James P Snell.

History of Sussex and Warren counties, New Jersey : online

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the Third Regiment as lieutenant-colonel, and be-
came colonel upon the promotion of Col. Torbert.
Col. Collett was killed in action at Fredericksburg,
May 3, 1863. The regiment constituted one of the
four regiments of the First Brigade of New Jersey
Volunteers, and was attached to Gen. Runyon's divi-
sion of reserve militia at the battle of Bull Run,
July 21, 1861. It was subsequently organized with
Kearney's brigade, Franklin's division ; afterwards
with the First Brigade, First Division, First Army
Corps, then with the First Brigade, First Division,
Sixth Army Corps, and at the close of the war was
assigned to the Provisional Corps of the Army of
the Potomac. It participated in all the principal
battles of the war in Virginia, Maryland, and Penn-
sylvania, and was present at Lee's surrender at Appo-
mattox, April 9, 1865.*

Its original lieutenant-colonel was Robert McAllis-
ter, of Oxford Furnace, Warren Co. He raised a
company upon the first call for three years' men, and
reported at Trenton early in May, 1861, and on the
21st of that month was appointed lieutenant-colonel
of the First Regiment. He was subsequently (1862)

* See roster of Company D, Second Koyiment, in Chapter XV.

colonel of the Eleventh Regiment, and later received
the honors of brevet rank as brigadier general for
"gallant and distinguished services at Boydton Plank
Road," and as major-general " for meritorious services
during the war." He shared in the first battle of the
war, and participated in the last. His remarkable
coolness and intrepidity won the commendation of his
superiors. He was mustered out June 6, 1865.

William Henry, Jr. (of Oxford), the lieutenant-
colonel of this regiment, enlisted May 21, 1861, and
was the first adjutant, dating from May 31, 1861. He
was subsequently promoted successively to the rank
of major, lieutenant-colonel, and colonel. He was
wounded a number of times, reported killed at Second
Bull Run, but came in the next day limping, and had
the pleasure of reading his own obituary. This regi-
ment (and the Second and Third) was mustered into
service on the 21st of May ; their time, consequently,
expired May 21, 1864. Their long service had made
them veterans, and they had arranged to return home
on the expiration of their service, but this occurring
in the midst of the thirty days' fights in the Wilder-
ness, they were asked to remain and see the campaign
ended, which they did, remaining in line of battle
until June 4, 1864, and out of twenty-seven line-
officers in this regiment, including Col. Henry, who
were sound on the 21st of May, all but three were
killed or wounded ; and from over three hundred men
engaged in the long fight but one hundred and sixty-
one came back to Trenton with Col. Henry, he him-
self receiving the most serious wound of his life the
last hour of the 4th of June.


The honors won by the famous "Second" are due
in part to Sussex County, she furnishing not only
some of its best fighting material, but some of its
bravest commanders on "field and staff." Company
B, representing Sussex County, was organized in May,
1861, and officered by Henry O. Ryerson, Captain ;
John T. Whitehead, First Lieutenant ; Jacob H. Hoff-
man, Second Lieutenant. Capt. Ryerson, when pro-
moted major, Jan. 20, 1862, was succeeded by John
A. Wildrick. Maj. Ryerson became lieutenant-colo-
nel of the Second, July 1, 1862, and subsequently was
promoted to be colonel of the Twenty-third Regi-
ment. Capt. Wildrick also received promotion and
honors in the Twenty-eighth Regiment, becoming the
lieutenant-colonel of that command Feb. 11, 1863. A
roster of the Sussex County members of Company B
will be found in another chapter. In this connection
will be given a brief sketch of the regiment in which
this company so faithfully served.

