1883 Sickness and Operation
Before the operation the NY Times reported,
Joshua L. Chamberlain, of Maine, is a sick man.
There are thousands of New-England veterans whose hearts will ache at the news....
in the last great campaign before Petersburg Major-Gen Chamberlain was shot through the body,
receiving so dreadful a wound that his life since has been
18 years of misery patiently endured by this noble man.... The old wounds are pressing upon this General,
Governor, and college President, and he is about to undergo a dangerous operation."1
In another article relaying this news the New York Times concludes with,
The wound from which he is at present suffering was received during the battle of Petersburg,
June 18, 1864, a rebel ball passing through his body from hip to hip, severing the arteries and fracturing the bones.
For two months afterward he lay at Annapolis at the point of death, only his wife, the Assistant Surgeon, and himself having faith to believe that he would recover."2
Finally allowed to return home after the operation, the New York Times caught a glimpse of him on June 11,
Gen. Joshua L. Chamberlain was taken in a special car from Boston to his home in Brunswick Me. on Thursday last.
He looked feeble and worn and was compelled to walk very slowly in passing from the train to his carriage,
but it is hoped his recovery will be rapid under the careful nursing and amid the pleasant surroundings of his home."3
By June 16th things looking less promising, The Whig and Courier describing his wound as enlarging. The Congregationalist reports on June 21,
"Gen. Chamberlain of Bowdoin College has returned to his home from Boston,
but has been able to leave his bed only about every second day. It is announced that he will return to
Boston soon, for further treatment."
By July 26 The Whig and Courier states, "he will never entirely recover from his wounds."
To examine all the newspaper clippings see 1883 Sickness - Newspaper Clippings
For more information on the aftermath see Bowdoin Resignation.
Though this article leads one to believe that Dr. Joseph H. Warren knew Chamberlain during the war,
it is more likely that their Bowdoin connections brought them together.
Warren graduated Bowdoin Medical School in 1853. During the war he was President Lincoln's
private physician before becoming medical director of Gen. Casey's Division of Provisional troops 2nd Corps (later part of the 4th Corps).
He resigned after the Battle of Yorktown. He became vice president of the AMA 1889 - 90.
He published several papers and demonstrated his hernia method before Guy's Hospital in London.4
He wintered in Florida for his health and while there published several local newspapers and medical magazines.
He died in 1891.5