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in the Civil War
|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, Spottsylvania, 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.
Regimental history taken from "The Union Army" by Federal Publishing
Company, 1908 - Volume 1