Along with the First, Third, and Fourth Regiments,
the Second constituted the " First New Jersey Bri-
gade." This command reached Washington June
29, 1861. It immediately entered upon the active
duties of the campaign, and at the battle of Bull Run,
amid all the panic and tumult, its members performed



the work assigned them without a tremor of unsteadi-

A1 Gaines' -Mill, on June .7. 1862, where it was en-
gaged at tin- up. -i difficult and dangerous parte of the
field, the officers and men alike bravely stood their
ground amid a most galling fire from the enemy.
At one time four companies i D, If, I, and K i of the
Sit.. ml were expose I to the full force of the rebel un-
set, but with Berried ranks and without any support
they fought till nightfall. The loss was fifteen killed,

forty-eight wounded, ami forty-one mi-sin-.', among

the number being Col. Tucker, killed, and Maj. Ryer-
Bon, wounded and taken prisoner.

In the fight at Manassas Junction, Aug. 27, 1802,
tin regiment did valiantly and suffered terribly, its
lose being eight killed, thirty-nine wounded, thirty-
one missing, and forty-five taken prisoners. Among
the officers wounded was ( !apt. Wildrick, off loinpany
B (Sussex County). Gen. Taylor fell in this engagi ■
mint, Bhot through the leg.*

At Crampton's Gap (Sep . II. 1862] the Second wa-
in the line of battle, which " dashingly mef and drove
tin- enemy," carried the heights, and won a victory.
But fifty-five of its brave members went down in this
charge, although its heroism, and that of the brigade
with which it fought, were recorded in "general

orders" by the brigade i imander, Col. A. T. A. Tor-

bert, in which he said, "Your advance in line of
battle under a galling artillery I'm- and final bayonet
charge was a feat seldom if ever surpassed. The

heights you took show plainly what determi 1 and

well-disciplined soldiers can do."

The Second Regiment, with its brigade, remained
in Maryland until ( )et. 2. 1862, « hen, alter much toil-

Bome marching, it encamped at Stafford Court-house.
It tin-re remained until it joined in the movement
against Fredericksburg, in which it participated, and
then went intu winter quarters. In the ensuing cam-
paigns of 1863 at Salem < Ihurch, where the regiment

was in the skirmish-line ; in the fighting about ( Ihan-

cellorsville, where it h>-t forty-nine in killed, wounded,
and missing : it- forci d march to < rettysburg and en-
gagement "ii the picket-line : and through the battles
of the "Wilderness," in which its losses were heavyl
— it fully sustained it- previously-earned reputation

tor conspicuous bravery. In the Charge to retake the

"Gall House," Lieut.-Col. Wilbeckfe, of the Second,

Was killed.

[ts time ha viDg expired on May 29, 1 B6 1. the regiment
left the t'nint and returned t-> Trenton tor muster out.
Tin- regiment numbered on its return to New Jersey
only three hundred and fifteen <>!li ->-r- and enlisted

men. It had left tin- State, in June, 1861, with a full

complement of men.— ten hundred and forty-four

strong. The major part of the survivor- of the old

Second were mustered out June 21, 1864; the re-

* II.- .li.-l it Alexandria, foul "I By* •liivs ufl.-r tin- Bght, 1 1 ■ < tn III,-

.-it., i- uflln anipntallon of till wounded limb.
t Ninety tin,-.- lulled, (rounded, and -

maining portion — those whose term of service did not

expire with the regiment, and tho-e who had re-

en listed in the field for "three year- or tin- war" —
w.-re temporarily assigned to duty with the Fifteenth
Regiment. Dec. 20, 1864, they were consolidated into
what was known a- Company A, So 1 Battalion,

and BO remained until the early part of 1866, when

tin- Si ml Regiment was reorganized and fully com-
pleted by the forwarding of recruits, drafted men, etc.

It was -till in tin- First Brigade, but its history, until

near the close of 1864, was that of the Fifteenth
Regiment, with which it was merged, and with whose
brave soldiers it fought on several hotly-contested
Gelds. The battle- in which it figured after it- re-
organization were Ilatelier's Hun. Fort Steedinan,
Petersburg, 8ailor's Creek, Farmvillej then came the

surrender at Appomattox. April '.», 1865, and the end
of the war. (In the 24th of May it began its march
northward. It was mustered out July 11, 1865, at
1 1 ill, Va. ; thence proceeded to Trenton, N. J.,
where it was disbanded.


