In honor and remembrance of the ancestors who served with this regiment, lest they be forgotten, this regimental history is dedicated to:
Officers of the 20th Georgia Volunteer Infantry
The original field officers were: Colonel William Duncan Smith, Lieutenant-Colonel; John B. Cumming, Major: John Augustus Jones, and Adjutant J. O. Waddell. Colonel Smith was promoted to brigadier-general and ordered to Charleston, S.C., where he died of fever in October, 1862. He was succeeded by John B. Cumming, and later James D. Waddell as colonel. On the promotion of Lieutenant-Colonel Cumming, Major John Augustus Jones was advanced to Lieutenant-Colonel. When Major Jones was promoted, Roger L. Gamble, the captain of Company C, took his place as major. Lieutenant-Colonel Jones was killed in battle and was succeeded by Eli M. Seago who would die at Chickamauga, was earlier promoted to major, the former Captain of Company F. Later in the war, Colonel Cummings was succeeded by James D. Waddell as commander of the regiment and on whose promotion William Craig, Captain of Company K, became the major. John A. Coffee, captain of Company H and Albert B. Ross, captain of Company A, also were later to serve as Major.
Captains and Their Companies
Company C: Roger L. Gamble, Jefferson Guards, men from Jefferson County.
Company D: James D. Waddell, Sheppard W. Blance, William C. Spence men from Polk County.
Company G: Alexander C. Morton, John R. Ivey, Wiley N. Hutchins, Theophilus S.Fontaine, men from Muscogee County.
Organization and Operations of the 20th Georgia Volunteers
The volunteers of the 20th Georgia Infantry was formed at Columbus in May 1861 and soon moved to Virginia where it was assigned to the Potomac District. This regiment served in the Army of Northern Virginia throughout most of its campaigns. It served in the brigades of Generals Early, Toombs and Benning. In April 1862 it had 560 effectives and fought wit the army from the Seven Days Battles to Cold Harbor. The only exception was when the brigade was ordered west with General Longstreet to fight at Suffolk, Chickamauga, and operations in east Tennessee including Chattanooga and Knoxville. The Georgia regiment returned to Virginia in time for the spring campaign of 1864, enduring the hardships of the Petersburg trenches south and north of the James River. It sustained 76 casualties during the Seven Days Battles and 152 casualties at Second Manassas. Of the 350 engaged at Gettysburg, more than 35% were disabled. The 20th regiment of Georgia Volunteers lost 95 men from 14 April to 6 May 1864 and another 54 men from 1 August to 31 December 1864.
April-May 1862 Early’s Brigade, D. H. Hill’s Division, Potomac District, Dept.of Northern Virginia
June-July 1862 Toombs’ Brigade, D.R. Jones Division, Magruder’s Command, ANV
July-October 1862 Toombs’ Brigade, D.R. Jones Division, 1st Corps, ANV
April-May 1863 Benning’s Brigade, Hood’s Division, Dept. of Southern Virginia
November 1863-April 1864 Benning’s Brigade, Hood-Field’s Division, Department of East Tennessee
April 1862 Yorktown Siege
25 June-1 July 1862 Seven Days Battles
27-28 June 1862 Garnett’s and Golding’s Farms
1 July 1862 Malvern Hill
28 August 1862 Thoroughfare Gap
28-30 August 1862 2nd Manassas
17 September 1862 Sharpsburg
13 December 1862 Fredricksburg
April-May 1863 Suffok Campaign
1-3 July 1863 Gettysburg
19-20 September 1863 Chickamauga
September-November 1863 Chattanooga Siege
November-December 1863 Knoxville Siege
5-6 May 1864 Battle of the Wilderness
8-21 May 1864 Spotsylvania Court House
23-26 May 1864 North Anna
1-3 June 1864 Cold Harbor
June 1864-April 1865 Petersburg Siege
29 September 1864 Chaffin’s Farm
29-30 September 1864 Fort Harrison and Fort Gilmer
27 October 1864 Williamsburg Road
2 April 1865 Final Assault of Petersburg
9 April 1865 Appomattox Court House
Some Early Orders and Reports
Confederate Correspondence, Orders, And Returns Relating To Operations In Maryland, Eastern North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Virginia (Except Southwestern), And West Virginia.--#14 SPECIAL ORDERS No. 171. ADJT. INSP. GENERAL'S OFFICE, AND Richmond, October 4, 1861.
