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New Jersey troops in the Gettysburg campaign from June 5 to July 31, 1863 online

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Samlel Toombs,
Co. F, 13th Rej,n. N. J. Vols.. Inf.
IFroiii a irar-tiine Photograph — 1863.)



NEW JERSEY TROOPS



Gettysburg Campaign



FROM JUNE 5 TO JULY 31, 1863.



BY



SAMUEL TOOMBS,

Author of "Reminiscences of the War," and Historian of the
Veteran Association, Thirteenth New Jersey Volunt£sr3.



I L L U S T R AT E D

By Specially Drazvn Maps of the Battle-Field, the Monuments Ereeted

by the State of iVeiv Jersey, and Portraits of Brigade

and Regimental Commanders.



ORANGE, N. J.:

The Evening Mail Publishing House.

i888.



Entered according to act of Congress, in the year iS^y, by

SAMUEL TOOMBS,

In the office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington, D. C.



printed and bound at

The Advertiser Printing House,

newark, n, j.



1429557



TO THE MEMORY OF

THE GALLANT JERSEYMEN WHO SACRIFICED THEIR LIVES

AT THE BATTLE OF GETTYSBURG

FOR THE MAINTENANCE OF THE UNION THIS BOOK

IS REVERENTLY DEDICATED.



INTRODUCTORY.

A GREAT deal has already been written about Gettys-
burg. The controversies which have arisen are
confusing to those who wish to ascertain the exact
truth, while they afford little that is interesting to the
general public. Personal reminiscences of the events
which there occurred have appeared in print in great
number, and if it be true that " few events worth recording
befell atny metri below the rank of major," the reader of
this book will fiiid relief in the fact that the writer has
no wonderful or remarkable personal adventures to
chronicle.

In its main features the battle of Gettysburg is treated
very much the same by all the noted participants in that
Struggle who have written about it, varying only in
details which are colored by the writer's own views as to
their importance. In preparing for the work of recording
the services of New Jersey troops, not only on the battle-
field but throughout the whole campaign, beginning with
the reconnoissance across the Rappahannock river on
June 5, 1863, the best works on Gettysburg have been
consulted and the official records of the battle have been
examined and studied carefully, with the view of ascer-
^ain.ing just what services the soldiers of New Jersey did
perform; and in thus bringing to the surface the e.xper-



V i INTRODUC TOR Y.



iences of the bivouac, the march, and the battle itself, as
they were participated in by the men who represented the
State of New Jersey in the Union Army, many interesting
and valuable matters have been brought to light which
otherwise might have perished.

While, therefore, the author has placed a certain limit
upon the scope of this work, by which the valuable
services rendered, the heroic achievements performed, and
the personal sacrifices made by the patriotic sons of his
native State on Gettysburg Heights are to be brought
more particularly into prominence, the narrative will
embrace the movements of the whole Army of the Poto-
mac and record its priceless services to the Nation on the
ground hallowed by the blood of thousands who met
death as brave men wish to die.

The instances of personal bravery were more numerous
at Gettysburg than in any other battle of the war. Both
sides contributed their heroes, and the tragic manner in
which the brave Southern General, Armistead, met his
death, and the heroic Lieutenant Gushing fell at the post
of duty, have already become immortalized as the two
prominent instances of self-immolation during the strug-
gle. There is a pathetic side to the death of Armistead,
and there are those who believe he really courted it.
When the news of the fall of Sumter reached the Pacific
slope, the late Confederate General Albert Sidney John-
ston was in command of that department. Generals
Hancock, Armistead, Garnett and Pickett, were subordi-
nate officers in the Regular Army, then stationed
there, and many were the conferences held as to what
should be their course in the pending troubles. The



