Bvt. Brig. Gen. Ellis Spear
October 15, 1834|
|Died||April 3, 1917
St. Petersburg, FL
|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 taught in local schools for four years while also studying law. During the second year of the Civil War he became a recruiter and formed Company G of the 20th Maine. Spear was commissioned as a captain, but was eventually promoted to the rank of major, then lieutenant colonel, and later brevetted colonel and brigadier general at the end of the war.
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.