Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, as depicted in Michael Shaara’s The Killer Angels, was a leader of great valiance and courage. His actions at the Battle of Gettysburg exemplify his persistence, tenacity, and bravery. He had learned from McClellan, the former general in chief of the Union Army, the two things an officer must do to lead men. “You must care for your men’s welfare. You must show physical courage.” Chamberlain wisely chose to follow
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back down the hill, others surrendered, and others were taken prisoner.
If it were not for Chamberlain’s valiance and determination the Federal army might have been destroyed, the battle lost, and the war along with it. If his troops had failed to hold their line against the Confederate army the right flank of the Union would have been left exposed and the destruction of the men in blue would have been the inevitable result.