INTRODUCTORY. yii



Government very unceremoniously relieved General John-
ston, and soon after this event a farewell meeting was held
in the house of Captain Hancock. What resulted is thus
related by Mrs. Hancock, in the volume of interesting
" Reminiscences " of her husband : " The most crushed
of the party was Major Armistead, who, with tears, which
were contagious, streaming down his face, and hands
upon Mr. Hancock's shoulders, while looking him steadily
in the eye, said: 'Hancock, good-by ; you can never
know what this has cost me, and I hope God will strike
me dead if I am ever induced to leave my native soil,
should worse come to worst.' " The dying words of Armi-
stead, on Gettysburg battle-field: "Tell Hancock I have
wronged him and have wronged my country," illustrate
how great must have been the mental strain under which
he labored during the continuance of the war, and what
a sacrifice he made when he resigned his commission in
the Regular Army, to take up arms in the defence of the
dogma of State rights, which recognized allegiance to the
National Government only as secondary to that of the
State. Scores of other southern officers did the same,
and that they acted from conscientious and honest
motives cannot well be denied; but as in the case of
Armistead, many of them felt that the South had
adopted the wrong method for a redress of their
supposed grievances, and that the war was forced upon
them from other than patriotic motives. In the manner of
his death Armistead's wish was gratified. How different
was the last act of young Gushing, who commanded Bat-
tery "A" Fourth United States Artillery, whose life blood
ebbed away at almost the same moment that Armistead



viii IN TR OD UC TOR Y.



received his death wound. Mortally wounded though
he was, he summoned up all his strength and running
his gun down into the very faces of the exultant foe, he
turned to his commander and said: " Webb, I will give
them one more shot," and when the last discharge was
made, called out, "good-by"and fell dead by the side
of his gun. With the spirit that pervaded these men,
both armies fought at Gettysburg, and it is easily
understood why the several encounters which took
place on all parts of that field were so stubbornly and
so vigorously contested.

The State of New Jersey has commemorated the
services of her troops in enduring granite. To supple-
ment this work by a faithful and accurate account of the
exhaustive nature of these services has been the desire of
the writer, who has received the cordial cooperation of
many of the survivors, and is largely indebted also to
Adjutant-General W. S. Stryker, his faithful assistant,
Colonel James S. Kiger, Honorable William H. Corbin,
Secretary of the New Jersey Battle-Field Commission,
General Ezra A. Carman, General W. H. Penrose, Colonel
William E. Potter, Major W. W. Morris, Captain William
F. Hillyer, Thomas S. Marbaker, Historian Eleventh
New Jersey Regiment, Captain H. F. Chew, George J.
Hagar, Esq., and many others, members of the several
regimental organizations, for valuable information and
aid furnished. The government maps of Colonel J. B.
Bachelder have also been consulted and to them the
writer is largely indebted, as well as to Colonel Bachelder
himself for very important information received. The
maps on pages 155, 157 and 162 are from General Double-



i



INTRODUCTORY. jx



•day's book on " Chancellorsville and Gettysburg," Charles
Scribner's Sons, publishers, who have kindly given permis-
sion for their use. Those on pages 250, 251 and 301 are
inserted only for general reference and do not conform
literally to the text. The portraits, monuments and small
maps were all made especially for this book from original
photographs and drawings. S. T.

Orange, N. J., July i, 1888.

Note. — The wrong totals appear at foot of table on page 11. They
should be: Officers, 512; men, 12,311; total, 12,823. These figures
increase the percentage of waste as shown on page 12, line seven,
from sixty to sixty-five per cent.

On page 64, first word, last line, should be southwest.

On page 139, eighth line, Harrisburg should be Gettysburg.



CONTENTS.

Chapter I. — New Jersey Regiments in the Army of the Potomac
from 1861 to June 30, 1863, their assignments to duty and
the commands with which they served — Tables showing
losses for two years i

Chapter II. — Resume of historical facts — Public feeling in the
South — Temper of the Rebel Army — Position of both armies
in June, 1863 — The fight at Franklin's Crossing on the Rap-
pahannock — Gallant charge by the Twenty-sixth New Jersey 16

Chapter III. — Lee's plan of campaign — Disposition of his forces
— General Hcoker mystified but not deceived — The cavalry
fight at Brandy Station — The First New Jersey Cavalry's
brilliant charge 34

