Bvt. Brig. Gen. Ellis Spear
October 15, 1834|
|Died||April 3, 1917
|Place of burial||Arlington National Cemetery|
|Allegiance|| United States of America
|Service/branch|| United States Army
|Years of service||1861–1865|
|Rank|| Brevet Brigadier General
|Commands held||20th Maine Infantry|
|Other work||Patent attorney|
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, Ellis, The Civil War Recollections of General Ellis Spear.
- Genealogical and Family History of the STATE OF MAINE, Compiled under the editorial supervision of George Thomas Little, A. M., Litt. D.LEWIS HISTORICAL PUBLISHING COMPANY, New York1909 
- Styple, William B. (Ed.), With a Flash of his Sword: The Writings of. Maj. Holman S. Melcher, 20th Maine Infantry, Belle Grove Publishing, 1994.
- Works by Ellis Spear at Project Gutenberg
- Works by or about Ellis Spear at Internet Archive (search optimized for the non-Beta site)