Ken Burns Classroom

Brig. General Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain

Ken Burns Film: The Civil War

Collections: Civil War and Reconstruction (1861-1877)

Subject: US History

Grade Level: 6-12

General Joshua L. Chamberlain
Image of General Joshua L. Chamberlain, taken between 1860 and 1865.


An academic by training, Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain set aside theology for the art of war, fighting from Antietam to Appomattox. Despite being wounded four times, Chamberlain returned to active duty each time, and was promoted by Ulysses Grant to brigadier general. Later awarded the Medal of Honor for his battlefield excellence at Gettysburg, he went on to serve as both Maine governor and president of Bowdoin College.

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