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Title: Campaign of the Fourteenth Regiment New Jersey Volunteers
Author: Terrill, J. Newton
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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  New Jersey Volunteers,

  Co. K, Fourteenth Regiment, New Jersey Volunteers.





A complete History of the Campaign of the FOURTEENTH REGIMENT, NEW
JERSEY VOLUNTEERS; its various BATTLES and MARCHES, from the time of its
departure from New Jersey until its return; giving full details of every
event that transpired; the author having taken an active part in those
memorable battles of the Potomac Army--the Maryland Campaign, the
Wilderness, Spottsylvania, Cold Harbor and Petersburg; finally ending in
the capture of Lee's Army, the occupation of Richmond and Petersburg by
our forces, and the Rebellion crushed forever.

14th Regiment, New Jersey Volunteers.

War, with all its horrors, has dawned upon us. Thousands have answered
the call and rushed to arms. The Farmer leaves his plough, the Merchant
his store, and all join in one compact body to avenge the insult
perpetrated upon our FLAG.

It is not a Foreign foe; but a war upon our soil--a civil war. Our
forces have been defeated and driven back; the rebel capital, almost
within our grasp, has been wrested from us, and the enemy, flushed with
victory, are marching with countless hordes upon our almost defenceless
Capitol. The disastrous defeat of McClellan from before Richmond has
awakened a feeling among the Northern people that something more active
must be done, that we are dealing with a wily foe prepared for war and
bent upon the destruction of our once happy and prosperous Union.
Congress having met, it was decided to call for more troops to assist in
putting down this wicked rebellion, our army having been fearfully
decreased by sickness and by battles; the swamps of Virginia and the
broiling sun of a Southern clime have sent numbers to their graves. Our
army must be re-organized, and that speedily; fresh troops must fill the
ranks of those that are no more. A call for Six Hundred Thousand troops
was made; it resounded throughout the North, and soon our decimated
ranks were refilled by men who but shortly before were engaged in the
peaceful pursuits of life, who are now stern warriors, armed and
equipped for the fearful struggle awaiting them. Under that call the
14th New Jersey Regiment was raised, a band of noble men from various
portions of the State. On the 8th of July, 1862, the Regiment was formed
on the Old Battle Ground of Freehold, Monmouth Co., New Jersey, William
S. Truex appointed Commander. For nearly two months the officers were
busily engaged in preparing the men for the future; companies were
organized, armed and equipped. Men enlisting daily, not for bounties,
but for patriotism; and soon the regiment was ready for its departure
for the seat of war. Tents were placed on a line, each company by
itself. The men seemed to know the work before them, and with stern
resolution, resolved to do their duty to the last. A police system was
organized, and the camp soon presented a healthy appearance. The men who
but a few days before were in their quiet homes by the family fireside
talking of war, were no longer there; their places were vacant and they
in camps anxiously awaiting orders to move. Soldiering then was new, the
men were no longer free.

On the 26th of August, the Regiment was mustered in the United States
service for three years, unless sooner discharged, (or as the men
remarked, three years unless sooner shot). Soldiering now commenced in
earnest. At first the men unused to discipline were not disposed to obey
the rules, but they were soon made to know that they were soldiers, and
that Military rules must be obeyed or they be punished. A guard house
was built for the purpose of confining those that were disobedient, but
it was seldom used, only in case of drunkenness, when the offender was
placed in confinement until he became sober. A guard was placed around
the camp, each relief posted every two hours, and each man having a
certain place to walk until he was relieved by the Corporal or Sergeant
of the guard. At night the officer in charge of the guard visited each
post to see that every sentinel was doing his duty; it was called the
grand rounds. Midnight was the hour chosen. The men were furnished with
Sibly tents and a tick filled with straw to sleep on, each tent holding
sixteen men; six tents to a company and ten companies in the Regiment. A
full company was composed of 87 Privates, 5 Sergeants, and 8 Corporals,
with 3 Commissioned Officers, in all 103 men. The companies arranged in
alphabetical order. Drills, reviews, inspections and dress parades were
the order of the day. The camp was daily thronged with visitors, mostly
friends of the soldiers. A cook and cook-house were furnished, each
company marched down in single file to their meals. The rations
furnished the men were beef, pork, bread, beans, sugar and coffee. The
men were now fairly established in camp, and began to wonder when the
regiment would move to the front. Furloughs were granted the men, five
from each company, as all could not be furnished at once. Several broke
guard and escaped, taking French leave, returning before the regiment
left for the front. Various rumors were now in circulation, but none of
them were reliable. Some of them were that we were going to North
Carolina and to Texas, and others that the regiment was to join the
Potomac Army, but none knew the destination of the regiment, as there
were yet no orders from Washington to move. On the 31st of August the
regiment numbered over 950 men; they were ordered to form in line and
march to Freehold, 2½ miles from camp. It was a splendid sight. The
men were in the best of spirits, and with their new uniforms and
burnished guns presented a fine appearance. After marching around the
principal streets, the men returned to camp in _Dirt Cars_, a great many
receiving passes to go home while in camp. The nine months' men were
rapidly forming the 28th New Jersey, near the camp of the Fourteenth.
After the men of the 14th were fast for three years, they envied them,
and wished they had gone for nine months; but it was now too late, and
they must remain three long weary years, unless the war should sooner

On Monday, September 1st, orders were given the men to be ready to leave
at daylight the next morning, with three days rations for Washington. At
night the guards were ordered to load their muskets and fire upon any
one attempting to leave camp. The night was dark and rainy and the camp
flooded with water. The next morning three days' rations were furnished
the men, of hard tack and dry smoked beef. Tents were taken down and
packed up; the men were placed in old baggage cars (a passenger car
reserved for the officers,) and bade good bye to the old camp. As the
train left, it was thought by the men how many of them would return.
Friends were there to see them leave, the last good bye was said, and
the cars moved slowly off. Soon the camping ground was left far behind.
Arriving at Philadelphia the men were kindly received by the citizens,
and a good supper given them by the ladies of the Volunteer Refreshment
Saloon. This building is situated near the wharf, and thousands of
soldiers have been furnished with meals, being tired after a weary ride,
cooped up in tight cars. It was very refreshing. Three rousing cheers
were given for the ladies of Philadelphia for their kindness. The
regiment formed in line and marched to the Baltimore depot. The streets
were thronged with citizens, welcoming us and bidding us God speed.
Again the men were furnished with baggage cars and started for
Baltimore, arriving there at noon; the next day marching through the
city in the hot sun, with heavy knapsacks, to the Washington depot, and
lying on the sidewalk in the afternoon. While there the depot was set
on fire and burned down, supposed to be the work of an incendiary.
Several cars were consumed, and thousands of dollars lost. Several
regiments were there awaiting transportation. This time the men were
more fortunate and succeeded in getting passenger cars, and supposed
they were going to Washington; leaving Baltimore at 11 P. M., riding all
night, arriving at Frederick Junction, on the Baltimore and Ohio
Railroad, 58 miles from Baltimore, for the purpose of guarding Monocacy
Bridge, a splendid iron structure across Monocacy River. A field was
picked out and tents were placed on a line as before; the men were
furnished with ten rounds of ammunition.

At night companies H and K were detailed for Picket. At midnight the
Colonel received a dispatch that the rebels under Stonewall Jackson were
invading the North in force and were now in Maryland, having crossed at
Edwards' Ferry. The regiment was drawn up in line of battle on the
Turnpike, remaining until morning. All was excitement, as the men were
new troops and unused to such scenes. Signal lights were displayed, and
the distant report of a gun booming on the midnight air informed us that
the enemy were near. The next morning orders were given to strike tents
and fall back. As the Fourteenth was the only regiment stationed at that
place, tents were soon down and placed on baggage cars; the Colonel
seized a coal train that was lying near and the men were soon on board.
The engineer being a rebel, and in favor of the South, was in no hurry
to start. The Colonel, becoming impatient, drew his revolver and
threatened to shoot him if he did not move. At five o'clock everything
was in readiness; muskets were fired in the air to prevent accident, as
the men were green troops and did not know how to use them. The train
moved off towards Baltimore, riding in those old coal cars, 40 miles to
Elysville. About one hour after leaving Monocacy the advance guard of
the rebels made their appearance. Had we remained longer our capture
would have been certain, as there were no other troops near, and the
whole rebel army in our front. The citizens of Elysville were very kind,
giving the men plenty to eat. At 10 o'clock the regiment marched up a
hill about one mile, encamping in an orchard, remaining ten days; doing
guard duty, picket and drilling, expecting daily orders to move. One of
our men returned to us, having been taken prisoner and paroled by the
rebels. They had burned the bridge at Monocacy, laid waste the country,
and were advancing northward, closely followed by the Potomac Army
under McClellan, overtaking them at ANTIETAM and SOUTH MOUNTAIN, a
terrible battle was fought, resulting in the utter discomfiture of the
rebels and sending them back across the Potomac completely routed.
Maryland Heights was taken by them in their retreat, with 11,000
prisoners and 60 guns. Colonel Miles being in command, and a traitor at
heart, surrendered without firing a gun; he was killed in the attempt,
report says by his own son. Had he defended the place a few hours it
would not have been taken, as the Potomac Army was marching on rapidly
in pursuit. The men were paroled on the spot, the guns spiked, and the
rebels retreated in haste back into Virginia, our army encamping near
Harper's Ferry. While at Elysville one hundred men from the regiment
went to Monocacy to guard a provision train, commanded by Lt. Kerner,
remaining there two days. Scouting parties were sent out daily, houses
were searched and concealed weapons found hidden in holes, garrets and
cellars. The majority of the people were secesh and refused to give any
information. The regiment was encamped on a farm belonging to an officer
in the rebel army. Elysville is a small village on the Baltimore and
Ohio Railroad, 21 miles from Baltimore. It is quite a flourishing place.

On the 16th of September, orders came for the regiment to proceed to
Monocacy and rebuild the bridge destroyed by the rebels. Again the men
were placed in baggage cars, a dismal rainy day, riding all night,
arriving at the Junction the next day. Everything looked desolate. The
bridge destroyed, remnants of wagons, dead horses and mules lying
around. A portion of the Potomac army was there awaiting supplies. It
was raining hard and very muddy. Tents were pitched in a plowed field in
regular order, guards were stationed around camp and no one allowed to
leave. The rebels left a squad of men to destroy the bridge; in the
attempt one man was blown up and buried near the ruins, leaving his arms
and head above ground. This was the first rebel the men had ever seen,
and for some time was an object of curiosity to us; he lay exposed
several days; at last his remains were taken up and decently interred by
our men. Parties were now set to work, the camp laid out in style, and a
regular system of order prevailed. The bridge was soon rebuilt and
guarded by our men. It was named Camp Hooker, in honor of Fighting Joe,
as Hooker was called. The city of Frederick was three miles distant, the
men receiving passes daily to visit the place. The drills and
inspections were very arduous; they were arranged systematically and in
perfect order. The reveille was sounded at six A. M.; every man was then
required to get up and answer to his name at roll call, proceed to the
woods and carry a log for the cook house. The drum then beat for
breakfast, each man taking his tin plate and cup to the cook; breakfast
consisting of coffee, pork or beef, and dry bread. At 8 o'clock the
guard was mounted for the day; the old guard relieved, would shoot at a
mark to clean their guns and were excused from drill for the morning.
The camp guard was as follows: One Captain as officer of the day, one
Lieutenant as officer of the guard, three Sergeants, three Corporals,
and ninety men, remaining on 24 hours. The duty of the officer of the
day was to see that the camp was kept clean and neat; that all offing
and dirt should be removed; also to visit the guard house each day and
once at midnight, and then visit each post, or as was called the grand
rounds. The duty of the officer of the guard was to see that each
sentinel was doing his duty, and to see that each officer was saluted
properly. The guard was divided into three reliefs, thirty men to a
relief; one sergeant and one corporal. The non-commissioned officers
were to post each relief every two hours. In case of extreme cold
weather, no sentinel was allowed to stand but one hour. At 9 o'clock the
drums beat for squad drill, lasting two hours; this was very tiresome to
the men; the same each day. At 12 the drum beat for dinner; at 2
battalion drill until 4; at 5 dress parade, or inspection; supper at
six; roll call at 9; taps at 9.15. Each man was then required to put the
light out of his tent and retire. No loud talking or laughing was then
allowed. Military rules were very strict and must be obeyed. Each day's
duties were alike. Saturday afternoon was allowed the men to wash, and
amuse themselves as they pleased.

