In marking the 150th anniversary of Fredericksburg , Chancellorsville, and Suffolk I wish to remember the service of my second great-granduncle Oliver Bates. Oliver was a private in Company A of the 20th Massachusetts Infantry Volunteer Regiment, a storied unit known also as “The Harvard Regiment” due to the number of Harvard graduates who served as officers. Oliver enlisted in August of 1861 and saw some of the heaviest fighting of the Civil War at Ball’s Bluff, Fair Oaks, the Seven Days Campaign, Antietam, Fredericksburg, and Second Fredericksburg/Chancellorsville. The 20th Massachusetts was a hard-fighting regiment and was in the thick of every battle. By the end of the war the 20th Massachusetts suffered the fifth–highest casualties of all Civil War regiments. Oliver had seen hard service and heavy fighting in each battle, but as of May 1863 he came through each episode without injury, with the exception of Fredericksburg.
I have been researching the Civil War service of Oliver in an anniversary blog for the 20th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment. For additional information about Oliver Bates and the 20th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment please visit http://20thmassregt150.blogspot.com.