Chapter IV. — Ewell's dashing advance through the valle}^ — Mil-
roy surprised at Winchester — The Fourteenth New Jersey
on Maryland Heights — History of the corps badge — The
New Jersey troops and their commanders — An exhaustive
march _ 64

Chapter V. — Ewell at Williamsport — Jenkins' raid in Pennsyl-
vania — Consternation throughout the North — New Jersey
Volunteers go to the defence of Harrisburg — Hooker
advances to a new line of observation — Incidents of the
march — Execution of deserters — An incident of President
Lincoln's mercy and why it failed 79

Chapter VI. — From the Rappahannock to Gum Springs — Experi-
ences of the Seventh New Jersey Regiment and the Second
Brigade — Useless night work — An all-night march « 99



xii CONTENTS.



•Chapter VII. — Hooker's perplexities aggravated — A dashing cav-
alry exploit — Lee's army in Pennsylvania — The Union
forces cross the Potomac — Stuart's raid — General Hooker
resigns — — -



io8



Chapter VIII. — The alarm in the North— New Jersey's Governor
appeals to the President — The new Union commander —
Movements of the armies — Reminiscenses of an officer of
the Second New Jersey Brigade — The Thirteenth New
Jersey at Littlestown — The night before the battle I22

-Chapter IX. — The first day's fight at Gettysburg — Gallantry of
Buford's troopers — Heroic resistance by the First Army
Corps — Death of General Reynolds — Arrival of Howard and
the retreat to Cemetery Ridge — Hancock's opportune arrival
on the field... 140

Chapter X. — The New Jersey troops coming on the field of battle
— Rapid and exhaustive marching — The Eleventh Regiment
undergo a fatiguing night march — The Second New Jersey
Brigade march between the skirmish lines of both armies —
The Twelfth Regiment in line of battle — The deployment of
Sickles' line — The Thirteenth Regiment on Gulp's Hill —
Arrival of the First New Jersey Brigade at four o'clock — A
forced march of thirty-five miles 174

Chapter XI. — The second day's battle — Sickles' new line — Long-
street's attempt to turn the Federal left — The Second New
Jersey Brigade, the Eleventh Regiment, and Battery " B,"
First New Jersey Artillery, in action — Hood repulsed at
Little Round Top — A gallant and successful charge by the
Twelfth New Jersey Regiment — Casualties among the New
Jersey troops 193

Chapter XII. — The second day's battle concluded — The Twelfth
Corps' position attacked by Ewell's troops — Green's heroic
defence — The attack on Cemetery Hill — A fierce and deadly
hand-to-hand struggle — Return of the Twelfth Corps to the
right during the night .......^,,, 259



CONTENTS.



Xlll



Chapter XIII.— The Third day's battle — The Twelfth Corps
charge the enemy at Culp's Hill and regain their works —
The Second Massachusetts and the Twenty-seventh Indiana
Regiments charge the enemy supported by the Thirteenth
New Jersey Regiment — Lee foiled in his attack on the Fed-
eral right , ., .. _.. 268r

Chapter XIV. — The third day's battle concluded — Longstreet's
charge on Cemetery Ridge — -Disastrous repulse of Pickett's
and Heth's divisions — Dreadful execution with "buck and
ball" by the Twelfth New Jersey — Hexamer's old battery
("A" First New Jersey) engaged — The First New Jersey
Cavalry win new laurels . _. . . 277

Chapter XV. — After the battle — Scenes on the field — The care of
the wounded — Effect of General Meade's order sending all
wagons to the rear — Prompt and effective service at the
Twelfth Corps Hospital — Retreat of Lee's army and the
pursuit ^ - 317

Chapter XVI. — Organization of the Gettysburg Battle-Field Com-
mission — A record of its work — Description of the monu-
ments . , ... ,..._. ....... .. .. ... . . 333,

Biographical Sketches of Portr.uts 359^



ILLUSTRATIONS.

Author Frontispiece.

PAGE.