At Monocacy the regiment lay nine months. Those months passed
pleasantly, and will ever be remembered as the best part of our three
years' soldiering. Many times, after a hard day's march or fight, the
men were heard to say, "If I was only at Monocacy, I would be
contented." The first few months nearly all the men were sick. The
Doctor's call was in the morning. At one time more than two-thirds of
the men were unfit for duty, a great many dying for the want of proper
care. The hospital was full, men lay in their tents unable to move. The
Surgeons did all that men could do, but nothing could stay the hand of
death. Sometimes as many as three lay dead at once. They were buried in
the Cemetery near Frederick City, with the honors of war. As each day
passed, some poor fellow was carried to his grave; the dead march
played, and all that remained of our comrade was consigned to the grave.
During that nine months seventy-five were buried, dying since their
enlistment. The men were not paid for six months, the rations were poor,
many became disheartened and desertions were frequent.

On the 19th of September, one thousand rebels captured at the battle of
Antietam were brought in camp, for the regiment to guard. They were of
Longstreet's and Hill's divisions, and were a sorry looking set, a
specimen of the genuine rebel. Some were without hats and coats, while
others were shoeless and covered with filth and vermin. Several were
very intelligent, but the majority were ignorant, using expressions that
were very amusing to us, such as "down yere," "right smart I reckon,"
"youns come to fight weens," etc. Officers could not be distinguished
from privates, as all were dressed alike in grey. They were kept under
guard two days, and then forwarded to Fort Delaware under a strong
escort commanded by Lieut. Kerner of Co. A.

Days, weeks, and even months passed, and still the regiment lay
inactive. Battles were fought and victories won, but war to us was yet a
stranger. As we glanced at the past, the future arose before us with its
dangers and hardships. How soon would we be called to follow those who
had gone before us and were now at the front; sooner or later. The men
were willing and anxious to obey that call, and with their comrades in
arms lay down their lives if necessary, in defense of those glorious
stars and stripes, that had been trampled in the dust by men that were
once our brothers but now foes, worse than demons, men that looked upon
the laboring man as a being to detest, and were unworthy of notice.
Southern aristocracy in their eyes must rule, or the Union must be
dissolved. The men soon became efficient in drilling, and on dress
parade presented a fine appearance. Every musket was required to be
clean and in perfect order. Sunday morning was knapsack inspection, a
very tedious affair. Every man was required to be in line with knapsack,
haversack, canteen, musket and equipments with white gloves, boots
blacked and hair combed neatly. On Sunday morning, October 12th, the
regiment being out on inspection, were suddenly ordered to load their
pieces and form in line of battle. It was soon done, the men marching
out of camp at a double quick, accompanied by two pieces of artillery
from Battery L, Fifth U.S. Artillery that were lying at Monocacy bridge.
Stuart with his rebel cavalry had crossed the Potomac at night and then
were but a short distance off. The regiment marched six miles to
Urbanna, but did not succeed in overtaking them, being mounted they soon
recrossed the river, having stolen some two hundred horses. Our men
returned disappointed. We were then very brave, having never yet seen an
armed rebel. This was our first expedition, and was the subject of
comment for some time. A sufficient force was left to guard the camp.
The men were all anxious to go and did not like being left behind, as
they were anxious to participate in an engagement if necessary.

Winter with its cold storms was fast approaching; the tents were
insufficient to protect the men from the cold. Trees were cut down and
stockades made, the tents floored and raised from the ground, and on
those stockades were very comfortable. The members of each tent clubbed
together and purchased a stove; the stockades were mudded up and the
tents were then as warm as any building. The long winter evenings were
spent in reading, writing, singing, dancing and various other
amusements. Log houses were built for cook houses, stables for the
horses and a guard house for each day's relief, and for the confinement
of those that failed to do their duty and obey the rules. Nothing
important occurred to disturb the dull monotony of camp life. Days
passed like a dream. The same routine of duty each day, such as drills,
inspections, reviews, etc. Christmas and New Years were very dull, and
passed off very quietly in camp. The most of the boys received boxes
from home and enjoyed a good dinner. Other poor fellows having no homes
or friends, were compelled to do without and eat hard tack and salt
pork. The boxes of hard tack sent us were marked Harrison's Landing,
having been with McClellan on the Peninsula campaign. Some of them were
mouldy and filled with worms, and marked 312 B. C., which was
interpreted by some of the boys 312 years before Christ; rather poor
food for men that were but a few miles from the National Capitol,
guarding a railroad carrying millions of supplies annually.

On the night of January 6th, 1863, Co's E and K were ordered to be ready
to move in the morning, and be stationed along the railroad as guards.
The morning came clear and cold; every thing was packed and the men
placed with their baggage on open cars. Co. E was stationed at
Monrovia, seven miles distant from camp, and Co. K at Mount Airy,
fourteen miles from camp, quartered in a church. The men soon became
acquainted and made themselves at home. The church was situated on the
main road half a mile from Mount Airy, and half a mile from Ridgeville
on the Baltimore pike. Pickets and guards were stationed, although there
was no enemy near. Co. E at Monrovia were placed in their tents and were
compelled to lie on the ground. They were encamped near the railroad.
One of their number while there was run over and killed by the cars.
Eight companies remained at Monocacy. Col. Truex was appointed acting
Brigadier General with headquarters at Frederick City; Major Vredenberg,
Provost Marshal. The 3d Delaware regiment and Purnell Legion were at
Frederick, and were temporarily brigaded with the 14th New Jersey, all
under command of Col. Truex. The regiment had now been out over five
months, and had yet received no pay. The men were anxious to receive
their money, as several had large families at home depending upon them
for support. At last the paymaster arrived. He was hailed with joy, as
money was scarce. Five months' pay was due the men, but two months of it
only were paid. The men were very much dissatisfied, but the promise of
speedy payment soon quieted them. Two weeks later the men were paid
again, the government keeping back one month's pay. As a general thing
this was always done, very often the men receiving but two months' pay
when three or four were due them.

The Winter passed with scarcely any snow, but rain fell in abundance.
Spring opened in all its glory. The Potomac army lay inactive in their
comfortable quarters near Falmouth. The roads were in such a condition
that an army could not move. Early in the spring six companies were
detached from the regiment and sent to Martinsburg, for the purpose of
re-enforcing Milroy, the enemy threatening an attack. Arriving at
Harper's Ferry, encamped on Maryland Heights three days. Arriving at
Martinsburg, two companies were stationed in a church, the others
encamping near the town. Co's B and G were left at Monocacy. The
companies remained at Martinsburg six weeks and then returned to camp,
as the threatened attack proved to be an alarm, the rebels
reconnoitering and then retiring. The men now began to get tired of
Monocacy, having lain there 9 months. A flag was presented to the
regiment by Gov. Parker. The men were drawn up in line with white
gloves, a band was hired for the occasion, and the flag was presented by
the Governor in person. Although the men were denied the luxuries of
life, they were far better off than the boys of the Potomac army with
good tents and pretty good food. The men were very well contented.
Numbers were anxious to move. Take us to the front was the general
cry. Soon the order came, pack up, boys, and prepare to move. The men
obeyed with alacrity, as all were glad to go, lying in camp so long. A
number of articles had accumulated that were of no use to us and were
left behind. The ground was as smooth and as even as a board floor, the
men drilling on it so often it became hard. When we entered it it was
mud knee deep. The men working with a will soon had their tents in line
and arranged in perfect order. To be ready to move without delay was the
order. Tents were struck and the regiment proceeded to the Relay House
on baggage cars. Co.'s E and K were ordered to be in readiness, and were
taken on board. Monocacy to us was a home, and with a sigh of regret we
left, although anxious to move. Arriving at the Relay House at five
o'clock, encamped in a field near the depot, the men lying out in the
dew. The next morning tents were pitched. Just as they were ready,
orders came for the men to send all surplus baggage home, as the
regiment was ordered to the front to join the Potomac Army. The rebel
army under Lee had again attempted the invasion of the North, and
re-enforcements were hurriedly sent on. Everything was left behind. The
men were now in light marching order, and were again placed on baggage
cars for Harper's Ferry, eighty-one miles from Baltimore. Co. E was left
at Monocacy to guard the bridge, stationed in block houses built by our
regiment. Arriving at Maryland Heights, the regiment marched up the
ascent in dust and sun. It was exceedingly warm, and the march very
tiresome. The Heights are ascended by a circuitous route that winds
around the mountain. The sun being very hot, and the roads very dusty,
it was very hard for the men, and they soon became tired with heavy
knapsacks, muskets and equipments. Arriving at the top, the regiment
encamped near the 6th New York Heavy Artillery regiment that had lain
there some six months. Their camp was in a splendid condition, clean and
neat, the men being more like regulars than volunteers, wearing new
clothes and white gloves. While on duty the men were compelled to lie
out, having been furnished with no tents or blankets, nor did the men
get any until the summer campaign was nearly over. The troops on the
Heights numbered some 7,000 men, under command of Gen. Tyler.

The enemy were now across the Potomac in force, moving northward for
Pennsylvania, under command of their best and ablest leader, General
Lee, marching the same road they did the previous year, when under
command of their wily and strategic leader, Stonewall Jackson, now no
more. Lee, his superior in every respect, was now in full command of all
the armies of the Confederate States, superintending the army of
northern Virginia in person. Our army was commanded by Fighting Joe
Hooker, Burnside's successor. Both armies were straining every nerve.
Defeat to us was death. Washington, at the mercy of the rebels, would
soon fall, the independence of the South achieved, and Slavery, the
curse of our nation, would rule supreme. But God, in his wise
providence, saw fit to rule otherwise, and victory crowned our arms.

The regiment was encamped on the Heights thirteen days. General Tyler
was relieved and General French succeeded him. He immediately set about
preparing the Heights for immediate defence. Trenches were dug, rifle
pits and cannon were placed in position. It was supposed the enemy, if
defeated, would fall back on Harper's Ferry, and everything was prepared
to give them a warm reception. During our sojourn on the Heights the
rain fell incessantly day and night, wetting us to the skin. Officers
and men, with spades and picks, were busily engaged in digging and
erecting fortifications in mud knee deep. A strong picket force was
thrown out on all roads every night, each regiment sending more than
half of their men. The works were at last finished, and Maryland Heights
were considered as impregnable--a second Gibraltar--its frowning
batteries and immense fortifications, manned by one division, were
sufficient to hold the whole rebel army in check. While there an alarm
spread that the enemy were coming. The men had never smelt powder and
were as new recruits. It was night and very dark. Soon some of the men,
mistaking others for rebels, fired their pieces, supposing the enemy
were near. Report after report followed in quick succession, the
darkness of the night preventing the men from seeing anything. At last
the firing ceased. The men awakened from their sleep were at first
confused, but soon became aware that no enemy was near, and closed their
eyes once more in sleep. Expecting an attack, and to prepare the men for
any emergency, every regiment was required to be in line at three
o'clock each morning, remaining until daylight. It was a very wise
precaution, as it proved beneficial to the men afterward. Two pontoon
bridges were laid across the Potomac to Virginia, one at Harper's Ferry,
another some three miles further North. The 14th regiment was on picket
at one, the 6th Md. at the other. Jno. Brown's cave being near, it was
visited by the men. This cave is an opening on Bollivar Heights, some
300 feet deep, filled with holes, and very dark. Here John Brown, and
some thirty desperadoes, were concealed for seven days, and were at last
compelled to surrender to the armed forces of Virginia. His object to
free the slaves of the South failed, and he, with his band of men, were
finally executed. The cave now bears his name, and is often visited by
persons anxious to see the cave of the renowned chieftain. The arsenal
and all public buildings were in ruins, the walls still standing. They
were destroyed at the commencement of the war by the Union forces, to
prevent them from falling into the hands of the enemy. Day and night the
men worked on the fortifications, strengthening them after they were
done. Lee was still moving northward, followed closely by Hooker, with
the Potomac Army. Arriving near Maryland Heights he visited Gen. French,
and ordered the Heights evacuated and the troops to re-enforce the army,
preparatory to a decisive battle. Gen. Halleck, then in command at
Washington, ordered Gen. French to remain, and ordered Hooker to be
relieved. Gen. Geo. B. Meade, commanding the Pennsylvania Reserves, was
placed in command of the army. He immediately ordered the troops to
evacuate the Heights and join the Potomac Army with all possible haste,
as re-enforcements were greatly needed. The men had worked hard, and
those immense fortifications were useless.

