The 20th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry Regiment lost 17 officers and 243 enlisted men killed or mortally wounded and 1 officer and 148 enlisted men to disease in the Civil War. It is honored by a monument at Gettysburg. The 20th had the highest number of casualties of all Massachusetts regiments and it ranked fifth in casualties of all Union regiments.
|August 29 – September 4||Organized at Readville under Colonel William R. Lee, mexican War veteran and distant relative of Confederate General Robert E. Lee.|
|September 4||Left State for Washington, D.C.; attached to Lander’s Brigade, Division of the Potomac|
|September 12-15||Moved to Poolesville, Md. and guard duty along Upper Potomac|
|October||Assigned to Lander’s Brigade, Stone’s (Sedgwick’s) Division, Army of the Potomac|
|October 21-24||Operations on the Potomac|
Action at Ball’s Bluff
The regiment lost 2 officers and 13 men killed, 6 officers and 38 men wounded, and 6 officers and 129 men missing, including Colonel Lee, who was captured.
|October 22||Near Edwards’ Ferry|
|December 4||Moved to Muddy Branch and duty there|
|March||Assigned to 3rd Brigade, 2nd Division, 2nd Army Corps, Army of the Potomac|
|March 12-15||Moved to Harper’s Ferry, then to Charlestown and Berryville|
|March 24||Ordered to Washington, D.C.|
|March 27||To the Peninsula|
|April 5-May 4||Siege of Yorktown. Colonel Lee was exchanged and rejoined the regiment.|
|May 7-8||West Point|
|May 31-June 1||Battle of Fair Oaks, Seven Pines|
|June 25-July 1||Seven days before Richmond|
|June 25||Oak Grove, near Fair Oaks|
|July 29||Peach Orchard and Savage Station|
White Oak Swamp and Glendale
Colonel Lee was badly injured when his horse fell on him.
|July 1 and
|August 6 – 15||At Harrison’s Landing|
|August 15-28||Movement to Alexandria|
|August 28-31||March to Fairfax C. H.|
|Covered retreat of Pope’s army from Bull Run|
|September 14||South Mountain, Md. (Reserve)|
From the brigade marker at Antietam:
Dana’s Brigade, following Gorman’s in column of attack, passed through the East Woods, crossed the Cornfield and the Hagerstown Pike, about 50 yards in rear of Gorman, and entered the West Woods, where its advance was checked about 40 yards east of this point.
Its left flank having been attacked and turned, by McLaws’ and Walker’s Divisions, it was compelled to retire.
A portion of the Brigade, with the 1st Minnesota Infantry, occupied a line near the Nicodemus house which it held for a time until, its flank having been again turned, it retired to the woods and fields east of the Hagerstown Pike.
|September 22||Moved to Harper’s Ferry and duty there|
|October 16-17||Reconnaissance to Charlestown|
|Advance up Loudon Valley and movement to Falmouth, Va.|
Battles of Fredericksburg
Forlorn hope to cross Rappahannock December 11
|December 15||Colonel Lee is offered command of a brigade but offered his resignation, which was accepted.|
|December – April||Duty at Falmouth|
|April 27-May 6||Chancellorsville Campaign|
|May 3||Maryes Heights, Fredericksburg|
|May 3-4||Salem Heights|
|June 11-July 24||Gettysburg Campaign|
The 20th was commanded by Colonel Paul Joseph Revere, grandson of Paul Revere of Revolutionary War fame. He was mortally wounded on July 2nd, dying on the 4th. Lieutenant Colonel George N. Macy then took over until he was wounded on July 3, losing his left hand. Captain Henry L. Abbott then took over the regiment.
The 20th brought 301 men to the field, losing 30 killed, 94 wounded and 3 missing.
From the monument:
This tablet is placed by their comrades in honor of Colonel Paul Joseph Revere, First Lieutenant Henry Ropes, Second Lieutenant Sumner Paine, and forty-one enlisted men who were killed or mortally wounded.
From a bronze marker near the Copse of Trees:
When Pickett’s Division pierced the Union line this regiment retired by its right flank, faced left, and rushed up to this copse of trees and attacked Pickett’s troops then coming over the wall.
|September 13-17||Advance from the Rappahannock to the Rapidan|
|October 9-22||Bristoe Campaign|
|October 14||Bristoe Station|
|November 7-8||Advance to line of the Rappahannock|
|Mine Run Campaign|
|February 6-7||Demonstration on the Rapidan|
|March||Assigned to 1st Brigade, 2nd Division, 2nd Army Corps|
|February – May||At Stevensburg|
|May-June||Campaign from the Rapidan to the James|
|May 8||Laurel Hill|
|May 10||Po River|
|May 12||Assault on the Salient|
|May 23-26||North Anna River|
|May 26-28||Line of the Pamunkey|
|June 1-12||Cold Harbor|
|June 16-18||First Assault on Petersburg|
|June 16||Siege of Petersburg begins|
|June 22-23||Jerusalem Plank Road|
|July 27-29||Demonstration north of the James|
|July 27-28||Deep Bottom|
|August 14-18||Strawberry Plains, Deep Bottom|
|August 25||Ream’s Station|
|October 27-28||Boydton Plank Road, Hatcher’s Run|
|February 5-7||Dabney’s Mills, Hatcher’s Run|
|March 25||Watkins’ House|
|March 31||Crow’s House|
|April 2||Fall of Petersburg|
|April 6||Sailor’s Creek|
|April 7||High Bridge and Farmville|
Appomattox Court House
Surrender of Lee and his army.
|April 10 – May 2||At Burkesville|
|May 2-15||March to Washington, D.C.|
|May 23||Grand Review|
|July 15||Duty at Washington|
|July 16||Mustered out|