Monday, September 24, 2012

September 1862: George Mindil's 27th NJ Infantry Regiment

In September 1862, recruiters in Sussex and Morris Counties were signing up volunteers for a nine months   infantry regiment, the 27th NJ Volunteer Infantry Regiment.  The 27th NJV was the last of the nine months units created in New Jersey so it was divided into 11 companies instead of 10, which gave the regiment an extra 160 men.  This made the 27th NJV one of the largest regiments in service, totaling 1,088 officers and men.
The officers could decide on a commanding colonel.  Attorney Cortland Parker, a friend of the late General Philip Kearney of the 1st NJ Brigade, the officers elected 19-year old Captain George W. Mindil as the colonel commanding the new regiment.  Mindil had been the general's Inspector of the 1st Division.
Mindil was commissioned a 1st Lieutenant of Company B, 23rd Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry Regiment in July 1861.  By October 1861, he had been promoted to Captain.  In March 1862, Captain Mindil was appointed to the staff of Brigadier General David B. Birney, commander of the 2nd Brigade of the 1st Division in the 3rd Army Corps.  Mindil was in General George B. McClellan's staff after General Kearney was killed.  Mindil was cited for gallantry at Williamsburg and had received testimonials from Generals Kearney, McClellan, Nathaniel Banks, Samuel Heintzelman, and Birney.  During the  Battle of Williamsburg, Mindil led the decisive charge.  He distinguished himself again at the Battle of Fair Oaks and during Kearney's retreat from Richmond.  During the Second Battle of Manassas, Mindil was the only member of Kearney's staff present on the battlefield.
The following Warren County men enlisted in the 27th NJV:
COMPANY A: Henry D. Fields, of Frelinghuysen; George Hendershot, of Washington; Andrew G. Hill, of Marksboro; Corporal Thomas Potter, of Frelinghuysen; Fred H. Wildrick, of Phillipsburg; and Bartley VanCampen, of Pahaquarry;
COMPANY B: Joseph S. Hart, of Mount Bethel, and Sergeant Theodore McEachron, of Rockport;
COMPANY C: Theodore Neighbor, of Hackettstown, and Jacob W. Yauger, of Port Murray;
COMPANY E: Ezra P. Gulick, of Vienna;
COMPANY G: Samuel Reeves, of Belvidere; Peter Bird, Jr., George Morgan, and John Morgan, of Port Murray; and John R. Taylor and Thompson Taylor, of Oxford;
COMPANY H: George W. Hoyt, of Phillipsburg; and Corporal Fletcher B. Longcor and John Longcor, of Washington;
COMPANY I: Peter Carroll, of Vienna; William K. Hoffman and Tobias Lyon, of Hackettstown; and Aaron Rolph;
COMPANY K: Wagoner Charles Kennybrooke, of Washington; and
COMPANY L:  Corporal  Jacob Switzer, of Buttzville; and Corporal David DeGraw, Lemuel DeGraw, and Joseph DeGraw, of Hackettstown.
Copyright 1999-2012: Jay C. Richards  

