The Project Gutenberg eBook of Historical sketch of the Fifteenth Regiment, New Jersey Volunteers

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Title: Historical sketch of the Fifteenth Regiment, New Jersey Volunteers

Author: Edward Livingston Campbell

Release date: March 27, 2011 [eBook #35697]
Most recently updated: April 14, 2023

Language: English

Credits: Produced by Jeannie Howse and the Online Distributed
Proofreading Team at (This file was
produced from images generously made available by The
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Transcriber's Note:

The large table at the end of this book has been split for presentation. An image of the original table has been provided for the interest of the reader.

Obvious typographical errors have been corrected. For a complete list, please see the end of this document.

Book Cover






Wm. S. Sharp, Printer and Stereotyper.



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[6] 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.

From this time forward, to the close of the war, its history is that of the famous "Sixth Corps"—than which, probably, no corps ever did more hard fighting and effective service, or achieved a more enviable fame.

Its official fighting record, as made up by the Adjutant-General of the State, is as follows:

Fredericksburg, Va., Dec. 13 and 14, 1862; Fredericksburg, Va., May 3, 1863; Salem Heights, Va., May 3 and 4, 1863; Franklin's Crossing, Va., June 6 to 14, 1863; Gettysburg, Pa., July 2 and 3, 1863; Fairfield, Pa., July 5, 1863; Funktown, Md., July 10, 1863; Rappahannock Station, Va., Oct. 12, 1863; Rappahannock Station, Va., Nov. 7, 1863; Mine Run, Va., Nov. 30, 1863; Wilderness, Va., May 5 to 7, 1864; Spottsylvania, Va., May 8 to 11, 1864; Spottsylvania C.H., Va., May 12 to 16, 1864; North and South Anna River, May 24, 1864; Hanover C.H., Va., May 29, 1864; Tolopotomy Creek, Va., May 30 and 31, 1864; Cold Harbor, Va., June 1 to 11, 1864; Before Petersburg, Va., June 16 to 22, 1864; Weldon Railroad, Va., June 23, 1864; Snicker's Gap, Va., July 18, 1864; Strasburg, Va., Aug. 15, 1864; Winchester, Va., Aug. 17, 1864; Charlestown, Va., Aug. 21, 1864; Opequan, Va., Sept. 19, 1864; Fisher's Hill, Va., Sept. 21 and 22, 1864; New Market, Va., Sept. 24, 1864; Mount Jackson, Va., Sept. 25, 1864; Cedar Creek and Middletown, Va., Oct. 19, 1864; Hatcher's Run, Va., Feb. 5, 1865; Fort Steedman, Va., March 25, 1865; Capture of Petersburg, Va., April 2, 1865; Sailors' Creek, [7]Va., April 6, 1865; Farmville, Va., April 7, 1865; Lee's Surrender, (Appomattox, Va.,) April 9, 1865.

In the operations and battles of a large army or corps, a single regiment is so swallowed up in the general mass; its movements and conduct, under fire and out of range, are so intermingled with those of many others, that, to write the history of one is to write that of the army or corps as a whole. This would take volumes; it cannot be done in these brief notes. It must be assumed that the glowing pages which record the battles of the Rebellion are familiar to all; and surely he is a doubtful patriot who has not followed them with deep and absorbing interest. We can here only glance at the regiment at some of those points in its career at which it was in some way distinguished from the general mass, by position, or by special acts of endurance and courage.

It received its baptism of fire at the disastrous battle of Fredericksburg, December 13th, 1862. On the morning of the 12th, the division crossed the Rappahannock at "Franklin's Crossing," below the town, and advanced over the broad plain toward the high ground beyond, under cover of a dense fog, to "find the enemy," whose position, below the town, could not be seen—the Fifteenth on the right of the line. Just before reaching "Deep Run," the enemy discovered the advance, and opened with their heavy guns from the Heights to the right and front. The long line of a full regiment did not waver in the least, though new to the field of battle, and saluted suddenly, for the first time, with the terrifying explosions of shells from guns of large calibre. Carefully observed, they seemed to be nerved and animated by the presence of danger. Patriotic resolve and high moral courage—which had brought them to the field—mantled to their brows. Their commander then and ever after knew and trusted his command. A few men were wounded, but none killed, as the writer remembers. Arrived at the ravine, it was permitted to remain under its cover during the balance of the day, whilst a large army was getting into position, and plans of attack matured. Before light on the morning of the 13th, it was moved out of the ravine and silently deployed as a skirmish line, under cover of the darkness and fog, so near to the rebel skirmish line as to distinctly hear their conversation. Such close contact, face to face with an armed enemy, gave rise to thoughts and emotions new to them, and the gradual lifting of the darkness and fog was watched with anxious faces; but not a man showed signs of flinching. At the [8]coming of light their sharp and obstinate skirmish fire opened the first battle in which they took part. The memorable conflict of the day swept chiefly to the right and left of their long line, but involved four of the left companies, which participated in the charge at that point with the Fourth and Twenty-third, and suffered serious loss. During the following night the drum-corps carried rations from the trains, several miles away, across the river, and distributed them along the line, replenishing the exhausted haversacks—a hard night's work, and a kind of drumming for which they felt they had not enlisted; but they had new lessons in music yet to learn. In the morning the regiment was relieved from its advanced position by the One Hundred and Twenty-first New York, under a galling fire. The battle was over, however, and the army re-crossed the river.

