In July 1862 Joshua Chamberlain, a family man and respected professor at Bowdoin College in Maine, joined the fight to preserve the Union. His wartime service was exemplary; he is perhaps best remembered for his outstanding leadership at Gettysburg. At all times, however, he fought bravely and well, even at Petersburg in 1864 where he received the wound that was to torment him until his death in 1914.
Throughout his time in the field, Chamberlain wrote letters of recommendation to his superiors, letters of condolence to the families of soldiers killed while under his command, and letters to his family at home. All are well written, revealing the professor's educated background and elegant prose. Nesbitt's notes set the scene, place Chamberlain's writings within the larger context of the war, and make clear the General's sterling character and his sacrifices for the country he loved.