JOSHUA CHAMBERLAIN 03 THE 20TH MAINE CHARGES After nearly two hours of fighting, repulsing three successive enemy attacks, those Maine soldiers still able to fight are running dangerously low on ammunition. Pacing up and down his own line of exhausted men, Chamberlain knows desperate measures are called for. The 20th Maine has lost nearly a third of its force, as a mere 200 men now stand in line, many preparing to use their empty rifles as clubs. Chamberlain gives the command, “Bayonets!” The call is taken up in a crescendo along the line, before Chamberlain draws his sword and advances, with the regiment colours at his side, down the hill toward the rebel forces. 02 THE CONFEDERATES ATTACK At just after 5.00pm, minutes after the 20th Maine regiment has formed into lines, the 47th and 15th Alabama regiments begin to attack. They get just halfway up the boulder-strewn hillside before the Union cannons and rifles open up on them. Unknown to the Confederates, Chamberlain has also dispatched a unit of the 2nd US Sharpshooters to his left, protecting against any outflanking manoeuvre. The sides exchange fire, using the rocks and trees as natural cover, but the Union line holds. 25 miles UNITED STATES New York Philadelphia Gettysburg Baltimore Atlantic City ATLANTIC OCEAN Washington 55
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