The regiment went into camp near by, at White Oak Church, and, after participating in the fruitless expedition known as Burnside's "Mud March," spent a dismal winter. Typhoid fever, the enemy which no army can conquer, broke out with distressing virulence, and a considerable number died of disease. In every regiment there is a somewhat uniform number of constitutions which cannot resist the privations, hardships, excitements and exposures of vigorous warfare. These must be eliminated by death and permanent disability. In some cases the process is gradual; in others, sudden and rapid, as was the case with the Fifteenth, owing to its being suddenly taken from civil life and thrust at once into the severest service, sustained by excitements and courage until the campaign was over, and then dropped into a muddy camp in very inclement weather. It was ever afterward free from sickness to a marked degree.

In the May following came the "Chancellorsville" campaign under Hooker. The part assigned to the Sixth Corps was to take the Heights of Fredericksburg, and then strike the enemy in flank and rear, and unite with the main army, which crossed the river at the upper fords. Crossing the river at the same place as before, on the morning of the 3d of May, the Fifteenth was placed on the extreme left of the corps line, to support a battery, and, with the balance of the brigade, to hold in check a large force of the enemy formed on his right, to strike the corps in flank and rear, as it attacked the Heights, which was effectively done by a firm stand, though with considerable loss. The balance of the corps having carried the Heights by a gallant charge, it marched [9]through the town, over the Heights, and up the plank road to Salem Church, a few miles from Chancellorsville. Here it encountered a large part of the rebel army, diverted to its front after a successful checking of Hooker. A determined assault was delivered, but failed to drive them from their well-chosen position. The Fifteenth charged gallantly through a wood, pushed the enemy some distance before them, and held the position until ordered to retire about dark, the general attack having failed of its purpose. The night was spent in caring for and removing the wounded. It is thought the Fifteenth was one of the very few regiments which succeeded in getting off all their wounded, which was mainly due here, as afterward, to one of the most brave and faithful chaplains, who was ever with his men, in battle as in camp, and serving them with sleepless and tireless vigilance. The next day was spent in constant manœuvering before a rapidly concentrating enemy, and during the night the corps was ordered to re-cross the river, at Banks' Ford. After another day spent in drawing the artillery and pontoon trains through the mud to the high ground, it returned to its old camp, after the loss of many of its bravest and best men and officers.

At Gettysburg—the decisive victory of the war—during the pursuit of the flying rebel army through Pennsylvania, Maryland, and down the Katoctin valley, back to the line of the Rappahannock; again on the advance up the Orange and Alexandria Railroad, nearly to its crossing of the Rapidan, (where the Fifteenth reached the farthest point of any regiment); back to Centreville by a rapid retreat parallel with the enemy attempting to turn the Union flank; again forward to the battle of Rappahannock Station, through the futile Mine Run expedition, and back to winter-quarters at Brandy Station—the regiment bore an equal and always honorable part with the other regiments of the corps, doing its share of the fighting, and suffering its share of the loss. Nothing is remembered, however, which distinguished it from the balance of the corps, except, perhaps, that it covered the return from the third crossing at Fredericksburg—(a demonstration made by the First Division in the early part of June, to develop the movement of Lee toward Pennsylvania)—and took up the pontoon bridge in the face of the enemy—a delicate and difficult service, executed without loss, in a driving rain.

The winter of 1863-4, at Brandy Station, was diversified by severe picket and fatigue duty, and embraced an expedition by [10]the brigade to Madison Court House, as a diversion in favor of Kilpatrick's celebrated raid to the fortifications of Richmond. The men, under the lead of the chaplain, built a large and commodious house of logs, in which religious services—never intermitted, when possible to be held—and literary exercises were held. This was a great help to the religious and moral tone of the regiment, as well as conducive to its military effectiveness. A "Church" of one hundred and thirty members was organized, and forty-six men were hopefully converted to the Christian faith. The services were interesting and solemn, and were attended by many even from distant camps. Two-thirds of the members of this little church, doubly militant, afterward fell in action, bravely battling for their country and their God. Who will question the usefulness and value of a zealous religious instructor in the ranks of an army in the field?

