Sunday, May 15, 2011

May 1861: Capt. Campbell Joins Third NJ

On April 30, 1861, Captain Edward L. Campbell, of Belvidere, and his Warren Guards had returned to Belvidere from Trenton after finding the quotas for the four NJ three months militia units had been filled.  On May 3, the State called for three-year enlistments in the newly created 1st, 2nd, and 3rd NJ Volunteer Infantry Regiments. 

Lt. Colonel Robert McAllister, of Oxford Furnace, had enlisted a number of Warren County men in the 1st NJV Regiment.   Campbell enlisted a smaller number of men for the 3rd NJV Regiment. 

The following Warren County men joined the 3rd NJ Volunteer Infantry: Company E: Campbell, Nelson Easton, George W. Freeman, Dr. John V. Mattison, James McKinney, George I. Miller, Henry D. Neimeyer, Archibald Nimmo, William Penn Robeson, Jr., Nehemiah Tunis, and George F. Zink, all of Belvidere; Phineas Ely, of Phillipsburg; and Thomas Edwards.

Warren County men assigned to other companies in the 3rd NJ were: Company C: Joseph Smith , of Belvidere; Company D: David Bonnell, of Blairstown; Adam Drake and Daniel Drake, of Allamuchy Township; Ira C. France, of Jacksonburg; David M. Price and William A. Price, of Hackettstown; and Watson Tillman, of Marksboro;  Company G: John C. Wiggins, of Belvidere; and Company I: Benjamin White, of Hope.

In August 1861, Campbell was commissioned captain of Company E. 

On May 20, 1861, 25-year old Lt. Andrew Hiram Ackerman, of the Belvidere Zouave Company, left Belvidere to enlist as a private in Company I, 2nd NJ Volunteer Infantry in Newark.   Ackerman had joined Campbell's Warren Guards on April 18  and went to Trenton with Campbell and his men to enlist in the three months militia regiments on April 29.  He was elected lieutenant of the Belvidere Zouave Company on May 1, but he was impatient to join a New Jersey regiment slated for federal service. 

Although there were enlistment quotas set for each municipality in New Jersey, Warren County was able to fill most of the quotas without having to resort to a draft until late in the war.  There was one instance where Oxford Township, faced with the drafting of men needed in the iron mines and at the furnaces, paid the fee to buy out the draft status of all the township men on the draft list.  

Most of the men of Warren County enlisted throughout the war to "Save the Union" or to "Go See the Elephant" - which was period slang for high adventure, facing death or seeing the world.

Copyright 1999-2011: Jay C. Richards

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