United States Regiments & Batteries > Indiana


The 20th Indiana Volunteer Infantry Regiment lost 15 officers and 186 enlisted men killed or mortally wounded and 113 enlisted men to disease during the Civil War. It is honored by a monument at Gettysburg.

1861
July 20-22 Organized at Lafayette, Indiana under Colonel William L. Brown, Lieutenant Colonel Charles D. Murray, Major Benjamin H. Smith and Adjutant Israel N. Stills.
July 25 Left for Indianapolis
July 26 At Camp Morton. The regiment was issued grey uniforms and elderly Springfield rifle muskets, which many men threw down in disgust. Governor Morton promised the weapons would be replaced with newer and better quality as soon as possible.
August 2 Mustered in and left state by train for Baltimore, Md.
August – September Stationed at Cockeysville, Md., guarding Northern Central R. R. to Pennsylvania line
September Moved to Baltimore. Colonel Brown ordered the regiment’s guns to be loaded and at half cock for the march through the city, anticipating violence from the townspeople, but the move was made without incident.
September 26-27 Sent by steamship from Baltimore to Fort Monroe. Then joined the expedition to Hatteras Inlet, N. C.
September 28 At fortifications North end of Hatteras Bank. The regiment landed without tents or supplies.
October 1
Action at Chickamacomico Beach

The gunboat carrying the regiment’s supplies and heavy equipment was captured by three Confederate gunboats. Regimental Quartermaster Isaac W. Hart and a working detail of 47 men were captured.

October 5 Returned to Fort Hatteras
November 3 The regiment received the new rifles promised by Governor Morton.
November 9 Ordered to Fortress Monroe, Va., Dept. of Virginia
December 28 Lieutenant Colonel Murray resigned to become colonel of the 89th Indiana. Major Smith was promoted to lieutenant colonel and Captain John Van Valkenberg of Company A was promoted to major.
1862
January 31 Lieutenant Colonel Smith resigned.
February 16 Major Van Valkenberg was promoted to lieutenant colonel and Captain John Wheeler of Company B was promoted to major..
March 8-9 Engagement at Newport News, Va., between CSS Virginia and U.S.S. Cumberland, U.S.S. Congress and U.S.S. Monitor. The regiment aided wounded men who came ashore.
May 10 Occupation of Norfolk and Portsmouth. Assigned to Robinson’s Brigade, Dept. of Virginia.
June 8 Joined Army of the Potomac on the Peninsula; attached to 1st Brigade, 3rd Division, 3rd Army Corps
June 19 Charles City Cross Roads
June 25-July 1 Seven Days before Richmond
June 25
Battle of Oak Grove (“The Orchards”)

The 20th Indiana lost 144 men casualties.

June 30
White Oak Swamp and Glendale

1st Lieutenant John W. Andrew was killed.

June 30 Jordan’s Ford
July 1 & July 5 Malvern Hill
July 6 At Harrison’s Landing
August Attached to 1st Brigade, 1st Division, 3rd Army Corps
August 16-28 Movement to Fortress Monroe, then to Centreville
August 19 Captain James M. Lyttle of Company I died of his wounds.
August 28 Adjutant Israel Stiles was promoted to major of the 63rd Indiana.
August 28 – September 2 Pope’s Campaign in Virginia
August 29
Battle of Groveton
August 30
Second Battle of Bull Run

Colonel Brown was killed. Lieutenant Colonel Van Valkenberg was promoted to colonel, Major Wheeler was promoted to lieutenant colonel, Captain George F. Dick of Company D was promoted to major, and John F. Thomas was promoted to adjutant.

September 1
Battle of Chantilly
September 20 Duty at Arlington Heights
October 11 Crossed the Potomac in pursuit of Stuart’s cavalry raid.
October 12 In camp at Poolesville, Maryland.
October 29 – November 19 Movement to Falmouth, Va.
October 13 Major Dick was promoted to lieutenant colonel of the 86th Indiana
October 21 Captain James H. Shannon of Company E was promoted to major.
December 12-15
Battle of Fredericksburg
1863
January 20-24 Burnside’s 2nd Campaign (“Mud March”)
January – April At Falmouth
February 10 Colonel Van Valkenburg was dishonorably discharged.
February 11 Lieutenant Colonel Wheeler was promoted to colonel. Major Shannon was promoted to lieutenant colonel and Captain William C.L. Taylor of Company H was promoted to major.
April 27-May 6 Chancellorsville Campaign
May 1-5
Battle of Chancellorsville

The regiment captured the 23rd Georgia Infantry. When the 3rd Corps was cut off the 20th Indiana made a bayonet charge to reestablish communication.