Capt. .lame- <;. I'itt- recruited a company in New-
ton, in April, 1861, under the rail for three months'
troop-. Inside of one hour seventy-two of the men
signed the roll on New ton Green. This wa- the first
company raised in Sussex County for the war of tin-
Rebellion. The three month-' call being tilled, the

i ipany was not mustered into the service. Most of

these men, however, enlisted for three years in the
company subsequently raised, organized, and known

as Company 1>. Third Regiment New Jersey Volun-
teers. There were in this company at its organization

nine in. -n from Warren, nine from Morris, five from

Essex, one each from ( frangeand Hunterdon, two from

Camden, and six from other point-: the remainder
were residents of Sussex County, and their names
may be found in a succeeding chapter.

Company 10, t 'apt. Edward L. Campbell, was raised
in Warren County, part of them being three months'
men, recruited by Capt Campbell immediately after
the iir-t call of President Lincoln, but not then mus-
tered into tin- service. The captain of this company,
First Lieut. William P. Robeson, Jr.. Second Lieut.
Thomas P. Edwards, Com. Sergt Nelson s. Boston

promoted to set 1 lieutenant July Is, 1862), Corp.

Neliemiah Tunis (promoted to tir-t Bergi

Abraham M. Salmon, and a number of privates, Were

from Belvidere.
Tin- Third Regiment, of which the-.- companies

w.-re a component part, was organized by May 1 s.
1861, and on the tth of June was mu-tered into tie-
sorviee • f the 1'nited States tor three year-. June

28, 1861, with a full complement of men, it left the

Stat,- lor tin- seal of war, and was one of the four
regiments composing what was generally known as

tin- •■ l'ir-t Brigade New Jersey Volunteers." It was
first attached to Gen. Runyon's division of ret



(militia), then to the First Brigade (Kearney's), of
Franklin's division, afterwards to the First Brigade,
First Division, First Army Corps, later to the Sixth
Corps, and at the close of the war was assigned to
what was known as the Provisional Corps, Army of
the Potomac.

Company D participated in most -of the engage-
ments in which the regiment took part.* It was at
Bull Run, "and aided materially in arresting the
retreat of our forces on that fateful day." The Third
Regiment was one of the first of the New Jersey com-
mands to suffer loss from the bullets of the enemy ;
this was August 29th, near Cloud's Mills, when it
was ambuscaded and lost six men, two of whom were
killed. Eight companies of the Third were the first to
reach and take possession of the rebel works at Manas-
sas Junction. June 27, 1862, at Gaines' Farm, Va.,
it did some splendid fighting. " It was ordered into
the woods to relieve Newton's brigade, which was
sorely pressed by the enemy. At this point the woods,
some four hundred yards in front of our line of battle,
swarmed with rebels, who fought with the greatest
desperation, handling their artillery especially in the
most effective manner, and doing fearful execution on
our ranks. The gallant Third, however, bravely stood
its ground, opening a galling fire on the enemy, and
remaining in the woods until the close of the action."
Three times the rebels were driven from the woods,
but as often rallied ; and if success did not crown the
issue of this fight, it was no fault of the " Jersey Bri-
gade" nor any question of the valor of the Third.
George W. Taylor, brigadier-general commanding
the First Brigade, in his official report of this battle,
says, —

" This was the first of my regiments engaged. . . .
They were all this time under a galling fire, often a
cross-fire, but maintained their ground until near sun-
set, when the whole line fell back. They had at this
time expended (a large majority of the men) their last
cartridge, sixty rounds to the man. . . . With their
comrades falling around, they stood up like a wall of
iron, losing over one-third of their number, and gave
not an inch of ground until their ammunition was ex-
pended and the retrograde movement became gen-

