History & Geography

United States history, including southeastern history, western history, and the American Civil War; European history, African history, and world history.

Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain's Account of the Battle of Five Forks, Virginia

Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain's Account of the Battle of Five Forks, Virginia


48 pp., folding map.

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Chamberlain, Joshua Lawrence. FIVE FORKS. Portland, Maine: Lefavor-Tower Company, 1902. 48 pp., folding map. First edition. A Paper Read Before the Military Order of the Loyal Legion, Commandery of Maine, May 2, 1901. Original printed wrappers, a few small chips at edge of wrappers. A near fine copy of this rare and important work.

Albert Castel stated: "Chamberlain had a most successful military career capped by his being chosen to command the Union troops who were present when the Army of Northern Virginia lay down their arms. His account of the final Virginia campaign is superb. He was as great a writer as he was a fighter. No author ever better conveyed that strange mixture of glory and tragedy of meaning and mystery felt by the armies of the North and South as they passed off the stage of history."

This work and the accompanying map focuses on the actions of April 1, 1865 at the Battle of Five Forks, Virginia. It includes Grant's pursuit of Lee after the lines broke. Chamberlain, formerly colonel of the 20th Maine, was then in command of a brigade of the Fifth Corps.

He gives on-the-spot eyewitness material and casts interesting reflections on the relationships between the two armies and their commanders. An informative work by a gifted writer.


Not in HAYNES: VIRGINIANA, though other works by Chamberlain are recorded.

Not in NEVINS. NICHOLSON p.143.