Sunday, September 23, 2012

September 1862: Warren County & the 31st NJ Infantry Regiment

The 31st New Jersey Volunteer Infantry Regiment was created in August 1862 as a nine months enlistment unit.  In September, recruiting was filling the ranks.  The 31st was Warren County's regiment and was comprised of more Warren County men than any other regiment. It's first commanding officer was Washington Borough attorney Colonel Alexander P. Berthoud, a political officer with little or no military experience.
The following Warren County men joined the 31st NJV:
COMPANY A: Captain Samuel Carhart, of Phillipsburg; Hulet Apgar, John R. Apgar,  Wesley L. Apgar, and Corporal Francis A. Gulick, of Washington;
COMPANY B: Benjamin Ward, of Belvidere; Corporal Jacob W. Baker, Lewis [Bergenbach] Balkenberg, Robert M. Bodine, Whitfield W. Bowlby, James L. Boyd, John W. Bray, Samuel A. Bristol, Corporal Robert A. Brown, Edward Bryan,  Joseph G. Bryan, Joseph S. Carter, 1st Sergeant Westley W. Castner, Isaac Cole, Sergeant Henry C. Cotton, George R. Creveling, Alpheus Cyphers, Charles Cyphers, John Davison, William Doolittle, Clark Felver, Peter C. Felver, 1st Lieutenant Joseph C. Felver, George Fennel, Joseph H. Force, Daniel Gardner, Oscar Godley, George W. Hansler, Newbold J. W. Hess, Caleb H. Hollingshead, Charles K. Hornbaker, William Hornbaker, Philip C. Hutchings, James Irwin, John Keldron, James Kelly, James W. Kemmerer, Jeremiah Kiefer, Samuel Lambert, Sergeant Charles E. Lancaster, Nathaniel Libby, Corporal James Lillie, William Lillie, Corporal Charles R. McFern, John H. Nightingale, Thomas L. Norton, Corporal Benjamin Opdyke, Samuel R. Opdyke, William S. Opdyke, Christopher F. Petty, Morgan Petty, Seth Petty, William I. Powers, Andrew J. Price, Fanton Quigley, Morris Scott, Elias Slack, James M. Smith, John S. Smith, John W. Smith Jr., Jacob Stone, Sergeant Washington Stout, Sergeant Jacob T. Thompson, William C. Thompson, Lewis Troester, William C. VanDoren, George C. Wandling, Henry B. Wandling, Jacob C. Wandling, Jacob S. Warne, James S. Warne, Peter B. Weller, Andrew J. Wiley, Peter R. Winter, Anthony O. Wintermute, Jacob Woolston, William C. Yard, John Youmans, of Washington; Justin P. Egarton, of Hardwick; Henry S. Pence, of Mansfield; Philip Deremer, James Dugan, William Dugan, Isaiah W. Emans [Emmons], James C. Hummer, Peter Hummer, David Kreis, Richard Mackler, George J. Maxwell, Andrew J. Raymond, Edward Taylor, William H. Thompson, Lawrence L. Weller, Mathias B. Wilson, Corporal William Wilson, Peter C. Woodruff, of Franklin; and Henry R. Woolverton, of Lebanon;
COMPANY C: Captain Andrew Jackson Raub, of Phillipsburg; Christopher S. Sellers, of Belvidere; Andrew Abel, Thomas Abel, Edward Butler, Sergeant Robert C. Carpenter, John T. Case, James A. Creveling, Martin Foose, William L. Foose, Lafayette Gardner, Corporal John B. Hand, Philip C. Hartung, John S. Hawk, Sergeant Abraham E. Hinley, Sergeant Abram C. S. Hulsizer, 2nd Lieutenant Silas Hulsizer, William W. Inscho, Aaron Keichline, Henry Lehn, Henry W. Long, John Loudenberry, William S. Mettler, Jacob F. Parker, James Parker, John Parker, Willis Pearson, Josiah P. Plattenberg, Corporal William M. Plummer, Albert Powelson, Corporal Daniel Purcell, Drummer Peter Purcell, George W. Schooley, Isaac Schooley, Henry W. Siders, Corporal David Stamets, 1st Lieutenant Thomas T. Stewart, Isaac B. Thatcher, John T. Thatcher, William K. Wallace, Henry Warman, William Wheelan, John Wheeler, Isaac L. Wyant, Robert Wyant, of Greenwich; Drummer Jacob A. Allshouse, John M. Benward, Joseph M. Benward, John Dilts, John S. Gardner, John Hager, Peter H. Hager, Thomas W. Kitchen, Simon A. Leibelsperger, John H. Melick, Samuel Sickles, and Peter S. Sickles, of Harmony; William H. Bachman, Abram O. S. Carpenter, William Cease, William Crace, Edward Deremer, Corporal Lewis Diesle, Zealous Donaho, Jacob M. Fisher, Robert W. Fisher, Martin Fisher Jr., Jacob S. Iliff, William Koose, Corporal Charles Pardoe, Wagoner Hugh R. Person, Patrick Rodgers, Edwin Roath, Christopher T. Staats, John Y. Stevenson, William H. Weldon, Andrew Young, and Jacob F. Young, of Phillipsburg; James Barber, James Bell, Joseph Y. Housel, John S. Lott, John Mettler, and George M. Young, of Franklin; Jacob Osmun and William C. Osmun, of Rockport; Henry E. Butler and Jonathan G. Robbins, of Washington; Corporal John R. Cyphers, James T. Dalrymple, Sebastian Meyers, Joseph H. Searfoss, and William S. Searfoss, of Pohatcong; and William Hagerman; 
