20th Massachusetts Infantry

   

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in Massachusetts Infantry

Editor’s Note: Do you have information on this regiment’s role at the Siege of Petersburg?  Please contact us using the Contact button in the menu at the top of the screen.  We are happy to exchange information with other researchers.

Muster In: Organized August 29 to September 4, 18611
Muster Out: July 16, 18652

Commander(s):
Major Henry Lyman Patten
Henry L. Patten3

Captain James Herbert Spencer
Commander Image Needed

Captain Gustave Magnitzky
Commander Image Needed

Captain Albert B. Holmes
Commander Image Needed

First Offensive Order of Battle: First Brigade | Second Division | II Corps | Army of the Potomac | Union Army4

Second Offensive Order of Battle: First Brigade | Second Division | II Corps | Army of the Potomac | Union Army7

Third Offensive Order of Battle: First Brigade | Second Division | II Corps | Army of the Potomac | Union Army10,11

  • Commander: Captain Henry L. Patten (July 31, 1864)12
  • Unit Strength:
  • Weapons:
  • Note: Veterans and recruits of the 15th Massachusetts transferred to the 20th Massachusetts on July 27, 1864.13
  • Note: The remaining detachment of the 19th Massachusetts which was not captured at Jerusalem Plank Road was attached to the 20th Massachusetts for a period of time in June and July 1864.14

Fourth Offensive Order of Battle: First Brigade | Second Division | II Corps | Army of the Potomac | Union Army15,16

  • Commander:
    • Major Henry Lyman Patten (mortally wounded August 14, 1864)17,18
    • Captain James Herbert Spencer (captured August 25, 1864 at Reams’ Station)19
    • Note: Lt. Col. Edmund Rice of the 19th Massachusetts Infantry was temporarily in command of his own and the 20th MA for a period of time after Second Reams’ Station in late August 1864 and possibly after.  How long this arrangement lasted I do not yet know.20
  • Unit Strength:
  • Weapons:
  • Note: The 20th Massachusetts was almost completely captured at Second Reams’ Station on August 25, 1864.21

Fifth Offensive Order of Battle: First Brigade | Second Division | II Corps | Army of the Potomac | Union Army22

  • Commander:
    • Unknown (prior to September 12, 1864)
    • Captain Gustave Magnitzky (September 12, 1864 forward)23
  • Unit Strength:
  • Weapons:

Sixth Offensive Order of Battle:

  • Commander:
    • Unknown
    • Captain Albert B. Holmes (from October 31, 1864 forward)24
  • Unit Strength:
  • Weapons:
  • Note: In late October 1864, at least, the 19th and 20th Massachusetts regiments were temporarily consolidated for field purposes.25

Seventh Offensive Order of Battle:

  • Commander:
  • Unit Strength: 133 officers and men PFD (November 3, 1864)26
  • Weapons:

Eighth Offensive Order of Battle:

  • Commander:
  • Unit Strength:
  • Weapons:

Ninth Offensive Order of Battle:

  • Commander:
  • Unit Strength:
  • Weapons:

Dyer’s/Sifakis’ Compendium Info:
Siege of Petersburg Battles27:

  • Before Petersburg June 16-18.
  • Siege of Petersburg June 16, 1864, to April 2, 1865.
  • Jerusalem Plank Road June 22-23, 1864.
  • Demonstration north of the James July 27-29.
  • Deep Bottom July 27-28.
  • 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 5-7, 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.

Bibliography:

Siege of Petersburg Documents Which Mention This Unit:

Sources:

