Sunday, October 23, 2011

October 1861: Charles Heckman, Joseph Henry & The 9th NJ Regiment

In October 1861, the 9th NJ Volunteer Infantry Regiment was created.  Major Charles Heckman, of Phillipsburg, resigned from the 1st Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry Regiment in September 1861 on the promise he would be the lieutenant colonel of the "Jersey 9th" under the command of Colonel Joseph W. Allen, of Bordentown. 

Heckman had served in the Mexican War of 1846-1848 as a lieutenant of Company H in the 1st US Voltigeurs.  He had participated in battles at National Bridge, Contreras, Cherubusco, Molino del Rey, Chapultepec, and Mexico City.  After the Mexican War, Heckman became a conductor on the newly created New Jersey Central Railroad.  In April 1861, Heckman raised a company of volunteers for the 1st Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry Regiment.

In Oxford Furnace, Lieutenant Joseph Henry, late of the Kansas Regiment, decided not to enlist in a New York regiment.  Instead, Henry decided to recruit a company of men for the "Jersey 9th."  Whether it was a coincidence or a deliberate action, Henry's company of men was designated Company H. 

Joseph Henry was the son of William Henry, manager of the Oxford Furnace.  He was the brother-in-law of Colonel Charles Scranton.  Henry had been an aide to Congressman G. W. Scranton (Penna. 12th District) in Washington, D.C.   He attended Abraham Lincoln's inauguration on 4 March 1861 as a friend of the new President.  In March 1861, when the nation was on the verge of civil war, Henry enlisted in General James Lane's Kansas Regiment.  In June 1861, Henry was honorably discharged from the Kansas Regiment by President Lincoln and Secretary of War Cameron.  After the Federal defeat at Manassas , VA on 21 July 1861, Henry planned to enlist in a New York regiment.  After he was commissioned captain of Company H, 9th NJ Volunteer Infantry, Henry was appointed by President Lincoln to be US Consul to the Balearic Islands, but Henry turned down the appointment to remain commanding officer of Company H.  [Henry would become the first NJ officer killed in battle on 8 February 1862 at Roanoke Island, North Carolina.]

Warren County men who enlisted in Captain Henry's Company H were: Jacob Aumick, John Lewis Aumick, William Aumick, Peter B. Beam, Timothy Callahan, Edward Clayton, Nelson Cramer (company baker), John Dickey (wagoner), Jason Garis, Lycidious Hamilton, Lieutenant Joseph B. Lawrence, Corporal John E. "Father" Matthews, Jacob Meyer, and John B. VanNorman, of Belvidere; Sergeant Austin E, Armstrong and Jacob Hadley, of Hope; John F. Butler, and Lieutenant James Stewart, Jr., of Greenwich Township; George F. Ribble, Corporal Daniel W. Shoemaker, and Jacob S. VanGordon, of Pahaquarry Township; Abraham Van Gordon and William Van Gordon, of Hardwick Township; Joseph R. Wilgus, of Blairstown; Wesley Comer, of Oxford Township; Ammadee DeForest, of Hackettstown; Marcus M. Fiske, Isaac W. Haggerty, Corporal Charles P. Levers, Edward Levers, John Levers, and Corporal Robert Phillips, of Phillipsburg; Henry Pittenger (wagoner), Corporal George W. Taylor and John P. Taylor, of Hazen (White Township); and from unidentified municipalities: John Brown, Harvey Cook, John E. Cook, Elisha Cooley, Corporal John W. Creveling, William D. Forgus, Spencer A. Hagerman, John Hirt, Marshall Howell, Andrew D. Staples, and Joseph Warner.

Warren County men who enlisted in other companies of the "Jersey 9th" were: Company A - Peter Hermes, of Phillipsburg; Company C - Joseph B. Cline, of Washington, and Jerome B. Cunningham, of Hope; Company D - John M. Clayton, of Belvidere; Company E - George Cooper, of Belvidere; Morris Breslin and Isaac June, of Mountain Lake; Company I - Reuben Seagraves, of Phillipsburg; and Company K - Henry Cook and Charles Hinton, of Belvidere, and Captain J. Madison Drake, of Trenton [later of Belvidere].

Copyright 1999-2011: Jay C. Richards

No comments:

Post a Comment