FlagAnson Croman the Civil War20th Michigan Flag

From Jackson, Michigan to Jackson, Mississippi and Back Again

1865:

The Siege and Fall of Petersburg, the Pursuit of Lee's Army, and the Grand Review

From The story of the Twentieth Michigan infantry, July 15th, 1862 to May 30th, 1865. Compiled by Bryon M. Cutcheon, 1904.

About November 30, 1864 the regiment, with its division, was transferred to the extreme right of the Army of the Potomac, resting on the Appomattox River, and there remained, occupying "Battery Nine," on the City Point Railroad, until it marched into Petersburg on the morning of April 3, 1865.  The lines of the two armies were at this point only about 200 yards apart, and there was more or less firing all the time, though the casualties were not numerous.

Battle of Fort Stedman Maps Showing the 20th Michigan

Orange Arrow shows Battery IX (9) where the  20th Michigan was stationed when the Confederates assaulted Fort Stedman at about 4 a.m.

Orange Arrow points to the approximate position of the 20th Michigan as it counterattacks about 8 a.m.
Public domain maps from the National Park Service

On March 25, 1865 on the occasion of the assault on and capture of Fort Stedman by General Gordon's (confederate) Corps, the regiment, then under the command of Captain A. A. Day, rendered conspicuous and gallant service, for which Captain Day was breveted Major on April 1.

On April 2 it took part in active demonstrations on the enemy's lines near the Appomattox River, designed to relieve the pressure of General Potter's attack, on Fort Mahone on the Jerusalem Plank Road. 

Before daylight of April 3 it was third in the column that entered Petersburg--the advance of the Union army.  Major Lounsberry of the Twentieth, of the staff of Colonel Ralph Ely, then commanding the brigade, received the surrender of the city.
Petersburg CourthouseCourthouse, Petersburg, Virginia. The 20th Michigan was the third unit to enter the city  and raise its flag on the courthouse after the city fell. Flag
One of the 20th Michigan's flags similar to the one raised on the Petersburg Courthouse.
Petersburg Courthouse Today
Petersburg Courthouse today.

After a few days as Provost Guard the regiment followed the army in pursuit of Lee's army, but did not get up in time to take part in the surrender.

(The IXth Corp and the 20th Michigan protected the southern flank of the Union forces pursing Lee's army. They also rebuilt the Richmond and Danville Railroad to keep the pursuing troops supplied.)

The rest is quickly told. 

A rapid march to City Point, a trip to Washington by boat, a part in the great review of May 23, 1865;

muster out near Georgetown, May 30;

return to Michigan and final disbandment on June 4, completed the record of two and three-quarters years of arduous, faithful and patriotic service of this gallant regiment.

It was an honor to the state, to the counties in which it was raised and to all who commanded it or served with it.

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All material not in the public domain 2011 - 2015 Leonard H. Cizewski

Last Updated: March 25, 2015
Posted: Prior to or on May 24, 2002
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