COMPANY D: William Cronce, of Phillipsburg; and Elias M. Rake, of Harmony;
COMPANY E: 1st Lieutenant William Rodenbaugh, of Phillipsburg; Henry L. Cummings and Bennett Gano, of Belvidere; Peter Y. Chandler and Corporal Sylvester Groff, of Washington; George W. Creager, Elias Lewis, James M. Lewis, and Alexander Mulligan, of Franklin; Henry P. Ely, Samuel Hoppock, and Aaron H. Lanning, of Mansfield; John Robbins, of Buttzville; John W. Smith, of Frelinghuysen; and Samuel Wagner, of Greenwich;
COMPANY F: Captain Joseph McLaughlin, of Phillipsburg; Robert Gano and Augustus Shaw, of Belvidere; Wagoner Godfrey Bellis, Christian Brotzman, John Dalton, Sheridan W. Dean, Elias Deemer, Phillip Dilgart, Henry Edinger, Francis Eisle, Corporal Joseph W. Fackenthall, Charles Hartman, Samuel Leidy, William W. Lockenour, William G. Melick, Aaron Miller, William Moore, Wilson Moore, Isaiah W. Piatt, Jacob H. Piatt, William Piatt, Benjamin Franklin Sailor, Jacob Sailor Jr., Quintus Seip, Jacob E. Seylor, Isaac H. Smith, Jacob Super, John Super, Hugh Thorn, George VanNess, Barry Wetzell, Solomon Woolfinger, and Corporal George L. Yard, of Greenwich; Hugh H. Harrison, Skidmur W. Mettler, Hugh Thompson, Corporal Dervillious Vanderbelt, and Furman Vanderbelt, of Pohatcong; John Carling, James Devins, Drummer John Duckworth, John W. Harrison, Joseph L. Lesher, James Rouke, George Snyder, Stewart C. Warman, and Daniel M. Young, of Phillipsburg; and 2nd Lieutenant Frank P. Weymouth, of Washington; 
COMPANY G: Captain Benjamin Franklin Howey, of Knowlton; George Harris, and Theodore Harris, of Belvidere; Emellious Able, Escularius Able, Jacob J. Angle, Alfred Aten, Sergeant William C. Bloom, 1st Sergeant William Bowers, Peter Carey, John W. Case, Jonas Case, Corporal Martin L. Chambers, Wagoner Elisha H, Christian, Jabez G. Cowell, Peter Dennis, Edward Freer, David X. Gardner, Drummer Robert L. Gibbs, Abraham Gilbert, Ephraim Gilbert, 2nd Lieutenant James F. Green, George Harris, Isaac Harris, Ogden Harris, Theodore Harris, Charles E. Hartung, David M. Kitchen, Jesse Kitchen, Corporal David R. Kunkle, Andrew D. Litts, Samuel Litts, Benjamin Franklin McCormick, John Adams McCormick, George D. Nixon, Owen Phillips, Cornelius S. Robbins, Jacob Winemaker, and William B. Winemaker, of Knowlton;  Sergeant Theodore H. Andress and  Drummer Embla D. Mann, of Marksboro; Marshall J. Koyt, Isaac L. Lanterman, 1st Lieutenant William C. Larzelier, Drummer Conrad Miller, Henry Oberkrick, William Parr, George Quick, Abram Rice, Nathan H. Rice, Austin Stile, Uriah Stiles, Abraham K. Wintermute, and George M. Wintermute, of Blairstown; Austin Emmons, David M. Emmons, William H. Emmons, Elijah S. Snover, Corporal John Snover, Manuel C. Snover, and Nathaniel C. Snover, of Hardwick; Samuel Babcock, James L. Berry, Samuel Brittenheimer, William S. Burdge, Corporal John B. Corwin, Jacob Cruser, William Cyphers, Sergeant Aaron W. Davis, George W. Dell [Mt. Lake], Jacob Gunderman, George Hays, William Lusk [Mt. Lake], Theodore Maines, Daniel P. Matlock, Thomas B. Matlock, George W. McKnight, Corporal Amos H. Merrill, John W. Millburn, Aaron Pool,  Charles W. Poyer, Henry R. Poyer, Daniel V. Poyer, Abraham S. Price, Nelson R. Shotwell, John Smith, Oscar Smith, Philo Story, Samuel Stout, Henry Sutton, Joseph Sutton, Andrew R. Wildrick, and John B. Wolf, of Hope; Alfred S. Henry, of Danville [Great Meadows], Lewis P. Creamer, Sergeant William K. Evans, and Charles A. Hall, of Delaware Water Gap;
COMPANY H [Hackettstown Company]: Captain David M. Trimmer, of Hackettstown; William L. Shipps, of Belvidere; Edward H. Albertson, of Hope; Conrad P. Anderson, Daniel H. Anderson, Nicholas S. Bilby, Henry J. Bird, Samuel Carhart, William R. Carpenter, George B. Cole, Lawrence Culver, Phillips W. Emmons, John W. Gruver, and David Hart, of Mansfield; John Applegate, Sergeant Talmage L. Bell, Henry D. Bilby, Thomas S. Bird, William D. Coleman, company clerk Aaron Cramer Jr., Corporal Frederick L. Crammer, Lawrence H. Dilley, Drummer Jacob N. Downs, William Efnor, Ordinance Sergeant Charles Freeman, Wagoner Cornelius Gulick, Charles H. Haywood, Edward Heid, Ezra Marlatt, William H. Marlatt, Andrew J. Mattison, Amos McLean, Charles Parson, Daniel S. Rice, William