The division under command of Major-General French evacuated the Heights
on Tuesday, June 30, destroying a vast amount of ammunition, grain, etc.
Eighty men from the 14th regiment, under command of Lieut. Bailey, were
detailed to guard the pontoon bridge near John Brown's cave, until the
Heights were evacuated. At four o'clock everything was ready, and the
column started. Heavy guns were placed on canal boats for Washington;
the sick were sent to convalescent camps, and everything that could not
be taken was destroyed. Orders were read to the troops to prepare for an
active campaign, and in light marching order; all baggage not really
needed was sent to Washington, and the men were ready for a march.
Company E, stationed at Monocacy, twenty-five miles away, was ordered
to join the regiment, marching in a heavy rain, remaining but one night
on the heights. At 5 P. M. the troops started, the rain pouring in
torrents, marching that afternoon seven miles with knapsacks, muskets,
equipments and three days' rations, passing Sandy Hook and Knoxville,
small, dilapidated villages near the ferry. These places, since the war,
were rapidly going to decay. Encamping in a field at night, lying on the
wet ground till morning. We were on the Heights two weeks, the rain
falling continually, the men constantly at work digging entrenchments
and on picket, but one day being clear. As the men left they gave a sigh
of relief, and hoped they would never see the place again. The rainy
season had now commenced, and the roads were almost impassible, the mud
in some places hub deep. It was with difficulty that the troops could
march, some sinking up to their knees in the mud. But seven miles were
made that day, and the troops, drenched with rain, cooked their scanty
supper of hard tack and salt pork by camp fires. Rail fences were
demolished and burned without regard to owners, and by the light of
these camp fires, without tents or blankets, the men bivouacked for the
night. This was the first march, and the men, exhausted, threw
themselves upon the wet ground, and soon were buried in slumber. Pickets
were stationed, and the dark, gloomy hours of the night passed slowly

The morning of July 1st dawned clear and bright; the reveille was
sounded, and the men awakened from their slumber to prepare for a weary
march. Breakfast of hard tack, coffee and pork was eaten, and the
troops, in solid columns to the number of 7,000, under command of Gen.
French, moved out on the road to Frederick City, passing through
Jefferson, a small village on the main road. The sun came out very warm.
The march was tiresome, as the men were not used to it. A great many
threw away their knapsacks, the ground being covered with them. The
farmers followed with their wagons, picking up everything that was
thrown away. The men were glad to get rid of all unnecessary loads. The
country along the route was splendid. The waving fields of grain, the
crops of grass, reminded us of home. But war was desolating the
land--cruel, unrelenting war! At four P. M. the column halted near
Frederick City, having marched since morning eighteen miles. The roads
were very bad, and the column was ordered to remain in camp one day. No
passes were allowed the men to visit Frederick City, and they lay
quietly in camp on the wet ground, tired and weary, the weather
intensely hot, the men bathing in Monocacy. A man from Co. H, named
Anderson, ventured beyond his depth and was drowned, not being able to
swim. Every effort was made to save him, but without avail. His body was
recovered and buried in the cemetery near Frederick.

On Friday, July 3d, the troops were ordered to change camp near Monocacy
bridge, marching three miles, awaiting orders, passing through Frederick
City, marching company front, the roads very muddy, encamping near
Monocacy bridge, on the western side of the river. Remaining over night
the men felt the need of blankets, but still none were furnished. It was
raining and very disagreeable. It cleared off during the night. The
fourth of July was very warm. At noon orders came for the troops to move
to the support of the Potomac army, now engaged in a terrific struggle
with Lee and the flower of the rebel army at Gettysburgh. Defeat to our
forces was ruin; victory, everything. For four days the tide of battle
ebbed and flowed. The night of the fourth found the enemy in full
retreat, closely followed by our victorious Meade; a name hitherto known
only to the army, but now will ever be remembered as one of our proudest
leaders--Geo. W. Meade, the hero of Gettysburgh, and the commander of
the Potomac army. It again commenced to rain, and the men were wet
through. The guns of Gettysburgh were plainly heard. The men were not
allowed any rest, but passed on, hoping to arrive in time to take part
in that ever memorable battle, and to relieve those men, who for four
days had driven the enemy at all points with terrible slaughter.
Marching in the mud was slow, the artillery sinking deep in the mire.
The divisions now numbered some eight thousand men, having been
re-enforced by troops lying in the vicinity of Frederick City, passing
through Middletown, a small village eight miles from Frederick City. At
sunset the rain ceased for a short time, the sun setting in all its
glory. The surrounding country was splendid. Our march was through a
valley, the scenery being delightful. The column marched nineteen miles,
halting at midnight at Boonsboro Gap; headquarters at the Summit House,
eighteen miles from Hagerstown. The enemy were now in full retreat. This
was the second time the Confederates had attempted the invasion of the
North, and for the second time were defeated. Longstreet had several
times hurled his dense columns upon our centre, trying in vain to break
our lines, but each time was repulsed with terrible loss. A. P. Hill on
the right and Ewell on the left, sought, if possible, a weak spot, to
penetrate our lines, but firm as a rock the Union boys stood repulsing
each charge, strewing the ground with rebel dead, and driving them back
in confusion. Both armies were now in motion, each hoping by rapid
marches to outwit the other; Lee trying to get across the Potomac, and
Meade trying to intercept him. It was supposed that Lee would retreat by
the way of Boonsboro Gap, and French's division was ordered to hold it,
and keep the enemy in check, while the Potomac army moved, if possible,
in their rear. A strong line of battle was formed, and heavy pickets
thrown out. No fires were allowed. As each regiment came up they were
formed in line, stacked arms and lay on the wet ground until morning.
The night was very cold, and the men suffered very much with nothing but
the ground to lie on, with a knapsack for a pillow and the canopy of
heaven for a covering.

The division was composed of three Brigades; the first consisting of the
151st N. Y., 6th N. Y. Heavy Artillery, 10th Vermont and 14th N. J.,
commanded by Brig. Gen. Morris, formerly Colonel of the 6th N. Y. The
regiments were very large, numbering from eight hundred to one thousand
men. We remained at the Gap five days, the Potomac army passing through,
Lee having halted at Williamsport, the river being so high he could not
cross. As the veterans of many a hard fought battle passed, they were
loudly cheered by the new troops. Their soiled and worn out garments,
and their decimated ranks contrasted greatly with our well filled ranks
and new clothes. They looked upon us as new recruits, and remarks were
frequently made by them not altogether suiting us. Some of them were
that our regiments were as large as their brigades, and that we were too
green for the front. Such remarks did very well for the time, as we were
not inured to hardships as they were, but the war was not yet over.
After serving their three years they lay quietly at their homes, while
the boys that were then called green, were veterans, destined to see
more hardships and more fighting than those that enlisted at the
commencement of the war. Nine hundred and sixty rebels that were
wounded, with ambulances and baggage wagons, were sent back by Gen. Lee
with an escort, to Richmond. They were captured, together with several
important despatches, by Kilpatrick's cavalry, and brought in camp for
us to guard at Boonsboro Gap. Several of them were in a dying condition.
They were very destitute and ragged, with scarcely anything to eat. The
10th Vermont guarded them to Washington. The Regiment was encamped on
the spot where Gen. Reno fell at the battle of Antietam, a tree marking
the spot. It was on the plantation of Dr. Wise, his well being filled
with dead rebels thrown in for burial. Many a parent or loving wife will
never know their fate, thinking perhaps they were prisoners, and at the
close of the war would return to their homes; but they are now no more.
With thousands of Union soldiers their bones rest on Southern soil,
there to remain until the last trump shall sound to summon them to their
final account before a just and holy God.

During the five days encampment at Boonsboro Gap, the weather was very
stormy and disagreeable; everything was excitement, and we were
confident that Lee and his army would be annihilated. The Potomac army
with its re-enforcements was rapidly concentrating, having marched from
Gettysburgh by various routes; flushed with victory they were anxious to
be led forward. The rebel army being very much disheartened by defeat
and scant of rations, some having five rounds of ammunition apiece,
desertions from their lines were numerous, a great many Maryland
soldiers returning to their homes sick and tired of rebeldom. Various
rumors were in circulation, and all felt that a decisive battle would
soon be fought, at what point none could tell, as none were certain of
the whereabouts of Lee's main force, he having retreated from
Gettysburgh in the darkness of the night; but it was supposed he was in
the vicinity of Williamsport, preparing to re-cross the river into
Virginia, and fall back as rapidly as possible, within the defences of
Richmond. A courier bearing despatches from Jeff. Davis to Gen. Lee was
captured by our scouts, and the despatches intercepted. They were orders
from Richmond for Lee to fall back immediately, as the place was
threatened by our forces under Butler from Fortress Monroe. Maryland now
presented a scene of desolation and woe; houses pillaged, robbed and
burned by the soldiers of both armies; trees were felled and rail fences
demolished without regard to owners. Orders were read to the troops
forbidding straggling, but by some those orders were not obeyed, and
foraging soon became common. The poorer classes were on the verge of
starvation, as everything they had was taken. The soldiers fared well,
helping themselves to everything that came in their way, without regard
to owners or to value, robbing hen roosts, killing sheep, hogs and
cattle. Fields of grain were trampled upon and laid waste; horses and
mules were turned loose to feed in fields of oats, wheat and clover.

