Monday, April 7, 1862
At 7:00 A.M. the regiment was ordered to fall into line and begin a reconnaissance with the Nineteenth Massachusetts Regiment and the First Massachusetts Sharpshooters. After marching two miles and emerging from the woods, pickets were sent forward, who immediately encountered the Confederates. Firing ensued and lasted for several hours. After a series of movements the Confederates fired a thirty-two pound shell which caused injuries to the Nineteenth Massachusetts Regiment. The three Massachusetts units were ordered to retreat. The Twentieth Massachusetts did not suffer any injuries from their first encounter at Yorktown.1
1George A. Bruce, The Twentieth Regiment of Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry 1861 - 1865 (Cambridge, Massachusetts: The Riverside Press, 1906), 82-83.