R. Stewart, Adolphus Stillwell, Michael Verden, Corporal Marshall L. Ward, Jacob Wiley, Samuel Wire, and Stewart Wire, of Hackettstown; James E. Ayres, George Best, Moses Gray, 2nd Lieutenant Henry Hance, Edmond Hogan, John H. Mott, William Staples, and Philip G. Vroom, of Independence; Drummer Samuel B. Hartpence, of Washington; David B. Ball, Azel Edgarton, John Hogan, and John D. Staples, of Hardwick; Andrew Beam, Benjamin Felver, Mahlon Force, Alfred Humler, Isaac Lee, William H. Marlatt Jr., Joseph C. Ruppell, Sergeant John O. Schomp, William Sowers, William H. H. Stires, William P. Turner, Aaron Washburn, and Andrew M. White, of Port Murray; Thomas Karr and Corporal George T. Nunn, of Karrsville; George Mowrey, William Mowrey, and Corporal William H. Nunn, of Mount Bethel; Andrew J. Dennis, of Townsbury; Charles France, George W. Frazier, Musician Isaac Givens, John N. Givens, John O. Griggs, John M. Gulick, Alexander Hardin, David Hardin, Andrew H. Hibler, David Hill, Silvester Koyt, Henry Losey, William McClain, William L. Shipps, Jacob Smith, William C. Staples, Alexander Stine, Tobias S. VanHorn, Robert Wallace, Isaac L. Willet, and Roderick B. Willet, of Frelinghuysen; Levi H. Newman, of Hope; and James M. Staples, of Allamuchy;
COMPANY I [Belvidere Infantry Company]: Captain Calvin T. James, Elias W. Allegar, Corporal Hiram W. Allegar, Robert Bishop; Corporal Samuel Braider, Daniel Butts [Buttz], William Crammer, John Diesel, David H. Drake, 1st Lieutenant Richard T. Drake, John H. Eilenberg, Phineas K. Haze, William H. Hetfield, Seneca B. Kitchen, James G. Mace, George W. S. Norton, John A. Person, 2nd Lieutenant James Prall, Drummer William Ripple, William S. Robeson, John Rowe, Corporal William Penn Salmon, Roderick B. Stephens, Augustus Struble, Joseph C. Titus, John G. Twining, Sergeant Matthew VanScoten, William H. H. Warman, Wagoner John T. Widenor, and Thomas M. Williams, of Belvidere; Sergeant Derrick Albertson, Samuel Bachman, John V. Crutz, John M. Dalrymple, Peter A. Frye, James G. Galloway, Reuben Glass, Morgan L. Hineline, Michael Houseman, Theodore Meddock, Elijah Melroy, John Melroy, Robert Miller, Burris Osborn, William Pelts, Timothy Rake, George W. Rush, Isaac D. Rush, John Smith, John Sowders, and John M. Young, of Harmony; John H. Beschever, Sergeant Israel Swayze, John Folkner, Phillip Hopkins [Mt. Lake], James Slack, Dennis Titus, and Wesley R. VanGilder, of Hope; Henry J. Burd, of Bridgeville; John S. Banghart, George A. Bemler, Charles Flatt, and Thomas Shafer, of Buttzville;   Elijah C. Burd, Sergeant George Fox, Christopher J. Cole, Wagoner James Pittenger, and John Rasely, of Hazen; Musician Joseph N. Bogart and Corporal Charles Johnson, of Knowlton; William Boofman, Irvine Rodenbaugh, and William E. Stiles, of Phillipsburg; Corporal John Fallon, Charles Lanning, Corporal James L. Pierson, and Alden Wilkinson, of Washington; George A. Gray, Henry F. Luse, and George S. Osmun, of Frelinghuysen; John Deremer, John Fagan, George Ganoe, Corporal David C. Gardner, James Goodison, Mathias P. Hart, Aaron V. Hulsizer, Stephen D. Lanning, Baltzer T. Laycock, Jesse V. Lomason, Marshall T. Lomason, Thomas Lomason, David Lomerson, James A. Lukens, Aaron Mershon, Miller Mershon, Thomas L. Randall, Augustus Struble, Lafinis Wambold, and Benjamin Warner, of Oxford [including White Twp.];
COMPANY K: John M. Bryan and John O. Shay, of Belvidere; Samuel S. Allen, Frederick H. Apgar, Christopher Bryan, John M. Bryan, William H. Conover, Godfrey H. Hardy, James Horning, Joseph Leigh, Henry McClary, John Nier, John Snyder, Joseph Snyder, Stephen W. Whitbeck, and George F. Woolston, of Washington;  William Bodine, of Knowlton; Samuel Comer and John McNear, of Oxford; Mathias J. Crammer, of Hackettstown; Moses F. Hann and William S. Mitchell, of Greenwich; Enoch Hartpence, of Franklin; Sergeant James McBurth and Corporal George Walters, of Phillipsburg; James Gary, James Hand, Benhart Krouse, William H. Petty, and William F. Thompson, of Mansfield;  Phillip Smith, of Hope; and Warren Hagerty, of Independence; and
REGIMENTAL STAFF: Lt. Colonel William Holt, of Hackettstown; Adjutant Martin Wyckoff, of Asbury; Dr. Robert Browne, of Franklin, Surgeon; Dr. Joseph S. Cook, of Washington, Assistant Surgeon; and Dr. Nathaniel Jennings, of Washington, Assistant Surgeon.
Copyright 1999-2012: Jay C. Richards

