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On July 2, 1863, during the second day of "The Battle of Gettysburg"' approximately 358 members of the 20th Maine Regiment anchored the left flank of the Federal Army on Little Round Top. Under order not to abandon the position "under any circumstances" they were also told to expect a "desperate attack" from the Confederates. Failure to hold their position would jeopardize not only the battle but the war itself.

After approximately two hours of fierce Confederate charges by five veteran regiments (two from Texas and three from Alabama) with intense fighting and the outcome in doubt as the fight rolled back and forth like a wave, the Confederates regrouped and were ready for what they figured would be the final charge. The 20th Main Commander, Colonel Joshua L. Chamberlain, seeing that his men were almost out of ammunition and could not possibly with stand another charge, decided to do the unexpected. He ordered a frontal attack and overran the surprised Confederates. The fight for Little Round Top was finished. The valor and courage displayed by the 20th Main Regiment including three of its officers, starting from the left in the picture, Lt Holman S. Melcher of Company F, Colonel Joshua L. Chamberlain, Regimental Commander, and his brother Lt Thomas D. Chamberlain the Regimental Adjutant, are legendary in American Military History.

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