Camille Baquet.

History of the First Brigade, New Jersey Volunteers online

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Digitized by the Internet Archive

in 2010 with funding from

Lyrasis IVIembers and Sloan Foundation

The Brigade's First Commander.



The First Brigade, New Jersey Volunteers

FROM J86I TO 1865







MacCrellish & Quigley, State Printers, Opposite Post Office.





First Year, ; • • • 5-i9

Under Kearny: Formation— Instruction— Finished Organization-
Little River Turnpike— Sangster's Station— First Battle of
Manassas — xA-dvance on Manassas.

Second Year, 20-72

Under Taylor: Peninsular Campaign— West Point— Gaines' Mills-
Charles City Cross Roads— Second Battle of Manassas.
Under Torbert: Crampton's Pass— Antietam— First Fredericks-
burg — Mud ]\Iarch.

Third Year, 73-1/5

Under Torbert: Salem Heights (Second Fredericksburg)— Gettys-
burg — Fairfield — Rappahannock Station — Mine Run — Reconnais-
sance to Culpepper Court House.
Under Penrose: Wilderness — Spottsylvania Court House — Cold
Harbor — Shenandoah Valley Campaign — Opequon — Fisher's
Hill — Cedar Creek— Returned to the Army of the Potomac.

Fourth Year, 1 76-195

Under Penrose: Petersburg — Five Forks — Appomattox Court
House — Review in Washington— Home.


The Texth Regimext, 196-202

History Peculiar to Itself — "Olden Legion" — Defective Organi-
zation — Effective Appeal to Governor Olden — Mustered out and
reorganized — Provost Duty — Corcoran's Brigade — Active Ser-
vice — Skirmish at Edenton Road — Carsville — Discipline Com-
mended — Riots in Pennsylvania — Attached to First New Jersey
Brigade — Conspicuous Gallantry — Winchester — Of 600 men only
80 left for duty — Discharged.

The Fifteenth Regimext, 203-221

Organized at Flemington — Mustered In at Bakersville — Stafford
Heights — Deep Run Creek — Chancellorsville — Salem Church —
Fairfax Station — Gettysburg — Hagerstown — Warrenton — Rappa-
hannock Station — Winter Quarters — The "Chapel" and Religious
Interest — Breaking Camp — The Wilderness — Spottsylvania Court
House — Cold Harbor — Petersburg — Strasburg — Winchester — Boli-
var Heights — Only "a Handful" left — Petersburg — Danville.
Washington, Trenton.



The Twenty-third Regiment, 222-236

Muster-in and Organization — Joined Sixth Corps — Captain Grubb
Commissioned as Major — At Fredericksburg — White Oak
Church — "Mud March" — Lieutenant-Colonel Grubb — Furloughs—
Harrisburg — Dissolution.

The Battle of Salem Church, 237-255

Its Importance — Disposition of Troops — "After Cadmus" — Eighth
Alabama — "A Weighty Doctrine" — General D. D. Wheeler's
Account of Salem Heights — Report of Colonel E. Burd Grubb.

Unveiling of INIonument at Salem Church 256-277

Prayer — Address by R. W. Hunter — Address by Representative
of Governor of New Jersey— Address by Captain E. H. Kirk-
bride — Legislative Action by State of New Jersey — Resolutions
of Camps of United Confederate Veterans — Tribute to the Boys
in Gra}- — Salutation from Captain Featherston, Ninth Alabama.

The Twenty-third Regiment at Harrisburg, 1863, 278-281

The Fortieth Regiment — Sketch, 282-2S3

Battery A, First New Jersey Artillery, 284-293

Muster-in— Fairfax Seminary — Battle of West Point — Mechanics-
ville — Gaines' Mill — Chantilly — Crampton's Pass — Antietam —
Hexamer's Accurate Aim — Bakersville — Fredericksburg — "Mud
Campaign" — White Oak Church — -Marye's Heights — Fairfax
Court House — Gettysburg — Culpepper — Mine Run — River Po —
Petersburg — Heroism L^nsurpassed.

