Bvt. Brig. Gen. (USA), Ellis Spear, U.S.V.

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Bvt. Brig. Gen. (USA), Ellis Spear, U.S.V.'s Geni Profile

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Bvt. Brig. Gen. (USA), Ellis Spear, U.S.V.

Birthplace: Warren, Knox, Maine, United States
Death: April 03, 1917 (82)
Saint Petersburg, Pinellas, Florida, United States
Place of Burial: Arlington, Arlington, Virginia, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of James Marston Spear and Nancy Cushman
Husband of Sarah Foster Spear
Father of Arthur Prince Spear

Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Bvt. Brig. Gen. (USA), Ellis Spear, U.S.V.

  • Ellis Spear (October 15, 1834 – April 3, 1917) was an officer in the 20th Maine Volunteer Infantry Regiment who rose to the rank of general during the American Civil War.
  • He served in the 20th Maine with Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain and was present with the Regiment at the Battle of Gettysburg in July 1863, when they defended the Union flank from a Confederate assault on Little Round Top.
  • From
    • "Civil War Union Brevet Brigadier General. A lawyer pre-Civil War, a year after that conflict began he helped recruit what would become Company G of the 20th Maine Volunteer Infantry.
    • "Commissioned as Captain and command of the company on August 29, 1862, he fought with the 20th Maine Infantry at the December 1862 Battle of Fredericksburg, Virginia, where the unit was part of the futile Union army charges on Confederate positions at Marye’s Heights. At the July 1863 Battle of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, he was Acting Major of the regiment and second-in-command to Colonel Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain.
    • "On the 2nd Day of the Battle he directed the 20th Maine’s left wing as they repulsed repeated Confederate attacks on their positions on Little Round Top (the regiment was the extreme left of the entire Union Army, and holding it was critical to success that day).
    • "Ellis Spear took command of the unit after Colonel Chamberlain was elevated to brigade command, and led it through the Appomattox Campaign in 1865 that culminated in the Confederate capitulation.
    • "He was promoted to Major on August 28, 1863, to Lieutenant Colonel on September 30, 1864, to Colonel on May 29, 1865, and was honorably mustered out on July 18, 1865.
    • "On April 9, 1865 he was brevetted Brigadier General, US Volunteers for “faithful and meritorious services during the campaign ending in the surrender of the Army of Northern Virginia”. After the war, became a patent attorney for the U.S. Commissioner.
    • "Bio by: John "J-Cat" Griffith
  • Biography
    • "Spear was born in 1834 in Warren, Maine where he grew up on his family's farm and attended a Presbyterian church Sunday School. Spear received his higher education at Bowdoin College, graduating in 1858. Spear remained teaching at Bowdoin for four years to pay back his cost of tuition. Eventually Spear studied law, but when the Civil War erupted he became a recruiter and formed Company G of the 20th Maine. Spear was commissioned as a captain, but was quickly promoted to the rank of major, then lieutenant colonel, and later brevetted colonel and brigadier general at the end of the war. At Appomattox Court House in 1865, Spear witnessed the meeting of Grant and Lee during the surrender the Army of Northern Virginia.
    • "After the war, Spear became a patent attorney and eventually became the United States Commissioner of Patents and wrote about the war. One author claims that Spear believed that many members of the 20th Maine, particularly Colonel Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, exaggerated their roles at the Battle of Gettysburg actions at Little Round Top. His writings provide corroboration to Lieutenant Holman S. Melcher's claims about initiating the charge.
    • "Spear died in Washington, D.C., and was buried with honors at Arlington National Cemetery. His papers were later published by his grandson.
    • "Spear was played by Donal Logue in the 1993 film Gettysburg and by Jonathan Maxwell in Gods and Generals.
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Bvt. Brig. Gen. (USA), Ellis Spear, U.S.V.'s Timeline

October 15, 1834
Warren, Knox, Maine, United States
September 23, 1879
Washington, District of Columbia, United States
April 3, 1917
Age 82
Saint Petersburg, Pinellas, Florida, United States
Arlington, Arlington, Virginia, United States