Thursday, May 24, 2012

May 21, 1862: John Kinney & Wm. Mutchler buried with honors

On May 21, 1862, the Towns of Belvidere and Phillipsburg held town wide funeral processions in honor of two men who were killed in action on May 5 at Williamsburg, Virginia.  Private John W. Kinney, of Belvidere, and First Sergeant William W. Mutchler, of Phillipsburg, both of Company E, 7th NJ Volunteer Infantry Regiment.

John W. Kinney enlisted in Company E of the 7th NJ on August 24, 1861 at age 22.  He was killed in action on May 5th during an advance on Confederate fortifications. When word of Kinney's death reached Belvidere, Jacob Smith and Israel Harris went to Williamsburg to retrieve Kinney's body for burial in Belvidere.  On May 21, Smith and Harris arrived in Belvidere by train with Kinney's body.  On May 22, most of the residents of Belvidere joined in the funeral procession traveling from Kinney's home to the Presbyterian Church.  The procession to the church, and later from the church to the Belvidere Cemetery, was led by the Belvidere Brass Band and the Belvidere Infantry Company.

William W. Mutchler first enlisted in the Phillipsburg Garibaldi Guards, which was founded by his brother Valentine Mutchler in April 1861.  On August 24, 1861, he enlisted in Company E, of the 7th NJ at age 23.  He was promoted to First Sergeant of Company E.  Like Kinney, Mutchler was killed in action on the same day in the same fight at Williamsburg.  The Mutchler family had his body sent back to Phillipsburg. On May 21, the people of Phillipsburg turned out in force for the funeral.  The procession went to the Phillipsburg Presbyterian Church and then moved on to the cemetery.  He was buried in the Phillipsburg Cemetery with military honors conducted by the Phillipsburg Ellsworth Guards, including a volley fired over the grave. 

Copyright 1997-2012: Jay C. Richards

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