Saturday, October 29, 2011

A Name Brilliant and Glorious ...

Tuesday, October 29, 1861
To bolster morale in the dispirited regiment, Governor John Andrew of Massachusetts issued General Order Number 70, in which he offered gratitude and praise for their valiant service at Ball's Bluff. Lieutenant Colonel Palfrey read the order to the regiment at dress parade:
His Excellency John A. Andrew, Governor of Mass. desires to express through the proper channel his sincere thanks to the officers and privates of the 20th Regt. Mass. Vols. for the bravery which they displayed in the recent battle at Ball's Bluff, and for the admirable discipline which their behavior there so strongly bears evidence of. He regrets the severe loss sustained by the regiment, and deeply sympathizes with the wounded and the suffering relatives of the dead and wounded, but will assure the regiment that they have earned and own a name brilliant and glorious, and that the Bay State is proud to recognize them as sons, and as sons worthy of the Commonwealth and worthy to share past glories of the Commonwealth.

In his statement Governor Andrew intended not only to bolster morale but also to strengthen the recruiting effort through recognition of valiant service. Captain Henry Tremlett of Company A was dispatched to Boston to take charge of recruitment. The regiment hoped to acquire two hundred additional enlistments over the winter.1

1George A. Bruce, The Twentieth Regiment of Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry 1861 - 1865 (Cambridge, Massachusetts: The Riverside Press, 1906), 63, 71; Richard F. Miller, Harvard's Civil War: A History of the Twentieth Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry (Lebanon, New Hampshire: University Press of New England, 2005), 88.

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