JOSHUA L. CHAMBERLAIN, scholar, educator, orator, soldier, and statesman, was
born in Bangor, Me., September 8, 1828. He comes of a military family. His grandfather, Joshua Chamberlain, was
a Colonel in the War of 1812, and his father, Joshua, was second in command in our frontier troubles, known as
the "Aroostook War."
In youth Mr. Chamberlain attended the town school and also the military academy of Major Whiting, at Ellsworth,
Me. He graduated from Bowdoiri College in the class of 1852, and from the Bangor Theological Seminary in 1855 A
license was granted him to preach, but he never accepted any settled pastorate, as he was called to a tutorship
in Bowdoin College immediately after his graduation at Bangor.
Mr. Chamberlain was Professor of Rhetoric at Bowdoin, from 1856 to 1862, and Instructor in Modem Languages in 1857.
He was made Professor of Modern Languages in 1861. In 1862 he entered the army as Lieutenant-Colonel of the Twentieth
Maine Regiment of Volunteers, serving during his whole term in the Army of the Potomac. He received the commission
of Colonel the following year, and on June 18, 1864, was promoted to be Brigadier-General for gallantry while leading
his brigade in the movements against Petersburg on that day. In this battle he was severely wounded, and in the
fight at Quaker Run, on March 29, 1865, he received stilL another terrible wound which came near ending his life.
General Chamberlain was on that day brevetted MajorGeneral of Volunteers for brave conduct in the first successful
assault on Lee's flank.
He commanded two brigades of the First Division, Fifth Army Corps, leading the advance in the operations that finally
ended in the surrender of General Lee's army to the Union forces on April 9, 1865. He was designated to receive
the formal surrender of the arms and colors of the Confederate army.
General Chamberlain was engaged in more than twenty battles, and was in nearly all of the hardest fought battles
of the war. Among those in which he took an active and most gallant part were Antietam, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville,
Gettysburg, Spottsylvania, Cold Harbor, and Petersburg. He received six wounds in all his brilliant service, two
of them being very severe and from which he is a great sufferer to this day. General Chamberlain is everywhere
regarded as one of the bravest and most gallant soldiers of the war, and General Grant, by voice and pen, on several
occasions recognized his great service to the cause of the Union by public commendation and by granting the promotion
that had been so well earned.
After the close of the war he returned home and assumed his professorship at Bowdoin, but the people, in 1866,
as a recognition of meritorious services in the army, elected him by a very large majority to be Governor of Maine.
He was re~elected the three succeeding years, and discharged the duties of Chief Executive of the State with faithfulness,
dignity, and great ability. His State papers were models of English composition and were remarkable for their clear
and precise presentation of State affairs to the people.
On retiring from the governorship of the State, he was, in 1871, elected President of Bowdoin College, which position
he held twelve years, resigning in 1883, but continued his lectures on Political Economy until 1885. He was also
Professor of Mental and Moral Philosophy from 1874 to 1879. In 1876 he was commissioned Major-General of the State
Militia, and was in command of the troops at the State House during the political troubles in January, 1880. He
was appointed a member of the Paris Exposition Commission in 1878, and remained abroad some time. He was given
the degree of Doctor of Laws, by Bowdoin College, in 1867.
Governor Chamberlain has delivered numerous lectures and public addresses, notably on subjects connected with the
War of the Rebellion, which were everywhere received with great satisfaction by large and delighted audiences.
One of his most elaborate public addresses was entitled "Maine; Her Place in History," and was delivered
at the Cenethnial Exposition, Philadelphia, in 1876. It was repeated, on invitation, before the Legislature of
Maine, in 1877, and was afterwards published by the State and given wide circulation. It attracted general attention
on account of its comprehensiveness and elegant diction. His last public address was given on Memorial Day, in
1893, at Boston. It was a finished and most eloquent production; was extensively published. and read by thousands
with delight. All of his efforts are scholarly and finely polished, while they show great thought, sound reasoning,
and comprehensive research. As an orator he has few equals in this country. In 1879 the United States Government
published his report on the Paris Exposition, embracing the subject of education in Europe.
For some years past General Chamberlain has spent his wihters mostly in the South and in New York, while his summers
are mainly spent in Maine. His home is at Brunswick.