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The 20th Indiana Volunteer Infantry – from Crown Point to Appomattox Court House, Va.

  • Began with 1,000 volunteer Hoosier soldiers based on the call to serve by President Abraham Lincoln and Indiana Gov. Oliver P. Morton.
  • Made up of 10 companies designated by letter of the alphabet, each of which started with 100 men.
  • Company B consisted mostly of men from Lake County, largely hailing from Crown Point, Lowell and Merrillville.
  • Company I consisted mostly of men from Porter County.
  • Company E consisted mostly of men from LaPorte County.
  • Served in nearly every major battle of the war’s eastern theater.

20th Indiana Infantry casualties, 1861-1865: 314 men died in service, 15 officers and 186 enlisted men killed by battle wounds and 113 enlisted men by disease.



July 22,

Organized at Lafayette, Ind., and mustered into service.

Aug. 2

Left state for Baltimore, Md. Stationed at Cockeysville, Md., guarding Northern Central Railroad route to Pennsylvania line until September.

Sept. 24-27

Expedition to Hatteras Inlet, N.C., September 24-27. At fortifications on north end of Hatteras bank until November.


March 8-9

Participated in fighting at Newport News, Va. Witnessed battle between the world’s first ironclad naval ships, Monitor vs. Merrimack.

June 8

Joined Army of the Potomac on the Peninsula Campaign in an attempt to seize Richmond, Va.

June 25-July1

Fought in the Seven Days Battles

Aug. 30

Fought in the Second Battle of Bull Run, the Civil War’s 9th bloodiest battle. 20th Indiana commanding officer Col. William L. Brown died in the battle.

Dec. 12-15

Fought in the Battle of Fredericksburg, among the war’s major campaigns.


April 27-May 6

Fought in the Battle of Chancellorsville, the Civil War’s 5th bloodiest battle.

July 1-3

Fought in the Battle of Gettysburg, the Civil War’s bloodiest battle. 20th Indiana commanding officer Col. John Wheeler, of Crown Point, died in battle near The Wheatfield.


Detached from Army of the Potomac to help quell the New York City Draft Riots. The riots are depicted in a scene of the movie, "Gangs of New York."


May 5-7

Fought in the Battle of The Wilderness, among the war’s major campaigns.

May 12-21

Fought in the Battle of Spottsylvania, the Civil War’s third-bloodiest battle.

June 1-12

Fought in the Battle of Cold Harbor, during which on June 3, more than 7,000 men are estimated to have fallen in the first eight minutes of fighting.

June 16

Began participating in the Siege of Petersburg, Va.


April 2

Present for the Fall of Petersburg, which led to the Union capture of the Confederate capital of Richmond, Va.

April 9

Present for the Battle of Appomattox Court House and Confederate commanding Gen. Robert E. Lee’s surrender to Union commanding Gen. Ulysses S. Grant.

May 2-12

March to Washington, D.C.

May 23

Participated in the Grand Review, a parade of victorious Union troops in Washington, D.C., signaling an end to military service.

July 12

Mustered out of service in Indianapolis

Sources: National Park Service and Civil War Trust



Marc Chase is a veteran investigative reporter, columnist and editor of more than two decades. He currently leads The Times news staff as local news editor. He can be reached at 219-933-3327.