May 21 Adjutant John Thomas was promoted to Captain of Company A.
May 27 John Luther was promoted to adjutant.
June 5 Lieutenant Colonel Shannon resigned to become colonel of the 138th Indiana.
June 6 Major Taylor was promoted to lieutenant colonel.
June 11-July 24 Gettysburg Campaign
July 1-3
Battle of Gettysburg

At Gettysburg the regiment was commanded by Colonel John Wheeler until he was killed on July 2. Lieutenant Colonel William C.L. Taylor then took command until he was wounded, when command fell to Captain Erasmus C. Gilbreath. The 20th brought 496 men to the field, of whom 32 were killed, 114 wounded and 10 missing.

Private Oliver P. Rood of company B was awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions at Gettysburg on July 3rd for the capture of the flag of 21st North Carolina Infantry.

After the battle Lieutenant Colonel Taylor was promoted to colonel, Major Meikel was promoted to lieutenant colonel and Captain Erasmus C. Galbreath was promoted to major.

July 5-24 Pursuit of Lee to Manassas Gap, Va.
July 23 Wapping Heights, Va.
August – September Detached at New York City during draft disturbances
November 7-8 Advance to line of the Rappahannock
November 7 Kelly’s Ford
November 26 – December 2 Mine Run Campaign
November 27 Payne’s Farm
1864
January 1 282 men reenlisted, enough to give the regiment Veteran status. Veterans left for furlough.
February 6-7 Demonstration on the Rapidan
March Attached to 1st Brigade, 3rd Division, 2nd Army Corps
May 4-June 15 Campaign from the Rapidan to the James River
May 5-7
Battle of the Wilderness
May 8 Laurel Hill
May 8-21
Battle of Spotsylvania Court House
May 10 Po River
May 12
Assault on the Salient (“Bloody Angle”)

Captains John Thomas of Company A and Henry Quigley of Company G were killed

May 19
Battle of Harris Farm (or Fredericksburg Road)
May 23-26 North Anna River
May 26-28 On line of the Pamunken
May 28-31
Totopotomoy

Lieutenant John C. Bartholomew of Company K died of his wounds.

June 1-12
Battle of Cold Harbor
June 16-18 First Assault on Petersburg
June 16 Siege of Petersburg
June 22-23 Jerusalem Plank Road, Weldon R. R.
July 9 Captain Charles A. Bell of Company B was killed in front of Petersburg and Captain Lafayette Gordon died of wounds.
July 27-29 Demonstration on North side of the James
July 28-29 Deep Bottom
August 13-20 Demonstration on North side of the James at Deep Bottom
August 14-18 Strawberry Plains
August 25 Ream’s Station
September 10
The Chimneys

Lieutenant Colonel Meikel was killed.

September 29-October 2 Poplar Springs Church
October 2-5 Yellow House
October 18 The 19th Indiana Infantry Regiment was merged into the 20th. The 20th’s Colonel William Taylor, Major Erasmus Galbreath and Adjutant John Luther mustered out.
October 24 Lieutenant Colonel John Lindley, formerly of the 19th Indiana, resigned, and Major William Orr, also formerly of the 19th Indiana, was promoted to colonel.
October 27-28 Boydton Plank Road, Hatcher’s Run
December 7-12 Raid on Weldon Railroad
1865
February 5-7 Dabney’s Mills, Hatcher’s Run
March 25 Watkins’ House
March 28 –
April 9
Appomattox Campaign
March 29 Vaughan Road, near Hatcher’s Run
March 31 Crow’s House
April 2 Fall of Petersburg
April 6
Battle of Sailor’s Creek
April 7 Farmville
April 9
Appomattox Court House

Surrender of Lee and his army.

May 2-12 March to Washington, D.C.
May 23 Grand Review
June 14-21 Moved to Louisville, Ky.
July 12 Mustered out and discharged at Indianapolis, Ind.