How valiant were the services of the Third in the

* The report) of the adjutant-general of the State of Now Jersey
show that this regiment took part in the following battles: In 1801,
Bull Eun and Munson's Hill. In 1802, West Point, Gaines' Farm,
Charles City Cross-Boads, Malvern Hill, Manassas, Chantilly, and Fred-
ericksburg, all on Virginia soil, and Crampton's Pass and Antletam, In
Maryland. The year 180:1 opened with Fredericksburg (May 3), and
followed with Salem Heights, Va., Gettysburg, Pa., Falrileld, Pa„ Wll-
liamsport, Md., Funktown, Md., Rappahannock Station, Va., and Mine
Bun, Va. The engagements of 1804— WildornoBS, Spottsylvanln, Spott-
sylvanfa Court-house, North and South Anna Blver, Hanover Court-
house, Tolopotomy Creek, Cold Harbor, Weldon Railroad, Snicker's
Gap, Strasburg, Winchester, Charlostown, Oponuan, Fisher's Hill, New
Market, Mount Jackson, Cedar Creek, and Middlotown— were all in Vir-
ginia. In 1805, Hatcher's Bun, Fort Steodman, capture of Petersburg,
Sailor's Creek, Farmvilie, and Loo's surrender (April 9), likewise all
occurred in Virginia.

Wilderness campaign may be conceived from its se-
vere losses, the figures showing twenty-one killed, one
hundred and two wounded, and thirty-three missing,
a total of one hundred and fifty-six, of which Com-
pany D sustained its full share.

From this time until the expiration of its term
-of service, in June, 1864, the regiment did not en-
gage the enemy (excepting the battle of Cold Har-
bor, June 1 and 3, 1864), only in desultory fight-
ing, skirmishing, etc;., and on the 3d of June left the
front en route for New Jersey. It arrived at Trenton
on the 7th. The men who there re-enlisted, with
those whose term was not expired, were transferred
to the Fifteenth Regiment, but Dec. 17, 1864, they
were consolidated into what was known as Company
A, Third Battalion, and were mustered out with that
organization, June 29, 1865.


This command, in which Sussex was represented
by one full company (I), and Warren by Co. E, Capt.
Henry E. Cooper, was raised in the summer of 1861.
At the urgent request of the general government
that the regiment be sent to the seat of war at
once, seven companies were dispatched to Washing-
ton, September 19th, and on the 20th reported for
duty at the capital. The other three companies early
in October joined the regiment at that place. Early
in December the regiment reported to Gen. Hooker,
near Budd's Ferry, Md., and were brigaded, the Fifth,
Sixth, Seventh, and Eighth New Jersey Regiments
being designated the Third Brigade in his division,
although popularly known in this State as the
"Second New Jersey Brigade."

Its first important engagement was the battle of
Williamsburg, May 5, 1862. The position of the
enemy was one of great strength, with Fort Magru-
der in the centre, flanked on either side, as far as eye
could reach, with a cordon of redoubts, and further
strengthened by innumerable rifle-pits and a vast
stretch of tangled abatis. Their cannon swept the
whole undulating plain in front of the redoubts.
"The Sixth, Seventh, and Eighth were sent into a
woods to the left of the road, in front of a line of
field-works. The rain was falling in torrents, and the
men stood half-leg deep in mire and water. Steadily
advancing through the underbrush, the gallant regi-
ments soon came upon the enemy's forces, and at
once opened a vigorous fire. Here, for three hours,
the conflict raged with desperate fury. The fire of
the enemy was pitilessly destructive, and did not
slacken for a moment. But the brave fellows into
whose faces it was poured stood firmly and unflinch-
ingly, — sometimes, indeed, pushed back a little space,
but as surely hurling the rebels, bleeding and shat-
tered, to their works. ... At last the enemy, driven
to desperation (and reinforced), rushed forward in
overwhelming numbers, pouring a terrific fire into
our whole line. Then, at last, that brave line wa-