On the afternoon of July 9th, orders came for the division to move and
join the Potomac army, having been assigned as 3rd Division, 3rd Army
Corps, now commanded by Gen. French. Gen. Sickels, one of our ablest
Generals, formerly commanded the corps; he was everywhere in the hottest
of the fight. At Gettysburgh, while giving command to his men, he was
struck by a shell and severely wounded in the leg. It was found
necessary to amputate it, and the command of the corps was given to Maj.
Gen. French. The odd divisions, 1st, 2nd and 3rd, were formed in two,
our division as 3rd, commanded by Brig. Gen. Carr from New York State.
Leaving the gap, the division marched that afternoon six miles, joining
the Potomac army at night, encamping in a field. This was our first
entry in that army, and we remained there until the close of the war.
The 11th New Jersey was in the 2nd division. They were raised at Trenton
under the same call, and proceeded to the front a few days sooner than
the 14th. They were placed immediately in active service and had already
participated in several battles. At Gettysburgh they were in the hottest
of the fight, losing more than one-third of their men, and fighting
bravely. They now numbered but two hundred men; sickness and death on
the battle field had thinned their ranks, but still they were ready for
the contest and as eager as ever to be led forward. Six days had now
elapsed since the retreat of Lee from Gettysburgh; the army was again
concentrated and moved forward to the attack. We were now but one day's
march from the enemy, strongly entrenched at Williamsport. As yet we had
not seen a battle, nor had we seen an armed rebel. As new troops we were
all anxious to fight, but were disappointed, perhaps for the best. After
joining the Potomac army, the division encamped in a field until
morning, cooking coffee and hard-tack by camp fires built of rail
fences. The next morning the troops were awakened at reveille which was
sounded at sunrise. At 11 o'clock a forward movement was again made,
marching six miles, passing through a small village called Katyville.
The stores were closed, the majority of the men being secesh. Frederick
City was the base of supplies, and rations were plenty; such as an army
was allowed on a march, consisting of hard-tack, salt pork, sugar,
coffee and beef. As long as the troops remained in Maryland, they fared
well, but in Virginia, rations were scarce, often two or three days
passing without anything to eat; the troops marched very slow. As we
were approaching the enemy during the afternoon, but six miles were
marched. The Regiment encamping on a hill near a battery, arms were
stacked, the men prepared their evening meal. The camp fires of our army
were everywhere visible, and in the darkness of the night looked
splendidly. At nine o'clock the bugle sounded, and orders came to move
immediately. Various reports were soon circulated, but little time was
given for conjecture. Soon the troops were in motion, marching back a
forced march of eight miles, almost double quick, halting at twelve
o'clock in the vicinity of Boonsboro Gap, near the headquarters of Gen.
Meade. A line of battle was quickly formed, the troops sleeping on their
arms. The Regiment halted in a field of wheat cut and shocked, the men
helping themselves, making beds for the night. It being warm we slept
well until aroused the next morning at reveille. The weather was close
and very uncomfortable and marching very tedious. The troops had
advanced farther than was intended, and were almost within the enemy's
lines. The next morning orders came again to advance, marching three
miles in line of battle, maneuvering in various positions. The Regiment
was detailed to support a battery, remaining two days and three nights,
every moment expecting to attack the enemy, and wondered why the order
was not given. All were anxious to fight, and all were confident that
the rebel army would be defeated. Gen. Meade held a council of war with
his corps commanders, French, Howard, Sykes, Sedgwick, Warren and
Hancock, and it was decided not to attack, as the army needed
reorganizing and had suffered severely at Gettysburgh, the risk being
too great to run. The rebel army, although defeated, would fight with
desperation, and if victorious nothing could save Washington. Gen. Lee,
without exception, was the leading general of the rebel army, together
with A. P. Hill, Longstreet and Ewell, and they were formidable
antagonists to encounter. Taking advantage of the delay, the enemy were
rapidly re-crossing the river, having seized several boats, and with
their pontoon train soon constructed bridges. The river was falling and
everything was in their favor. While we were watching their front
nothing but their advance guard was in sight. On the night of July 14th
the retreat was discovered, but nothing could be done until morning. At
daylight our army was in pursuit, but without avail. Their rear guard,
numbering some five thousand men, was captured, the rest were safe
across the river, marching rapidly toward Richmond, a weakened,
demoralized army, disheartened by defeat. It is estimated that Lee lost
forty thousand men in his attempt to invade the North. Gen. Meade was
greatly censured by the people of the North for allowing the enemy to
escape, but Lee had yet a large army and victory to our forces not
altogether certain. The Potomac army by rapid marching and hard
fighting, had driven the enemy from our soil, and the heart-felt thanks
of millions of souls went up to God in praise. But still more was to be
done; the rebels were not conquered; large armies were yet to be
encountered and subdued; miles of territory hostile to the government to
be occupied, and treason crushed forever. The army moved five miles to
Williamsport, occupying the same ground the rebels did the night before.
We saw their breastworks and fortifications, but nothing of them, with
the exception of their rear guard of 5,000 men that was captured. We
remained at Williamsport until the morning of the 15th, when the pursuit
commenced. Orders were read to the troops to prepare for hard marching.
The weather was intensely hot, almost suffocating, and the roads very
muddy. We marched that day 14 miles, passing through the villages of
Fairplay and Donaldsville. The march was very severe, especially for the
new troops. Twenty from the 3d Corps fell out, exhausted, and died by
the road; several were sunstruck. At three o'clock the troops halted in
the vicinity of Sharpsburg until morning, the men nearly played out.
Muskets were stuck in the ground and shelters fastened upon them, to
protect the men from the rays of the sun. Tired and weary they threw
themselves upon the ground and most of them were soon asleep. Pickets
were placed as usual, until the next morning, when the army was again in
motion, marching that day 15 miles, encamping in Pleasant Valley, near
Harper's Ferry, remaining until the afternoon of the next day, the rain
pouring in torrents. The weather was very uncertain, one day very warm,
the next rainy and cold.

On the afternoon of 17th, the column marched eight miles, very slowly,
passing Sandy Hook and crossing the Potomac at Harper's Ferry on
pontoons. For the first time our regiment trod the sacred soil of
Virginia. Alas! how few returned of that noble band of Jersey boys, the
bravest of the brave, that for the first time stood on that once sacred,
but now polluted, ground. The ravages of war had laid the country waste,
and destitution everywhere met the eye. An old dilapidated bridge
crossed the Shenandoah, and the troops marched over in single file,
moving around Louden Heights. The night being very dark and the march
very slow, they halted in a field at 12 o'clock until morning. The next
day was Sunday, but there was no rest--no such thing as Sunday in the
army. The regiment was detailed as rear guard of ammunition train,
marching eight miles, the sun being very warm, and the heat almost
insufferable, encamping with the main body of the corps in a field near
Keys Pass. The heat was so intense that neither army could march fast.
The rebels were now but one day's march from us, we having taken a
nearer route by way of Harper's Ferry, marching down the Louden Valley,
the enemy marching down the Shenandoah.

The Summer campaign had thus far been an active one, and by the new
troops was considered wonderful. The rebel army was still moving
southward by slow marches, from eight to fifteen miles per day, the
weather too hot to permit marching faster, the Potomac Army in pursuit.
Lee, as wily and strategic as ever, refused to give battle, and, by a
series of maneuvers, succeeded in eluding our grasp. The different corps
marched by different routes, the cavalry frequently skirmishing with
their rear guard. But five miles were made on the 19th, as the troops
were waiting for supplies, passing through Snickersville, near Snicker's
Gap, and encamping in a field. At midnight we were routed out for
rations and a good supper issued. At four o'clock we were ordered to
move, marching fourteen miles before breakfast, halting at noon for
dinner. After resting an hour orders were given to move again, marching
three miles to Upperville, encamping on the ground where Buford had a
cavalry fight with the rebel leader, Stuart, the year previous. For
several hours skirmishing was kept up until dark, when Buford ordered a
charge. Stuart was driven from the field, retiring in the darkness of
the night, leaving his dead and wounded in our hands. The troops
remained at Upperville two days, the regiment being detailed for picket
the ensuing night. It was now rumored that Grant, the hero of Vicksburg,
was to take command of the army, Gen. Meade being too slow for the
people North. Had they been in the Potomac army, they would not have
been so eager to move, and march in the hot sun. Upperville is a small
village near Manassas Gap. The people, as a general thing, are very
ignorant, and gazed with wonder at us Yanks, as they called us. One
remark, especially, was amusing to the men. As the regiment was passing
an old house, being an advance guard, a little girl came running in,
exclaiming, "Mother, mother, take in your clothes, here comes the
Yanks!" This served as a bye-word for some time, the men often
exclaiming, as they passed a house, "Take in your chimney, old man, its
going to rain!" At four o'clock on the afternoon of the 22d, orders came
to fall in, marching six miles to Piedmont station, on the Orange and
Alexandria Railroad. At the commencement of the war this road was
destroyed by the rebels; ties were burned, rails bent, bridges
demolished, and wrecks of cars lay strewed around in various places. The
troops encamped on a hill until morning. Gen. Meade received information
that Ewell's corps was holding Manassas Gap, until the main body of the
rebel army had passed. Orders were given Gen. French to take the 3d
corps and, if possible, drive them from their position. At daylight the
next morning the corps started, with nothing to eat, as the rations had
not arrived. It was deemed necessary to drive the rebels from the gap,
and the men were compelled to go. The sun was very warm, and the troops,
hungry and weary, plodded on, marching fourteen miles, halting for a
rest at noon. At three o'clock the column advanced in line of battle,
the cavalry returning, having engaged the enemy during the morning, but
could do but little without infantry. Manassas Gap is a wild, romantic
spot, and very hilly. The brigade was formed and maneuvered in line of
battle; Berdan's sharpshooters were deployed as skirmishers and soon
engaged the enemy on Whopping Heights. Orders were given the men to load
and fix bayonets, some time being occupied in getting into position,
marching up hill and down. It was now supposed by the men that a battle
was to be fought. Our brigade was placed in position and ordered to
charge the enemy. The skirmishing now became heavier, and the sharp
crack of the sharpshooter's rifle could be distinguished from the rest.
The men from the 14th now thought they were to see their first battle,
and grasping their muskets with a steady nerve, moved forward.
Fortunately we escaped for the time. Fearing a flank movement, the order
for the 1st brigade to charge was countermanded, and they were sent to
the extreme right of the line to protect the flank, through a dense wood
of briars and filled with ditches. The firing on the left and centre now
became heavier. Sickels' old brigade, now commanded by Gen. Spinola, was
ordered to charge in place of the 1st brigade, which proved a success;
two hundred prisoners and two guns were captured from the enemy. Gen.
Spinola was wounded and retired from the field. Our loss in killed and
wounded was but sixty men. Night was now approaching; the main body of
the rebel army had passed; the firing ceased, and the enemy were
retreating in haste. The weather suddenly changed, and the night was
chilly and damp. The regiment encamped on the side of a hill, without
blankets, and with nothing to eat; tired and weary, the men were soon
asleep. At daylight the bugle aroused the men from their slumbers. No
traces of the enemy could be seen; maneuvered up hill and down in line
of battle during the morning, when the troops were ordered back to
Piedmont; the remaining corps were encamped there awaiting supplies.
During the march to Manassas Gap, the troops waded five streams, some of
them waist deep, passing a village called Markham. The afternoon of the
26th the column moved back the same road, fourteen miles, to Piedmont,
the weather intensely hot and the men falling out by the way. They were
two days without anything to eat but green grapes and berries that grew
by the roadside; this was the hardest march the men had had so far.
Arriving at Piedmont, rations were issued of hard tack, coffee and pork,
the men eating a good supply, and lying down until morning. Having
received five days' rations, the troops moved again the next day twelve
miles, passing near Salem; the weather, as usual, warm, and the roads
dusty, the mud soon drying up. The column halted for the night, and the
men, with weary limbs and blistered feet, lay on the ground to rest. The
next day was Sunday, marched eleven miles to Warrenton; guarding
ammunition train, remaining on the outskirts of the place in camp five
days. Warrenton is a pretty village, three miles from Warrenton
Junction, on the Alexandria, Richmond and Danville road. At the
commencement of the war it was a thriving place, but since it has gone
to decay.

One hundred young men, the sons of wealthy parents, enlisted in the
rebel army; at the close of the war but eleven remained. Virginia is one
vast graveyard; the bones of three hundred thousand heroes there repose;
the merchant with the laborer, rich and poor, white and black. The
leaden messenger of death heeded not, but speed on, wielded by the hands
of men, once brothers, but now foes; engaged in cruel civil war, neither
party disposed to yield.