On the 4th of May, 1864, the army broke camp for the long and bloody campaign from the Rapidan to Petersburg, and the 5th, 6th, and 7th found the regiment engaged, with the balance of the army, in "the Wilderness," doing its full duty with the regiments which fought by its side. On the 8th, about noon, at the head of the corps, it reached the front of Spottsylvania C.H., after a long night march, by a circuitous route. Warren, whose corps (the Fifth) had moved by a more direct route, and reached the position first, had met with a check. He sent to Sedgwick—the grand old leader of the Sixth—for aid, and the Jersey brigade was sent to his assistance. After some manœuvering, the Fifteenth, with the Third, (then little more than a detachment, and used as a skirmish line,) was selected to make an assault on the enemy, and develop his position and strength. No charge was ever more gallantly delivered. With two armies looking on, it advanced across an open field; when within about three hundred yards of the front of the wood in which the enemy was posted, it fixed bayonets, and with a line of glittering steel as steady as on dress-parade, dashed up to the rebel position, to find them strongly entrenched and in full force. As far as rifle-shot could reach, upon each flank they opened upon the devoted little band. Notwithstanding the deadly fire, it drove the enemy out of the work in its front, captured two prisoners, and, to save annihilation, was ordered by its commander to retire. One hundred and one of its brave officers and men were left upon the field, killed or [11]wounded. It may be doubted if a more perilous "forlorn hope" was ever more daringly executed.

The Sixth Corps took position on the left of the line as it was formed, its lamented commander falling on the same spot at which one of the color-bearers of the Fifteenth had but just fallen; and on the afternoon of the 9th the regiment was detached, with the First, to turn the right flank of the enemy and gain possession of a cross-roads. After wading a deep swamp, and a sharp brush with the rebel skirmishers, the cross-roads was under their guns, and they were separated some distance from the main army. The next morning, being ordered to develop the flank of the enemy's main line, the two regiments advanced, drove the rebel skirmish line before them for about a mile, and finally struck the right of the rebel line, strongly entrenched on the top of a high hill. This was the position afterward known as "the bloody angle." The two regiments attacked vigorously, but were forced back by a heavy musketry and artillery fire. Two more regiments were sent to their assistance, and again they attacked, but with no better success, and they were compelled to be content with holding the position they had gained in an unequal contest. The characteristic orders under which they were acting, issued by an able general officer, afterward killed, and sadly missed, were—"Fight! Fight! —— it, fight!" Two days later, this was found to be the strongest field-work ever attacked by the army.

On the afternoon of the same day, (the 10th,) a series of assaults was organized along the different corps lines. The Second Division of the Second Corps, which had come up by the crossroads taken as above related, was to make the charge on the extreme left, and the two detached regiments reported to, and participated in the charge with it. Only one of these assaults was successful, (that of the Sixth Corps,) and the line of works and many of the prisoners captured by it had to be abandoned, owing to the failure of the attacks to the right and left. That on the left being unsuccessful, and the troops retiring from the hill, left the two detached regiments again alone to hold the ground which had cost them a severe struggle. This they did until relieved after dark, when, rejoining their brigade, they left the position to the Second Corps, all of which was concentrated there on the night of the 11th.

On the 12th came one of the most stubbornly-contested struggles of the war. It was for the possession of the "bloody angle" [12]which the Fifteenth and First had repeatedly attacked two days previously. The first charge was made by the Second Corps early in the morning, took the rebels by surprise, carried a part of the line of works, captured several thousand prisoners and a large number of guns. The Sixth Corps was moved to the position as soon as practicable, to complete the victory, the enemy having recovered from the shock and concentrated his forces. The First Division was ordered to attack first, to the right of the Second Corps, in echelon of brigades, the First Brigade on the right, and the Fifteenth Regiment on the extreme right of the front line. It was placed in position, in a wood of low pines, by a superior officer, in a drizzling rain. At the order to charge, it dashed gallantly forward with bayonets fixed, and trailed to escape the low branches, into the narrow strip of open ground, upon the opposite margin of which was the rebel intrenched line, covered with an abattis of slashed brush. Its line being very oblique to that of the enemy, it was compelled to execute a halfwheel, under a most murderous fire. Again it dashed forward, carried the work at the point of the bayonet, (and with some actual bayonet fighting, a very unusual thing,) captured a stand of colors and all the rebels who did not fall or run. It was the only regiment of the Sixth Corps which got inside the enemy's fortifications that day. Its right flank, however, being entirely "in the air," and a solid rebel line moving toward it, subjected to the continued fire from a second rebel work in front and from the numerous "traverses" of the line to the left which had not been carried, it was compelled to retire again to the wood. This desperate charge was made at fearful cost. More than half of the rank and file, and seven of the most valued officers fell, killed or wounded, inside or near the hostile works. Out of four hundred and twenty-nine men and fourteen line officers who crossed the Rapidan on the 4th, only one hundred and twenty-two men and four officers remained.

It has been said that the other brigades did not get actual possession of the works in their front. They did, however, gain and hold a position so near as to command and hold them under their guns, until abandoned during the night. How obstinate and determined was the rebel defence was shown by the fact that the trench, full three feet deep, was, in places, even full of rebel dead, and a pavement of mud covering the uppermost bodies, told how they had stood upon their fallen comrades and continued the [13]fight. A large white oak tree was cut off by bullets even with the top of the breastwork, and in its fall pinned one rebel soldier to the ground.

