Thursday, January 9, 2014

October 25, 1863: David V. France's Letter

On October 25, 1863, David V. France, age 54, of Blairstown wrote to his wife Susan from the camp of the 35th NJ Zouaves outside of Washington, D.C.  France enlisted in the 35th NJ Volunteer Infantry Regiment on September 10, 1863.  Only a portion of France's letter exists and was loaned to us by France's descendants Terrence and James Lee. 

France wrote,"Dear Wife,  I am in middling good health considering what I have passed through.  We left our camp in Flemington [NJ] last Monday morning and We dismounted in Philadelphia of that day and we suppered in that city..."  France described the regiment's new campsite," fences nor timber any where near, and the land is of a muddy clay. We have had a 2 days rain and its all a quagmire in our camp this morning.  I have slept in wet clothing and blankets & have taken a heavy cold again.  But I am still able for duty yet..."

The old soldier was wounded in action on May 13, 1864 at Resaca, Georgia. He died in a field hospital at Resaca on May 23, 1864.

Copyright 1999-2014: Jay C. Richards

September 30, 1863: Isaiah Albertson's Letter From Hospital

On September 30, 1863, Corporal Isaiah Nelson Albertson, of Hope, was still recuperating from his leg wound at Tilton Hospital in Wilmington, Delaware.  He was wounded during the battle at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania in July. 

He wrote to his family, "...As for news, that is scarce, although Major Anderson was in here to see us last week. I think he looks some like his picture, his head sprinkled with gray hairs, and I imagine that he looks like Domaine Reilezer, is a very pleasant looking and I believe a good kind of man, but his head is affected and he is not fit for service. 

"I was just out to the Methodist Church last Sunday morning.  The house was full and there was good singing from one corner to the other.  Twenty-five more patients arrived here night before last from Washington.  They say the Twelveth [Twelfth] Army Corps has gone and the Third and Second are going to reinforce [General William S.] Rosencrans at Chattanooga.  There must be something going on as they generally clear out the Hospitals before a battle..."

Copyright 1999-2014: Jay C. Richards

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

September 1863: Warren County Men Join the 35th NJ Zouaves

In August and September 1863, New Jersey created its second Zouave infantry regiment, the 35th NJ Volunteer Infantry Regiment.  Warren County men who enlisted in the 35th NJ Zouaves in 1863 were:

Company A: William F. Gordon, of Phillipsburg;

Company B: William H. Green, of Phillipsburg;

Company C: Daniel M. Miller, of Harmony;

Company D: David V. France, James C. France, George B. Kirkhuff, and Jacob Kise, of Blairstown, and 1st Lieutenant David Pierson, of Washington;

Company E: Levi M. Babcock, of Hope; Theodore Case and James Gould, of Oxford; John G. Schrumpf and Abraham C. Voorhees, of Independence Township; wagoner W. H. VanKirk, of Columbia (Knowlton Township); and Jesse Fravel and William F. Randolph, of Belvidere;

Company H: Joseph J. Miller, of Phillipsburg, and Peter G. Garrison, of Hope;

Company I: Henry Bercaw and Sergeant Frederick Kramer, of Phillipsburg;

Company K: David Kreiger, of Independence Township.

In addition to wearing a gray and blue Zouave uniform, the 35th was distinguished by its weapons late in 1864.  In November 1864, the 35th NJ Zouaves were authorized to purchase Henry repeating rifles for its soldiers.  Soldiers could purchase their own  16-shot Henry rifles and the US Government would pay them rent of $2.50 per month plus $25 at the end of their service. 

Copyright: 1999-2014: Jay C. Richards

August 1863 Letter From Edward Albertson, 31st NJ Regiment

On Sunday, August 30, 1863, Private Edward H. Albertson, of Frelinghuysen Township, wrote to his brother Corporal Isaiah Nelson Albertson, who was recuperating in Tilton Hospital in Wilmington, Delaware. 

Edward Albertson joined the 31st New Jersey Volunteer Infantry Regiment at age 22 on September 3, 1862.  He mustered out of service on June 24, 1863. 

Albertson wrote, "Well, Nells, I'll pen you a few lines before I go to bed - been to quarterly meetin' at Ebenezer this afternoon.  This forenoon attended Uncle Vansyckle's funeral at the Union [Tabernacle] - he died Friday night - had the dysentery I believe.  There is quite a good many sick.  Tommy Poyer buried his son - Little Bill - a few days ago.  He a Diphtheria.  I did not work any last week and haven't been very well this [week] but worked though - dizziness is what bothers me.  I feel well now though.

"They haven't drafted here but I wish they had though.  Frelinghuysen has sent her number.  They went in the Cavalry - several of them were out when I was.  I don't know what they are going to do in Hope.  They talked of taxing every one liable to draft 25$ to help pay their exemption but I think the men ought to go and then give them the money...John Hendershot [Co.K, 1st NJ Cavalry] is home on furlough - got a ball in his [right] foot..."

Copyright 1999-2014: Jay C. Richards.