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Gettysburg Hero's Medal of Honor Discovered in Book

Gettysburg Hero's Medal of Honor Discovered in Book


The Medal of Honor once worn by a famous Union Civil War general has been discovered inside a book purchased at a Maine church fundraising sale.

The medal belonged to Gen. Joshua Chamberlain who is noted for taking a stand and leading a famous charge at Little Round Top in the Battle of Gettysburg. The medal was issued by President Grover Cleveland on Aug. 11, 1893.

Although there is another Chamberlain Medal of Honor at Bowdoin College where he was a professor, the medal discovered in the book is the first one Chamberlain wore. When the Medal of Honor was redesigned in 1904, the holders of the prestigious award were allowed to either turn in the old one and receive a new one, or keep the original but only wear one of them.

Chamberlain decided to keep both medals.

“There is photographic evidence that Chamberlain was very proud of the medal, that he wore it quite often,” Pejepscot Historical Society Director Jennifer Blanchard told the Times Record.

According to The Times Record, the medal was verified by “state and federal historians, the Smithsonian, Library of Congress, and the U.S Army.”

The medal was sent anonymously and donated to the Pejepscot Historical Society, which is where it will be displayed.

Historians have often suggested that Chamberlain and his men may have saved the Union Army at Gettysburg with their valiant actions at Little Round Top. Under intense and sustained assaults by Confederate forces, Chamberlain gave the order to affix bayonets and charge down the hill, routing the enemy.

Photo Source: Pejebscot Historical Society

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