Dear Association Members and Friends,
“We are the flank.”
(Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, 20th Maine Regiment, at the Battle of Gettysburg)
On July 2, 1863, Colonel Joshua Chamberlain uttered these words as he and his men prepared to defend Little Round Top at Gettysburg. Colonel Chamberlain had his men look to their left. There was no one there. They were the flank! They were outnumbered and had limited resources, but could not withdraw under any condition. Withdraw, and the flank of the entire Union Army would collapse. Withdraw, and the course of American history might have been very different. Those of you who are history buffs know what happened: Chamberlain and his 20th Maine defended that ground against repeated charges of what should have been an overwhelming Confederate force. Finally, when they had no more ammunition for their muskets, Chamberlain’s men fixed bayonets and charged down the hill themselves. Against all odds, they held their ground¸ and won a victory that probably changed the course of the American Civil War.