Map — Location of New Jersey Monuments xvii

Major-General Joseph Hooker 13

Advance of Twenty-sixth New Jersey Volunteers 23

Captain Samuel U. Dodd 29

Major William W. Morris 35

Colonel Percy Wyndham . 43

Major-General H. Judson Kilpatrick .-. 53

Colonel Hugh H. Janeway.. 59

Lieutenant Rochus Heinisch '. 67

Major-General George G. Meade .. 75

Major-General A. T. A. Torbert 83

Colonel James N. Duffy .. 89

Lieutenant-Colonel William Henry, Jr 95

Colonel Samuel L. Buck loi

Colonel Henry N. Brown 109

Lieutenant-Colonel Charles Ewing. 115

Brevet Major-General William J. Sewell 123

Colonel George C. Burling 131

Colonel Louis R. Francine — 141

Map — Position of Troops July i 145

Brevet Major-General John Ramsey ,. 147

Map — Advance of Davis' and Archer's Brigades 155

Map — Defeat of Davis and Archer 157

Brevet Major-General Robert McAllister 159

Map — Advance of Heth's Division against Doubleday 162

Brevet Colonel John Schoonover 165

Major John T. Hill I75

Map — First Position Thirteenth Regiment New Jersey Volunteers 182



XVI



ILL USTRA TLONS.



PAGE.

Brevet Brigadier-General Ezra A. Carman 185

Brevet Brigadier-General Frederick H. Harris 191

Brevet Major A. Judson Clark 203

Map— Position of Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, Eighth, Eleventh New

Jersey Regiments — July 2 — 207

Captain Ambrose M. Matthevirs 211

Brigadier-General William H. Penrose. - 217

Monument First New Jersey Brigade 229

Monument Fifth Regiment New Jersey Volunteers. 233

Monument Sixth Regiment New Jersey Volunteers 245

Map — The Fight for Little Round Top 246

Map — Ruger's Division Twelfth Corps - — 248

Map — Longstreet in Position for Attack on Sickles 250

Map — Union Line after Sickles' Defeat — .- -... 251

Monument Seventh Regiment New Jersey Volunteers — 255

Map — Repulse of Louisiana Tigers — ..... 265

Map — Fourth Position of Thirteenth Regiment New Jersey

Volunteers 267

Monument Eighth Regiment New Jersey Volunteers 269

Map— Twelfth Corps Charging on Gulp's Hill 272

Map — Last Position Thirteenth Regiment New Jersey Volunteers. 273

Monument Eleventh Regiment New Jersey Volunteers . . 289

Map — Repulse of Longstreet's Charge July 3 — Position of Twelfth

New Jersey Volunteers . 283

Marker Twelfth Regiment New Jersey Volunteers at Bliss Barn.. 291

Brevet Lieutenant-Colonel William E. Potter 295

Map — The General Line of Battle at time of Pickett's Charge .... 301

Map — New Jersey Regiments — July 2 310

Monument Twelfth Regiment New Jersey Volunteers 311

Monument Thirteenth Regiment New Jersey Volunteers _ 319

Surgeon J. J. H. Love 323

New Jersey Battle-Field Commission 335

Monument Battery "A" (Parsons') First New Jersey Artillery 339

Monument Battery " B" (Clark's) First New Jersey Artillery 349

Monument First New Jersey Cavalry 357



X V i ^I'L us TRA TIONS.



PAGE.

Brevet Brigadier-General Ezra A. Carman 185

Brevet Brigadier-General Frederick H. Harris .- 191

Brevet Major A. Judson Clark 203

Map — Position of Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, Eighth, Eleventh New

