20th Wisconsin
Infantry Regiment


Battles involving 20th Infantry
Assignments for 20th Infantry

- Organized on Aug 23 1862 at Camp Randall, Madison, WI
- Enlistment term: 3 years
- Mustered out on Jul 14 1865 at Galveston, TX

Available statistics for total numbers of men listed as:
- Enlisted or commissioned: 1146
- Transferred in: 2
- Killed or died of wounds (Officers): 5
- Killed or died of wounds (Enlisted men): 100
- Died of disease (Officers): 1
- Died of disease (Enlisted men): 145
- Prisoner of war: 3
- Disabled: 175
- Deserted: 33
- Discharged: 49
- Mustered out: 535
- Transferred out: 116

Historical notes and Reports:

Twentieth Infantry

Twentieth Infantry. - Cols., Bertine Pinkney, Henry Bertram, Lieut. Cols., Henry Bertram, Henry A. Starr; Majs., Henry A. Starr, Augustus H. Pettibone, Almerin Gillett.

This regiment was organized at Camp Randall in June and July 1862, and was mustered m Aug. 23. It left the state on Aug. 30, going first to Benton barracks, St. Louis, then to Rolla, Springfield and Cassville, Mo., and Cross Hollow, Ark., the enemy falling back at its approach.

On Nov. 4 the regiment started for Wilson's Creek, joined Totten's command at Ozark on the 11th and reached Wilson's Creek on the 22nd. In December it made a forced march of 100 miles in three days to Fayetteville; was in the battle of Prairie Grove where it charged the heights through underbrush and captured a battery of 6 guns. The cross-fire of five regiments of the enemy compelled the 20th to retire with a loss of 209 in killed, wounded and missing. Gen. Herron wrote Gov. Salomon: ''I congratulate you and the state on the glorious conduct of the 20th Wis. infantry in the great battle of Prairie Grove.''

The regiment wintered in Missouri, moved to Vicksburg on June 3, 1863, and took position in the trenches, where it remained until the city's surrender. It then occupied Yazoo City as provost guard, was sent to Port Hudson July 21 and remained until Aug. 13, when it was ordered to Carrollton and Morganza.

It was ambuscaded on the Simsport road to the Atchafalaya River, but lost only 1 man. It went to the Rio Grande on the steamer ''Thomas A. Scott'', but encountered a violent storm and had some difficulty in landing. It was emploved in fatigue, garrison and picket duty at Fort Brown, and was sent to Matamoras, Mex., Jan. 12, 1864, to protect the American consul and remove American goods.

On July 28 it left for New Orleans, on Aug. 11 took position at Navy cove, and assisted in reducing Fort Morgan. On Dec. 14 it sailed for Pascagoula and started from there towards Mobile.

It routed a body of the enemy at Franklin Creek on the way, and was engaged in the vicinity of Mobile during the winter. On March 27th it went into action against Spanish Fort, being on duty and under fire several days and nights, and after the surrender of Mobile it remained in that section until June.

It was then ordered to Galveston, Tex., and was mustered out July 14. Its original strength was 990. Gain by recruits, 138; substitute, 1; total, 1,129. Loss by death, 227; desertion, 41; transfer, 115; discharge, 222; mustered out, 524.

Source: The Union Army, vol. 4, p. 57

Prairie Grove, AR after action report:

No. 29.

Report of Lieut. Col. Henry Bertram, Twentieth Wisconsin Infantry.

HDQRS. 1ST Brig., 3d DIV., ARMY OF THE FRONTIER, December 9, 1862.

GEN.: I have the honor to report that, on the 7th instant, after being ordered by you to place that portion of the First Brigade under my charge into position, the order was promptly executed by Battery L, First Missouri Light Artillery, supported by the Twentieth Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry, advancing across the creek. After playing the battery for about thirty minutes, doing good execution, I observed the enemy's fire to slacken. I then ordered the Twentieth Regiment Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry to move cautiously forward. They advanced about 500 yards across an open field; here I ordered them to lie down under cover.