At Warrenton, Colonel Truex, with three commissioned officers and five
enlisted men, started for Jersey to raise recruits. The regiment was
commanded by Lieut. Col. Hall during his absence. Having, as yet,
received no tents or blankets, we lay in the hot sun until August 1st,
when the troops were again ordered to move; marching on the wrong road,
thereby marching eight miles out of the way; returned again, marching
fifteen miles more, halting at Shut-eye Town, near Stoneman's Creek; no
signs of the enemy, the regiment still guarding the ammunition train.
This march was very severe, the men carrying five days' rations,
muskets, equipments, and sixty rounds of ammunition. More than one half
of the men fell out, some cursing the officers for leading them out of
the way. Remained near Stoneman's Creek four days, brigade drill under
Gen. Morris each day. Officers from different regiments were sent home
to recruit, to prepare for the Fall campaign; more men were needed and
the army again re-organized. The troops now halted on the banks of the
Rappahannock, the 3rd corps at Fox's Ford, our brigade encamping at Rout
Hill, five miles from Stoneman's Creek, near Bealton Station, picketing
the Rappahannock; the rebel army near Culpepper. Camps were laid out,
shelter tents and rubber blankets issued, the men needing them very
much. Tents were placed on a line and raised from the ground, with poles
cut from trees, and were inspected each Sunday morning by a staff
officer from headquarters. The troops were lying once more in camp,
drawing clothes and shoes. Muskets were cleaned up and inspected each
afternoon; company drill one hour each morning. The drills were very
arduous; brigade drill four hours each day, guard mounting and dress
parade at night. Rout Hill was a very unhealthy place, a great many of
the men taking sick, several of them dying. The 6th N.Y. Heavy Artillery
were detached from brigade and sent to Washington, organized as
provisional brigade and commanded by Col. Ketchum, who subsequently lost
his life at Cedar Creek.

The brigade was now the largest in the corps; the 14th N. J. numbered
800 men, commanded by Col. Truex; the 10th Vermont 900 men, commanded by
Col. Henry, and the 151st N. Y. 900 men, commanded by Lieut. Col. Bowen,
in all 2,600 men, commanded by Brig. Gen. Morris. Details were made each
morning for picket from the various regiments, and stationed along the
Rappahannock. The camp now presented a healthy appearance, and a city
sprung up as if by magic. Old barns and out-houses were taken down by
the men, and comfortable Summer quarters were built, covered with
shelters. Games of ball, pitching quoits, and other amusements were
common. Sutlers arrived, the men were paid off, and marching for the
time was forgotten.

The army was now rapidly filling up, recruits arriving each day. The
mail and papers regularly arrived, and served to while away the dull
hours of camp life. Nothing was as cheering to a soldier as a letter
from his loving friends at home. As each mail arrived, the postmaster
was surrounded by an eager crowd, anxious to hear from home. Those who
were fortunate enough to get a letter were envied by their unlucky
comrades. If the friends at home could have known the pleasure a letter
would give us, they would not have delayed, but would have answered
immediately upon reception.

The troops remained in camp on the banks of the Rappahannock five weeks,
preparing for the Fall campaign. The 14th had now been in the army one
year, and had not thus far engaged in conflict with the enemy; several
times forming line of battle, every moment expecting to attack. For a
time we were fortunate, but, before the term of our enlistment had
expired, we were destined to see more marching and more fighting than
any regiment from New Jersey. Since the battle of Gettysburgh, there had
been no fighting of importance, and all were looking for a forward
movement. The rebel army had again been recruited, and were lying
quietly in camp near Culpepper, watching the movements of our forces,
and awaiting our advance. When least expected, the advance was made, and
the rebels surprised, as will be here-shown.

On the 7th of September, the corps was reviewed; an imposing spectacle.
The divisions were drawn up in line of battle on an open plain, near
army headquarters the troops in heavy marching order, with knapsacks
packed and blankets rolled, marching and counter marching, and passing
in review before Gen. Meade and staff, the officers seated on horseback.
It was very tiresome to the men. After reviewing the troops, they
marched back to their quarters, the officers to Gen. Meade's, where a
collation was served, the wine passing freely around; the privates, that
did the fighting, by their camp fires, eating hard-tack and salt pork,
denied the comforts of life, far from home, on Southern soil, fighting
for liberty and union.

During the afternoon of Sept 15, the Regiment being out on drill, were
ordered immediately to camp, and to prepare to move. Tents were struck,
knapsacks packed, and three days' rations issued. At five o'clock the
column moved forward, leaving our camp where we had lain five weeks, and
started towards the Rappahannock, marching five miles, halting at dark
near a mill on the Rappahannock, the men supposing they were to remain
until morning; but the troops were on the wrong road, the water at this
place being too deep to wade. The men were ordered to fall in, and
marched back across the fields, passing the old camp, and marching some
ten miles farther, encamping for the night on a low marshy swamp, near
Freeman's Ford, twelve miles from Bealton Station. The water at this
ford is very shallow, the main road to Richmond crossing at this point,
not deep enough for a bridge. The men were now well supplied with tents,
blankets and knapsacks for the Winter. The days were very warm, but the
nights were very cold, the dew falling heavily. Our loads were a burden;
knapsacks packed, five days rations and sixty rounds of ammunition, the
men calling themselves Uncle Sam's pack mules. At daylight the next
morning, the order to move forward was given, the men not knowing where
the enemy was stationed, nor in what force. The Rappahannock was waded
waist deep, the boys cheering as they felt the cold water gradually
rising till it was up to their waists, holding their muskets and
ammunition up in their hands, to prevent them from getting wet; marching
very fast, crossing Hazel river at Weldon's Ford, wading it still deeper
than the Rappahannock. After marching all day, with heavy loads, the
column halted at dark, having marched twenty miles. Tired and wet, the
men were glad to rest, and threw themselves on the ground for sleep. The
papers north were now filled with news, and were eagerly read by those
at home who knew nothing of war: the Potomac army has moved and will
soon be engaged in deadly strife with the enemy, and the war will soon
be over. Such reports were daily published, and by the people were
believed. It was thought by them that Lee was so badly whipped at
Gettysburgh that he would not fight; but they were mistaken, the rebel
army was recruited, re-organized, and as full of fight as ever, their
leaders determined on independence or extermination. The forward
movement had now commenced.

The next day the troops marched five miles in line of battle, in a dense
wood. The equinoctial storm now came on, and the troops were ordered
into camp near Culpepper, remaining there twenty-three days, watching
the movements of the enemy strongly entrenched on the Rapidan. Pickets
were thrown out and camp life again commenced. Why the halt, none of the
men could tell, and for twenty-three days, drills, inspections and
reviews were in regular succession. This suited the men better than
marching, although tired of drilling. The 14th had not as yet lost any
men by battle, but a great many by sickness and death. Of the 950
able-bodied men that had left New Jersey, 110 of them had died and were
buried in Maryland and Pennsylvania, and a few in Virginia. Eight
hundred and forty strong, the regiment occupied a large space of ground,
encamping in five lines, two companies in one line, or, as was called,
regimental divisions. The companies were in line as follows: A, F, D, I,
C, H, E, K, G and B. A on the right was called the senior company, B on
the left the second, and C centre or color company; the color guard was
composed of one Sergeant and eight Corporals, whose duty it was to
protect the flag.

On the morning of the 22d of September, eight days' rations were issued
the men at two o'clock, and orders given to move at daylight. Tents were
packed and everything in readiness, when the order was countermanded,
the tents again placed on a line. The pickets were doubled, as it was
supposed the enemy was advancing, and were about to attack; but this was
soon forgotten, and vigilance again relaxed.

Winter quarters were now talked of by the men, as cold weather was
approaching; they could scarcely keep warm in small shelter tents. Wood
was very scarce and had to be carried some distance. The cold winds of
October had come; extra blankets and overcoats were issued to protect
the men from the cold. Forty-two dollars per year were allowed the men
for clothing, and if they over-ran the amount, the difference was paid
by them; if not drawn, the government paid the balance due the men.

On the 10th of October everything was quiet in camp. The various
regiments were out on drill, when suddenly the long roll was beaten, and
the troops, in double quick time, proceeded to camp. Orderlies were now
running in every direction, everything in confusion, as the enemy were
advancing in force. A line of battle was soon formed, extending some 15
miles. Our pickets were driven in, and the rebels were slowly advancing.
Remained in line one hour, with arms stacked, the men lying on the grass
awaiting orders. Returned to camp and packed up, ready to move, as the
enemy had crossed the Rapidan and were advancing in force. At noon the
troops moved, maneuvering in various directions. As yet no decisive
order had been given, as it was not known what Lee's intentions were.
The regiment marched three miles, halting in the camp the 6th N. J. had
occupied, their camp showing signs of having been left in haste. The
majority of the men being on picket, wagons were sent for their
knapsacks. At ten o'clock the men pitched their shelters to get, if
possible, a little sleep. Tents were up but a short time when orders
came to pack up and move. The men formed in line but did not move, and
lay on the ground until morning by camp fires, when the men again fell
in, the day being Sunday, and marched in retreat, a forced march, the
enemy following firing on our rear guard. Several times during the
retreat a line of battle was formed by our men to protect the rear. Lee
had been heavily re-enforced by troops sent from Bragg's army in the
southwest, and was following closely, as the men remarked, "tight to our
heels," destroying the railroad, burning bridges, etc. At Brandy
station, the cavalry under Buford made a gallant charge, driving their
advance guard back to Culpepper. The 106th N. Y. of third division,
being on picket, were nearly surrounded, fighting their way out with
small loss. Both armies were now using every exertion, part of the time
Lee's army on a line with ours, moving for Centreville Heights. Arriving
at the Hazel river, the troops were obliged to wait until pontoons were
built, halting in line of battle, the rear guard skirmishing with the
enemy during the entire march. The troops soon filed over on two
bridges, which were taken up as soon as the army passed, the rebels
laying theirs shortly after. Darkness now came on, and still the march
was continued; the men, tired and weary often halting, forming line of
battle, moving back and then advancing. At ten o'clock the Rappahannock
was reached, the night very dark and cold; the men were compelled to
wade the river waist deep, the water running rapidly. The troops halted
on the banks of the river, having marched twenty-one miles since
morning. A line of battle was now formed and a heavy picket force thrown
out. The 14th Regiment was detailed, and orders given the men to light
no fires nor to sleep. Chilled through, the men stood all night in their
wet clothes. Several refused to cross the river and were taken prisoners
the next day. At first it was supposed the enemy would not follow any
farther than the river, but we were mistaken. All day Monday the men
remained on picket, watching the movements of the enemy. At Fox's Ford,
the 1st New Jersey cavalry were engaged for several hours, keeping the
enemy at bay. The fords were all heavily guarded by the cavalry, and
skirmishing was continually kept up. All was quiet in our immediate
front, while the deep booming of the cannon was heard at intervals
during the day on the extreme right or left. Our base of supplies was at
Alexandria. The retreat had thus far been admirably conducted by Gen.
Meade. Being afraid to hazard a battle against such odds, it was deemed
expedient to retreat within the defenses of Washington, and with the
troops there encamped to fight if necessary. It was now evident that it
was Lee's intention to make a grand raid in the rear of the Army of the
Potomac; cutting off railroad communication with Washington by
destroying the bridges; securing supplies for his half famished troops
and horses by seizing scattering wagon trains; and then by rapid marches
throw his main force upon different points, and, if possible, destroy
Gen. Meade's army by detail. When this flank movement was discovered
Gen. Meade ordered a rear movement east of Culpepper, by Kilpatrick's
and Buford's divisions of cavalry, with infantry supports. A. P. Hill's
rebel corps had advanced on our north flank, towards Warrenton,
threatening our right. Finding that Ewell's corps had not pursued us to
the river, Gen. Meade sent three corps and Buford's cavalry towards
Culpepper, but found no heavy force of the enemy there, Lee having by
this time pushed his main column towards Warrenton, threatening our
right and rear, while we were on the Rappahannock watching a portion of
one of his corps. Lee hoped to execute his well-planned movement upon
our rear, but our reconnoisance towards Culpepper led him to believe
that it was Gen. Meade's intention to get in his rear. Instead of moving
farther as he should have done, he halted his army, and took a position
to give a decisive fight.

