—William C. Davis, Professor of History, Virginia Tech University, and author of Battle of Bull Run and Lone Star Rising
“The bayonet brought Joshua Chamberlain lasting fame, but his pen is why he should be remembered. His beautifully crafted letters convey a deep and resilient love for Union that sustained him in the ranks. While soldiers on both sides succumbed to the brutal indifference of military life, ideas shielded Chamberlain’s soul, preventing him from becoming a cold and callous veteran. The exceptional correspondence contained in Joshua L. Chamberlain—A Life in Letters brings us down from the hero-worshiping altar of Little Round Top to the ground level of war where the Civil War’s most famous Union colonel managed to find higher meaning in the daily struggles of trying to survive a bloody Civil War.”
—Peter S. Carmichael, Robert C. Fluhrer Professor of Civil War Studies and Director, Civil War Institute
“Tom Desjardin has accomplished something remarkable, excavating afresh treasures from the heavily mined Chamberlain archive. Scholars, fans, aficionados—indeed, anyone interested in the Civil War—will learn much about one of Maine’s favorite sons and a hero to many Americans. The Chamberlain uncovered in these pages is no stereotype, but a complex man, whose virtues and failings vastly enrich our portrait of him. With sensitivity and wit, Desjardin offers us a new Chamberlain—perhaps less heroic than the one we know, but ultimately far more human. In the process, he adds much to our understanding not just of the Civil War, but of American life in the Victorian era.”
—Patrick Rael, Professor of History, Bowdoin College
“Many know Colonel Joshua Chamberlain, the ‘hero of Little Round Top’ and icon of Gettysburg, well, but relatively little about the life of the real Joshua Chamberlain. This marvelous collection of letters reveals to us the person concealed behind the myth and legend. They do not diminish his stature; rather they enhance it. Chamberlain was a remarkable man and lived an eventful, fascinating life. Enjoy the letters and meet the man.”
—D. Scott Hartwig, Historian, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania
"...[a] timely addition to the literature of the Civil War, appearing as it does on the 150th anniversary of Joshua Chamberlain's entry into the Union Army."
Michael Burlingame, author of Abraham Lincoln: A Life, in a review for The Wall Street Journal (July 22, 2012)
"Joshua Chamberlain (1828-1914) may be Maine's most recognized historical figure and for good reason he was a selfless man of honor, loyalty, courage and compassion. And his personal correspondence clearly reflects those laudable qualities in this revealing book sponsored by the National Civil War Museum in Harrisburg, PA."
Bill Bushnell, Kennebec Journal (January 17, 2013)
"Numnerous bookshave been written about this American hero, but few have revealed his more human qualities than this collection of letters from his personal correspondence."
Bill Bushnell, New Maine Times (January 30, 2013)
"This compilation of letters may just be the most important book published on Chamberlain in recent memory."
Robert Grandchamp, Blue & Gray Magazine
"A valuable volume, primarily for those who wish to know more about Joshua Chamberlain than just his iconic performance at Gettysburg." Judkin Browning, Civil War Book Review