From Spottsylvania to Petersburg—a sanguinary track, with every here-and-there a fierce encounter with the foe—thence, in July, to Washington, where Early was met at the head of Seventh street; thence into the Shenandoah Valley, under Sheridan, the regiment shared the successes and failures, the honors and losses, of the army and corps. It was often detached for special service of responsibility and danger. In the pursuit of Early's flying troops from the gates of Washington, it became necessary to send a force across to the parallel road on which the enemy were moving, to ascertain the position of the rear of their column, and verify a suspected intention on their part to halt and strike in flank our rapidly-advancing column. The Fifteenth New Jersey was sent upon that mission, and executed it to the satisfaction of the corps commander, but found no such design on the part of the enemy. A few days later, Early contested the crossing of the Shenandoah at Snicker's Ford, and it was desired to examine the fords lower down the river. The Fifteenth was again sent, tested the fords, the depth of water, bed of the stream, &c., under a skirmish fire, and returned with its information—which was not needed, as the upper ford was abandoned by the enemy during the night.

At Winchester, on the 17th of August, whilst Sheridan was retiring before Early's army, reinforced by Longstreet, (not because unable to cope with it, but because under orders from Grant not to accept or deliver battle at that time,) the First Brigade was left, with the cavalry, to obstruct their march whilst our army was crossing the Opequan and getting into position. The Fifteenth Regiment was deployed into a skirmish line, and posted across the turnpike by which they were approaching, the other regiments being posted farther to the left. From noon until nearly dark it held them in check, with the assistance of two squadrons (dismounted) of the Third New Jersey Cavalry, deluding them into the belief that Sheridan's whole army was there in position to receive their attack. The men were carefully posted along a small stream, behind stone fences, trees, and rocks. Two rebel skirmish lines successively pushed against them, soon retired, being badly punished, and Early's army ployed into columns of attack. There was something seriously ludicrous in the sight. Twenty thousand rebels could be distinctly seen from [14]the hills on which our right rested, carefully forming to attack a feeble line of skirmishers. Our brigade numbered but eight hundred and fifty muskets, all told; no supports but the color-guards. The cavalry, massed to the rear, could render no assistance against heavy columns of infantry. Whilst the formation was proceeding, the stubborn skirmish continued, and, as we afterward learned, Early decided to postpone the attack until the next day. Just before dark, however, Breckenridge, who commanded Early's left division, was led in some way to suspect the weakness of the force before him, and obtained permission to put his left brigade in charge. The solid mass plunged directly through our attenuated line of one man to every five or ten paces; then brigade after brigade charged in echelon from their left to right. The fighting qualities of men were seldom more severely tested. It was easy to get away, but to hold the enemy on the right, or so obstruct them that the other regiments posted to the left could get out, was a serious problem. The line was rallied and re-formed, from one stone fence to another. In the darkness the men sometimes became intermingled with the enemy, a Union officer, at one time, assuming command of a rebel regiment. About eleven o'clock, in the outskirts of the city, the contest was finally given up, all the left getting away but a detachment of the Tenth, which got lost in the darkness, and a few men of the Fifteenth and Fourth, surrounded unawares.

On the 19th of September came the battle of the Opequan—generally known as the battle of Winchester. Viewed in all its relations, it was one of the most important of the war. At the first onset of Sheridan's army, the enemy were forced some distance from their position; but the impetus of the assault being broken by an obstinate resistance, the Union lines retired a short distance, and the enemy made a counter advance. The Fifteenth was pushed forward on a double-quick, across a ravine, to take possession of a hill and obstruct their advance, whilst the lines were being reorganized. It was a perilous duty gallantly discharged. One of our division commanders said the movement saved the day. The re-formed lines again advanced, gathering up the Fifteenth in their progress, and Early was sent "whirling up the valley."

Three days later, (on the 22d,) at Fisher's Hill, which they regarded as an impregnable position, the First New Jersey Brigade was designated to lead the charge, being about the centre [15]of the corps line. Sweeping down through a ravine, clambering up the opposite rocks to the grassy slope which fronted the rebel line, under a perfect storm of bullets, which fortunately passed almost wholly just over their heads, they rushed up to and entered the works in advance of any other troops, capturing a number of guns, and pursued the flying enemy across the plain until darkness covered their retreat. It was the first brigade re-formed after the long charge, and ready for the night march in pursuit.

At Cedar Creek, on the 19th of October—another famous victory—after the left of the Union line, composed of parts of the Eighth and Nineteenth Corps, had been routed by the enemy's successfully executed surprise before daylight, the Sixth Corps moved rapidly by a flank across the track of their advance, and the Jersey Brigade occupied the most advanced and difficult position, holding it firmly under severe fire. Once it was ordered back to the general alignment, but its former place being considered a key position, it was ordered to retake it, which it did, and held it tenaciously and successfully, until again ordered to retire, with the whole corps, to the new line selected for strategic reasons, (the first having been assumed in the haste and confusion of the morning.) This was no "rout," as represented by a popular ballad, but a movement deliberately planned and executed by Gen. Wright, in the absence of Sheridan, who, upon arrival, after his famous "ride," found the corps in a well formed-line, and quietly taking their luncheon, preparatory to the counter attack of the afternoon, which routed the army seven times encountered within four months, captured a considerable part of it, with guns and colors, and ended its existence as a separate command. In this battle, one of the three field officers of the Fifteenth was killed, and the other two wounded; the line, rank and file, suffered severely.

