All Hail Joshua Chamberlain!

I see in Leesburg Today that a certain Maine attorney now residing in Leesburg, Peter Burnett, has restored an historic building (photo, right) at 210 Wirt Street.

Rather than call the building by its original function, by the name of the original architect, by the name of an event contiguous in time with its erection, Burnett has renamed this edifice "The Joshua Chamberlain Building."

Chamberlain has no connection to Leesburg but Burkett wanted to honor his Maine hero.

Touching, isn't it? Now, the culturally challenged vagbonds and gypsies who populate newspaper staffs have picked this up with a vengeance and the Leesburg Times, which should care about the history of the town, boldly and frequently refers to "The Joshua Chamberlain Building" instead of correcting Burkett's conceit.

The "fun" part of this, if there is any fun in it at all, is that Lawrence Chamberlain was never known as Joshua - some ACW scribbler dubbed him thus and the misnaming perpetuates itself like shoe factories in a McPherson Gettysburg retelling. Fanny Chamberlain saw the Joshua thing develop in her lifetime and was baffled enough to write about it.

So we have a building misnamed after a person misnamed. But it's all good because it's all history, right? That's the spirit!

(This story was not available in the online edition of Leesburg Today.)