Title: Minutes and Reports General Conference of the Congregational Churches in Maine
Publisher: John H. Bacon, Bangor
Date Published: 1881
Keywords: Joshua Chamberlain, Lawrence Chamberlain, Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain
Permissions: public domain
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1884 Conference of the Congregational Churches

In 1883 Chamberlain's old wounds caused his health to decline so greatly that he was forced to resign the Presidency of Bowdoin College.1 Though relinquishing the presidency Chamberlain continued in lesser rolls both in the College and the Church that supported it. The following year on June 18th - the twentieth anniversary of his wounding at Petersburg he was moderating a meeting for the Church as the Congregationalist relates, "With a good deal of enthusiasm the Conference elected the gallant 'soldier, governor, teacher, and brother Congregationalist,' Gen. Joshua L. Chamberlain. It transpired during the meeting that the second day of Conference was the twentieth anniversary of his severe battle and almost fatal wound."
    The Biddeford Daily Journal from June 19th 1884 clarifies the account on the left... "Professor Sewall begged the indulgences of the conference for a few remarks. He recalled a reminiscence of the war, showing that this is an anniversary day, for it was twenty years ago today that Joshua L. Chamberlain was made Brigadier General on the battle field, where he was left for dead.2 This speech was received with prolonged applause. General Chamberlain was visibly affected, but responded eloquently. He said that it was not his fault that ordaining hands were not laid on his head in youth, but that swords were crossed above it instead. He had purposed to preach the gospel, but God ordained that he should pass his life on the battlefields and in the halls of learning. He thanked the conference for doing him the honor of choosing him as moderator, and for this last mark of respect."

For a few other interesting tidbits search the keyword "Chamberlain"
1For more on this sickness see 1883 sickness
2For more on Professor Sewall's visit see Annapolis