From Cedar Creek, back to the main army before Petersburg, through the remaining operations there, including the final assault and capture of Petersburg and Richmond, along the rapid pursuit to Appomatox, we cannot follow the regiment in detail. We have already exceeded our limits. We must content ourselves with saying that, throughout these, and those of previous campaigns which have been passed over without mention, it always did its duty. In the long marches, by night and day, in summer's heat and winter's cold, through loamy mud and mucky swamp, in rain and snow, over frozen hummocks or glaze of ice, burdened with [16]arms, ammunition, rations, accoutrements and equipments, often pressed to the limit of human endurance, it was always in its place, and cheerfully responded to the word of command. In the numerous minor fights and skirmishes, which often try the soldier more than the general engagement, it did what was expected of it. In the death-grapples of army with army, from 1862 to 1865, it bore the stars and stripes with honor and distinction. No regiment fought with more tenacious courage, or presented a more steady and unbroken front to the foe. Where the fire was hottest, the charge most impetuous, the resistance most stubborn, the carnage most fearful, it was found. It was never ordered to take a position that it did not reach it. It was never required to hold a post that it did not hold it. It never assaulted a line of the enemy that it did not drive it. It never charged a rebel work that it did not breach it. Whatever might be the general result, the Fifteenth New Jersey Volunteers always performed the part assigned it.

The sad part of the story—that at which eyes will moisten and hearts ache—must be told in few lines. Such a record must be traced in blood. When the roll is called, three hundred and sixty-one times it must be answered, "Dead on the field of honor." They gave their lives for the Union, for their country, for the cause of human liberty. Their names should be written in gold, and hallowed by a grateful people with affectionate remembrance. No other regiment from New Jersey suffered nearly so heavy a loss, though most were much larger in numbers. Add to this "roll of honor" the unknown number of those crippled by wounds and wasted by incurable disease; remember that they came chiefly from the original nine hundred and forty-seven, and some idea may be formed of the horrid work of war. It is often a source of painful reflections to look back over the history of this regiment and think of the large number of promising young men, many of them the brightest, bravest, purest, and best of our State, who fell along its bloody pathway, from Fredericksburg to Appomattox. Who can estimate their value to our State and country, if living? Fallen, who can compute the loss?





(Correspondence of the Sussex Register.)

Sunday, May 15, 1864.

I send you a list of casualties in our regiment up to the present time. Most of those reported missing, are most likely killed or wounded and prisoners. The desperation of our fighting has never been equalled in this war. Our brigade is nearly used up. Col. Ryerson of the 10th N.J., is killed, and Lieut. Col. Tay[1] a prisoner. Lieut. Col. Wiebecke of the 2d, was killed yesterday. Capt. H.P. Cooke of the 2d, is a prisoner; Col. H.W. Brown of the 3d N.J., is wounded. Capt. Van Blarcom was lost in a charge on Sunday last. Capt. Walker, Capt. Shimer, Lieut. Van Voy, and Lieut. Justice were killed in a charge on Thursday, the 12th inst. Capt. McDanolds was wounded at the same time thro' the jaw and both legs, one of which has been amputated. Lieut. H.M. Fowler was wounded at same time; also, Lieut. Penrose. Capt. Hamilton[2] was wounded on the 6th inst., thro' both thighs (flesh wound.) Capt. Vanderveer had the fingers of his left hand shot off. A part of the 10th Regt. and a part of the 2d, were captured yesterday while on picket. Lt. Col. Wiebecke was wounded and left on the field—the rebels found and shot him and stripped him entirely naked. We are very busy, and on duty night and day. All of us are nearly worn out. We suppose that we are beating the enemy, but there is much confusion of reports, &c. As I write this we are lying [18]about a mile and a half from Spottsylvania Court House, on the extreme left of our lines. Sergt. Van Gilder, Co. K, will die of his wound—a canister shot in the side—the ball remaining. Albert L. Carmer, Co. D, will most likely die—shot through the lungs. There are many badly wounded. Our regiment captured a battle-flag from the rebels. We took it off their breastworks. Excuse this rather confused statement; it is as good as I can do in the time I have.

Very respectfully,
Marshall B. Stull.


[1] Lieut. Col. Tay has since been recaptured from the enemy, and is now with his regiment.

[2] Capt. Hamilton has since died of his wound.




