the contested ground. Three times our line was forced back, but only to rally and repulse the enemy."(Click image for larger view).

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