Thursday, September 20, 2012

September 17, 1862: Battle of Antietam [Sharpsburg]

It was the bloodiest one-day battle of the war of the rebellion. The southern troops called it the Battle of Sharpsburg, Maryland, and the northern troops called it the Battle of Antietam Creek.  The battle began at daybreak on September 17.  The Federal 1st Corps fought the Confederate troops alone from dawn until 9:00 a.m. 

Fifteen-year old Jacob Cole, of Paterson, of Company A, 57th New York Volunteer Infantry Regiment had been a veteran since the war began, when he joined Colonel Elmer Ellsworth's 1st New York City Fire Zouaves [11th New York Volunteer Infantry Regiment]  and survived the First Battle of Manassas [Bull Run] in July 1861.  After the Zouave unit's three months enlistment expired, he joined the 57th NY. 

Cole wrote, "General [Joseph King Fenno] Mansfield  had been killed, and General [Joseph] Hooker disabled."  Cole's regiment was in the 2nd Corps, which crossed Antietam Creek at 9:30 a.m., with the Irish Brigade in the lead, and took a hill overlooking the Piper House and the sunken road filled with Confederates.  "We are lying behind the hill that overlooks the field of action, every moment expecting to be ordered into action.  The bullets are whistling over our heads, and our hearts are beating as fast as the lead is flying.  Whose head will be first to come off, we are asking each other, when shall we rise  and move forward?  The worst of a battle is this waiting to go in.  'Fall in!' The word has come at last.  We jump up, get into line and march steadily in battalion front to the brow of the hill.  Now we are in it, and the minnies are plenty!  As we pass the 69th [NY Irish Regiment], or what is left of them (about a hundred men) with colors in tatters, they cheer and we return it.  Down the side of the hill toward the sunken road, the 67th and 66th [NY regiments] charge together, and over the ditch they go, stepping on bodies of the rebel dead.  Yet another charge and we have taken the Piper House and are in the cornfield beyond.  All along the path of this charge, our men have fallen, killed or wounded, but victory is ours. 

"Earlier in the day, several attacks have been made upon the sunken road, but without success.  It afforded great protection for the enemy, and to take it was like taking a fort.  In charging forward, we captured several prisoners and stand of colors belonging to the 12th Alabama [Infantry Regiment].  It was said that the words 'Captured by the Fifty-Seventh New York Volunteers at Antietam, September 17th' would be painted on the flag, and that it would be deposited with the War Department for safe keeping."

There was a brief lull in fighting around the Piper House area of the cornfield, and Cole and his buddies "charged" a pile of potatoes in the corner of a fence, and "every potato was captured."  As they ate the raw potatoes, Cole and his unit watched the rebel guns destroy battery after battery of Federal guns.  
Corporal Andrew Neal, of Belvidere, in the 4th Pennsylvania Veteran Reserve Infantry Regiment, had returned to his unit after the prisoner exchange in Ohio.  He reported, "I have been on the field in the advance, with our army, for the last three days, and I saw the hardest fought battles ever fought on this Continent.  The fight commenced about four miles southwest of Boonsboro, on a long range of hills, which the rebels held.  We drove them from there to Keetsville with but little loss.  Our army pushed forward about two miles, when our whole force was engaged.  The rebels fought desperately and determined, and contested the ground inch by inch.  There we lost a great many men.  They were mowed down by whole regiments.  The enemy turned our left, at this point, by sharp maneuvering.  We formed again, but it was with great difficulty, to hold the ground as there were a great many new troops at this point.  The 13th New York Volunteers broke twice but was rallied with considerable loss.  On farther to the right, in a thick woods and cornfield, the battle raged with the greatest fury: artillery against artillery, here was the greatest slaughter."
Theodore Carhart and the 1st NJ Volunteers had been burying the dead at Crampton's Pass when the battle near Sharpsburg began.  "Dora" wrote to his brother, "We were ordered to the battlefield on a forced march, and we arrived about one o'clock; then were sent to the extreme front to hold the position until other points were gained on the left, and we did do it in noble style.  It was a very remarkable thing - we were there under fire for four hours, and of our regiment, we never lost a man.  Our Regiment and the 2nd were the extreme front line.  The 2nd, 3rd and 7th [NJ Regiments] lost about 25 men in all, and the most of them were killed.  The firing ceased about five o'clock on both sides, but we never left our position until Thursday night, when we were relieved by a New York regiment for us to get a little something to eat."
After the battle Neal wrote, "I was over the field this afternoon, for five miles, and I saw not less than 1,500 dead rebels  and as many wounded.  The slaughter was so great that not one fourth of our men are buried yet, nor will not be for three days; they are all turning black and smell dreadfully.  The battle commenced on Wednesday, and I arrived on the field in the afternoon  where our men were fighting, and this afternoon [Friday, the 19th], on my return over the same ground, I saw wounded rebels wallowing in their own blood, the poor creatures, some of them had wheat grains  for eating - that was all they had to eat.  It was enough to make one's blood run cold.  I saw one whole division of rebels, or nearly so, cut down with grape and canister, and they lay just as they fell, and if I am not mistaken, will lay there and rot for they never can be buried for the smell.
"I have a number of rebel trophies - some fancy uniforms and caps, and a fine rebel rifle.  I saw Hooker before he was wounded, if he was wounded at all.  I was at the mill where he was, or reported to be, under Surgical attention but could not see him.  This country, for fifteen miles, is one Hospital - every house and barn is filled with our own and the rebel wounded.  I suppose you know more about killed and wounded than I do, for there are scores of reporters taking names and sending them on."
Cole recalled, "On that morning [September 18], men were detailed to go out under the flag of truce to bring in our wounded and bury the dead, but the rebels did not honor our flag of truce, but at every opportunity fired upon our men.  To those who do not know how the dead are buried upon a battlefield, I will explain by saying that we would dig a trench about twenty feet in length, seven feet wide and about six feet deep.  In this we laid them, one on top of the other until the trench was nearly full, and then we would cover them over with the dirt. We buried as many as possible, and brought in all the wounded we could, but as the rebel sharpshooters continued to fire on our flag of truce, it was impossible to bury all our dead or get all the wounded."
On September 18, Corporal Isaiah Nelson Albertson, of Hope, in Company D, 11th NJ Volunteer Infantry Regiment, wrote to his sister Ella and brother Jay, "This is for Jay.  Let him read it first. Brother Jay, You must not spose I have forgot you, not a bit of it.  I think think of you often and I spect you think of me.  Well, bub, I feel bully ceptin [except] a little lameness in a leg and I hope this letter will find you perfectly well.  I spect you work pretty hard now, but this fall I spect you will hunt the quails and cottontails with old London and Turk.  How does Turk look? Is he a good sized dog?  Have you seen any pigeons yet this fall?  I have seen some but I will hunt bigger game pretty soon.  Jay, I would like to see you and talk with you but az I can't you must write and tell me all about things around home.  How many pigs and how many turkeys and how the corn looks, weather there is many pumpkins and any thing you have a mind to write about.  I think you have plenty of apples and very likely peaches.  Well eat a few for me will you?     Virginia has a good many peach orchards, but peaches don't stay on long unless guarded.  There is some for sale here but they want as much money a peach nearly so I say let them keep them.  I say our living does pretty well.  We get fresh beef once a week, coffee twice a day, boiled rice or bean soup once and the rest of the time is made up with crackers and bread, salt pork, beef or 'hoss' as we call it.
"There has been fighting all of this week near Sharps ferry and our men have thrashed them pretty decently, but the exact truth I can not tell now.  I guess I will stop writing for I think that I have done pretty well for one day.  Jay, you must certainly write soon and then Old Nels will write again.  So be a good boy.  Good By, I. N. A."
Copyright 1997-2012: Jay C. Richards 

