Back in a time when men were men,
1828, the year,
A boy was born, called Chamberlain,
A Maine man, from Brewer.
A philosophical sort was he;
At twenty, went to Bowdoin College.
There he met a girl named Fanny
And began to think of marriage.
In 1861 the rumble
Of war rolled o'er the land.
For to fight those dirty Rebels
He joined the Yankee band.
The Twentieth Maine he lieutenant-coloneled,
And at Fredericksburg, '62,
Shivered with cold as the hot shells hurtled
O'er the dead in the freezing dew.
That long, hot summer, '63,
They marched up to the North,
With Lincoln's "henceforth, and forever, free"
To push and propel them forth
Though a tired band of soldiers, then,
They were marched up toward a battle.
"We're the end, the last," knew Chamberlain,
"We cannot lose this hill."
Sleepless yet for two whole days,
Fearless still was Chamberlain.
He stood and saw the smoky haze
From the ridge and Devil's Den.
There they were, on Little Round Top,
Ten rounds to a man,
When, hiss! hiss! zip! pop!
The Rebel charge began.
"Careful, boys, aim steady,"
"Don't shoot until you're ready—
Wait 'til you can see them pounce."
The air was thick with stifling smoke—
But lo! a word above the din!
To a man, all heard it spoke—
It was Colonel Chamberlain.
Like Adonis! No mere man!
His saber drawn! His eyes afire!
"Protect this hill, boys! You will! You can!"
And the Rebs could go no higher.
But the hill was not won—
No, far from it.
"Right," said he, "bayonets, everyone!"
And his 200 men charged down from the summit.
Suddenly, they were face-to-face—
But the Rebels turned and ran.
The hill was safe from Rebel feet.
Gettysburg was done.
The Rebels didn't like defeat—
But the battle had been won.
Chamberlain, himself, was proud
Of the fight his boys had fought.
But the Rebs, of course, should be allowed
To know just what he thought.
And so it was in "Old Virginny"
The men were quiet as a mouse.
But he called them to salute Gen'ral Lee
At Appomattox Court-house.
The Rebs were dirty, loud, and rude,
But it mattered not to Chamberlain—
He drew himself up in salute
And called them friends again