Capt. C.C. Shimer, killed.
Sergt. Paul Kuhl, killed.
Sergt. Lucien A. Voorhees, killed.
Lieut. George C. Justice killed.
Sergt. William B. Dungan, wounded.
Corp. John F. Servis, wounded.
Corp. Jonathan P. Collins, killed.
Corp. Joseph Runkle, wounded.
Private David Allgard, missing.
David Anthony, killed.
Jacob Apgar, killed.
Jacob Bryan, wounded.
William B. Bryan, wounded.
John Butler, wounded.
John Burns, wounded.
John Brogan, killed.
Jacob Beam, wounded and missing.
George S. Beaver, wounded.
Andrew Closson, missing.
Isaac Dayton, missing.
Joseph Dawes, missing.
Joseph Everett, killed.
John Evans, missing.
William Gulick, wounded.
Geo. P. Henderson, killed.
Lewis Higgins, missing.
William L. Higgins, wounded.
Silas Hockenberry, killed.
Lemuel Hockenberry, wounded.
Moses Housel, missing.
John W. Henry, wounded and missing.
Herman Helmbold, killed.
Garret Hogan, missing.
Henry P. Johnson, wounded.
John Moser, wounded.
Van Meter P. Hammet, wounded.
Cornelius I. Nevius, killed.
William N. Peer, killed.
James C. Palmer, wounded.
John Rouch, wounded.
George Kessler, wounded.
Robert Sorter, wounded.
Joseph Sullivan, wounded.
Henry C. Smith, killed.
Charles Scherer, killed.
Charles E. Smiley, wounded.
Theodore Stammets, wounded.
John Staats, missing.
Abram Trauger, wounded.
Peter I. Tenbroeck, wounded.



Capt. J.S. McDanolds, wounded.
Sergt. E.B. Nicholas, wounded, thigh.
Sergt. Samuel B. Danly, wounded, leg.
Sergt. C.W. Beegle, wounded.
Corp. D. Sharp, wounded.
Corp. John L. Young, killed.
Private John H. Allen, wounded, hand.
James D. Baylor, killed.
W.K. Barker, wounded.
T.H. Barker, missing.
F.M. Beegle, wounded.
George Bilby, wounded, dangerously.
H.H. Carr, wounded, leg.
Thomas Dougherty, wounded.
James Egbert, missing.
Frank S. Fernald, killed.
H.J.V. Heed, wounded.
A.G. King, killed.
Charles Hand, wounded, knee.
William Lippencott, wounded, leg.
Thomas Mitchell, wounded, hand.
John Mott, wounded.
Jared P. Minton, missing.
John Ogden Martin, killed.
William Schenck, wounded, head.
Clinton Swick, wounded, knee.
A.R. Skinner, wounded.
William Sidner, killed.
John Sherer, wounded.
Patrick Timmons, wounded.
Charles K. Vought, killed.
George Vossler, killed.
O.W. Vossler, killed.
S.S. Van Ness, wounded.
George Welter, killed.
John A. Wilson, wounded.


Capt. Lewis Van Blarcom, missing.
Lieut. William W. Van Voy, killed.
Sergt. John Van Houten, killed.
Corp. William Trelease, wounded and missing.
Corp. Manuel Johnson, wounded.
Corp. John A. Cliff, missing.
Color Sergt. Samuel Rubadon, killed.
Sergt. Israel D. Lum, wounded.
Private Lewis Turner, wounded.
William Bailey, missing.
William D. Briggs, missing.
Jeremiah Haycock, killed.
Andrew J. Jennings, killed.
John Guy, killed.
Edwin C. Reger, killed.
John Rutan, killed.
John Miller, killed.
Edgar A. Farrand, killed.
Moses Laramie, missing.
Charles H. Guerin, wounded.
Samuel D. Doty, wounded.
George Hull, wounded.
Dennis Heffron, wounded.
Alfred Mills Armstrong, wounded.
Silas Trowbridge, wounded.
Lewis L. Davis, wounded.


Capt. James Walker, killed.
Sergt. William Doland, wounded, arm.
Corp. Sanford Simmons, wounded seriously.
Corp. Peter Gunderman, wounded.
Corp. Wilbur F. Harris, killed.
Corp. George Dennis, killed.
Corp. James H. Terwilleger, missing.
Private Albert L. Carmer, wounded.
Private George T. Fallin, killed.
Leonard Decker, killed.
George W. Shipps, wounded.
Jacob South, wounded.
Wilson T. Labar, wounded.
Austin Meeker, wounded, bowels.
Wesley M. Ayres, missing.
Isaac Sharp, missing.
William S. Wooster, missing.
William C. Dickerson, missing.
Lorenzo D. Fulford, missing.[20]
Patrick Hughes, killed.
John Hubbard, missing.
Abraham Johnson, killed.
Alfred B. Jackson, missing.
John Moran, missing.
William Stuart, wounded.
Joseph E. Rogers, wounded.
Abm. Hendershot, wounded.
David Hendershot, wounded.
John Bowman, wounded, slight.
Alpheus Decker, wounded.
John Emery, wounded.
Martin Fredericks, killed.
John Hopkins, wounded.
Barnard Johnson, wounded.
James Mangan, missing.
Patrick Mullen, killed.
John M. Minion, missing.
William A. Ward, killed.
Stephen Hankins, wounded.


Capt. John H. Vanderveer, wounded.
Sergt. Benj. O. Scudder, killed.
Sergt. Garret I. Schenck, wounded.
Corp. Daniel Richardson, killed.
Sergt. Wm. C.E. Gulick, killed.
Private Abm. D. Baird, wounded.
Peter S. Bennet, wounded.
Nicholas Conover, killed.
Andrew Cranney, missing.
Peter Dennis, killed.
William K. Dow, wounded.
Francis Hughes, wounded.
John H. Jones, wounded.
James McKensey, killed.
Thomas McConral, wounded.
Benjamin Moulton, wounded.
John W. Priestley, wounded.
William H. Rose, killed.
Jeremiah Slack, wounded.
George Thompson, wounded.
John L.S. Van Doren, wounded.


