This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
 Volunteers. He well knew the history of this regiment, and its reputation for discipline and gallantry, as proved by the unusual losses among its officers; but instead of deterring him, these facts were his chief attraction. He received his commission with pleasure; and with high resolves to make himself a thorough soldier,—a career for which he was admirably adapted in physique and mental power,—he hastened instantly to his post. Just eighteen years old, he joined his regiment at Fredericksburg, late on Saturday evening, May 2d, receiving a warm welcome from his brother officers. Early on the following morning began the battle of Chancellorsville. Captain O. W. Holmes was very soon wounded, and Lieutenant Paine took the command of his company, which place he held through that terrible day; and he was, according to all statements, calm and cool. Then came the forced marches which carried our army to Gettysburg, and the battle that followed. Wednesday and Thursday had left the fortunes of war trembling in the balance. On Friday, July 3, 1863, the Second Corps, under Hancock, held the left centre of our line, midway between the Cemetery and the Round Top,—the lowest part of our lines, left by nature the easiest to assault, and thus the key to our position. It was here that General Lee ordered Pickett's division, composed in good part of veteran Virginia troops, and supported by another column, to make their last terrible assault. Not a shot was fired by the Twentieth Massachusetts till the enemy were near, and Lieutenant-Colonel Macy gave the order. Then its fire was quick and deadly. Though directly in front of them, the enemy did not reach them; but ten or twenty rods to their right, the weight of the enemy crushed through our line, passing over it, perhaps thirty or forty yards, up a little hill. It was the crisis of the day, if not the turning-point of the war. General Hancock, in command of the corps, and General Gibbon, in command of the division, had both been wounded. Colonel Hall, commanding the brigade, was hurrying up his men. Lieutenant-Colonel Macy received orders from him to lead the Twentieth Massachusetts against
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.