JOSHUA CHAMBERLAIN

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. . . one of the heroes of the Battle Of Gettysburg and, it might be argued, the most important of them.  If his regiment had not held off the Confederate assault on Little Round Top during the second day of the battle, and Lee had been able to station artillery there, at the far left of the Union line and commanding all of it, there is every probability that Lee’s assault on the Union center the next day would have succeeded, and Lee could have marched on Washington.

Before the war Chamberlain was a college professor in Maine.

GEORGE MEADE

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. . . victor of Gettysburg, one of the most important battles in American history. He was criticized, probably unfairly, for letting Lee’s army get away after the battle, and his star was further dimmed when U. S. Grant was brought east soon after the battle and placed in charge of all Union forces, making Meade a glorified lieutenant.

Meade was a cautious, methodical general, but that methodical caution at Gettysburg probably saved the Union, even if Meade himself never inspired the adulation of his countrymen.  Grudging respect was his fate.

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ROBERT E. LEE

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A brilliantly colorized version of the famous portrait by Matthew Brady — from the amazing web site Colorized History.

Lee is such a mythological figure in American history that it sometimes seems surprising that that are any photographs of him at all. Seeing him in the flesh would have been a major life experience — “Virgil, quick come see, there goes Robert E. Lee”. This image is probably as close as we can come to the experience today.

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