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View Diary: 150 years ago, the greatest July 4th of them all (117 comments)

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  •  Sadly, Chamberlin and the 20th Maine (5+ / 0-)

    only started to get the recognition they deserved in the 20th century.

    It stands as one of the most brilliant tactical actions in military history. In particular, Chamberlin's commands to "refuse" part of his regiment (forming an angle) to prevent it being flanked, and his order to have the regiment both wheel to the right AND do a guns-unloaded bayonet charge speak to both the quality of the regiment and Chamberlin's leadership.

    (If you will, imagine using just voice and bugle commands to make a line of 300-500 men move in precise formation over steep, rocky ground while under continuous enemy fire. And, imagine that the culminating order was to rush into melee combat against a possibly superior enemy force, armed with just an unloaded gun with a knife stuck on the end of it.)

    While it's a crappy movie in many ways, Gettysburg does a pretty good job portraying the heroism of Joshua Chamberlin and the other men of the 20th Maine.

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