Up to this time Lee had the advantage, having surprised us while lying
in camp. He was as near Washington as Gen. Meade, and unencumbered with
trains, with every prospect of gaining Manassas or Centreville Heights,
and cutting off our retreat and all our heavy trains. He evidently
expected to be attacked on Tuesday, as we lay all day Monday on the
Rappahannock, watching, as we supposed, his whole army, when it was only
one of his corps, and he, as ignorant as we were, expecting us to attack
him, maintaining his position in line of battle until noon Tuesday,
awaiting our advance. Gregg's cavalry division had retarded the
movements of the rebel leader Stuart's advance over the Rappahannock
during Monday, although compelled to fall back from the river at night.
Quietly, during the reconnoisance on Monday, Gen. Meade had prepared his
trains, and got them en route rearward, and during Monday had withdrawn
his corps from the Rappahannock, destroyed the railroad bridges,
abutments and all, and sent the pontoons eastward before daylight on
Tuesday morning; sunrise saw the whole army well on the way towards
Washington. Our regiment was yet on picket, having been on over
twenty-four hours. At three o'clock in the morning we were ordered to
fall in, marching one mile, halting in the woods, stacking arms and
cooking breakfast. At four o'clock we formed in line of battle; Co.'s E
and G were sent out as skirmishers. Colonel Truex rode to the front of
the regiment telling them he wished every man in his place; he wanted no
shirking, as the enemy had crossed the river, their skirmishers were
slowly advancing, and would soon be in sight. Again we were destined not
to engage in battle, remaining in line one hour and then marched back,
passing the place we stood picket with our backs to the Rappahannock;
the army had crossed so often, only to return beaten by the foe. The
brigade was now several miles ahead, and the men were compelled to march
fast to keep up, passing the 1st and 2nd divisions, taking the fields
and by-roads; at three o'clock halting near the railroad, supposing we
were to remain until morning, as we had marched twenty miles. The enemy
were pressing and again we were ordered to move. From elevated points of
view the advance of our army over the plains of Manassas by four
different roads, with flanking columns of infantry stretching for miles
and moving steadily forward, was grand beyond description. Cannonading
and musketry were frequently heard on our left flank, as bodies of rebel
cavalry came down at different points, under the fixed belief that they
would reach the railroad and cut our line unopposed. They were very much
surprised at finding a force at every point, miles from the line of
travel, to meet and repel them there. Nor was Lee less surprised when he
learned that he was successfully out-generaled by Meade. He pushed off
Stuart's cavalry from Sulphur Springs upon our rear on Tuesday evening,
and rushed forward Hill's corps at a double quick to support them. Ewell
advanced more leisurely, capturing our stragglers, a great many falling
out, some forty from the 14th regiment were taken and sent to Belle
Isle, there to linger, starved and nearly frozen, during the long,
dreary days of Winter.

The firing in the rear now became heavier, the men hastened their steps.
The 2nd corps was passed, halting in a woods for supper, and to protect
the rear, relieving the 3d corps that had guarded the rear during the
day. Our weary columns now pressed on without any rest until twelve
o'clock at night, when the camp fires of the advanced guard were
discerned in the distance. After marching through a dense woods, 3 miles
in length, the regiment halted in an open field with the rest of the
brigade near Greenwich, having been furnished with eight days' rations,
muskets, equipments and sixty rounds of ammunition, marched thirty-three
miles since morning. During the march Gen. French and staff were fired
into by guerillas, but fortunately none of them were injured.

After resting about four hours, the troops were again routed out long
before daylight, resuming our march; being the rear guard the day
before, the 3d corps was now in advance in four columns. Our army
pressed on, knowing that if Centreville Heights were not reached by us
before Lee, all would be lost, and like Pope, Meade would have been left
to get out of the scrape the best way he could. At daylight Hill's corps
rushed upon Warren with the 2d corps; in vain he endeavored to cut them
off; forming the 2d corps in two lines of battle at Bristoe Station, the
brave Warren awaited their advance until within a few yards, and then
opened with his artillery and musketry, driving them back with severe
loss; in turn charging them, capturing 450 prisoners and 6 guns, leaving
500 of them killed and wounded on the field. When first attacked at
Bristoe Station, Warren threw his infantry from a hill south of the road
down through a swamp near the railroad, under a storm of shot and shell.
The raw recruits that were sent to the army at Rout Hill, were nearly
all of them placed in the 2d corps and in this, their first battle, gave
themselves up for lost. Pale and trembling they involuntarily went
forward, took position with their comrades and performed their portion
of the fight. Every whistling rifle ball, every shrieking shell, they
apprehended was to destroy them individually. It was beyond their
comprehension when told they had met, charged and beaten a brave enemy
in a fierce fight, and captured several hundred of Hill's veterans, six
guns and three battle flags, besides wounding hundreds of rebels, and
come out of the fight unhurt. Their immediate commanders say they fought
equally as well as the old boys, showing no signs of fear when the first
impulse had passed. At three o'clock the corps was ordered to halt, the
guns of Warren could be plainly heard. The regiment halted on Manassas
plains near a brick house used for a signal station, where Beauregard
had his headquarters at the battle of Bull Run. The day was rather
sultry; occasionally a shower came up, which was very refreshing to the
tired men. The troops had a splendid view of the old Bull Run battle
ground. The brigade countermarched one mile, and forming line of battle
proceeded to the help of Warren; but he needed no assistance, as he had
driven Hill back. During the march the enemy pressed us so hard that we
were compelled to leave the sick and wounded in their hands. Crossed
Broad Run, wading it knee deep; also crossed Bull Run at night, the army
forming a line front to the enemy, from Chantilly on the north to Wolf
Run shoals on the south. Not a farthing's worth of property had been
abandoned to, or destroyed by the enemy, out of millions of dollars
transported from Culpepper. Nearly seventy-five miles were marched in
three days, our advance on Centreville Heights being only a few hours
ahead of Lee.

Thus Lee was again out-generaled by Maj. Gen. Meade; by ceaseless and
untiring vigilance he kept himself possessed of all their movements and
designs, and by marches of unparalleled rapidity, in which the troops
suffered without murmuring the loss of rest for successive nights,
marching on through daylight and darkness, in storm and cold, he
overcame the first day's march the enemy had gained, our advance being
already in possession of the Heights when the rear guard was engaged at
Bristoe, full ten miles distant. In consequence of hard marching the men
were very tired, and with blistered feet and weary limbs were glad to
rest on the old Bull Run battle ground, amid the bones of men and horses
that were now resting there. Forty from the regiment were captured on
the march, being unable to keep up. At 11 o'clock the troops encamped,
resting on their arms till morning. Maneuvering on the Heights, forming
line of battle, moving forward, passing the 1st, 2d and 5th corps on the
Heights; marching seven miles to Union Mills; raining hard. The next day
the regiment was detailed for picket, remaining on one day; was then
relieved by the 122d Ohio regiment of 3d division; remained at Union
Mills five days; every morning routed out at three o'clock in line of
battle until daylight.

Our line of defence was now taken up as follows: From the vicinity of
Chantilly on the right to Union Mills on the left, with cavalry on
either flank; Birney's division of the 3d corps was stationed at Fairfax
Court House, the depot of supplies; the 3d division on the extreme left
at Union Mills; the 6th corps under Sedgwick, on the extreme right at
Chantilly, with Kilpatrick's cavalry to protect the flank; the 2d corps
in the rear, was held in readiness to be sent where most needed. The
troops were now inspected, and articles most needed given out, and new
clothing given to those who did not draw at Culpepper. Gen. Sickels, our
old commander, visited the corps at Union Mills. He was received by the
men with cheers, and welcomed back. His stay was brief, as he had not
recovered from his wound, his leg having been amputated near the hip.
Lee, foiled in his attempt to take Washington, retraced his steps,
falling back rapidly towards his entrenched position on the Rapidan. It
was feared that he would again cross the Potomac in the direction of
Harper's Ferry, for another extensive raid into Maryland and
Pennsylvania, as there were frequent reports coming from sources usually
reliable, but all of them proved groundless; if he had again attempted
it he would have found the Potomac army ready, and well prepared for any
engagement. With re-enforcements from Washington, the army was again
ready to move with a view to overtake Lee if he should be retreating, or
to intercept his return if he should have gone towards the Potomac.

On the morning of Oct. 19, the order to advance was again given;
marching during the morning seven miles, halting at noon on Manassas
Plains, near Clarksville, marching over a railroad bridge at Pope's Run,
the rain pouring in torrents. Construction trains had now run as far as
Bristoe Station, the trussle bridge having been burnt by the rebels and
the tracks between Manassas and Catlet's Station almost wholly destroyed
by them. For the first time in two months we saw the cars, having
marched on by roads from Maryland to Culpepper, or on main roads far
from any railroad. The pursuit now commenced in earnest, and Lee, who
but a short time before was confident of victory, was now in turn
retreating. Again the tables were turned; by strategic skill Gen. Meade
had baffled all the designs of the skillful rebel chieftain. After a
weary march of three days in cold and storm, he succeeded in placing the
Union army in such a position that it would be madness for any foe to
attack it, and now the discomfited rebel army beats a hasty retreat,
attempting by rapid movements and shrewd devises, to get back to their
fortified position on the Rapidan before the Union Army could overtake
them in their haste. As we retired from the Rappahannock to the
fortified Heights of Centreville, the enemy followed, shouting victory;
every step they advanced seemed to them an assurance that Washington was
in their grasp. Proudly and defiantly they pressed on after our
retreating columns, thinking that the army of the Potomac had been
weakened by drafts upon it for the army in the southwest, and that we
would be wholly unable to protect the Union capitol; every mile we
retired strengthened them in their feeble delusion. Succeeding in
getting possession of the shortest line from the Rappahannock to
Centreville, they thought to possess those heights in advance of our
army, then wheeling destroy us, leaving Washington a sure fruit of their
success. It was a scheme well planned, and if successful, would have
given the Confederates their independence; but the commander of the
Union army was not idle, he understood their plans. By ceaseless and
untiring energy and by rapid marching, he came out victorious, and we
were again to traverse the same road, not in retreat, but as a
victorious army. Ten days from the time of our starting from Culpepper,
found us again on the advance. On the 20th the troops crossed Broad Run
and Kettle Run near Bristoe Station, wading them knee deep; found the
railroad destroyed, bridges and ties burned, marched over the hill where
Warren, with the 2d corps, engaged the enemy, the result being well
known to our readers, the remains of dead horses and men lying around;
marched 16 miles, taking the wrong road. The 1st and 2d divisions had
waded a stream very deep when the mistake was discovered, and they were
compelled to re-cross again, halting for the night near Greenwich; no
signs of the enemy, the weather very cold.

The next day the column again started, marching seven miles, the 2d
corps halting at Buckley's Mills, and the 3d corps encamping at Catlet's
Station. The railroad was totally destroyed, the rebels having placed
the ties on heaps, and then setting them on fire; with the rails on top
becoming red hot, they were bent nearly double, rendering them entirely
useless. At Catlet's Station the troops were ordered in camp until the
railroad was rebuilt. The regiment was detailed for picket at
Weaverville, near a mill on Cedar Run; remained one day until relieved
by the 87th Pennsylvania; marched when relieved three miles, near corps
headquarters. The corps remained at Catlet's Station ten days, during
which time we were constantly on the move, changing camp five times. The
men were detailed to rebuild the railroad; trees were cut and ties made,
the men working with a will. Soon the road was re-built, rails having
been sent on construction trains from Washington; about forty miles of
road had been destroyed, part by our troops and part by the rebels.
During our encampment at Catlet's Station, the first military execution
that had ever occurred in the 3d corps took place on Friday afternoon
in the 1st division. The culprit was private Henry C. Beardsly, who
originally enlisted in the 5th Michigan infantry. He was always a
worthless, quarrelsome soldier and a shirk. He deserted before fighting
a battle, and afterwards enlisted in a cavalry regiment, from which he
also deserted; being caught with such a record there was no hope for
him. He was shot in the presence of the entire division at two o'clock
in the afternoon. The arrangements were most perfectly made by the
Provost Marshal of the division, the ceremonies being exceedingly
solemn. The poor fellow met his death more boldly than he lived.
Twelve-muskets were fired at him, eleven balls entered his breast, one
musket being blank; he died without a struggle.