Jersey Regiments — July 2 — 207

Captain Ambrose M. Matthews -.- 211

Brigadier-General William H. Penrose. - 217

Monument First New Jersey Brigade .- 229

Monument Fifth Regiment New Jersey Volunteers 233

Monument Sixth Regiment New Jersey Volunteers 245

Map— The Fight for Little Round Top 246

Map — Ruger's Division Twelfth Corps 248

Map — Longstreet in Position for Attack on Sickles -_ 250

Map — Union Line after Sickles' Defeat ... 251

Monument Seventh Regiment New Jersey Volunteers 255

Map — Repulse of Louisiana Tigers . 265

Map — Fourth Position of Thirteenth Regiment New Jersey

Volunteers 267

Monument Eighth Regiment New Jersey Volunteers 269

Map — 'Twelfth Corps Charging on Gulp's Hill.. 272

Map — Last Position Thirteenth Regiment New Jersey Volunteers. 273

Monument Eleventh Regiment New Jersey Volunteers . . 289

Map — Repulse of Longstreet's Charge July 3 — Position of Twelfth

New Jersey Volunteers 283

Marker Twelfth Regiment New Jersey Volunteers at Bliss Barn.. 291

Brevet Lieutenant-Colonel William E. Potter 295

Map — The General Line of Battle at time of Pickett's Charge .... 301

Map — New Jersey Regiments — July 2 310

Monument Twelfth Regiment New Jersey Volunteers 311

Monument Thirteenth Regiment New Jersey Volunteers . 319

Surgeon J. J. H. Love 323

New Jersey Battle-Field Commission ^_. .. 335

Monument Battery "A" (Parsons') First New Jersey Artillery 339

Monument Battery " B" (Clark's) First New Jersey Artillery 349

Monument First New Jersey Cavalry 357



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CHAPTER I.

NEW JERSEY REGIMENTS IN THE ARMY OF THE POTO-
MAC FROM 1 86 1 TO JUNE 30, 1 863, THEIR ASSIGN-
MENTS TO DUTY AND THE COMMANDS WITH WHICH
THEY SERVED — TABLES SHOWING LOSSES FOR TWO
YEARS.

THE patriotism of the citizens of New Jersey
during the stormy period of 1861-65, was
attested on many occasions, not alone by the
valor of her soldiery on scores of battle-fields, but by
the promptness with which the people responded to
the call of the National Government for troops, and
the thorough manner in which the several organiza-
tions were armed and equipped before leaving the
State. No appeal by the general government was
ever made to the State authorities for assistance in
vain. Governor Olden cooperated heartilv and cordi-
ally with the President and Secretary of War in all
their efforts to suppress the rebellion in its infancy,
and at the very outbreak of hostilities forwarded to
Washington a brigade of four regiments, aggregating
three thousand men, for three months' service under
command of General Theodore Runyon. This bri-
gade was fully armed and equipped at the expense



NE W JERSE Y TROOPS



of the State and was the first completely equipped
body of troops to make its appearance at the National
Capital, where it was greeted with the utmost grati-
fication by the President. The Secretary of War
feelingly appreciated the promptness of the State
authorities in so generously and effectively aiding the
National Government in its efforts to preserve its
own integrity, and in a letter to Governor Olden
cordially acknowledged the great service thus ren-
dered, and in the name of the government tendered
its sincere thanks to the people of the commonwealth.
The theory entertained by the National authorities
that the rebellion would be crushed out in three
months' time soon proved erroneous. The rebellious
states waxed bolder and bolder in their defiance of the
National Government and resisted every offer of peace
so determinedly, that a call was issued for thirty-nine
regiments of infantry and one of cavalry to serve for
three years or during the war, the quota for New
Jersey being three regiments of infantry. Before
another month had expired a second demand was
made upon the State, this time for five additional
regiments, all to serve for the same period of time.
Under these calls there were promptly raised two
brigades of infantry and two batteries of artillery,
as follows :

First Regiment — Colonel, William R. Montgomerv.
Second Regiment — Colonel, George W. McLean.
Third Regiment — Colonel, George W. Taylor.



IN- THE GETTYSBURG CAMPAIGN.



Fourth Regiment — Colonel, James H. Simpson.
Battery "A" First New Jersey Artillery — Captain
William Hexamer, Commanding.

