Joshua Chamberlain is the subject of Matthew Cost’s book “Joshua Chamberlain and the Civil War.” Cost will speak at the Southwest Harbor Public Library on Aug. 23. ISLANDER FILE PHOTO

Matthew Cost to talk about Chamberlain novel

SOUTHWEST HARBOR — Matthew Cost, author of “Joshua Chamberlain and the Civil War,” will speak at the Southwest Harbor Public Library on Tuesday, Aug. 23, at 5:30 p.m.

The book is a historical novel about one of Maine’s greatest heroes.

Chamberlin was a college professor with no formal military training, who, together with a small company of men, turned the tide of the battle and the war with a bayonet charge at Gettysburg. This was not the end of his exploits, however, and by war’s end, he was so respected that Ulysses S. Grant chose Chamberlain to accept the South’s surrender of the Army of Northern Virginia.

The novel traces his evolution from an arrogant, overbearing professor to unwitting and unlikely hero and leader. Interwoven are subplots about the coming of age of his young orphaned aide, his complicated marriage and his rousing battle scenes.

The story begins with a ferocious battle that orphans 14-year-old Emmett Collins. Following the last instructions of his father, Collins shows up on Chamberlain’s doorstep in Brunswick, where he joins Chamberlain and the 20th Maine as they embark for war in the late summer of 1862. He grows from a boy into a man over the next three years as he accompanies Chamberlain on his rise through the ranks to major general and recipient of the Medal of Honor.

Cost graduated with a bachelor’s in history from Trinity College in Hartford, Conn. He has since published two mystery novels, “Mainely Power” and “Mainely Fear.”

There will be books for sale and signing. Call the library at 244-7065.