Wednesday, October 29, 2014

February 1864: 9th NJ Regt. at Deep Creek, Virginia

Colonel Abram Zabriskie had replaced Charles A. Heckman, of Phillipsburg, as commander of the New Jersey 9th Infantry Regiment in November 1862, after Heckman was promoted to Brigadier General of Volunteers.  In January 1864, Zabriskie secured a furlough for the soldiers who re-enlisted.  On 2 February 1864, the troops on furlough steamed north for Jersey City.  On 4 February, the people of Jersey City sponsored a parade in honor of the men of the Jersey Ninth.  The soldiers were later treated to dinner at Taylor's Hotel.  The men traveled by train to Trenton, where they divided up to return to their home towns.
The men of the Jersey 9th who did not re-enlist remained in Virginia.  They were sent on reconnaissance duty under the command of Lieutenant Thomas Burnett at Deep Creek, Virginia.  Unfortunately, the small reconnaissance group ran into four regiments of Confederate troops under the command of General Robert Ransom.  The group retreated after Privates Albert Nutt and Joel Hulse, both of Company D, were killed.  Their bodies were left behind and were mutilated by some of the rebels.
Brigadier General Heckman, commanding the Suffolk District, was at Getty's Station, Virginia when he received reports of the mutilations.  Heckman sent 500 soldiers to relieve the embattled reconnaissance unit and to drive the Confederate force back into North Carolina. 
Copyright 1997-2014: Jay C. Richards 

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