Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Michigan Twentieth Regiment Infantry in East Tennessee

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Twentieth Regiment Infantry
The 10th of September, 1863, participated in the movement on Knoxville Tennessee marching via Cumberland Gap October 10th, the regiment took part in the engagement at Blue Springs with a loss of one killed and two wounded. The 20th was, on the 1st of November, 1863, at Lenoir Station, East Tennessee, where it remained until the 14th. The enemy making, at this time, their advance toward Knoxville, the regiment was ordered to Hough's Ferry, with other forces to check their advance, but on the 15th, fell back to Lenoir Station, the regiment covering the retreat, and holding the Loudon Road during the night. On the 16th, the army continuing the retreat to Knoxville, the 20th with the 2nd, and 17th Michigan Infantry, were constituted the rear guard. The enemy followed them up with great vigor and at times pressed them very heavily. At Turkey Creek, near Campbell's Station, the rear was attacked by the enemy in force, but successfully sustained the attack for over two hours, when they were reinforced. The loss of the 20th during this action was 33 in killed and wounded. Among the former was its commanding officer Lieutenant Colonel Smith. The commanding officer's report says:

"On the 16th November, our army commenced moving back on Knoxville and the 20th 2d and 17th Michigan regiments were constituted rear guard to army a post of great honor and responsibility as the enemy were pressing us very heavily. When we reached Turkey Creek, McLaw's rebel division attacked us with vigor and we became heavily engaged. Among the first who fell was Lieutenant W Huntington Smith, who had commanded the regiment several months. He was brave and efficient officer and his loss is deeply felt by the regiment.

On the morning of the 17th, the regiment, in command of Major Cutcheon, arrived at Knoxville, having marched all night over bad roads, it being the third night that it had been without rest. The enemy made their appearance before Knoxville on the 17th, and commenced the siege, which continued until the 5th of December. On the 29th of November, it assisted in repelling the desperate assault made on Fort Saunders, losing two killed and eight seriously wounded. Thirteen of the regiment on picket at the time were reported missing. From commanding officer's report is taken the following: At Knoxville the regiment occupied a position on the most exposed part of the line and lost heavily in the trenches. Captain WD Wiltsie who fell during the siege was an officer of great ability zeal and courage. He was mortally wounded on the 25th of November and died on the 27th of the same month.

Troop Action Summary
Blue Springs Tenn October 10, 1863

Loudon Teun November 14, 1863
Lenoir Station Tenn November 15, 1863
Campbell's Station Tenn November 16, 1863
siege Knoxville Tenn November 17 to December 5, 1863
Fort Saunders Tenn November 29, 1863
Thurley's (Turley's) Ford Tenn December 15 1863
Plains Tenn January 22, 1864
Chucky Bend Tenn March 14, 1864

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