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20th Michigan Infantry
in the American Civil War

Regimental History
Twentieth Michigan Infantry. Col., A. W. Williams; Lieut. -Cols., H. W. Smith, Byron M. Cutcheon, Claudius B. Grant, Clement A. Lounsberry; Majs., B. M. Cutcheon, George C. Barnes, Frank Porter. This regiment was organized at Jackson and was mustered in Aug. 19, 1862. It left the state Sept. 1 and went into camp at Fort Lyon, near Alexandria, Va. It moved to Leesboro on the 8th and to Sharpsburg on the 18th, as part of the 1st division, 9th army corps. It then moved to Nolan's ford and Waterford, went into camp at Falmouth, and was in reserve at the battle of Fredericksburg. It encamped at Newport News in Feb., 1863, and on March 19 left for Kentucky. It was in the fight with Morgan's forces at Horse Shoe bend, where without support, retreat cut off by the stream, and with no intrenchments, it repulsed a brigade charge, driving it with the bayonet, held off a division, and withdrew in good order. Less then 400 men held back nearly 4,000, the Union loss being 9 killed and 35 wounded, while the enemy's loss was 157 killed and nearly 300 wounded. It was ordered to Vicksburg in June and aided in fortifying Haynes' bluff and Oak ridge. After Vicksburg's fall, it moved to Jackson, but returned to Haynes' bluff on July 24 and early in August proceeded to Tennessee. It was in the engagements at Blue Springs, Loudon, Lenoir's and Campbell's stations, sustaining at the last place an attack for 2 hours before being reinforced. It then marched to Knoxville and aided in its defense during the siege. It assisted in repelling an assault on Fort Sanders on Nov. 29, was in an engagement at Thurley's ford, fought at Strawberry plains, and forced the enemy's position at Chucky river, capturing camp baggage, horses and arms. Early in 1864 it joined the Army of the Potomac and was assigned to the 2nd brigade, 3d division, 9th corps. It was in the battle of the Wilderness, fought at the Ny river, was nearly surrounded in the attack on the enemy's works at Spottsylvania, but fought its way out with a loss of 30 killed, 82 wounded and 31 missing. It was engaged at the North Anna, Bethesda Church, Cold Harbor, the first charge upon the lines at Petersburg, and the next day lost almost half its numbers in a field charge, the regiment numbering but 106 men the following morning. It remained in the trenches until Burnside's mine was exploded on July 30, when it captured many prisoners, but lost one-half the force engaged, its colors being the last displayed on the enemy's work on the withdrawal. The regiment was then engaged at the Weldon railroad, Reams' station, Poplar Spring Church, Pegram's farm, the Boydton road and Hatcher's run, after which it took a position in the trenches before Petersburg and remained there during the winter. It was in the engagement at Fort Stedman in March, 1865, being deployed on the picket line, and captured 350 prisoners. On April 3 it participated in the charge into Petersburg and was placed on provost duty. It was ordered to City Point on the 20th, moved from there to Alexandria, then to Georgetown, was in the grand review at Washington, and was mustered out on May 30. Its original strength was 1,012: gain by recruits, 145; total, 1,157. Loss by death, 290.

Regimental history taken from "The Union Army" by Federal Publishing Company, 1908 - Volume 3

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