September 14, 1862: Battle of Crampton's Pass

On September 14, 1862, the Southern forces were fighting Federal troops at Turner's Gap, Fox Gap and Crampton's Pass in South Mountain in Maryland.  Jacob Cole, of Company A in the 57th New York Volunteer Infantry Regiment, the 15-year old battle veteran from Paterson, felt he was marching in the most beautiful part of Maryland.  Cole and his unit marched through flower decorated hills toward Crampton's Pass, but as they reached South Mountain, the reality of war returned. 
Cole wrote, "Singular experiences come to a soldier sometimes from what to him is usually ordinary causes, to see men lying around dead in every shape and in every degree of repulsiveness, torn to pieces, black and bloated, is nothing to a man of battle.  Yet, such a sight coming in an unexpected manner or out of time has all the shock natural to such an experience.  The soldier will sleep soundly amid the dead and the groans of the wounded and dying companions.  It will not keep him awake on the battlefield, but let him lay down among the dead at the hospital, and he is likely to feel cold chills creeping over him.  He will be restless, will rise and seek companionship.  So at South Mountain.  A soldier is climbing through the woods with head down, slowly dragging his weary limbs after him, when suddenly his thoughtless sight rests upon the form of a dead soldier with bulging eyes and swollen face lying directly at his feet. The shock stuns him, the blood rushes to his heart, and his lip quivers.  When he turns out and goes on, he instinctively looks back to see if the man has moved.  Of such stuff are mortals made." 
A special correspondent of the Philadelphia Press filed this report, "Col. [Joseph Jackson]Bartlett's Brigade first attacked the enemy, and, after expending all its ammunition, was relieved by the First New Jersey, under the command of Col. [Alfred T. A.] Torbert.  Perceiving that no impression was being made on the enemy, who largely outnumbered us, and were pouring grape and canister into our ranks, Col. Torbert ordered a charge, which was promptly responded to by the 4th [NJ Regiment] under Col. [William B.] Hatch, in a splendid manner; they charged across a ploughed field at least 500 yards, in the face of heavy enemy fire, and drove the enemy back into the woods to the entrance of the pass.  The other regiments of the brigade followed closely with them; the enemy were completely routed and fell back to the top of the mountain, where there was a heavy reserve of them, five to ten thousand, under the command of Gen. Thomas Cobb.  The Jersey troops continued in their pursuit up the steep slope of the mountain, killing large numbers of the enemy, including many general and field officers, among whom were Gen. [Paul J.] Semmes and Lt. Col. Lamar.  The charge was one of the most brilliant of the war, maintained against an enemy outnumbering us five to one, and in a position almost impregnable by nature...Gen. [Henry Warner] Slocum, who commands our division, was ever in the thickest of the fight, waving his cap and cheering the men on.  Col. Torbert, who commands the New Jersey Brigade, distinguished himself upon the occasion for  his skill and bravery, and the courage with which he led the brigade into action."

[According to the Historical Register and Dictionary of the United States Army 1789-1903 by Francis Heitman, Brigadier General Paul J. Semmes, Confederate States Army, did not die at Crampton's Pass.  He died on July 10, 1863 from wounds received in battle at Gettysburg, PA.]
Theodore Carhart, of Warren County, NJ, of Company D, 1st NJ Regiment, wrote to his brother, "At Crampton's Pass, on the 14th of September, we had six men wounded, and I think the loss in the Brigade was about 100, all wounded more or less.  That was one of the grandest affairs we have ever been in.  Our Brigade was brought up to support [Brigadier General John] Newton's Brigade of our Division, which was about breaking or falling back.  The rebels were on one side of stone fence, and they were on the other, and both at the foot of a large and steep mountain.  Well, when we came up, we charged over the fence, up the mountain and above them, entirely from their whole position.  They had a whole battery on the top of the hill playing down on us as hard as they could all the time, until they saw that they could not break our lines, then they up and got out of that.  We killed and wounded about 500 and captured over 1,000 prisoners.  The war cry was 'REVENGE FOR KEARNY.'  They said they thought we were perfect fiends, and bullet proof at that, the way we came hooting and hollering, and so few falling.  They did not know either that we had been marching all day before we made the charge."  
The 1st NJ Regiment stayed at the pass to bury the dead, until ordered to join in a new battle near Antietam Creek at Sharpsburg, Maryland.
Copyright 1997-2012: Jay C. Richards   

Monday, September 10, 2012

August 11-September 1862: Edward Campbell & the 15th NJ Regt.