Movements at Battle of Crampton's Pass —

Report of Colonel A. T. A. Torbert, First New Jersey Infantr}^ . . 294
Report of Lieutenant-Colonel Mark W. Collet, Third New Jersey

Infantry, 296

Report of Colonel Samuel L. Buck, Second New Jersey Infantry,. . 297
Report of Colonel Henry Brown, Third New Jersey Infantry, .... 298
Report of Colonel William B. Hatch, Fourth New Jersey In-
fantry, 301

Report of Brigadier-General Howell Cobb, C. S. A., 302

Report of Brigadier-General Paul J. Semmes, C. S. A., 305

Report of Colonel Thomas T. Munford, Second A^irginia Cavalry, 307

The Seven Days' Battle on the Peninsula, as seen by a Lieutenant

on the Staff, 310-340




Appendix A — Sketch, Brigadier-Cicneral George William Taylor, fatally

wounded on the Plains of Manassas, 343

Appendix B— Sketch of the First Regiment, by Lieutenant Thomas T.

Tillou, 345

Account of C. A. Pettie's Experience at Crampton's Pass, 348

Account of Charge at Cold Harbor, by C. A. Pettic. Color-Sergeani, 349
Rescue of Sergeant Pierson M. Walton from a Raft in the Potomac,

Wounded and Escaped Prisoner, 35o

Appendix C— The First, Second and Third Regiments; Three-Year

Men at Camp Olden, 353

Appendix D — Account of Movements of Third Regiment During Ad-
vance to Manassas, 355

Report of Colonel Henry W. Brown, Third New Jersey Infantry,

Commanding First Brigade, 357

Death of John .Ellis, of Company. H, Third Regiment, 359

Brief Account of the part taken by the Third Regiment in the
Wilderness Campaign, 360

Appendix E — Extracts from the Diary of John P. Beach, Fourth New

Jersey Volunteers 361-386

Organization of the Fourth Regiment Infantry, of New Jersey, . . . 387
Some Historical Data and Reminiscences by Frank W. Gaul, of
the Fourth Regiment, 388-406

Appendix F — Charge and Death of Lieutenant Harry B. Hidden,

First New York Cavalry, 407

Appendix G — C. A. Pettie's Account of Kearny's Charge on the Con-
federate Picket ^00

Appendix H — Account of the Surrender of Petersburg, by James Gal-
lagher, Tenth New Jersey Volunteers, 410

Appendix I — Notes from the Life of Major David Hatlleld 411-436

Appendix J — List of Killed and Wounded 437-455

Appendix K — Sketch of General Lewis Pcrrine, Quanermaster-Gener;il

of New Jersey, 1855-1889 456-458

Mlstek-in Rolls, 459-515


r^^H^^B ^^H



Second Lieutenant, Company A, First Regiment,

New Jersej^ Volunteers.

#Y^ HE AA'ORK here presented is intended to fill a space in
^ ^ I the history of New Jersey's soldier sons, heretofore
■^"« neglected. That so long a time has elapsed since the deeds
recorded were performed before any record of them was at-
tempted, must be attributed to the modesty of the men who
made that record on the battlefields of Virginia, Maryland and
Pennsylvania. This unfortunate display of modesty has lost to
the readers of this work many incidents of personal bravery
and sacrifice that would have given both interest and charm
to it. Xew Jersey sent forty regiments to the field of battle, in
Virginia. North Carolina and the West, and out of the great
number of men who volunteered, but a handful are now living.
Many of these have forgotten the incidents or have but an in-
distinct recollection of them. For this reason the work is a
review of its marches and battles only, and the standard works
on the War of the Rebellion have been used to compile it.
Grant's and Sheridan's memoirs, Generals Michie, Palfrey, But-
terfield, Humphrey, Due de Chartres, Foster, Williams, Stein,
and others have been freely consulted. The official ''Records
of the AA'ar of Rebellion," published by the United States gov-
ernment, supplied the framework upon which the work rests,
and orders and correspondence \\3.xe been quoted as well as re-

The First New Jersey Brigade, composed originally of the
first three regiments that were mustered into the United States
service of three years, was without a brigade general until the
ideal soldier, Kearny, took command. The Fourth New Jersey
Volunteers was afterwards added, and when the Brigade had
lost through death in the field, wounds and sickness, more than


half its number, the Fifteenth and Twent3^-third Regiments were
added to it. It was a matter of pride with the State authorities
to keep the Brigade a distinctly Jersey organization, and later
when its ranks were again soi reduced that five regiments were
not much stronger than a single full regiment, the Tenth and,
again, the Fortieth Regiments were added to it. That the
Brigade was eminently worthy of distinction can be readily seen
by studying the table of losses sustained by it in the forty-odd
battles in which it participated.

The rank and file of the Brigade was taken from the very
best of New Jersey's sons, and the greater number exhibited
the finest patriotism.