Receiving information that a heavy force of the enemy was threatening my left flank, I immediately changed front to the left. The Nineteenth Iowa and Ninety-fourth Illinois Infantry following up the movement, brought us en echelon, the Twentieth Regt. leading on the right. After the execution of this movement, I observed a battery of the enemy, supported by infantry, trying to get into position in my front. I immediately ordered the Twentieth Wisconsin to charge the battery, which was done in gallant style, Maj. [H. A.] Starr leading. After taking the battery, the regiment advanced under a heavy, fire to the brow of the hill, where they met a heavy force of the enemy's infantry, some four or five regiments, advancing, which poured a terrific fire into the Twentieth Regt. Wisconsin Infantry, and obliged them to fall back, which they did in good order, destroying what they could while falling back of the battery taken before. The Twentieth fell back in good style across an open field to a fence, where they reformed and remained until the firing ceased for the day.

Officers and men behaved nobly, and stood fire like veterans.

I regret the loss of the Twentieth Wisconsin is heavy. As far as I have been able to ascertain, it amounts to 49 killed, 148 wounded, and 8 missing.

In conclusion, I cannot help but bring to your favorable notice the gallant behavior of Maj. Starr, in immediate command of the Twentieth Wisconsin, and also Adjutant [H. V.] Morris, of the Twentieth, for the cool and prompt manner in which they executed my orders. Capt. Backof's battery (L) behaved nobly, and did good execution, although exposed for a time to a heavy fire of the enemy's infantry.

I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,

Lieut. Col. 20th Wisconsin Vols., Cmdg. Portion of 1st Brigade.

Brig.-Gen. HERRON,
Cmdg. Second and Third Division, Army of the Frontier.

Source: Official Records
[Series I. Vol. 22. Part I, Reports. Serial No. 32.]

Report of Col. Henry Bertram, Twentieth Wisconsin Infantry.


GEN.: In compliance with Gen. Orders, No. 10, dated Headquarters Herron's division, July 7, I have the honor to report that, on June 15, the Twentieth Regiment Wisconsin Volunteers took its place in line of investment in front of Vicksburg, on the right of this division, and took active part with the balance of the division in picket duty and throwing up intrenchments, erecting batteries, &c.

On the night of June 22, while six companies of this regiment were on picket, Capt. Gillett, of Company D, with about 12 men of Companies D and B, charged upon a rifle-pit of the rebels in front, and captured 13 and killed 1.

The casualties of the regiment during the investment are 2 wounded.

I have the honor to remain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

Col., Commanding Twentieth Wisconsin Volunteers.

Brig. Gen. W. W. ORME,

Source: Official Records
[Series I. Vol. 24. Part II, Reports. Serial No. 37.]

Battles (where losses incurred) involving 20th Infantry Regiment








Prairie Grove, AR







Springfield, MO







Brigade, Division, Corps, and Army assignments for 20th Infantry Regiment

From To Brigade Division Corps Army/Department Comments
10/12/62 06/05/63 1 3

Army of the Frontier New Organization
06/11/63 07/28/63 2 Herron's District Eastern AR Department of the Tennessee

07/28/63 08/07/63 2 2 13 Department of the Tennessee

08/07/63 06/11/64 2 2 13 Army and Dept of the Gulf

06/09/64 08/01/64 2 US Forces, TX

Military Division West Mississippi

08/17/64 Oct 1864 Bertram's US Forces, Mobile Bay

Military Division West Mississippi

Oct 1864 Dec 1864 Unassigned US Forces, Mobile Bay

Military Division West Mississippi

Dec 1864 Feb 1865

District South AL

Army and Dept of the Gulf

02/03/65 02/18/65 1 2 Reserve Army and Dept of the Gulf

02/18/65 Jul 1865 1 2 13 Army and Dept of the Gulf Mustered Out

Roster for
20th Infantry Regiment - 1,142 men

Source: Roster of Wisconsin Volunteers; War of the Rebellion, 1861-1865; Volumes I and II; compiled by Authority of the Legislature, under the direction of Jeremiah M. Rusk, Governor & Chandler P. Chapman, Adjutant General; Democrat Printing Company, State Printers; Madison, Wisconsin; 1886

Aaron - Ferrill Field - Lyon
Madare - Seeley Sengland - Zwirner

back to Civl War index

back to Military index

back to index

Copyright © 2006-2009 to Genealogy Trails' Wisconsin Trails host & each Contributor
All rights reserved