[Chamberlain, Joshua L.; James Fessenden]
The Bowdoin Poets [with manuscript contribution by Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain]Brunswick: Joseph Griffin, 1849. Original gilt decorative cloth in near fine condition. Housed in custom box. With large folding engraved plate of Bowdoin College. Published in two parts. Part I: First appearances of poems by Bowdoin College students, including 4 poems by H.W. Longfellow, a graduate of Bowdoin and a professor there during Fessenden's and Chamberlain's attendance. Part II: 100 pages of 61 manuscript letters written to James Fessenden from his classmates in the classes of 1849, 50, 51, & 52. Most significant is a letter by Fessenden's friend Joshua L. Chamberlain. Both men went on to become distinguished Civil War Generals; Chamberlain was the hero of Little Round Top at Gettysburg, and his bravery and character led General Grant to choose him to be present at the Confederate surrender at Appomatox. Fessenden was commander of the 2nd US Sharpshooters, and later commander of the First South Carolina Regiment of US Colored Troops. The men's principled behavior can clearly be traced back to their education at Bowdoin, as the letters reflect an interest in high moral values. Of the students who wrote these letters, approximately 20 went on to become officers in the Union Army, while others went on to become respected leaders in a variety of fields.