Capt. Ellis Hamilton, wounded.
Lieut. James W. Penrose, wounded.
Sergt. Enos G. Budd, wounded.
Sergt. Phineas H. Skellinger, wounded.
Sergt. Lewis H. Salmon, wounded.
Corp. Alonzo Heddin, wounded.
Corp. Joseph K. Crater, wounded, stomach.
Corp. Charles L. Milligan, wounded, leg.
Corp. W.H.K. Emmans, wounded.
Corp. Peter J. Sutton, wounded, slight.
Private Joseph Anthony, wounded, leg.
Henry H. Berry, wounded, breast.
Charles Covert, killed.
George D. Foulds, killed.
Isaiah Frutchey, wounded.
James M. Ingle, wounded.
Abm. Jacobus, wounded, slight.
David C. Lantz, wounded, leg.
Whitfield Lake, wounded, arm.
James Latteret, wounded, head.
Andrew J. Opdyke, wounded, back.
Frank H. O'Neil, wounded.
Jacob A. Peckwell, killed.
Andrew F. Salmon, wounded, body.
Lawrence H. Wise, wounded, shoulder.
Elias Williamson, killed.


Lieut. Henry M. Fowler, wounded.
Sergt. William E. Trimmer, killed.
Sergt. Jacob J. Lair, wounded.
Sergt. William M. Thompson, killed.
Sergt. Jacob F. Thatcher, wounded.
Corp. John Bocock, wounded.
Corp. John Garren, missing.
Private William Ashcroft, wounded.[21]
Nathan Culver, wounded.
George Haney, missing.
Cornelius King, missing.
Simeon G. Peddrick, missing.
John Reisinger, wounded.
John M. Smith, killed.
Levi Stull, killed.
William H. Wyckoff, wounded.
George D. Wagoner, wounded.
James C. Myers, wounded.


Sergt. John B. Lunger, killed.
Corp. James O. Dufford, killed.
Corp. Albert H. Greely, killed.
Sergt. James Donnelly, wounded.
Corp. John Mowder, wounded.
Corp. William G. Bailey, wounded.
Private James Murphy, killed.
William E. Archer, killed.
William J. Bodine, killed.
William S. Cearfos, killed.
Joseph B. Steele, killed.
William Crotsley, wounded.
Abm. Rush, wounded.
William Seguine, wounded.
Jacob L. Lunger, wounded, hand.
Samuel Trimmer, wounded, hand.
William Black, wounded, neck.
Simon W. Van Horn, wounded.
Garner H. Deremer, wounded.
George Dufford, wounded.
Jacob D. Garretson, wounded.
David Hoffman, wounded.
Edward E. Kitchell, wounded.
Isaac Medick, wounded, arm off.
John Slack, wounded.
Isaac K. Deremer, missing.
William Howard, missing.


Sergt. James E. Cole, killed.
Sergt. Charles C. Simpson, killed.
Corp. John K. Fretz, killed.
Corp. William Weed, killed.
Corp. William H. Case, missing.
Private David Moore, killed.
Nicholas V. Bennet, wounded.
Edward Dardis, killed.
John Gunderman, killed.
John A. Hunterdon, wounded.
John D. Padgett, wounded.
William N. Padgett, missing.
Ephraim Shay, wounded.
Alfred J. Taylor, wounded.
John Drake, wounded.
Annanias Drake, wounded, breast.
Austin Gunderman, wounded, leg.
Henry I. Hendershot, wounded.
Nelson S. Hardick, wounded, slight.
Henry Martin, wounded.
Ira M. Stuart, wounded, hand.
Nathan Earles, wounded in seven places.
Moses Fenner, missing.
Elijah Pelton, missing.


Sergt. Martin C. Van Gilder, wounded.
Sergt. James W. Mullery, wounded.
Corp. Peter Smith, wounded.
Corp. James Cassedy, wounded.
Private Isaac Byram, wounded, head.
Monmouth Boyd, wounded, arm and side.
Chileon Brown, wounded.
Seaman Conklin, missing.
John Card, Jr., wounded.
Daniel L. Coykendall, missing.
William Flannigan, wounded.
Benjamin M. Hough, wounded.
Mordecai W. Holly, wounded, arm.
Lewis L. Kent, killed.
James Lacy, missing.
Sidney N. Monks, killed.
Jesse Mullery, wounded, dangerously.
Bowdewine Meddaugh, wounded.
Isaac Paddock, wounded.
Frederick Van Riper, wounded, hip.

Total officers and men killed, 76; wounded, 162; missing, 41. In all, 279.

[22]Since the foregoing was in type, we have received a list of the killed and wounded, drawn up by Chaplain Haines, which differs in a few particulars. For instance—

In Co. B—the Chaplain puts down A.G. King as wounded, and O.W. Vossler wounded and missing.

In Co. C—Capt. Lewis Van Blarcom, wounded and missing.