If this history does no* more than recall to the remembrance
of the people of New Jersey the sacrifices made by the members
of the New Jersey Brigade, it will fulfill the intentions of the com-
mittee who had the matter in charge. But it is beleived that those
who sent fathers, sons and brothers to- serve in the ranks of
the famous Brigade will want to keep a record of their noble
devotion and achievements.

In the compiling of this history I was greatly assisted in the
work by contributions from General E. Burd Grubb, Captain
J. D. P. Mount (since deceased). Captain Thomas C Cunning-
ham, Lieutenant Thomas I. Tillou, Sergeant John P. Beach,
Sergeant Charles A. Pettie, John W. Bodine, Samuel McCloud
and Sergeant P. M. Walton, and I desire to acknowledge my

indebtedness to them.



Assassinated April T4th, 1865.

A composite of the Flags of the Regiments of the entire Brigade, ex-
cepting the Twenty-third Regiment, including Hexamer's Battery.

First New Jersey Brigade.

First Year.

Under Kearny.




PRESIDENT Lincoln's proclamation of April 15th, 1861, offi-
cially announcing- the existence of armed rebellion against the
authority and government of the United States, and calling- for
seventy-five thousand men toi enforce the laws and protect the
property of the United States, was immediately followed by the
requisition from the War Department for the quota allotted to
New Jersey: The requisition was received in Trenton on April
17th, 1 861. On the same day Governor Olden issued his procla-
mation calling for four regiments of militia. The response to
the Governor's call was prompt and in excess of the quota.

Foster, in his "N'ew Jersey in the Rebellion," says that one
hundred companies of one hundred men each, volunteered,
besides many detachments of a smaller number of men. On
April 30th, 1861, the Governor notified the authorities that the
New Jersey troops were ready for service, and that the four
regiments, would be forwarded on May ist, 2d and 3d. This
Brigade was the first organized body to arrive in Washington.

The second proclamation of President Lincoln, calling for five
hundred thousand men to serve for three years or during the
war, issued May 3d, 1861. found as ready response as the first.
Companies and parts of companies that were unable to answer
the first call on account of the limitation to four regiments, now


came forward and solicited the opportunity to serve. Recruit-
ing had not stopped, for men who were not discouraged nor
deceived by the "picnic" idea of short-sighted writers and
speakers, had been busy raising companies all over the State.
Immediately upon the publication of the Governors proclama-
tion, companies and detachments began to arrive in Trenton.
As soon as they reported they were ordered to Camp Olden,
which was south of Trenton, near the Delaware and Raritan
canal, and opposite the State prison. Here were organized the
First, Second and Third Regiments of Xew Jersey Volunteers.
Each regiment was composed of ten companies, and each com-
pany of ninety-eight enlisted men and three commissioned

The First Regiment was commanded by Colonel William R.
Montgomery and was mustered into the sen'ice of the United
States on May 21st, 1861. The Second Regiment was com-
manded by Colonel George \\\ ^McLean and was mustered into
the service of the United States on ]\Iay 26th. 1861. The Third
Regiment was commanded by Colonel George AA". Taylor and
was mustered into the service of the United States June 4th.
1861. The mustering officer was ]\Iajor Theodore T. S. Laidly.
of the U. S. Regular Army. The three regiments were full}'
equipped by the State and armed by the U. S. government, and
had been ready for several weeks to begin a forward movement.

The summons came on June 27th, and on the 28th they were
en route for AA'ashington. Arriving in Philadelphia at about
8 o'clock in the morning, they were served with breakfast at the
Cooper Shop on A\'ashington street, by the citizens of Phila-
delphia, who gave them a heart}' welcome. The journey to
Baltimore was tedious in the extreme, but the uncertainty as to
the kind of reception they would meet, although prepared and
ready for any emergenc}". tilled each member with suppressed
excitement. During the trip fort}' rounds of ball cartridges were
issued to each man, and an order was published giving instruc-
tions as to conduct, and how and when to use the fixed am-
munition. After numerous slowings-up and stops, the Brigade
arrived in Baltimore after dark. It was found that it would be


impossible to get trains through the city. The Brigade was
then marched throug'h Baltimore to the South Side, where th.ey
again took cars for Washingi(jn.

