On this day: July 2 1863

July 2 1863, Gettysburg Pennsylvania.
Maj. Gen. George Gordon Meade’s Army of the Potomac positioned around the village of Gettysburg comes under assault from the Confederate army under the command of Robert E. Lee during the second day of battle.

The Unions extreme left flank consisting of the 358 men of the 20th Maine regiment and the 83rd Pennsylvania stretched to the point they are in single file comes under attack by Brig. Gen. Evander Law’s Alabama Brigade. Defending against 2 charges over 90 minutes and with very little ammunition left and with the knowledge that another charge could not be repelled the commander of the 20th, Colonel Joshua Chamberlain orders his left flank to swing around and when in line with the rest of his men orders a full charge against the 15th Alabama regiment. Breaking the line and helping to secure the hill.

Gettysburg raged for another day culminating in “Picketts charge” Although it was not enough to force the Union army off the field and Lee, without a large portion of his forces was forced to retreat.

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Joshua Chamberlain
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Flag of the 20th Maine volunteer regiment
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Veterans of the 20th Maine at Little round top Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, 1889

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