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Posted on May 20, 2007 in Armchair Reading

Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain

By Donald J Taeger


I was reading the Mail Bag in the July 2007 issue of ACG and was happy to see that at least one other person has taken the name of the quintessential United States citizen soldier and given it to their son. My son is also named Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain (Taeger). He is aware of who JLC was and what he accomplished in his life. He is also VERY proud of his name. I have read all of the publications that you mentioned as good reads on the subject of JLC and whole heartedly agree with your choices. I will say that In the Hands of Providence by Alice Trulock is my favorite, but that may be due to the fact that her son was a client of mine and upon learning my son’s name, he told me who he was, who his mother was, and that he would be honored if I would accept a copy of Mrs. Trulock’s book for my son. That book along with other memorabilia adorns my son’s room. Only time will tell, but if my son achieves one iota of what JLC did, he will also be a great American.



Donald J Taeger

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Dear Mr. Taeger,

Thanks very much for your email to Armchair General and for sharing your comments on Joshua L. Chamberlain. We are always working several issues ahead when putting together the magazine, but if you want to make a note for the future, our July 2008 issue of ACG will feature Brian Sobel’s Leadership column on Chamberlain’s leadership lessons. Hope you enjoy it!

You may be interested to know that the US Army was introduced to Chamberlain’s story by a good friend of mine, Lt. Col. Boyd M. "Mac" Harris. Mac re-wrote the Army’s basic leadership manual (FM 22-100) in 1983 and completely changed the format of that watershed manual to focus on real leadership stories of real ‘heroes.’ As the centerpiece of the manual, Mac chose Chamberlain’s defense of Little Round Top (he was particularly inspired by Michael Shaara’s Killer Angels book, a copy of which he gave to me in 1975 and said, "READ THIS!!", for which I have always been grateful). The manual and Chamberlain’s story took the army by storm, and almost every US Army professional school, from the Officer Basic Course to the War College, started assigning Killer Angels as mandatory reading. Sadly, Mac passed away shortly after the new FM 22-100 was published (late 1983), and the Army lost an outstanding thinker and leader when Mac died. However, his "Chamberlain" legacy has lived on years after his passing.

Thanks for reading ACG and best of luck.

Jerry Morelock

Editor in Chief, Armchair General Magazine