20th Regiment Michigan Infantry













The Twentieth was raised in the Third Congressional District, composed of the counties of Wastenaw, Jackson, Calhoun, Eaton and Ingham. Its camp was at Jackson, the Commandant appointed to supervise its organization was the Honorable Fidius Livermore, of that place.

Organized at Jackson, Mich., August 15-19, 1862. Left State for Washington, D.C., September 1, thence march to Leesburg, Va., September 8, and to Sharpsburg, Md., September 18-22. Attached to 1st Brigade, 1st Division, 9th Army Corps, Army of the Potomac, to April, 1863, and Army of the Ohio, to June, 1863. 3rd Brigade, 1st Division, 9th Army Corps, Army of the Tennessee, to August, 1863, Army of the Ohio to January, 1864. 1st Brigade, 1st Division, 9th Army Corps, Army Ohio, to April, 1864. 2nd Brigade, 3rd Division, 9th Army Corps, Army of the Potomac, to September, 1864. 2nd Brigade, 1st Division, 9th Army Corps, to May, 1865.

The Regiment with its Division commenced to advance from Waterford towards Culpepper on November 2nd., on the 14th. the Confederates were met at White Sulphur Springs, where a slight skirmish occurred, in which the Regiment did not participate. On the 15th. it picketed Thompson's Ford, near the Spring, then in the night made a forced march of twenty miles to Bealton Station, where it again rejoined the Division. From that point the Regiment moved with the advance on Fredericksburg, reaching there on the 19th., and went into camp with the army at Falmouth.

Soon after the Regiment took to the field, the ladies of Jackson gave it an elegant silk flag, on which was inscribed the State Arms. The flag was sent to the Regiment at Washington, but only reached it at the encampment opposite Fredericksburg. This flag was carried in all of the engagements of the Regiment until the spring of 1864, when it became so tattered, it had to be returned to Michigan.

The Regiment crossed the Rappahannock River, December 13th., but being held in reserve, did no participate heavily in the battle at Fredericksburg, losing 11 men wounded there. After the return to camp at Falmouth, the Regiment suffered much from sickness. Embarking at Aquia Creek, on February 19th., to Newport News, thence to Baltimore, then Cincinnati, from there into Kentucky. On the 9th. of May a detachment of 100 men were sent into the narrows of the Cumberland to break up a raiding party led by Confederate forces under General John Morgan. The following morning the entire Confederate command attacked the 20th., and they were obliged to fall back with considerable loss to Horse Shoe Bend where a fight lasting the rest of the day ensued. The Confederates were finally forced to fall back, with a loss of between 300 to 400 men, while the 20th. lost 29 men, 5 of whom were killed.

The Regiment, then in the 3rd. Brigade fell back to Columbia, where on June 3rd. they were ordered to reinforce General Grant's Siege of Vicksburg, at which place they fortified Hayne's Bluff and Oak Ridge. Upon the surrender of Vicksburg the Regiment moved on to Jackson, where it was engaged in skirmishing on the 10th. and 11th. of July 1865. On July 24th. they returned to Hayne's Bluff, during this campaign, the heat was oppressive, and sickness abounded, causing the 20th. to lose in all 20 men dead.

Embarking on the 3rd. of August, the Regiment returned to Kentucky, thence onto Knoxville, TN, taking part in the battle of Blue Springs, losing one killed and two wounded. Then on November 20,1863, they were at Lenoir Station, where they remained until the 14th. On the 16th., the army continuing its retreat to Knoxville, the 20th. was with the Second and Seventeenth Michigan Regiments constituting the rear guard for the retreating army. At Turkey Creek, the advancing Confederates fell on the rear guard. The 20th., along with the other Michigan men withheld the onslaught for more than two hours, at which time they were reinforced, the 20th. by then had lost 33 in killed and wounded.

After the Seige of Knoxville, the 20th. pursued the retreating Confederates to Blain's Cross Roads, where they went into camp. On January 16,1864 an inspection was made of the camp, and the men were found to be without shoes or overcoats and suffering greatly from having to live on quarter rations. The Regiment was then ordered to Knoxville, thence to Annapolis,MD, its Corp having been ordered to join the Army of the Potomac.