vered. Their ammunition exhausted, their muskets
rusted by the drenching rain, their rank-* terribly
thinned, exhausted by want of food and a difficult
march, these heroes of the day, before this last over-
whelming onset, fell slowly back, But not defeated.
They held the enemj in check, frustrating every at-
tempt tu Hank our position, and sn saved the division,
which but for this stubborn resistance would have
been Bwept in disaster from the Geld." The rebel
works were finally carried and victory was ours, but
purchased at great cost of life in all the regiments
engaged. The casualties of the Seventh were twenty-
Beven killed, eighty-six wounded, and ten missing,

among the wounded being the o nanding officer of

tin- regiment, Lieut.-I !ol. Carman. In the official re-
port of Maj. Francis Price, Jr. (who assumed com-
mand of the Seventh after Lieut. -Col. Carman was
shot I, he says, "All behaved gallantly, . . . but I

cannot but notice tin Ini— and bravery of Capt.

H. C. Bartlett [Company C), Capt. L. D. Simmes
(Company 1 1, Capt. James M. Brown (Company K),
Lieuts. Witherell (Company F), Thompson Company
A i. Han (Company E), and Harrison (Company C ,
Sergt. (Vane i('oni|iany t.'i, Sergt. Mai lory Company
C), Acting Color-Sergt. Onslow (Company F), and
Private John Taylor, who all displayed unflinching
courage, coupled n it b remarkable coolness, under the

he, ivy lire to which they were exposed.'' At Fair
Oaks and White Oak Swamp the Seventh behaved as

admirably as at Williamsburg. At Chancelloreville
it captured Sve Btand of colors and over three hun-
dred prisoners. Louis R. Francine had now- become
colonel, and Francis Price, Jr., lieutenant-colonel, of
the regiment.
Gettysburg occurred soon after, and in its tempest

Of battle-hail the Seventh lost one hundred and four-
teen officers and men, ( !ols. Francine and Prict

: Qg those who received serious wounds.

At Spottsylvania < lourt-house the Seventh, with its
brigade (now known as the Third Brigade of the
Third Division), charged upon Swell's corps with
"a thundering cheer," surprising and overwhelming

the rebels in their t renehe-, capturing ihirlv guns

aud three thousand prisoners. Capt Crane, of the
Seventh, with a Bquad of Hi. ii, succeeded uol onlj in

capturing a gun, but in manning it and turning it-
lire on the enemy, who showed a disposition to

advance. Capt. Evan- lost lii- life while thus en-

Feb. 5, 1865, the Seventh again did valiant service

in the line of battle at the Tuekcr lloii-e. near

Batcher's Run. All the regiments of McAllister's

brigade (in which was the Seventh] nobly -t 1 their

ground, but two regiments of Gen. Smyth's divi-
sion, stationed heir left, gave way, leaving a gap

through which the enemy might pass, enabling them
to assail our tTOOpS upon the flank and from the rear,

and thus endanger the Federal position, McAllister,
Beeing the danger, directed the Seventh New Jersey,

near the left of his line, to form at a different angle,
and in a position from which it could oblique it- tin-.
The enemy, thus a—ailed by a terrible cross -lire, n -
eoileil, but, after a short lull, ma-sing his columns

heavily, again da-bed forward, only to be repulsed.
Soon .i- the night closed in the rebel general Mahone,
with Ids famous " lighting division," made a rush lor
the gap in our line-, but again the assailing columns
were rolled back, and victory crowned the Union
arms. In this engagement the New Jersey brigade
kept at bay thi iont. In the official

report- of the commanding general the Seventh was
conspicuously menti d tor its part in this affair,

as it was in many subsequent ones, until the close of

the campaign, April 9th, when it wa- officially an-
nounced that Lee had surrendered.

In the spring of L862, Company P. was disbanded
and it- men transferred to the different companii - of

the regiment. About the same time an independent

company, commanded by (apt. E. G. Bloat, was as-

-i- I to lie Seventh, and became Companj P.

