Twentieth Regiment Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry
Three Years (Re-enlisted)


Acton men who served in the 20th Regiment Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry:

Job W. Dupee, Co. D (wounded)

George W. Reiser, band

Joseph C. Shattuck, Co. K


Regimental history from Massachusetts Soldiers, Sailors, and Marines in the Civil War, compiled and published by the Adjutant General:

    The 20th Regt. Mass. Vol. Inf. was recruited at Camp Massasoit, Readville, in July and August, 1861. The main part of the regiment was mustered in August 28. Its colonel, William Raymond Lee, had once been a cadet at West Point. The regiment left Camp Massasoit Sept. 4, and on the 7th reached Washington. Assigned to Gen. Lander's Brigade, Gen. Stone's Corps of Observation, It was stationed near Poolesville and was occupied in picketing the Potomac.
     October 21 it was engaged at Ball's Bluff, where it lost 194 officers and men, of whom 38 were killed or mortally wounded. The regiment also lost Col. Lee as a prisoner. Now under Lieut. Col. F. W. Palfrey it remained at Camp Benton, near Poolesville, during the rest of the fall and winter picketing the Potomac from Edward's Ferry to Seneca Mills.
     In March, 1862, the 20th, forming a part of Dana's Brigade, Sedgwick's Division, was sent to the Shenandoah Valley, but before the end of the month it was ordered to the Peninsula, becoming a part of Sumner's (2d) Corps. It participated in the siege of Yorktown in April, the battles of Fair Oaks, May 31, Allen's Farm, June 29, Glendale or Nelson's Farm, June 30, and was slightly engaged at Malvern Hill, July 1.
     After a six weeks stay at Harrison's Landing the regiment was brought back to Alexandria and early in September joined the advance toward Frederick, Md. At Antietam, Sept. 17, it was severely engaged in the West Wood, losing 141 officers and men, 20, including Asst. Surg. Revere, being killed or mortally wounded. At Fredericksburg it was one of the regiments of Hall's Brigade, Howard's Division that crossed the river in boats on the 11th of December and fought in the streets of the city. Here its losses were very severe. In the assault on Marye's Heights on the 13th it again suffered severely, its total casualties on both days amounting to 200, of whom 48 were killed or mortally wounded. The winter of 1862-63 was spent at Falmouth.
     During the Chancellorsville campaign in May, 1863, Gibbon's Division, including the 20th Regt., remained in Fredericksburg in cooperation with Sedgwick's (6th) Corps, and suffered small loss. At Gettysburg, July 3, it was heavily engaged near the Union left center, losing Colonel Revere and 43 officers and men killed or mortally wounded. On Oct. 14, the 20th was in action at Bristoe Sta., and was in the Mine Run campaign in late November. The winter was spent near Stevensburg. Here during December, 1863, 173 of the original members of the regiment re-enlisted.
     At the Wilderness, May 6, 1864, as a part of Webb's Brigade, Gibbon's Division, Hancock's (2d) Corps, the 20th was heavily engaged on the Plank road losing Maj. Abbott and 35 officers and men killed or mortally wounded. At Spottsylvania, it was in action near Laurel Hill, May 10, in the assault on the Bloody Angle, May 12, and in the general assault, May 18. In this last assault Capt. John Kelliher was most severely wounded, but survived, returned to the regiment, and served many years after the war in the Regular Army.
     The 20th was engaged at North Anna, May 23, lost heavily at Cold Harbor, June 3, and moved on to the front of Petersburg. Here on the 22d of June, when the 2d Corps was outflanked and the men of the 15th and I 9th regiments were largely made prisoners, the 20th changed front to the left and stopped the enemy's progress. About July 18 the men, present and absent, about 60 in number, whose time was about to expire were sent to Boston to be mustered out.
     After being engaged in both movements to Deep Bottom in July and August, at Reams' Sta., August 25, the regiment suffered great disaster, being outflanked and all but one officer and ten men made prisoners. This fragment, increased by recruits and returned convalescents to a battalion of three companies, was engaged at Boydton Road, after which it went into winter quarters near Fort Emory. Feb. 5, 1865, it was in action at Hatcher's Run, and April 2, in the assault on Petersburg, then joined in the pursuit toward Appomattox.
     Returning to Washington it received 223 men from the 37th Regt., and on July 15 was mustered out of the service. On the 17th it left for Massachusetts and was assembled for the last time at Readville, July 28, when the men were paid off and discharged.