V. Capt. Cleveland's company Georgia Volunteers is assigned to the Twentieth Regiment Georgia Volunteers, Col. W. D. Smith commanding. Captain Cleveland will proceed with his company to Fairfax, Va., and report to Colonel Smith, who will furnish the company with arms. O.R.--SERIES I--VOLUME LI/2
Correspondence, Orders, And Returns Relating To Operations On The Coasts Of South Carolina, Georgia, And Middle And East Florida From August 21, 1861, To April 11, 1862. CONFEDERATE CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.--#2 HEADQUARTERS CAMP STEPHENS, October 30, 1861. General A. R. LAWTON:
But a few hours since I received a communication from his excellency the governor, stating that he had not been advised by the Secretary of War of the action of the Department in ordering this regiment to Virginia, and, moreover, stating that he had just written to the Department protesting, in the name of the State, against this and other regiments being removed from the State. I thought it due to you that you should be notified of the same. Again signifying to you that I shall obey with pleasure any order emanating from you, I subscribe myself, your obedient servant, THOMAS J. WARTHEN, Colonel, Commanding Twentieth Regiment Georgia Volunteers. O.R.-- SERIES I--VOLUME VI, Chapter XV
Union correspondence identifies the position of the 20th Regiment of Georgia Volunteers on 27 January 1862.
Correspondence, Orders, And Returns Relating Specially To Operations In Maryland, Northern Virginia, And West Virginia From August 1, 1861, To March 17, 1862. UNION CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.--#5 JANUARY 27, 1862.
A deserter from the Sixth Louisiana Regiment states that he left Centreville about 25th December, 1861, and Manassas about January 7, 1862; that it was then understood that the rebel forces at Manassas, Centreville, and vicinity were about 60,000, under command of Generals Johnston, Beauregard, and Smith; that he got his information from a clerk in the rebel Commissary Department; that General Taylor's brigade, to which he belonged, was of General Smith's division, composed of Sixth Louisiana Regiment, Colonel Seymour, 840 men; Seventh Louisiana, Col. Harry Hays, 840 men; Eighth Louisiana Regiment, Colonel Kelly, 900 men, and battalion of Louisiana Tigers, five companies, under the command of Major Wheat; that the headquarters of Brigadier-General Van Dorn were near Union Mills, and his cavalry pickets extend to Fairfax Court-House; that General Early's brigade, near Bull Run, west of the railroad bridge, is composed of the Twentieth Georgia, Twenty-fourth Virginia, Thirteenth North Carolina, and two other regiments, with one battery--one of the regiments is commanded by Colonel Hope; that General Bonham's South Carolina brigade is on the new military road from Centreville to Union Mills, composed of five regiments and one battery; that General Cox's brigade is encamped near Centreville, on Manassas road, and includes the celebrated Eighth Virginia; that two brigades are located 2 miles from Centreville, on Stone Bridge road, and in one of them are the First Kentucky and Sixteenth Mississippi; that Stuart's cavalry brigade is near Stone Bridge, two of the regiments under command of Colonels Fields and Radford; that Washington Artillery, four companies, under Major Walton, guns mostly brass and rifled, four mortars, is stationed on east side of New Bull Run Bridge. O.R.-- SERIES I--VOLUME 5
CORRESPONDENCE, ORDERS, AND RETURNS RELATING TO THE PENINSULAR CAMPAIGN, VIRGINIA, FROM MARCH 17 TO SEPTEMBER 2, 1862.CONFEDERATE CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.--#3 HEADQUARTERS, Lee's Farm, April 8, 1862. Major-General McLAWS:
GENERAL: Three regiments of General Early's brigade (now at Lebanon Church, viz, Colonel Terry's Twenty-fourth Virginia, Colonel McRae's Fifth North Carolina, and Colonel Cumming's Twentieth Georgia) and Colonel Williams' South Carolina regiment, now at the crossroads half a mile below, will move at early dawn tomorrow morning, and will report by a staff officer to you, awaiting at the cross-roads, each [such] orders as you may send them, provided there should be any move of the enemy on your right to cross the river which will make such orders necessary.