Those of the original member.- of the regiment who
did not re-enlist were mustered out Oct. 7. 1864.

I In final discharge of the Seventh occurred June 4,
1865, at Washington, D. C.

The record of the Seventh is a brilliant one, and
its history must occupy a prominent place in the
annals ,,f Honker- division and of the Second and

Third Corps, covering a- it doe- marly all the move-
ments and battles of the Army of the Potomac.

I n thi- command Warren and Sussex Counties were

both honorably represented, the former by Company II,
commanded, at the time of its muster into service, by
t'apt. Joseph J. Henry, of Oxford, who was not only
the first volunteer from that township in the great
civil war, but the lirst officer from the State of New

Jersey t" fall in battle; the latter county by nearly
one-half of ( 'oiiipany E.

This regiment wa- raised in the fall of 1861 as a

tWelve-C pany rifle Corps : it remained at Camp

Olden, Trenton, until the 4th of December, when it
proceeded to Washington, and at once began an active

participation in the movements and battle- of the

Virginia campaign. During the Burnside expedi-
1. Allen ami Dr. Weih-i. the Burgeon, were
drowned at Hatteras Inlet, Jan. 16, L862, but Lieut-
Col. Heekman. of Phillipsburg, Adjt. Zabriskie, and
let-, being expert Bwimmers, 1 scaped. Lieut-
Col. Heekman then assumed command of the regi-
The first engagement was that of Roanoke [aland,

where at the out-et ('apt. J.. I. Henry, ol Company

II, and Isaac V. 1>. I'.lackwell. of Company F, were

killed, and Corp. John I.orance and Private John

Bural, of Company K. wi re severely wounded. Pri-
vate Austin Armstrong, of Company II ol rlopi .

was the lir-t volunteer of the company and it is


thought the first in the regiment) ; he was the second
man shot in this engagement, a hall striking him in
the forehead and killing him instantly. Few cases
of greater individual bravery are recorded than that
of Corp. Lorance, of Carpenter's Landing, N. J. (See
Foster's "New Jersey and the Rebellion," p. 210.)
For its bravery in this action the Ninth Regiment
was ordered by Gen. Burnside to have the words
" Roanoke Island, Feb. 8, 1862," emblazoned on its

The regiment performed nobly in the battles of
Newbern, Young's Cross-Roads, at Tarborough, Kins-
ton, before Petersburg, and in all the achievements
of the army in Virginia and North Carolina, in which
it participated, fully sustained the honor of their

Col. Charles A. Heckman, of Warren County, was
born in Easton, Pa., in 1822, served in the Mexican
war, and in 1861 served for three months in the First
Pennsylvania Regiment, then returned to Phillips-
burg. Soon after, he was made major of the Ninth
Regiment New Jersey Volunteers, and was promoted
to colonel of the same, later to the rank of brigadier-
general, and subsequently received a major-general's
brevet. Gen. Heckman " became conspicuous as a
soldier of the highest accomplishments. Insensible
to fear, he was always at the head of his columns.
His voice is singularly loud and sonorous, and in the
noise of battle his commands pierced the tumult like
the blast of a trumpet."

James Stewart, Jr., a native of Warren County
(born in 1840), who finally became the colonel of the
Ninth, was brevetted a brigadier-general before the
close of the war. He went into service as first lieu-
tenant of the Oxford company (H), and came home,
at the close of the war, at the head of his regiment,
with merited honors and a hearty welcome.

Dec. 24, 1862, a beautiful stand of colors costing
seven hundred dollars, the gift of the New Jersey
Legislature, was presented to the Ninth, the following
resolutions, among others, passed by the Legislature,
accompanying the gift:

" limoliied, That ttie Ninth Regiment of New Jersey Voliiuteei'e, by
their pulieiit endurance under privation und latigue, and by their cour-

Online LibraryJames P SnellHistory of Sussex and Warren counties, New Jersey : → online text (page 20 of 190)