On August 11, 1862, Captain Edward L. Campbell, of Belvidere, left Company E of the 3rd NJ Volunteer Infantry Regiment to become the Lieutenant Colonel of the new 15th NJ Volunteer Infantry Regiment.
In August through September, a number of Warren County men joined Campbell's regiment:
COMPANY A: Color Sergeant David E. Hicks, of Asbury, and Lieutenant George C. Justice, of Phillipsburg; 
COMPANY B: Stephen I. Babbitt, William H. Barnett, Albert L. Drake, Owen Drake, Sergeant George F. Fritts, Henry J. V. Heed, & Henry L. Wiggins, of Belvidere;  John P. Brink, of Broadway; Captain Alfred S. Burtt, Lyman M. Parks, Jacob F. Reidinger, William A. Schrenck & Jacob Stutz, of Hackettstown; Henry W. Cole, Corporal Dayton E. Flint, George Vosler, & Oakley W. Vosler, of Washington;  Sergeant Samuel B. Danley, of Hazen; Sergeant Morris S. Hann, of Hope; James Hoffman, of Rockport; Lieutenant Francis Holmes & Richard Horn, of Phillipsburg; Samson O. Howell & Uzal O. Whitesell, of Vienna; Corporal John A. Wilson, of Johnsonburg; Andrew Yeomans, of Columbia; William Nearlatt, of Danville; and 1st Sergeant George Martin & John O. Martin, of Blairstown;
COMPANY C: Albert C. Dildine, of Belvidere; James H. Cyphers, of Phillipsburg; and Abraham Sawyer, of Oxford; 
COMPANY D: Jacob O. Burdett & Corporal Simon Shaw, of Belvidere; George W. Shipps, of Belvidere/Walnut Valley; John M. Burd, of Montana; and Charles Hawk, of Hackettstown;
COMPANY E: Sergeant James W. VanAntwerp, of Washington;
COMPANY F: Corporal Lewis H. Salmon, of Hackettstown;
COMPANY G: Sergeant Zephaniah Holcomb, William McKenzie Thompson, George D. Wagner & William H. Wyckoff, of Belvidere;
COMPANY H: Moore G. Coen, George C. Dereamer, Hospital Steward Dr. John Hilton, & Henry R. Merrill, of Belvidere; Isaac M. Andrews, William J. Bodine, William Brotzman, Sergeant Jesse S. Castner, Dennis Cole, Isaac B. Cole, Corporal Isaac R. Dereamer, William Dereamer, Corporal James Donnelly, Corporal William Forrester, Martin P. Geary, Sergeant William R. Melroy, Corporal Cornelius Slack, and Captain Andrew Jackson Wight, of Washington;  Benjamin Bates, William H. Chamberlain, Wagoner Henry Crotsley, William H. Howard, Samuel McCrea, & Isaac Medick, of Asbury; Gardner H. Dereamer, of Broadway; Justice L. Force, of Summerfield; David Hoffman, of Mt. Bethel; John B. Miller, of Port Colden; Corporal Moses H. Prall & Abraham F. Rush, of Montana; and Levi Rush, of Port Murray; 
COMPANY I: John C. Chamberlain, of Belvidere; Corporal William H. Decker, of Johnsonburg; and George V. Huff, of Vienna; and
COMPANY K: George O. Haynes, of Washington.
Copyright 1999-2012: Jay C. Richards    

August 7-September 4. 1862:Warren Men Join 12th NJ Regt.

Between August 7 and September 4, 1862, several Warren County, NJ men enlisted in the 12th New Jersey Volunteer Infantry Regiment for three years enlistment.
The men who enlisted in the 12th NJV Regiment were:
COMPANY A: David S. Ayers, of Danville [now Great Meadows];
COMPANY E: Wagoner John Bird, of Washington, and Ira C. Hall, of Phillipsburg;
COMPANY G: John Hall, and James M. Wilkens, both of Phillipsburg;
COMPANY I: William H. Allen, of Hainesburg;  and
COMPANY K: George S. Tindall, of Phillipsburg.
Copyright 1999-2012: Jay C. Richards