These regiments are not destined permanently for your division, but are intended to meet any emergency which may arise from any unexpected movement of the enemy in your vicinity.
Lieutenant Lyon, of the Fifteenth Virginia Regiment, has not reported to these headquarters.
By order of Major-General Magruder. Very respectfully, your obedient servant, HENRY BRYAN, Assistant Adjutant-General. O.R.-- SERIES I--VOLUME 14
Union Correspondence, Orders, And Returns Relating To Operations In Maryland, Eastern North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Virginia (Except Southwestern), And West Virginia, From January 1, 1861, To June 30, 1865.--#13 MAY 5, 1862. General MARCY, or General FRANKLIN:
A contraband servant in the Twentieth Georgia confirms in a remarkable manner the story of Jackson and the attack. He says also that eight regiments went to re-enforce Jackson last night at Hanover Junction. He goes to General Andrew Porter. WM. F. SMITH, Brigadier-General. O.R.--SERIES I--VOLUME LI/1
Union General McClellan learns of the movement of the Twentieth Georgia Infantry and calls for reinforcements.
CORRESPONDENCE, ORDERS, AND RETURNS RELATING TO THE PENINSULAR CAMPAIGN, VIRGINIA, FROM MARCH 17 TO SEPTEMBER 2, 1862. UNION CORRESPONDENCE, ETC -- #11 McCLELLAN'S HEADQUARTERS, June 26, 1862---9 a.m. Hon. E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War:
A contraband servant in the Twentieth Georgia came in this morning, and confirms in a remarkable manner the story of Jackson being on our flank and his intention of attacking our communications. He also says eight regiments went to re-enforce Jackson last night near Hanover Junction. Other information shows there is a large force at the Junction. There is no doubt in my mind now that Jackson is coming upon us, and with such great odds against us we shall have our hands full. No time should be lost if I am to have any more re-enforcements. GEO. B. McCLELLAN, Major-General, Commanding. O.R.-- SERIES I--VOLUME 14
Would you like to learn more about the 20th and other Georgia regiments and also help support the cause of Southern Heritage? More information on the history of this regiment is available in:
- "Warriors of the Wiregrass"
a soft-bound, 8-1/2 x 11 publication, consisting 500 pages, covering the history of 14 Regiments Georgia Regiments:
1st Volunteer Infantry Regiment, 4th Cavalry (Clinch), 10th Battalion Infantry, 11th Cavalry-State Guards, 20th Battalion Cavalry, 20th Volunteer Infantry, 29th Volunteer Infantry, 49th Volunteer Infantry, 50th Volunteer Infantry, 54th Volunteer Infantry, 61st Volunteer Infantry, 63rd Volunteer Infantry. 64th Volunteer Infantry, and Coffee County Revengers Local Defense Unit.....plus information on researching Confederate ancestors, obtaining Veterans Administration grave markers for Confederate veterans, SCV Iron Crosses and more.
The author has donated all profits from the sale of this book directly to the Moultrie SCV Camp to support Confederate History and Heritage preservation programs and the continuing fight to save our Southern Heritage. The retail price is $50.00 plus $5.00 shipping. Not a bad price when compared to single abbreviated regimental histories sold by others "up North" at $8-$15 each or cost of $112-$210 if purchased separately and having much less detail! Discounts for current SCV & UDC members (20% off) and for bulk orders, schools, libraries, and teachers. Please contact the camp for discount information.
If you are interested send a check or money order made payable to the Moultrie SCV Camp #674 to: P.O. Box 1213 Moultrie, GA 31776. Please include your name, address, and phone number.
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© 2003 John Griffin