I received an interesting new visitor email, from a gentleman named Ron Pelt. He sent along the following two original poems about Joshua Chamberlain and the 20th Maine at Little Round Top.

When I replied to his original note, and asked him how he became interested in the General, this is what he wrote:

"I got "captured" by Colonel Chamberlain, as you and many others have, from reading "The Killer Angels" and seeing the excellent performance by Jeff Daniels in the Turner movies. I have just returned from Gettysburg and stood on the ground where he stood.

"I am a counselor in Charlotte, N.C. and I am fascinated by Chamberlain's strong convictions, character, and courage."

I then asked Mr. Pelt if he would like to see his poems on my Web site--and he enthusiastically agreed!

Therefore, without further ado, I present -- with sincere thanks to Mr. Pelt:

The 20th Maine's left flank marker, Little Round Top. Gettysburg National Military Park. Photo courtesy of David Williamson. Do not copy without his express written permission.


(A Poem of Little Round Top)

   by Ron Pelt   

We are the flank.

Do you understand?

We hold no matter the price.


We are the left, the last to protect,

We are the flank and must fight.

We are the chosen, like it or not,

We are the ones that they count,

To hold the invaders,

Protect the whole line,

These boulders they must never mount.

So load them up boys, and keep your heads down,

And pray to God now while you can.

For we are the flank,

They're depending on us,

And they mustn't get by or go round.

We are the flank,

The last hope for blue,

We are the ones God appointed,

Yes, we are the flank, and here they come boys,

We are the ones, the anointed.

So fire 'em up boys, refuse them the line,

And keep a sharp eye, for they start,

But we are the flank, and we must not fail,

So hold on to your guns and your heart.

Little Round Top, as seen from Devil's Den. Gettysburg National Military Park.
Photo courtesy of David Williamson. Do not copy without his express written permission.


by Ron Pelt

Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain

Stood up on the hill that day,

Waving his sword and guiding those boys,

In the midst of hell and clay.


The Johnnies they kept on coming,

Alabamians don't give in,

But those men of Maine also tempered by war,

Stood their ground just above the rock den.


It was chaos and valor, turmoil and tears,

The blood and the guts and the pain.

And the teacher from Bowdoin,

Met the Devil himself, as the minie balls fell like the rain.


The shouts echo down through the long, long years,

Bayonets! Bayonets boys!

If they take this hill the cause will be lost!

And they stayed and they fought through the noise.


And they charged down that slope, and their hearts were on fire

Their lives and their bodies the toll.

And they held the left flank whatever the cost,

On the banks of that rocky old knoll.


20th Maine monument,
Little Round Top, Gettysburg National Military Park.
Photo by Barbara Riley. Do not use without her express written permission.

Joshua Lawrence stood up on that hill,

And saw no way through the melee,

Than to look straight down, in the face of Death,

And to charge with his men on the way.


On to history, on to fame,

On to glory, our freedom to gain,

But it wasn't for glory, and it wasn't for land,

But for freedom he led them, this valiant man,


Statue of Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, Brunswick ME.
Photo from the Portland Press-Herald.

Joshua Lawrence stood up on that hill,

And saw our future in sway,

What kind of country will we become,

What kind of people today?


Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain,

Stood up on the hill that day,

And asked us all if we could become,

The land of the free and the brave.

Here is a beautiful portrait of Joshua Chamberlain and his brother (and regimental adjutant) Tom Chamberlain, overlooking the battlefield from Little Round Top.

      The artist is: Randall Richard Rogers, specializing in period commissions. Contact him at: 612.868.0438

From the collection of Chris Jordan.

Please do not reproduce without the express written permission of Mr. Rogers AND Mr. Jordan.

And special thanks to my dear friend Thomas Fleming, for his help in reducing the portrait's size.

 NOTE: This Web site is Copyright © 1999- 2009 Pat Finnegan. All rights reserved.

DO NOT use any written material, or photographs, without first contacting me in writing. If you do not do this, be assured that legal action will be taken.