On the 30th of October the troops again moved forward, marching seven
miles to Warrenton Junction and encamping near Bealton Station. The road
was now completed from Washington to Warrenton, and supplies run to the
troops; encamped at the Junction seven days; company drill one hour each
day; the men were supplied with eight days' rations. On the 31st the
regiment was mustered in for four months' pay by Col. Truex; pontoon
trains were now sent forward, and preparations made to again cross the
Rappahannock. On Saturday, Nov. 7, the troops again moved forward. Lee
had sent large re-enforcements to Bragg, and thought himself secure,
thinking the Potomac army would not again advance until Spring, as
winter was approaching, and by that time the army of the Cumberland
would be whipped, and then with troops from Bragg would engage the
Potomac army. The rebel army was busily engaged in erecting winter
quarters, and building forts on the Rappahannock, little dreaming that
the Union army was again advancing. After marching fourteen miles the
6th corps, under Sedgwick, charged across the river at Kelly's Ford,
taking the enemy completely by surprise and capturing three thousand
prisoners, the rebels retreating in disorder. Lee at Culpepper heard the
firing in the distance and rushed to the front, but too late. He found
his army in a terribly demoralized condition, flying from the Potomac
army. At Freeman's Ford, the 1st division of the 3d corps also charged,
capturing three hundred prisoners, and driving Hill's corps back some
distance. Pontoons were soon laid, the rest of the army with the trains
passing over. Only a few days since and we were leaving the river in
haste, marching with unparallelled rapidity to the defenses of
Washington, now we were again on the Rappahannock. In the far distance
the booming of cannon announces that our advance is engaged with the
rear guard of the flying rebels, spreading consternation and terror
throughout their already disorganized and demoralized ranks.

At dark the regiment was stationed in a pine woods on the river until
ten o'clock, when we were ordered to cross, having supported a battery
during the day, continually shelling the woods on the opposite shore;
crossed at Kelly's Ford, encamping on the banks of the river. At four
o'clock on Sunday morning the bugle sounded the reveille, and the men
were soon up packing their knapsacks, some making fires, others filling
canteens with water. Lieut. Tingly, of Co. E, in the darkness stumbled
over a man, as he supposed, still sleeping; turning around to awaken
him, he found a dead rebel sergeant who had been killed by one of our
shells. The rebels in their haste had left their dead without burial;
but little time was given to bury them, the pioneers covering them with
dirt. At seven o'clock the troops moved in line of battle, marching
eight miles, the artillery continually shelling their rear guard,
advancing as far as Brandy Station, the rebels placing four pieces of
artillery on a hill, shelling in return, killing two men and wounding
several in the 138th Pennsylvania. The 1st brigade was ordered to charge
the hill, and preparations were made, batteries were placed in position
and the hill shelled, when the rebels left in haste, our men taking
possession without opposition. The 14th was again fortunate, having as
yet lost not one man by battle. The troops now marched on a double
quick, the flying rebels discerned in the distance retreating in haste,
leaving a vast amount of ammunition and baggage in our hands. During the
afternoon the troops were massed in force at Brandy Station. The Potomac
army now composed of five corps, 1st, 2d, 3d, 5th and 6th, the 11th and
12th having been sent to the army of the Cumberland after the battle of
Gettysburg, and formed in one corps commanded by Major Gen. Hooker. The
1st corps was commanded by Gen. Franklin, the 2d by the brave Warren,
the 3d by Gen. French, the 5th by Sykes, the 6th by Sedgwick. The
cavalry divisions under Kilpatrick and Buford, were all under the
command of Major Gen. Meade. The 3d corps now halted in line of battle
in a dense woods, remaining until the ensuing night, when the troops
were routed out at nine o'clock, and ordered to fall in. It was supposed
that Lee was about to attack, having halted his retreating army on the
banks of the Rapidan; remaining in line in the cold two hours; marched
two miles, crossing the railroad at Brandy Station, halting for the
night near a small stream; lying in line of battle sleeping on our arms;
we were encamped on an open plain; there was scarcely any wood, the men
suffering very much from the cold. Lee, finding our men ready, fell
back; he had hoped to surprise Meade, but as vigilant as ever, he was
not to be caught napping. The men were ordered to lay down and be ready
to fall in at a moment's notice. The next morning three days' rations
were issued, and the troops ordered into camp, tents placed on a line,
remaining in camp five days, the men receiving two months' pay. The camp
had been occupied by the rebels, some of them having up winter quarters.
The men now supposed the army had halted for the winter; to make
themselves comfortable the men built chimneys of sod on one corner of
the tent, and built fires in them. A soldier can always make himself
comfortable; with his shelter pitched on sticks, a sod chimney built,
and the cracks of his tent filled with mud, he is then as happy as a
lord, and cares not for anything. Occasionally home was thought of as
something that had once been a pleasure, but now at war there seemed as
if there was no such thing as home; with no kind and loving friends
near, he submits to his lot without murmuring, caring not for the
future. The men were now very comfortable, and supposed they were to
remain some time. On the afternoon of the 14th the 1st brigade was
ordered to move to Culpepper, four miles distant. At four o'clock the
brigade started, marching several miles out of the way, the rain falling
heavily, wetting the men to the skin. The night was very dark, the
officers being unable to find the road, wandering around in the woods,
marching in swamps and ditches, sometimes up to their knees in mud;
occasionally a man fell down and was pulled out by his comrades;
marching on an old corduroy road, that for some time had been useless;
the rain poured in torrents; each man marching for himself and on his
own hook. At midnight Culpepper was reached, having marched twelve
miles, the correct distance being but four miles; the men halted in the
woods, building fires of brush to keep warm and to dry themselves. In
the morning the sun shone in all its splendor, the men presenting a
sorry plight covered with mud and water; the remainder of the army lying
quietly at Brandy Station; changed position during the morning; tents
placed on a line in regimental order. More than one-half the men had
fallen out, and now came straggling in; the brigade was sent to guard
Culpepper and the vicinity. The village of Culpepper is situated four
miles from Brandy Station and is quite a pretty place, of some two
thousand inhabitants, containing four churches, court house and county
jail; but few towns are on the railroad, Culpepper being the largest.

Two companies were detailed for picket each day, the remaining companies
drilling brigade drill. Gen. Morris, having written a series of tactics,
was desirous of practicing, and ordered brigade drill each day. Winter
quarters were again the topic of conversation, as the cold was almost
unendurable. Nothing was now seen of the enemy, as they lay in their old
position on the Rapidan, and not very anxious to advance again, having
learned a lesson from us, although surprised and compelled to fall back
before it was more of an advantage to Meade than to Lee. The terrible
lesson they learned at Bristoe was not to be forgotten very soon, nor
our advance on the Rappahannock. But few men were lost on our side, the
enemy losing heavily in men and munitions of war. During our stay at
Culpepper two men were arrested as spies and sent to Washington; they
were dressed in the United States uniform and belonged to the guerilla
Mosby's command. Succeeding in eluding our pickets they entered our
lines with the intention of returning as speedily as possible, and
inform the rebels that there was but one brigade lying at Culpepper
easily accessible to them; frustrated in their plans, they were arrested
and subsequently met their fate as spies, being hung at Alexandria.
Efforts were made to save them, but of no avail, the rules of civilized
warfare demanded their execution, and the just deserts were meted out to
them to the fullest extent of the law.

The brigade remained at Culpepper ten days, until the night of the 23d,
when orders were given to be ready to move at daylight. Although late in
the season, an advance was determined on and five days' rations issued
the men. Commencing to rain the order was countermanded, the brigade
leaving Culpepper and rejoining the division at Brandy Station, marching
four miles; lying in the mud near the railroad until Thursday, Nov. 26,
when the order to again advance was given, starting from Brandy Station
at 7 a. m. The troops in three columns moved towards the Rapidan,
crossing at different fords on pontoons; the enemy, not expecting an
advance, were as yet unprepared, reaching the river at five o'clock, the
3d corps crossing at Jacobs' Mill Ford, the trains following in the
rear; a force was left at Brandy Station to guard the railroad. After
marching fifteen miles the river was reached and crossed before dark;
nothing was seen of the enemy, their frowning breast works were empty.
Had they been manned by a sufficient force our crossing would not have
been so easy, as they had a splendid position for their artillery and a
raking fire from their batteries upon our advance. The troops were soon
over and formed in line of battle, throwing out heavy pickets, halting
in the woods near the river until routed out the next morning. The
column had advanced the evening previous until near the enemy,
countermarching and encamping for the night. Every preparation was made
for the ensuing day, as the enemy were moving, being aware of our
advance. The morning of the 27th was cold and dreary. It was
Thanksgiving Day at home, but to the poor soldier it was war, and many
that entered the fight that day lived not to see the morrow's sun; they
had spent their last Thanksgiving Day on earth, and now fill a soldier's

Gen. French was sent in advance with the 3d corps, the 3rd division on
the lead, they overtaking the enemy at Locust Grove, a dense forest of
pine trees; the enemy were strongly posted. Our division had always lain
along the railroad, and thus far had never engaged in battle. We were
called by the other divisions of the corps, Gen. French's pets, as they
thought he favored us more than the rest, he being the former commander
of the 3rd division. The 1st division, commanded by Gen. Birney, was in
the rear of the 3d division. When they were told we were to charge the
enemy, the men of the 1st division exclaimed, "What! send French's pets
in there? they can't fight." The General hearing them, in his blunt
manner remarked, "We'll see if they can't fight. Move forward, boys."
Skirmishers from the 122nd Ohio regiment were immediately sent out. The
1st brigade being on the advance, was for the first time engaged with
the enemy, and for four hours was under fire, the men fighting bravely
until darkness ended the contest, standing their ground like veterans;
making a brilliant charge and driving the rebels from their position,
capturing several prisoners. The whole corps was by this time hotly
engaged, maintaining their ground, neither side gaining any material
advantage. Gen. Carr and staff were everywhere conspicuous, and
supported by the 6th corps, there was no such word as fail. The old 3d
corps had long established its reputation, which was never to be lost.
Ever since the organization of the Potomac army had the 3d corps been
foremost in the fight; commanded by a fighting man, Major Gen. Sickles,
it never wavered, always the first to enter and the last to leave.
Thousands had lost their lives in the seven days' fight before Richmond,
at Antietam, Chancellorsville and Gettysburgh, and thousands more were
to lose their lives in the brave old 3d. Each corps was ordered to have
a mark, designating it from the rest, the 3d corps choosing the diamond,
an emblem of worth. This originated from Gen. Kearney, commanding the
New Jersey brigade; in order to distinguish his men from the rest, he
ordered them to wear a red cross; the other commanders taking it in hand
until each corps had a mark and a corps flag; each division red, white
and blue. Of the corps in the Potomac army, the 1st was full moon; 2nd
club; 3d diamond; 5th Maltese cross, and 6th Roman cross. At Locust
Grove the red and blue patches of the different divisions were plainly
seen. The woods were so thick that artillery could not be used; the roar
of musketry as it vibrated among the trees was awful and sublime,
sounding as if the wind with all its force was rushing on moved by some
irresistible power.

