1861 Ball's Bluff Flag









Notes on the 20th Massachusetts

--from "Regimental Losses in the American Civil War", by William F. Fox


General Humphreys--Chief of Staff, Army of the Potomac --in his able history, The Virginia Campaign of 1864 and 1865, alludes to the Twentieth as "one of the very best regiments in the service." It served on the Peninsula, and at Antietam, in Dana's (3d) Brigade, Sedgwick's (2d) Division. At Fredericksburg, the brigade, under Colonel Norman Hall of the Seventh Michigan, distinguished itself by crossing the river in the face of the enemy's riflemen, who occupied the buildings on the opposite bank. To the Twentieth was assigned the bloody task of clearing the streets; in column of companies, led by Macy, it fought its way through the main street of the city exposed to a terrible fire from the windows and housetops; its casualties in this fight were 25 killed and 138 wounded; no missing. At Gettysburg, it lost 30 killed, 94 wounded, and 3 missing; total, 127, out of 12 officers and 218 men who went into that action. The Twentieth sustained the greatest loss in battle of any Massachusetts regiment; also, a remarkable fatality in its Field and Staff, losing a Colonel, Lieutenant-Colonel, two Majors, an Adjutant, and a Surgeon, killed in battle. Colonel Revere was mortally wounded at Gettysburg; Lieutenant-Colonel Ferdinand Dreher received a fatal wound at Fredericksburg; Major Henry L. Abbott was killed at the Wilderness; Major Henry L. Patton died of wounds received at Deep Bottom; and Surgeon Edward H. Revere was killed at Antietam while in the discharge of his duties.


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