Regimental history from A Compendium of the War of the Rebellion, by Frederick Dyer:

     Organized at Readville August 29 to September 4, 1861. Left State for Washington, D. C., September 4. Attached to Lander's Brigade, Division of the Potomac, to October, 1861. Lander's Brigade, Stone's (Sedgwick's) Division, Army of the Potomac, to March, 1862. 3rd Brigade, 2nd Division, 2nd Army Corps, Army of the Potomac, to March 1862. 1st Brigade, 2nd Division, 2nd Army Corps, to July, 1865.

    SERVICE--Moved to Poolesville, Md., September 12-15, 1861. Guard duty along Upper Potomac till December. Operations on the Potomac October 21-24. Action at Ball's Bluff October 21. Near Edwards' Ferry October 22. Moved to Muddy Branch December 4, and duty there till March 12, 1862. Move4d to Harper's Ferry, thence to Charlestown and Berryville, March 12-15. Ordered to Washington, D. C., March 24, and to the Peninsula March 27. Siege of Yorktown April 5-May 4. West Point May 7-8. Battle of Fair Oaks, Seven Pines, May 31-June 1. Seven days before Richmond June 25-July 1. Oak Grove, near Fair Oaks, June 25. Peach Orchard and Savage Station July 29. White Oak Swamp and Glendale June 30. Malvern Hill July 1 and August 5. At Harrison's Landing till August 15. Movement to Alexandria August 15-28, thence march to Fairfax C. H. August 28-31. Cover retreat of Pope's army from Bull Run August 31-September 1. Maryland Campaign September-October. South Mountain, Md., September 14 (Reserve). Battle of Antietam September 16-17. Moved to Harper's Ferry September 22, and duty there till October 30. Reconnoissance to Charlestown October 16-17. Advance up Loudon Valley and movement to Falmouth, Va., October 30-November 17. Battles of Fredericksburg, May 3. Salem Heights May 3-4. Gettysburg (Pa.) Campaign June 11-July 24. Battle of Gettysburg July 2-4. Advance from the Rappahannock to the Rapidan September 13-17. Bristoe Campaign October 9-22. Bristoe Station October 14. Advance to line of the Rappahannock November 708. Mine Run Campaign November 26-December 2. Demonstration on the Rapidan February 6-7, 1864. At Stevensburg till May. Campaign from the Rapidan to the James May-June. Battles of the Wilderness May 5-7. Laurel Hill May 8. Spottsylvania May 8-12. Po River May 10. Spottsylvania C. H. May 12-21. Assault on the Salient May 12. North Anna River May 23-26. Line of the Pamunkey May 26-28. Totopotomoy May 28-31. Cold Harbor June 1-12. Before Petersburg June 16-18.Siege of Petersburg Jun 16, 1864. Demonstration north of the James July 27-29. Deep Bottom Jly 27028. Strawberry Plains, Deep Bottom, August 14-18. Ream's Station August 25. Boydton Plank Road, Hatcher's Run, October 27-28. Dabney's Mills, Hatcher's Run, February 5-17, 1865. Watkins' House March 25. Appomattox Campaign March 28-April 9. Crow's House March 31. Fall of Petersburg April 2. Sailor's Creek April 6. High Bridge and Farmville April 7. Appomattox C. H. April 9. Surrender of Lee and his army. At Burkesville till May 2. March to Washington, D. C., May 2-15. Grand Review May 23. Duty at Washington till July 15. Mustered out July 16 and discharged July 28, 1865.

    Regiment lost during service 17 Officers and 243 Enlisted men killed and mortally wounded and 1 Officer and 148 Enlisted men by disease. Total 409.

See also:

Association of Officers of the 20th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry. Reports, Letters & Papers appertaining to 20th Mass. Vol. Inf.vol 1. Boston: 1905.

Association of officers of the 20th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry. Reports, Letters & Papers appertaining to 20th Mass. Vol. Inf.vol 2. Boston: 1905.

Bruce, George A. The Twentieth Regiment of Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, 1861-1865. Boston and New York: Houghton, Mifflin and Company, 1906.;;

Miller, Richard F. Harvard's Civil War: A History of the Twentieth Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry. University Press of New England, 2005. (973.744 M649)

Palfrey, Francis Winthrop. Memoir of William Francis Bartlett. Boston: Houghton, Osgood and Company, 1879.

Perry, John Gardner and Martha Derby Perry. Letters from a Surgeon of the Civil War. Boston: Little, Brown, and Company.;

Ropes, Henry. Civil War Letters of Henry Ropes, v.1. Boston: 1888.

Ropes, Henry. Civil War Letters of Henry Ropes, v.2. Boston: 1888.

Ropes, Henry. Civil War Letters of Henry Ropes, v.3. Boston: 1888.