It took great courage. Please consider:
Notes on the Declaration of Independence
During these four days in 1776 Congress worked to draft the declaration. It was revised and debated over this period.
Did you know, what happened on July 2nd? The the Second Continental Congress made the declaration, the United Colonies to be independent of the British Empire. It took two more days for the formal Declaration to be ratified.
1863 Battle of Gettysburg Day 2
Late in the afternoon Col. Joshua Chamberlain, a seminary graduate and school teacher, is in command of the 20th Main Infantry, V Corps of the Union Army. He has ordered his troops to take a position on Little Round Top at the south end of the Gettysburg Battlefield.
Confederate Gen. Longstreet’s troops had attacked and fought for over three hours as they approached Chamberlain’s position. So far the battle had raged across Rose farm, the Peach Orchard, the Wheatfield, Trostle farm and Devil’s Den.
Col. Chamberlain’s troops now anchor the extreme left of the Union line; his 20th Maine defending their position against Col. William C. Oates and forces from Alabama. His 20th Main has already held off one assault from the 15th Alabama.
Chamberlain’s troops are short on ammunition. Chamberlain orders “fix bayonets.” In his own words:
“At that crises, I ordered the bayonet. The word was enough. It ran like fire along the line, from man to man, and rose into a shout, with which they sprang forward on the enemy, now not 30 yards away. The effect was surprising; many of the enemy’s first line threw down their arms and surrendered. An officer fired his pistol at my head with one hand, while he handed me his sword with the other. Holding fast by our right, and swinging forward our left, we made an extended “right wheel,” before which the enemy’s second line broke and fell back, fighting from tree to tree, many being captured, until we had swept the valley and cleared the front of nearly our entire brigade.”
For his bravery and leadership in this engagement, Joshua Chamberlain was awarded the Medal of Honor.
- Observance of 150th Anniversary of American Civil War in Presque Isle on April 23rd (thevalleyvoice.org)
- Video: The Declaration of Independence (history.com)