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  • Veterans of the 15th New Jersey Infantry

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    Veterans of the 15th New Jersey Infantry - Inventory Number: VET 126

    Professionally framed albumen of six members of the 15th New Jersey Infantry.  Several Veterans have been identified, additional information will be posted regarding identification.   Frame measures 15 1/8" x 13".  

    NEW JERSEY FIFTEENTH INFANTRY (Three Years)

    Fifteenth Infantry.--Cols., Samuel Fowler, William H. Penrose; Lieut.- Col., Edward L. Campbell; Majs., James M. Brown, Daniel R. Burrell, Lambert Boeman, Ebenezer W. Davis.  This regiment was organized at Flemington in July and Aug., 1862.  Three companies were recruited in Sussex county, two in Warren, two in Hunterdon, two in Morris and one in Somerset, and all were composed of men of superior physical strength and capacities for endurance.  The regiment was mustered into the U. S. service on Aug. 25, and on the 27th left for Washington, numbering 925 officers and men, Col. Samuel Fowler commanding.  

    At Bakersville, Md., it was assigned to the 1st brigade, 1st division, 6th army corps, and henceforth participated in the hardships, battles and triumphs of the Army of the Potomac.  At the battle of Fredericksburg, the regiment was stationed along the line of the railroad, keeping up a musketry fire and now and then charging upon the enemy.  The total loss in the regiment here was about 30.  Its next engagement was at Chancellorsville, where it charged gallantly through a thick wood, found the enemy advantageously posted behind a wall and ditch, but with a royal courage the 15th bravely faced all obstacles and maintained the fight until 8 p. m., when, owing to a want of concert of action, it was compelled to fall back, having lost 150 in killed, wounded and missing.  The regiment was present at the battle of Gettysburg, though not actively engaged.  Then following the enemy it came upon his rear-guard near Fairfield on July 5, and a sharp skirmish followed.  The pursuit was continued for several days and near Hagerstown there was a skirmish in which 2 men of the regiment were wounded, 1 by a bullet through the foot, and Jacob O. Burdett through both thighs.  The regiment marched with the army to Centerville and back again to the Rappahannock; was present, though not engaged, at the capture of Rappahannock Station; and after the Mine Run movement went into winter-quarters 2 miles from Brandy Station.  May 5, 1864, found it in the Wilderness and the sounds of battle where Warren had come into collision with Ewell's corps, soon brought the order hastening the 6th corps to his support.  Several men of the regiment were wounded and Leonard Decker of Co. D was killed.  On the following day the line was broken on the right and the enemy penetrated to the rear, but the men of the 15th held an advanced and isolated position till midnight, when, without loss they followed the rest of the army to a new line in the rear.  By 10 a. m. on the 7th, the works on the new line had been made very strong, and though the enemy felt the line in front and drove in a part of the skirmish line, by which 3 men were wounded, and John Brogan of Co. A was killed, no real advantage was gained.  About noon on May 8, the regiment reached the field of action at Spotsylvania Court House, meeting many of the 5th corps going in squads to the rear.  On the following day it moved gallantly forward, charging at a double-quick, and had it been properly supported the victory must have been complete, but overwhelmed, it slowly fell back, having lost in all 101 men.  However, it had performed one of the most gallant achievements of the campaign and in that thought the survivors found some compensation for their sufferings, as, exhausted and worn, they withdrew from the scene of combat.  At noon of the 9th, the regiment again moved, marching the right, but did not become actively engaged, though three companies were stationed on the skirmish line and the whole command was much exposed.  On the 10th the regimental position was no less exposed, but the command bravely held its own against the onsets of the enemy, losing in all 20 men.  On the 12th the regiment dashed through the abates before the Confederate works, swept over a portion of the breastworks, which for a time it stoutly held, driving out the Confederates, or bayoneting those who tenaciously clung to the position.  But the regiment was forced to fall back and when Col. Campbell gathered his shattered battalion only 75 were found.  Forty bodies, or nearly one-fifth of the whole regiment, lay on the breastwork, in the ditch or on the narrow open space in front.  From this time until May 24, the regiment was moved backward and forward, from the center to the left of the army, occasionally skirmishing with the enemy and losing a few men.  It had broken camp on the 4th with 15 officers and 429 muskets, and was now reduced to 6 officers and 136 muskets.  From May 21 to June 1 it was kept in motion most of the time with an occasional loss on the skirmish line, being present at the battle of the North Anna and other places of conflict.  

    When the 6th corps charged at Cold Harbor 25 of the regiment were killed or wounded--Sergt.-Maj. A. V. Wyckoff being among the former.  On a little hillock captured in this charge the regiment remained for the greater part of the next ten days, though from it many never came alive.  On June 19 it reached the outer defenses of Petersburg, where it remained, with the exception of a march to Reams' station, until the night of July 9, when it proceeded to the James river and took steamer for Washington, going thence to the Shenandoah Valley.  Nothing of particular importance occurred until Aug. 15, when it was assaulted at Strasburg and lost 9 men.  On the 17th it skirmished all day through Newtown and Winchester, the brigade forming the rear-guard of the army.  In this action the regiment lost 61 men in killed and missing.  On the 21st the enemy assaulted the lines at Charlestown, whither the army troops had retired, and a number of men were lost.  At the battle of the Opequan the regiment suffered severely, losing nearly 50 in killed and wounded.  On the 21st the regiment had a skirmish with the enemy, in which 2 men were killed and 15 wounded.  At Fisher's hill, whither Early had retreated, the brigade moved to the right and at 4 o'clock p. m. assaulted and captured the Confederate works, the regiment displaying great gallantry.  It also performed with its usual gallantry at the battle of Cedar creek, and thereafter it was never again heavily engaged, though in the final assault upon the enemy's works at Petersburg, April 2, 1865, it carried itself with conspicuous courage, suffering, however, only a trifling loss.  Upon Lee's surrender it was sent to Danville, whence it proceeded to Washington late in May, and subsequently to Trenton, where it was finally disbanded.  The total strength of the regiment was 1,871, and it lost during its term of service, by resignation 26, by discharge 197, by promotion 76, by transfer 619, by death 361, by desertion 108, by dismissal 2, not accounted for 66, mustered out, 416.


    Inventory Number: VET 126