The Brigade arrived in Washington on June 29th and went
into camp on Capitol Hill. \Vhile in camp here, the companies
were drilled in movement and manual of arms and attained con-
siderable proficiency. All shortcoming's in these necessary
adjuncts of the soldier \\ere either unnoticed or passed over, the
government officers and citizens being only too pleased to have
the well-organized and equipped Jersey Brigade at hand. While
here the camp was visited informally by the President and Secre-
tary of State. As no announcement of the intended visit had been
made, no militar}' reception was accorded. In fact, the officers in
command were unaware of the presence of the distinguished
visitors until the cheering of the men who had gathered around
them attracted their attention. After speaking a few words and
shaking hands wdth as many as could reach them, the President
and Secretary withdrew as quietly as they had come.

While in camp here the Brigade was reviewed by the Presi-
dent, the regiments marching through the White House grounds,
the President's reviewing stand being the north portico.

The men were kept busy with drill, guard duty and battalion
exercise until July 12th, wdien orders w^ere received to move over
intO' Virginia. The Brigade crossed over the Potomac River b}'
the Long Bridge and took up the line of march to Alexandria,
six miles below Washington. Here the Brigade went into camp
at Roache's Mills, naming the camp Camp Trenton. The Brigade
was assigned to General Theodore Runyon's command, and with
the four regiments of New Jersey Militia (three-months men )
became the Fourth Division of the Army of Northeast Virginia,
Major-General Irwin McDowell commanding.

From this time till July 21st the Brigade was occupied in
picket duty along the Alexandria, Lowden and Hampshire
Railroad, at Arlington Mills, Bailey's Crossroads. Upton's Hill,
Falls Church and Vienna Station, and in perfecting themselves
in manual, company and battalion drill. On July t86i.
memorable for tlie first battle of any importance since the firing


on Fort Sumter, orders were received to move to the front to
cover the retreat of the forces that had been engaged in the battle
of Bull Run. Two companies each of the First and Second Regi-
ments had been detached for special duty, while the Third Regi-
ment had been detached temporaril)- from the Brigade and with
the Fourth New^ Jersey Militia and Colonel J. H. McCunn's New
York regiment formed a provisional brigade under the com-
mand of Colonel McCunn, were posted at Fairfax Station, on
the Orange and Alexandria Railroad, as a reserve, the Third
Regiment advancing to Burke's Station tO' guard ammunition
and stores. (Records Union and Confederate Armies, series i,
vol. 2, page 75J.)

By order of General Rimyon, Colonel Montgomery, of the
First New Jersey Volunteers, took seven companies of the First
Regiment, leaving one company to guard camp, and eight com-
panies of the Second Regiment, and marched to Centreville. On
the march the retreating army was encountered. Every effort
was made by officers and men to arrest the retreat, but to no pur-
pose. Arrived at Centreville, Colonel Montgomery at once re-
ported to General McDowell, who directed him to select the best
position to repel the enem}', and hold it. On Colonel Mont-
gomery's return from headquarters, he found only the seven com-
panies of the First Regiment, the Second having retired. At
2 A. M. of the 22d of July, finding that all the other troops had
left, the First Regiment was brought off the field, leaving Sur-
geon Taylor, of the First Regiment of New Jersey Volunteers,
at his own request, in charge of the wounded. A drenching rain
had set in, and the march back to camp was accomplished through
.Virginia mud, which has the reputation of being the most ex-
asperating material to deal with in the world. Tired, wet, hun-
gr\' and greatly disheartened, the Brigade escorted Hunt's Bat-
tery to Fort Albany, the men disposing of themselves as best
thev could, without shelter. Here the companies on detached
service rejoined their regiments. The Third Regiment also
joined the Brigade here.

On the next day the Brigade returned to its old camp. By
this time the men had learned something of the work and vicis-
situdes of military life. This, however, Avas. but a preliminary.


for the real work of training down and perfecting was to come,
and the one who was to show it how, and make a smooth work-
ing- machine of the 2,800 men in the Brigade, was soon to take
command. The usual routine of camp was restored, and the
men's time wa^ taken up w-ith patrol duty, scouting, picket duty
and drill. On August 4th, on dress parade, General Order No.
4 was read. This order formed the First New Jersey Brigade,
consisting of the First, Second and Third New Jersey Volunteer
Infantry, Battery G, Second U. S. Artillery, and Company G,
Second U. S. Cavalry, and assigning Brigadier-General Philip
Kearn}' to the command, who had been appointed to the com-
mand of the Brigade on Jul}' 25th, his commission dating from
May 1 2th previous.

