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Historical sketch of the Fifteenth Regiment, New Jersey Volunteers First Brigade, First Division, Sixth Corps   By:

Historical sketch of the Fifteenth Regiment, New Jersey Volunteers First Brigade, First Division, Sixth Corps by Anonymous

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Transcriber's Note: Obvious typographical errors have been corrected. For a complete list, please see the end of this document.








Every regiment of soldiers has a character of its own. This "character" is the sum of the elements of individual character, and the circumstances affecting its organization and management.

The Fifteenth Regiment New Jersey Volunteers was organized at Flemington. It was recruited in the "hill country" of the State three companies from Sussex, two each from Warren, Hunterdon and Morris, and one from Somerset. There being no large cities in this district, it was composed almost wholly of "freeholders" or the sons of freeholders young men who were well known in the communities from which they came, who had a good name at home to adorn or lose, and friends at home to feel a pride in their good behavior or suffer shame at the reverse. They were an educated and intelligent class of men, many of them of liberal education and in course of training for the higher walks of business or professional life. They were men of a high tone of moral character and of that sturdy and tenacious patriotism which the history of every country, and especially of our own, shows to reside more especially in the fixed population connected with the soil as its owners or tillers. Reared in the mountain air they were generally of vigorous and healthy physique. The writer saw much of Union soldiers during four years of service regulars, volunteers and militia and hopes he may be permitted to say, without invidious comparison, that this regiment was marked for the high intellectual and moral character of its enlisted men. Those accustomed to the management and handling of troops know what this means on the battle field and in active campaign. It was largely officered with men who had already seen a year of active service, and who subjected it at once to a rigid discipline.

It was mustered into service on the 25th of August, 1862. Two days later it moved to "the front," at the perilous moment when Pope and Lee were in their death grapple about Bull Run. Pope being defeated, and the rebels marching for Pennsylvania, the capital was to be more completely fortified on the west and north, and prepared for possible attack. The first duty assigned the regiment was to erect fortifications at Tenallytown, Md., at which they toiled day and night for about one month. On the 30th of September it proceeded to join the victorious Army of the Potomac on the battle field of Antietam, and, by special request of the corps, division and brigade commanders, was assigned to the First Brigade, First Division, Sixth Corps the already veteran "First Jersey Brigade." It afforded much gratification and a home like feeling, to be brigaded with five other regiments of the same State.

Whilst the Army of the Potomac was being re fitted and supplied for the fall campaign, the regiment enjoyed, in the midst of picket and other duties, a much needed month of opportunity for drill and discipline at Bakersville, Maryland a short time, as all experience will attest, to convert into "soldiers" a thousand men fresh from the untrammeled freedom of civil life, strangers to the rigor of military discipline, the profession of arms, and the art of war. How industriously, willingly, and effectively that month was employed, the subsequent history of the regiment fully attests... Continue reading book >>

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