In Co. D—John Hubbard, wounded; John Moran, killed; Abraham Johnson, missing; Barney Johnson, wounded in both arms and missing.

In Co. G—Lieut. H.M. Fowler, missing.

In Co. H—Jacob Garretson, killed.

In Co. I—Sergt. James E. Cole, wounded and missing; David Moore, do.; Alfred J. Taylor, do.; Elijah Pelton, wounded.

In Co. K—Wm. Flannigan, missing; Benj. M. Hough, do.

By comparing these returns with the list made out by M.B. Stull, the variations will be seen. We do not know which of the returns is the more correct. Both have been very carefully compiled.

[When the army crossed the Rapidan on the 2d inst., the 15th regiment mustered about 450 officers and men. After the series of battles from the 4th to the 15th inst., there were but 157 fit for duty left.]



Officers originally mustered 38  
Enlisted men originally mustered 909  
Officers gained 72  
Enlisted men gained 852  
Total strength   1871
Officers mustered out 18  
Enlisted men mustered out 398  
Officers resigned 26  
discharged 8  
promoted 33  
transferred 14  
died from diseases 1  
died from wounds 8  
dismissed 2  
Enlisted men discharged 189  
transferred 605  
promoted 43  
died from disease 98  
died from wounds 239  
died in prison 15  
deserted 108  
not accounted for 66  
Total   1871


Number of Regiment. Died of Disease. Died of Wounds. Died in Prison. Total Deaths.  
1 55 153 19 227  
2 39 100 21 160  
3 48 160 5 213  
4 74 158 25 257  
5 66 138 9 213  
6 48 122 10 180  
7 107 135 18 260  
8 94 173 17 284  
9 114 96 44 254 12 Companies.
10 120 102 52 274  
11 83 130 20 233  
12 72 175 13 260  
13 35 68 3 106  
14 71 146 31 248  
15 99 247 15 361  
1 137 124 37 298 12 Companies.
2 142 52 40 234 12 Companies.
3 49 49 47 145 12 Companies.


THREE-YEARS REGIMENTS. Mustered in. Gained. Total Strength. Mustered out.
Officers. Enlisted Men. Officers. Enlisted Men. Officers. Enlisted Men.
1 38 996 61 302 1397 29 454
2 38 1006 79 1075 2198 46 1083
3 38 1013 76 148 1275 22 337
4 38 871 99 1028 2036 41 742
5 38 823 66 845 1772 16 184
6 38 860 50 537 1485 20 159
7 38 882 108 1878 2906 45 976
8 38 851 87 1819 2795 45 941
12 Co.'s.   9 42 1115 85 1495 2701 35 1235
10 35 883 69 1597 2584 32 847
11 39 940 57 804 1840 23 444
12 39 953 57 850 1899 40 903
13 38 899 57 444 1438 29 481
14 39 968 47 330 1384 29 481
15 38 909 72 852 1871 18 398
12 Co.'s.   1 44 998 150 2125 3317 38 1329
12 Co.'s.   2 44 1105 36 1715 2900 38 1216
12 Co.'s.   3 47 1131 59 997 2234 38 994

Commissioned Officers.
Resigned. Discharged. Promoted. Transferred. Died. Deserted. Dismissed. Not accounted for.
1 24 6 25 1 10   4  
2 27 6 21 5 9 1 2  
3 23 7 46 2 10   4  
4 29 17 36 3 7 1 3  
5 23 4 26 19 13 2 1  
6 26 4 26 5 4   3  
7 30 12 29 10 13   7  
8 35 3 25 3 10   4  
12 Co.'s.   9 36 11 31 3 10   1  
10 20 25 21   5   1  
11 24 6 18 9 11   5  
12 14 12 18   9   3  
13 32 4 25  2 3      
14 20 9 14  5 8   1  
15 26 8 33 14 9   2  
12 Co.'s.   1 42 22 63 7 16 1 5  
12 Co.'s.   2 13 5 17   3 2 2  
12 Co.'s.   3 17 13 23 2 5   8  

Enlisted Men.
Discharged. Transferred. Promoted. Died. Deserted. Not accounted for. Total.
1 326 112 37 217 124 21 1397
2 372 205 47 151 204 19 2198
1 326 112 37 217 124 21 1397
2 372 205 47 151 204 19 2198
3 376 93 38 203 111 3 1275
4 302 78 47 250 371 109 2036
5 392 523 40 201 251 77 1772
6 360 309 27 176 209 157 1485
7 362 405 44 247 656 70 2906
8 428 333 31 274 416 247 2795
12 Co.'s.   9 341 534 17 244 167 36 2701
10 268 162 48 269 748 138 2584
11 224 315 29 222 451 59 1840
12 159 206 38 252 216 29 1899
13 148 408 24 103 178 1 1438
14 150 298 32 240 97   1384
15 189 605 43 352 108 66 1871
12 Co.'s.   1 298 448 76 282 425 238 3317
12 Co.'s.   2 88 376 32 231 724 153 2900
12 Co.'s.   3 70 274 24 140 439 187 2234

Original table image

Typographical errors corrected in text:

Page 17:  FN 1:  Liet. replaced with Lieut.