20th Maine Volunteer Infantry Regiment : Historical Sketch

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20th Maine Volunteer Infantry Regiment: Historical Sketch

MAINE
TWENTIETH INFANTRY
(Three Years)

Twentieth Infantry.--Cols., Adelbert Ames, Joshua L.
Chamberlain, Charles D. Gilmore, Ellis Spear; Lieut.-Cols.,
Joshua L. Chamberlain, Charles D. Gilmore, Walter G. Morrill,
Thomas D. Chamberlain; Majs. Charles D. Gilmore, Ellis Spear,
Atherton W. Clark, George R. Abbott. This was the last of the
three-year regiments raised in the state in the summer of 1862.
It was rendezvoused at Portland and mustered into the U. S.
service Aug. 29, 1862. The original members whose term of
service expired prior to Oct. 1, 1865, were mustered out at
Washington, D. C., June 5, 1865, and the enlisted men of the
16th Me. infantry and the 1st Me. sharpshooters were
transferred to the 20th, June 5 and June 21, 1865,
respectively. The regiment as thus reorganized was finally
mustered out near Washington, July 16, 1865. On Sept. 3, 1862,
the 20th left the state, and on the 7th went into camp at the
arsenal grounds, Washington, D. C. Attached to Butterfield's
brigade, Porter's division, it formed a portion of the reserve
at Antietam, and was under fire for 36 hours at the battle of
Fredericksburg, where the men acted with great gallantry in
this, their first serious battle. A list of the important
battles in which the 20th subsequently engaged includes
Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, Rappahannock Station, Mine Run,
Wilderness, Spotsylvania, Totopotomy, North Anna river,
Bethesda Church, Hatcher's run, Petersburg, Weldon railroad,
Peebles' farm, Boydton road, Gravelly run and Five Forks.
After the battle of Chancellorsville, Col. Ames was promoted to
brigadier-general, and Lieut.-Col. Chamberlain assumed command.
Under his command it formed the extreme left of the line at
Gettysburg on the second day of that sanguinary contest and was
hotly engaged for many hours. Its total loss was 3 officers
and 134 enlisted men killed and wounded. At the opening of the
spring campaign of 1864, recruits and returning convalescents
augmented the numbers of the regiment about 100 men, so that it
numbered 347 muskets. It was still attached to the 3d brigade,
1st division, 5th corps. On June 6, 1864, Col. Chamberlain was
assigned to the command of the 1st brigade of the division and
Maj. Spear assumed command of the regiment. In the gallant
charge on the enemy's works at Peebles' farm on Sept. 30, 1864,
it suffered a loss of 57 men killed and wounded, out of 167 men
taken into action, but captured 6 commissioned officers, 70 men
and a piece of artillery. Its whole number of casualties
during the year 1864 was 298; and it received 200 recruits. In
Jan., 1865, it mustered 275 muskets for duty. On the
completion of negotiations for the surrender of Lee's army, the
20th was one of the regiments designated to receive the
Confederate arms.

Source: The Union Army, vol. 1

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