The Maine Men

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There were 120 men from Maine that volunteered for three years service in the 2nd Maine division of the army.  The rest only volunteered for one year at a time. Those that volunteered for one year were gone home now, because their time was up. Those 120 men couldn’t go home, because their time wasn’t up yet. They could quit, though, and they did–then they were arrested for mutiny.   After they were arrested, no one really knew what to do with The Maine Men–until someone remembered another division of men that also came from Maine; Col. Lawrence Chamberlain commanded them.  It was called the 20th Maine.  Captain Brewer of the 118th Pennsylvania delivered The Maine Men to the 20th Maine prodding them along with bayonets to keep them moving. The 20th Maine took custody of those 120 men near Gettysburg, PA.  Colonel Chamberlain fed them, and the march toward Gettysburg began.  He told the men that they could take up arms and help them fight if they wanted too.   He also said that if they chose to fight nothing else would be said about the mutiny charges they were facing.  After some discussion, all but six of those 120 men chose to fight. Later after the next battle, those six men said they didn’t want people calling them cowards.  They said that it would be a privilege to fight alongside Col. Chamberlain and his men.  Unfortunately there were no more muskets, so the colonel told them to wait there and there would be extra muskets for them soon.  At the battle of Little Round Top those 120 mutineers (The Maine Men) along with Colonel Chamberlain and his troops were the left flank; they were the end of the line. They kept the Confederates from flanking the Yankees, or the Civil war might have had a completely different outcome.  Without the Maine men, we in the South might now belong to The Confederate States of America rather than the United States of America.  Although I am from the South and proud of it, as I suspect that many of you are–we should all be thankful to Those Maine Men for keeping the rebels at bay and holding the Union together.

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