On August 7th, the Brigade was mo^■ed to a new camp, at
Fairfax Seminary. It was on this march that the men made the
acquaintance of their new commander, and the General saw his
"pets." The men stragg-led along any way. some on one side of
the road, some on the other, singly and in squads, muskets car-
ried as most convenient, some of them decorated with various
delicacies — pretzels, sausages and other things dear to a soldier's
heart. A peach orchard in full bearing surrounding the General's
headquarters was a source of enthusiastic delight and an earnest
endeavor to gather the whole crop. It was in this condition when
General Kearny appeared on the piazza, saw a portion of the
Brigade for the first time up in the ]^each trees, and it was the
occasion of one of those vehement and picturesque outbursts
from the General which the men often recalled with delight. The
men did not know who he was, for he was dressed very much
like an old farmer, with nothing about him, that the men could
see, to indicate his rank and authority. He said things to them
and they answered in the same strain. He told them he
thought of them and they quizzed him in return. This, to a man
of exxitable temperament, who was at the same time a stern
disciplinarian, was the one drop that caused the overflow. See-
ing a junior officer Avalking along with his sheathed sword
grasped by the point of the scabbard. General Kearny fairly

glared at him and demanded, "Who the are you?" The

answer, o-iven in innocent deliberation and coolness. "I am Lieu-


tenant ■ — of the Regiment, and may I ask who you

are?" was hke oil on a fire, and the return answer, in tones indi-
cating ahnost desperate fury, as if shot out of a gun, '''I am

General Kearny, commanding this Brigade of ." The

lieutenant, not the least disturbed, said', "General Kearny, I am
glad to make your acquaintance and wish to introduce to you
the commissioned officers of the First New Jersey Regiment."
The General looked at the lieutenant and commissioned officers
as if his eyes would pierce them through. He said in a very loud
tone, 'Xieutenant, you and these commissioned officers go to
your quarters and consider yourselves under arrest." This the
officers took as an insult, and when they got to their quarters,
called a meeting of all the officers belonging to this regiment. A
note was sent to General Kearny demanding a hearing at once.
This was granted, and they proceeded in a body to the Brigade
headquarters. They were courteously received by the General,
who acknowledged his error, and wishing tO' make amends in-
vited them all to dine with him, which they did, and before they
were through a thorough understanding was established between

Reaching the new camping grounds, the Brigade found
methods and formula prepared for their instruction in camp-
making. The regiments were separated by short intervals. The
company tents were placed in straight rows, leaving spaces be-
tween for company streets. Another space was left betw^een the
ends of the rows of the tents and the line officers' quarters, and
still another beyond for the field and staff officers.

A different daily routine of work also was imposed. Guard
mounting in regulation form, policing camp, drill both in manual
and movement, skeleton drill and such duties fully occupied the
time of officers and men. On Sunday the great function was
inspection. The regiments, 'fully equipped, were formed in
column of division, wdiile the Brigade Inspector went from rank
to rank and examined the condition of arms, belts, knapsacks,
cartridges, boxes, clothing, and even tlie jyersons of the men.
These inspections revealed the fact that vermin were almost
universal in the Brigade, and caused the issue of Kearny's order
on cleanliness. In this order he ga^■e directions for the care of


clothes and person, and promised severe punishment for any
neglect of the provisions of the order. On the next inspection,
General Kearny himself inspected the Brigade, and passing along
the line of officers stopped in front of one and said sharpl}-.
"Lieutenant, there's a louse on the breast of your coat." The
lieutenant saluted and said, "General, there's one on your collar."
Passing- do\Vn the lines of rank and file he found a man who
had polished the front of his shoes and neglected the heels. He
said, "What do you mean by coming on inspection with your
toes polished and heels muddy?" The man replied. "General,
you told us a good soldier never looks behind." The clothes
must be well l^rushed and free from stains, brasses and buttons
polished, belts and cross-pieces thoroughly cleaned, shoes polished,
and weapons so free from dust and dirt as not to soil the white
gloves that each man was obliged to wear

General Kearny himself saw that the uniforms issued fitted
the w^earers, and if he found any man with ill-fitting coat or
trousers, had the regimental tailors at work at once to correct the
fault, and contrilxited from his own purse to defray the expense.
The men soon learned the peculiarities of their commander, and
no general in the whole army had a more devoted following than
General Kearny. Generous to a fault- with his personal belong-
ings, he was as kind and thoughtful of the men in the ranks as of
those of higher positions. Those in the hospital seemed to have
a greater claim to his care and bounty, and many tedious hours of
sickness were relieved by the gift of delicacies from his own

Online LibraryCamille BaquetHistory of the First Brigade, New Jersey Volunteers → online text (page 1 of 45)