Then assigned to the 2nd.Brigade, 3rd.Division, Ninth Corp, they marched with the Army, crossing the Rappahannock River, then the Rapidan River, participating at the Wilderness, then on the 8th. acting as a rear guard at the battle of Chancellorsville. Then on the 12th., after an engagement on the banks of the Ny River, they made a charge on the Confederate works at Spottsylvania Court House, sustaining 30 killed, 82 wounded and 31 missing.

On July 30th., the Regiment participated in the attack at Petersburg, following the explosion of the mine. The 20th., along with six other Michigan Regiments, charge into The Crater, trapped the Confederates counter attack, finding the situation hopeless the men of the 20th., cut up their colors and bury them in the sand before being overwhelmed, some escape, many are captured.

After wintering in the trenches of Petersburg, they participate in the spring offence against Fort Mahone, suffering sorely. After the cessation of hostilities the 20th. marched to City Point, embarked there for Alexandria and Georgetown, arriving there on the 22nd., to take part in the Grand Review at Washington, afterwards being mustered out and sent to Michigan, arriving at Jackson on the 4th. of April to be paid off and disbanded on the 9th.

During their term of federal service, they were engaged at:

Duty at Sharpsburg, Md., September 22 to October 6. 1862, and at Pleasant Valley, Md., until October 14, At Nolen's Ford to October 30. Advance on Culpeper November 2-15, and to Falmouth, Va., November 16-19. Battle of Fredericksburg, Va., December 12-15. "Mud March" January 20-24, 1863. At Falmouth until February 19. Moved to Newport News, Va., February 19, thence to Kentucky March 19-23. Duty at various points in Kentucky until June. Expedition to Monticello and operations in Southeast Kentucky April 26-May 12. Skirmish Alcorn's Distillery near Monticello May 9 (Detachment). Horse Shoe Bend, Ky., May 10. Moved to Vicksburg, Miss., June 3-14. Siege of Vicksburg June 14-July 4. Advance on Jacksoon, Miss., July 4-10. Siege of Jackson July 10-17. Destruction of Mississippi Central Railroad at Madison Station July 18-22. Camp at Milldale until August 4. Moved to Covington, Ky., thence to Crab Orchard, Ky., August 4-30. March to Knoxville, Tenn., September 10-26. Action at Blue Springs October 10. Duty at Lenoir Station until November 14. Knoxville Campaign November 4-December 24. Campbell's Station November 16. Siege of Knoxville November 17-December 5. Repulse of Longstreet's assault on Fort Saunders November 29. Pursuit of Longstreet to Bean's Station December 5-18. Strawberry Plains January 21-22, 1864. Advance to Morristown January 24-March 2. Reconnoissance to Chucky River March 14. Moved from Knoxville to Nicholasville, Ky., thence to Annapolis, Md., March 23-30. Campaign from the Rapidan to the James River May 4-June 15. Battles of the Wilderness May 5-7; Spottsylvania May 8-12; Ny River May 10; Spottsylvania Court House May 12-21. Assault on the Salient May 12. North Anna River May 23-26. Ox Ford May 23-24. On line of the Pamunkey May 26-28. Totopotomoy May 28-31. Cold Harbor June 1-12. Bethesda Church June 1-3. Before Petersburg June 16-18. Siege of Petersburg June 16, 1864, to April 2, 1865. Mine Explosion, Petersburg, July 30, 1864. Weldon Railroad August 18-21. Poplar Springs Church September 29-October 2. Reconnoissance on Vaughan and Squirrel Level Roads October 8. Boydton Plank Road, Hatcher's Run, October 27-28. Fort Stedman, Petersburg, March 25, 1865. Appomattox Campaign March 28-April 9. Assault on and capture of Petersburg April 2. Occupation of Petersburg April 3. Pursuit of Lee April 3-9. Moved to Alexandria April 20-24. Grand Review May 23. Mustered out May 30, 1865.

Total Enrollment--1157
Killed in Action--74
Died of Wounds--40
Died of Disease--181
Total Casualty Rate---25.5%

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