Joshua Chamberlain

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Born Monday 8 September 1828, died Tuesday 24 February 1914

Occupation: Soldier

Nationality: American

My officers and men understood wishes so well that this movement was executed under fire, the right wing keeping up fire, without giving the enemy any occasion to seize or even to suspect their advantage.

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Mounting a large rock, I was able to see a considerable body of the enemy moving by the flank in rear of their line engaged, and passing from the direction of the foot of Great Round Top through the valley toward the front of my left.

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We fought no better, perhaps, than they. We exhibited, perhaps, no higher individual qualities.

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We know not of the future and cannot plan for it much.

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We have to go in places no body would ever think of going into were it not for the necessities of war.

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I do not pretend to write much of a letter. You know under what circumstances I am writing.

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Just after writing those we were called up to defend a new position on the left, where the terrible storming of the bridge over the Antietam took place.

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Let me say no danger and no hardship ever makes me wish to get back to that college life again.

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The power of noble deeds is to be preserved and passed on to the future.

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Every pioneer and musician who could carry a musket went into the ranks. Even the sick and foot-sore, who could not keep up in the march, came up as soon as they could find their regiments, and took their places in line of battle, while it was battle, indeed.

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The word was enough. It ran like fire along the line, from man to man, and rose into a shout, with which they sprang forward upon the enemy, now not 30 yards away.

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Rations were scarcely issued, and the men about preparing supper, when rumors that the enemy had been encountered that day near Gettysburg absorbed every other interest, and very soon orders came to march forthwith to Gettysburg.

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But the cause for which we fought was higher; our thought wider... That thought was our power.

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But we can hold our spirits and our bodies so pure and high, we may cherish such thoughts and such ideals, and dream such dreams of lofty purpose, that we can determine and know what manner of men we will be, whenever and wherever the hour strikes and calls to noble action.

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I never could be a partisan leader - a man of one idea.

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We pass now quickly from each other's sight; but I know full well that where beyond these passing scenes you shall be, there will be Heaven.

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This is the great reward of service, to live, far out and on, in the life of others; this is the mystery of Christ, - to give life's best for such high sake that it shall be found again unto life eternal.

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I long to be in the Field again, doing my part to keep the old flag up, with all its stars.

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