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Class Year

2015

Abstract

Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain is perhaps best known as the commander of the 20th Maine Volunteer Infantry during the Battle of Gettysburg. While depictions of Chamberlain's martial glory abound, little attention has been paid to the complicated motives of the man himself. This paper seeks to examine the unique ways in which Chamberlain interacted with Victorian conceptions of martial masculinity: his understanding and expression of it, his efforts to channel it, and his use of it as a guiding principle throughout the trials of both the American Civil War and his post-war life.