These regiments formed the First New Jersey Bri-
gade, and were assigned to duty with Franklin's
Division. General Philip Kearny was commissioned
by Governor Olden and placed in command of the
brigade. The Second Brigade was composed of the
following :

Fifth Regiment — Colonel, Samuel H. Starr.
Sixth Regiment — Colonel, James T. Hatfield.
Seventh Regiment — Colonel, Joseph W. Revere.
Eighth Regiment — Colonel, Adolphus J. Johnson.
Battery " B " First New Jersey Artillery — Captain
John E. Beam, Commanding.

This brigade was assigned to Hooker's Division
where it became a great favorite and was eventually
known as " Hooker's Old Guard." It formed the
Third Brigade of the Second Division, Third Army
Corps, and was commanded by Colonel Starr of the
Fifth Regiment, the senior officer.

Rapidly as these organizations were formed the
opportunities presented for enlistment were not suffi-
cient to satisfy the desires of a great many who
were anxious to go to the war. Thousands of Jersey-
men enlisted in the regiments of other States, and
whole companies left Newark, Elizabeth, Rahway,
Orange and other places and were incorporated with



NE W JERSE V TROOPS



New York and Pennsylvania regiments and credited
to those States.

The Ninth Regiment was specially authorized by
the War Department as a rifle regiment, and in a
short time its ranks were full. Under the command
of Colonel Joseph W. Allen it proceeded to North
Carolina, as part of the Burnside Expedition, gaining
immediate renown at the Battle of Roanoke Island.

The War Department also gave direct authority
for the raising of an infantry regiment in the State,
to be known as the "Olden Legion." The Governor
strenuously opposed this movement, and would have
nothing whatever to do with it. Finally the State
agreed to accept it and the Governor commissioned
William R. Murphy its Colonel, and designated it as
the Tenth Regiment.

In August 1 86 1, a regiment of cavalry known as
" Halstead's Horse " was ordered to be recruited in
the State by the direct authority of President Lin-
coln, and the companies as soon as formed were
forwarded to Washington. Like the Tenth Infantry,
dissatisfaction, wrangling and vexation ensued, and
finally the State authorities were prevailed upon to
accept it, when it became the First New Jersey
Cavalry with Sir Percy Wyndham as its Colonel.

On July 7th, 1862, a call was issued for three
hundred thousand men to serve for three years or
during the war, under which the following organiza-
tions were formed and sent to Washington :



IN THE GETTYSBURG CAMPAIGN.



Eleventh Regiment -Colonel, Robert McAllister.
Twelfth Regiment — Colonel, Robert C. Johnson.
Thirteenth Regiment — Colonel, Ezra A. Carman.
Fourteenth Regiment— Colonel, William S. Truex.
Fifteenth Regiment — Colonel, Samuel Fowler.

Instead of brigading these troops together, the
exigencies of the service demanded their immediate
presence in Washington as soon as possible after their
muster-in. The Eleventh Regiment was assigned to
Carr's Brigade, Sickles' Division, Third Army Corps ;
the Twelfth Regiment to the Second Brigade, Third
Division, Second Army Corps ; the Thirteenth Regi-
ment to Gordon's Brigade, Williams' Division, Banks'
Corps ; the Fourteenth Regiment to a Provisional
Brigade, Middle Division, Eighth Army Corps ; and
the Fifteenth to the First New Jersey Brigade, First
Division, Sixth Army Corps.

The State had shown commendable promptness in
forwarding its troops to the seat of war, and the
repeated calls upon the people for volunteer soldiers
were responded to with alacrity. The total number
of three years troops furnished to the Government
by New Jersey up to this period amounted to six
hundred and twenty-eight officers and fifteen thou-
sand two hundred and seventy-seven enlisted men ;
total fifteen thousand nine hundred and five. These
figures are from the Adjutant General's report, the
original muster of each regiment being as follows :



NEW JERSEY TROOPS



ORGANIZATION.


OFFICERS.


MEN.


TOT.A.L.


First Regiment Cavalry

First Regiment Artillery Battery A._


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Online LibrarySamuel ToombsNew Jersey troops in the Gettysburg campaign from June 5 to July 31, 1863 → online text (page 1 of 22)