Thursday, September 6, 2012

September 3, 1862: Creation of the 31st NJ Regiment & Camp Belvidere

After the Second Battle of Manassas [or Bull Run] in August 1862, President Abraham Lincoln called for the raising of 600,000 fresh troops.  These would be nine months militia units.  In Warren County, NJ, the Warren Brigade of Reserve Militia joined with Hunterdon County militia companies to form the 31st NJ Volunteer Infantry Regiment.  Warren County troops left Belvidere by train for South Flemington in Hunterdon County, where they established Camp Belvidere. 
William H. H. Warman, of Oxford Township [now White Township], was a member of the Belvidere Infantry Company. He enlisted in the 31st Regiment on September 3, 1862 at age 22 years.  He and his comrades were mustered into Federal Service on September 17.  The Belvidere Infantry Company members were redesignated as Company I, 31st NJV Infantry Regiment.  
Washington Borough attorney Alexander P. Berthoud had very little military experience but had political clout.  On September 11, he was commissioned colonel in command of the 31st NJV Regiment.  His lack of military experience caused problems in training and later in war.
Warman wrote to The Belvidere Intelligencer, "After being examined  and sworn in on Saturday, we marched to Camp Fair Oaks, now [Camp] Kearny, for dinner, or rather supper, if time be considered, where we remained 'till Monday, P.M. (1st instant), when we were transferred to Camp Belvidere, as it has been fitly appellated.  Our camp consists of the Brick Academy and play grounds, which is situated in the southeast part of the pleasant and healthy town of Flemington.  We have spread our ticks filled with straw  on the floor of the upper story: the desks and seats being removed, it affords us very comfortable sleeping quarters.  The lower school we use for an eating room: the writing desks being left, they serve the purpose of tables admirably; and the old play grounds, which contain about half a square acre, and which are enclosed by a fence, constitute our play and drill grounds.  We have some fine sport playing ball, &c.; have not had to drill but four hours a day yet, and during the day have been privileged to go and do as we chose, and in short, we have had good and pleasant  times thus far.  Nothing to do, plenty to eat, which is just the thing many like to do; alas too many.  Yet, I anticipate we will all soon have a change of life.  I think it will not be our good fortune to stay many weeks with the kind, hospitable and patriotic people of Flemington.
"We have a fine looking and generally well-behaved company, but too few of us are as good as we look, and too many much worse.  It appears that soldiering and profanity and many other vices are inherent.  I think I have heard more swearing since in camp than in all my life before, notwithstanding the camp regulations, which prohibit it.  Wherever you see a squad of soldiers, if you approach near enough to hear their conversation, it is universally contaminated by blasphemous oaths.  Oh, I would that the 22nd article of our regulations was constantly and strictly enforced.  I have talked with several of them, and those who are or have been in the habit of profanity, earnestly wish for the enforcement of this article, and they wish to quit it, and think this is the only way wholly and expeditiously to abolish it.  Men who are going forth to fight the battles of our country, and, as we think, the battles of God, and who are going directly into the face of death then go in such a spirit of prayer as this are surely going forth in a wrong way, and I do hope this liberty will be taken from our freemen soldiers.  May the Lord grant to us his Grace, that we may each become praying, valiant soldiers, that as we go forth to fight the battles of our Republic, it may not be in our own strength, but in the strength of the God of battles."
Copyright 1997-2012: Jay C. Richards

August 27, 1862: Andrew Neal captured at 2nd Battle of Manassas

Corporal Andrew Neal, of Belvidere, in Company F of the 4th Pennsylvania Veteran Reserve Regiment, returned to Manassas, Virginia to fight a second battle near Bull Run Creek.  He and his best friend Thomas A. H. Knox, of Belvidere, fought in the First Battle of Bull Run [or Manassas] in July 1861.  On August 27, 1862, Neal was fighting another battle near Manassas Junction, but this time without his friend Corporal Knox.  Knox had been killed in action near Charles City Crossroads, Virginia on June 30, 1862 at the Battle of Frazier's Farm.
In a letter to his father, Corporal Neal wrote, "We received marching orders to go to the Rappahannock, and from there to White Sulphur Springs, then to Warrenton, then to Catlett's Station, then to Manassas, where we were taken prisoners by the 16th Mississippi Regiment.  The last Bull Run battle was a harder one than the first.  After I was taken prisoner, I was marched under guard to Gainesville with 1,800 more who were taken at Manassas.  After being there two days without anything to eat, we were paroled and allowed to depart to our lines by a circuitous route of 90 miles, conducted by [J. E. B.] Stewart's rebel cavalry.  We had to march without anything to eat, except what we could pick up on the way, such as green corn, apples and peaches.  We arrived at Harper's Ferry after three days rapid march, and then were ordered to Cumberland, Maryland, where we had a camp for a day or two.  We were kindly treated by the citizens of Cumberland.  It is a place of 8,000 inhabitants, along the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad, five miles from the Pennsylvania state line.  After the rebels crossed into Maryland, we were ordered to this camp [Camp Chase, Ohio].  There are some 4,000 paroled prisoners here altogether, and also about 1,000 rebel prisoners.  We are kindly treated here, have good rations, soft bread, and everything we need.  We lost our clothing; the trains that our knapsacks were on were burnt.
"I told you, after the retreat to Harrison's Landing, if reinforcements did not   soon arrive, Washington would be in danger; you can see it is so; even Pennsylvania is threatened.  I don't know how long we will be here.  We dare not do any military duty until we are regularly exchanged, when that will be I do not know.  There is some talk of sending us to our respective States.  I enjoy good health notwithstanding the hardships I have had to endure.  I am still living, and am among Union people, where we are provided with everything a soldier can expect."
Copyright 1997-2012: Jay C. Richards