Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Oliver's Story - Re-enlistment for Three Years Service

Saturday, March 19, 1864

This day, at winter camp in Stevensburg, Virginia, Private Oliver Stanton Bates re-enlisted for three additional years of military service with Company A of the Twentieth Massachusetts. Oliver was twenty-three years old at the time of his re-enlistment.1

References:
1Compiled service record, Oliver S. Bates, Pvt., Co. A, 20th Massachusetts Infantry; Carded Records, Volunteer Organizations, Civil War; Records of the Adjutant General's Office, 1780s-1917, Record Group 94; National Archives, Washington, D.C.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Oliver's Story - Return to Service

Friday, January 15, 1864

Private Oliver Stanton Bates returned to military service with Company A of the Twentieth Massachusetts during the month of January. This was his first service with the Twentieth Massachusetts since Gettysburg, where he was severely wounded during the repulse of Pickett's Charge at the Angle on July 3, 1863. His exact date of return is unclear from his military records, but he was reported present during January 1864 muster rolls.1

References:
1Compiled service record, Oliver S. Bates, Pvt., Co. A, 20th Massachusetts Infantry; Carded Records, Volunteer Organizations, Civil War; Records of the Adjutant General's Office, 1780s-1917, Record Group 94; National Archives, Washington, D.C.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Winter Quarters Near Stevensburg

Monday, December 7, 1863

Early this morning the Twentieth Massachusetts redeployed on Cole's Hill near Stevensburg, establishing their winter quarters. The Army of the Potomac was situated in a wide half-circle around Culpeper Court House, facing the Rapidan River and headquartered at Brandy Station. 1

References:
1George A. Bruce, The Twentieth Regiment of Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry 1861 - 1865 (Cambridge, Massachusetts: The Riverside Press, 1906), 324-25.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Army of Potomac Returns to Camp

Wednesday, December 2, 1863

Union General George Meade ordered his forces to withdraw from Mine Run on Tuesday. After crossing the Rapidan River in an all-day march, the weary Army of the Potomac reached camp before nightfall. 1

References:
1George A. Bruce, The Twentieth Regiment of Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry 1861 - 1865 (Cambridge, Massachusetts: The Riverside Press, 1906), 323.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Battle of Mine Run

Monday, November 30, 1863

Army of the Potomac commander General George Meade planned to move against the Confederates by crossing the Rapidan River in three columns, with the Third and Sixth Corps crossing at Jacob’s Ford, the Second Corps crossing at Germanna Ford, and the the First and Fifth Corps crossing at Culpeper Mine Ford. General Meade planned to maneuver around the Confederate entrenchments and to attack General Richard Ewell before General Ambrose Powell "A.P." Hill could assist. Although Meade had planned to commence the march on November 26, General William French, commander of the Third Corps, delayed in assembling his forces, and Meade subsequently began the march on November 27.

The Union plan was further hindered when General French took the wrong route and engaged in battle with the Confederates, delaying the concentration of the Army of the Potomac until the morning of Saturday, November 28. During this time, General Robert E. Lee was following Union troop movements, and repositioned his army so that any element of surprise was eliminated. The two armies deployed in heavy rain along Mine Run, facing each other on opposite sides of the river along a ravine. On Sunday, November 29, the Union army spent the entire day studying the position of both armies to determine the optimal points of attack. Although Union General George Meade planned an attack for early Monday morning, he cancelled the attack, believing in limited success due to poor positioning and extreme weather. 1

References:
1George A. Bruce, The Twentieth Regiment of Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry 1861 - 1865 (Cambridge, Massachusetts: The Riverside Press, 1906), 319-23.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Orders to March on Thanksgiving Day

Thursday, November 26, 1863

On Monday evening the Twentieth Massachusetts received orders to march the following morning at dawn. Tuesday morning, at the appointed time, heavy rain descended on the camp and subsequently delayed the march for two days. At 6:00 A.M. this morning, Thanksgiving Day, the Twentieth Massachusetts began a march toward the Rapidan River.1

References:
1Richard F. Miller, Harvard's Civil War: A History of the Twentieth Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry (Lebanon, New Hampshire: University Press of New England, 2005), 306.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Author's Message

On this observance of Veterans Day, please take some time today to remember and honor veterans of all wars. Thank you.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Meade Launches a New Offensive

Saturday, November 7, 1863

Under pressure from President Abraham Lincoln to pursue Confederate General Robert E. Lee Army of the Potomac commander George Meade planned a new offensive movement to strike the Confederates near Brandy Station. Early this morning the Army of the Potomac began a march to cross the Rappahannock River, with the Second Corps crossing at Kelly's Ford. General Robert E. Lee, however, declined to meet Meade near Brandy Station, and withdrew to a position on the south side of the Rapidan River. General Meade decided to relocate the Army of the Potomac for winter quarters positioned between the Rappahannock and Rapidan Rivers near Stevensburg.1

References:
1Richard F. Miller, Harvard's Civil War: A History of the Twentieth Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry (Lebanon, New Hampshire: University Press of New England, 2005), 304-5.