  1. A Compendium of the War of the Rebellion by Frederick H. Dyer (Part 3)
  2. A Compendium of the War of the Rebellion by Frederick H. Dyer (Part 3)
  3. MOLLUS – Masschusetts Photograph Collection:  Volume: 84; Page: 4227; Document ID: 258099.  This photograph is available online at the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center (USAHEC) site under the Digitized Material section.  I would link directly to the photograph but the site’s coding makes direct linking difficult if not impossible.
  4. The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Volume XL, Part 1 (Serial Number 80), pages 219-221
  5. Bruce, G.A. Twentieth Regiment of Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry 1861-1865 (Houghton, Mifflin and Company, 1906). p. 408,415.: Patten was in command at the Battle of Jerusalem Plank Road on June 22, 1864.  It is difficult to tell what the 20th Massachusetts did, if anything, from June 15-18, 1864 because this regimental history is very generic.  A look at the losses from June 15-24, 1864 further along in the book shows no casualties ranking higher than Captain Patten.  Due to these clues, Patten was probably the commander of the 20th Massachusetts from June 15-18, 1864, but more research is needed.
  6. Volume 13 (Ordnance Returns for the Second Quarter, April-June, 1864); 20th Massachusetts Entry, Page 84; Summary Statements of Quarterly Returns of Ordnance and Ordnance Stores on Hand in Regular and Volunteer Army Organizations, 1862-1867, 1870-1876. (National Archives Microfilm Publication M1281, Roll 7); Records of the Office of the Chief of Ordnance, 1797-1969, Record Group 156; National Archives Building, Washington, D.C.
  7. The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Volume XL, Part 1 (Serial Number 80), pages 219-221
  8. Bruce, G.A. Twentieth Regiment of Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry 1861-1865 (Houghton, Mifflin and Company, 1906). p. 408.
  9. Volume 13 (Ordnance Returns for the Second Quarter, April-June, 1864); 20th Massachusetts Entry, Page 84; Summary Statements of Quarterly Returns of Ordnance and Ordnance Stores on Hand in Regular and Volunteer Army Organizations, 1862-1867, 1870-1876. (National Archives Microfilm Publication M1281, Roll 7); Records of the Office of the Chief of Ordnance, 1797-1969, Record Group 156; National Archives Building, Washington, D.C.
  10. The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Volume XL, Part 1 (Serial Number 80), page 252
  11. The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Volume XL, Part 3 (Serial Number 82), page 730
  12. The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Volume XL, Part 3 (Serial Number 82), page 730
  13. The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Volume XL, Part 1 (Serial Number 80), page 252
  14. The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Volume XL, Part 3 (Serial Number 82), page 730: More research is needed to determine why, when, and for how long this temporary field consolidation occurred.  The August 1864 casualty returns show the two regiments as consolidated.  The October 1864 casualty return again shows the two regiments operating as separate commands.  Sometime between August 31 and October 31, the regiments were separated.  Perhaps regimental histories for the brigade will shed some light on this situation.
  15. The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Volume XLII, Part 2 (Serial Number 88), page 613: “Organization of the Army of the Potomac…August 31, 1864”
  16. The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Volume XLII, Part 1 (Serial Number 87), pages 117, 130: “Return of Casualties in the Union Forces (August 1864)”
  17. Smith, John D. The History of the Nineteenth Regiment of Maine Volunteer Infantry, 1862-1865 (Great Western Printing Company, 1909). p. 227.
  18. Bruce, G.A. Twentieth Regiment of Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry 1861-1865 (Houghton, Mifflin and Company, 1906). p. 417.
  19. Bruce, G.A. Twentieth Regiment of Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry 1861-1865 (Houghton, Mifflin and Company, 1906). pp. 421-422.: Spencer was in command when the regiment was surrounded and almost completely captured at the Second Battle of Reams’ Station on August 25, 1864.
  20. The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Volume XLII, Part 2 (Serial Number 88), page 613: “Organization of the Army of the Potomac…August 31, 1864”
  21. Bruce, G.A. Twentieth Regiment of Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry 1861-1865 (Houghton, Mifflin and Company, 1906). pp. 421-422.: Only one non-commissioned officer and ten men escaped.
  22. Sommers, Richard J. “Grant’s Fifth Offensive at Petersburg: A Study in Strategy, Tactics, and Generalship.  The Battle of Poplar Spring Church, the First Battle of the Darbytown Road, the Second Battle of the Squirrel Level Road, the Second Battle of the Darbytown Road (Ulysses S. Grant, Virginia).” Doctoral Thesis. Rice University, 1970. Print. p. 1298.
  23. Bruce, G.A. Twentieth Regiment of Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry 1861-1865 (Houghton, Mifflin and Company, 1906). pp. 423.: Magnitzky returned to the 20th MA on September 12, 1864 and assumed command as the ranking officer.
  24. Bruce, G.A. Twentieth Regiment of Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry 1861-1865 (Houghton, Mifflin and Company, 1906). pp. 428.: Holmes returned to the 20th MA on October 31, 1864 and assumed command as the ranking officer.
  25. The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Volume XLII, Part 1 (Serial Number 87), page 309
  26. Bruce, G.A. Twentieth Regiment of Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry 1861-1865 (Houghton, Mifflin and Company, 1906). pp. 428.: Eight commissioned officers plus 125 enlisted men equals 133.
  27. A Compendium of the War of the Rebellion by Frederick H. Dyer (Part 3)

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