The officers and men of the 14th fought nobly, knowing that their
reputation depended on this, their first battle. Co's B and K being on
the extreme left of the line, became separated from the regiment, and
did not hear the order to fall back when relieved, remaining in one hour
after the regiment, not leaving until their ammunition was exhausted.
The regiment lost sixteen killed and fifty-eight wounded, having been in
the service sixteen months without engaging in battle, the other
regiments losing in proportion. Gen. Morris rode to the front,
congratulating the men for their bravery. In a few words he told them
that as new troops, a brigade never fought better; that they had
accomplished all that was desired of them. At dark the enemy retreated,
leaving their dead and wounded in our hands. All night long the surgeons
were busy dressing the wounds of our men, the cries of the poor wounded
fellows as they lay writhing under the knife were heart-rending; the
groans of the dying as they lay on the field were heard throughout the
night. The battle was now over, the enemy had fallen back, and the
troops remained on the field lying on their arms until morning. The
enemy had now fallen back in their old position at Mine Run awaiting our
approach; the weather very cold and mud knee deep; marched five miles,
halting near Robinson's Tavern; in a pine wood in front of the enemy's
breastworks, which were very strong. All Saturday and Sunday Gen. Meade
and his corps commanders were engaged in devising means to force the
enemy from their position on the western slope of Mine Run, being too
strongly posted to warrant making a direct assault upon their works,
although our forces outnumbered them two to one. Mine Run is a small
stream about ten feet wide, but very deep; on each side is a low marsh,
miry and reed grown. About one mile back from either side there were
cultivated patches of pine trees. On the south side the Potomac army lay
in line of battle all day Sunday, the 29th; none but the 3d corps had
thus far been engaged, the 3d division, the heaviest. The enemy had
moved out of their position to meet us, and at Locust Grove had
encountered our advance. After being defeated and driven back by the 3d
corps, they awaited our approach, having fortified the western slope by
a strong earthwork of felled trees, shrubbery and brush, forming an
almost impenetrable abattis. They had also dug a succession of rifle
pits within easy musket range of the creek, manned by sharpshooters, to
pick off our advance skirmishers, their line of defense extending from
what was called Clark's Mountain, on the plank road, to the mouth of the
stream, and was fully supported by artillery, and by our generals was
considered as strong as Fredericksburg. The artillery was brought
forward and placed in position in front of their batteries. Not a shot
had yet been exchanged since the battle of Locust Grove, each side
waiting for the other, the infantry being hidden from view by a thick
woods. In order to move them forward it was found necessary to bridge
the streams and morasses in various places, a work both difficult and
dangerous; this was done by the 1st division of the 3d corps. Sunday
passed, and at dark nothing had yet been done; thus far we had not
accomplished anything; with one corps we had met their advance, and
after a hard battle had driven them back a few miles in a strong
position not easily flanked, with severe loss on both sides. On Sunday
night the troops were massed and formed as follows: the 2d corps on the
extreme left at Clark's Mountain; the left centre was held by the 3d
corps; the centre by two divisions of the 1st, and the right by the 5th
and 6th corps. Gen. Warren with the 2nd corps was to attack Sunday
afternoon at 3 o'clock, and, if possible, turn the enemy's right wing;
the 5th and 6th corps, under Sykes and Sedgwick, were at the same time
to attack their left, while the 1st and 3d moved on the centre. The
reserve artillery had all been brought forward ready for action, but for
some reason the infantry failed to connect, and night slipped upon us
all drawn up in line of battle. That night a change was made in the
programme. Gen. Warren did not deem his force adequate to the task of
turning the enemy's right, so he was still re-enforced by the 1st and 3d
divisions of the 3d corps, marching at two o'clock Monday morning five
miles; the 3d division placed on the extreme left in the most dangerous
position, while Birney with his division was to support the artillery.
The army was now placed in their respective positions, and 8 o'clock
Monday morning was then set by Gen. Meade for the great battle to open.
The men lay down wrapped in their blankets on the frozen ground, to rest
and to dream of home. The night of Sunday was the coldest we had yet
experienced; ice formed in streams an inch in thickness. Several of the
men froze their limbs, and one or two lost their lives while on picket.
The enemy's sharpshooters were found frozen in their rifle pits, as a
great many of them had no overcoats or blankets. At 8 o'clock on Monday
the artillery began to play upon the enemy, and for an hour was as heavy
as ever was witnessed; the shells, as they flew shrieking through the
air, were plainly seen. The enemy replied feebly, not wishing to
disclose their position. The infantry did not make any demonstration
whatever, and after making a great deal of noise and wasting a large
amount of ammunition, the artillery was silenced by an order from
headquarters. The men were already in line with knapsacks unslung, the
3d division to lead and charge their extreme right. Gen. Meade rode to
the front, examined their works with his glass, and then countermanded
the order, as a fearful loss of life would ensue; the weather being so
cold the wounded would die if left uncared for. The 3d division remained
on the left until 3 o'clock Monday afternoon, when they returned to
their old position in the center with the balance of the corps. Nothing
more was done during the day but to form some other plan; but the wisest
plan our generals could agree on was to go back to our line on the
Rappahannock and take a fresh start. Accordingly the trains were all
ordered back across the Rapidan, the troops still in line watching the
enemy until the trains were all safe across. General Francis Meagher was
a guest at headquarters, and moved with the troops, engaging in battle
with the Irish Brigade, and narrowly escaped capture at Locust Grove.
Being dressed in citizen's dress, he was taken by the enemy to be a
reporter and no exertion was made to capture him. Had they known that he
was a distinguished general, and the leader of the old 69th New York
that gave them such reception at Bull Run, they would have captured him
certain; as it was, he escaped by spurring his horse out of their reach.

On Tuesday, Dec. 1, 1863, the troops were ordered to fall back, as
nothing could be accomplished. The roads were in a terrible condition,
almost impassable; it was with difficulty that supplies could be sent to
the men by wagons over the route of thirty or forty miles. Our wounded
were suffering considerably; the most of them were compelled to walk,
as transportation could not be furnished; only those that had lost a
limb were allowed to ride. At dark pickets were placed as usual, the
main body of the army falling back, marching all night on a double quick
on the Fredericksburg plank road, the weather each hour growing colder.
All night long the troops moved in solid columns, a brilliant moon
lighting us on our way. The trains were all safe across, and were on
their way to Brandy Station, to be filled with supplies for the men. On
their return the boys set the woods on fire, and they were soon burning
in all directions. The pickets were relieved at 3 o'clock, when Lee
discovered the retreat; his army was soon in motion, but too late to do
any good. By daylight the army was all safe across the Rapidan, having
marched, or rather run twenty miles; several of the men were unable to
keep up and were captured. The troops crossed at Germania Ford, on two
pontoon bridges, which were taken up at 6 o'clock, and our batteries
placed on a hill ready for action. The rebel cavalry made their
appearance on the opposite side but were soon driven back by a few
shells, retiring suddenly with the few prisoners they had captured. The
pursuit was now abandoned, and the men, foot sore and weary, threw
themselves upon the ground and were soon buried in slumber. Rations were
scarce, the men having nothing to eat, and we were yet some distance
from Brandy Station, our base of supplies. The troops were allowed to
rest until noon. The men had become scattered during the march, and were
now joining their commands. Meade halted on the banks of the river,
hoping Lee would give battle. The men were in fine spirits and were now
anxious to fight the rebel army away from their entrenchments in an open
field; but Lee declined to give battle, and after exchanging a few shots
with the rear guard of our army, both armies retired from the river, Lee
moving back to Mine Run, the Potomac army to Brandy Station, to enter
winter quarters. At noon the column again moved, marching but five
miles, halting in a dense woods, with nothing to eat until two o'clock
the next morning, when the column again moved, marching nine miles, and
arriving at Brandy Station at 10 o'clock, the troops occupying their old
quarters near the railroad; the camp was welcomed with joy; weary,
hungry and nearly tired out, after an absence of eight days, returned,
having crossed the Rapidan, accomplishing but little. Fighting two days
on slim rations; recrossed again, having lost about two thousand men in
killed, wounded and missing. Again the people north were clamorous for
the removal of Meade; why did he not attack Lee in his entrenchments?
was the cry; Richmond must be taken, and all such remarks. It was
rumored that Hooker was again to take command, and we were to return
immediately to Mine Run; but the military men of the Potomac army knew
that the fortifications at Mine Run never could be taken by the Potomac
army, especially at this time of the year. If Lee was driven out of his
works, the success could not be followed up, as the cold was too intense
to permit a campaign of long duration.

On the 4th of December, 1863, the troops were ordered into Winter
quarters, as nothing more could be done that Winter. The railroad was
guarded from Alexandria to Brandy Station by the 1st corps, the main
line extending from Culpepper to the Rapidan. Camps were now laid out in
regular order, each brigade by itself, the 1st brigade encamping on the
plantation of John Minor Botts, one of Virginia's noblest sons, who, at
the commencement of the war, refused to aid in breaking up the Union
formed by Washington and his compeers, one of the best governments the
world ever saw. Because he would not aid in bringing civil war, and aid
in slaughtering thousands of innocent men, he was for three months
confined in Libby Prison by the rebel leader, his daughter sharing his
confinement with him without a murmur. He was finally released on
parole, and was now residing at his mansion near Brandy Station. Trees
were felled by the men and comfortable Winter quarters built. As far as
the eye could reach were seen the tents of the Potomac army, occupying
several miles of ground; the 6th corps on the extreme right, near Hazel
River; the 5th corps on the left. Tents were soon built, the crevices
filled with mud, and a shanty built of stones, the whole covered with
shelters, three or four tenting with each other. Give a soldier a knife,
and with a few articles a tent will soon be built. Brandy Station, a
place heretofore but little known, was now the base of supplies for the
army, trains running as far as Culpepper, where the Cavalry were
encamped. Corduroy roads were built, fatigue parties being sent out each
day under competent officers. Large store houses were built, and
thousands of bushels of grain stored for the horses and mules. During
the Summer the troops had nothing to eat on the march but hard-tack,
sugar and coffee. Extra rations were now issued, some of the men faring
better than at home. Rations were issued every five days of hard-tack,
soft bread, sugar, coffee, beef, pork, pepper, salt, beans, dried
apples, potatoes and onions, the government always feeding the men well
while lying in camp. Furloughs were now granted the men for ten days,
some two hundred going each day. The people home had seen so many
soldiers that they were tired of them; a great many that were
Copperheads, afraid to come themselves, entertained no respect for the
boys in blue, but turned a cold shoulder to them. They cared not though,
as long as they had done their duty at the front, and despised the
sneaking Copperhead as not worthy of notice. Camp life was now entered
upon by the men with activity, knowing that spring would open with a
hard campaign. Drills were again in order, inspections and reviews.
Brandy Station was thronged with visitors from the North, who looked
with wonder upon the magnificent array of men, that for the past three
years had been battling for union and for liberty. The armies must again
be recruited for the spring campaign; great inducements were held out to
the men, and furloughs suddenly stopped. Any soldier that would
re-enlist for three years would receive three hundred dollars bounty and
thirty-five days furlough; all other furloughs were stopped. The men
anxious to see home, and thinking that the war would soon be over,
re-enlisted in large numbers, receiving their bounty and furlough.
Nearly the whole of the 87th Pennsylvania in the 3d division
re-enlisted; this was the finest drilled regiment in the service, their
term of enlistment expiring in the spring. The mails were now running
regular once each day. The paymasters arriving, the troops were paid in
full and the sutlers patronized largely. President Lincoln now issued a
call for three hundred thousand more men. In view of the large bounties
offered, a great many worthless men enlisted, soon after deserting; the
most of them were caught and were sent back to the headquarters of the
different divisions, and placed under arrest. A Provost Guard was formed
at each division headquarters, composed of picked men of the regiments,
consisting of one hundred men, five Sergeants and eight Corporals, whose
duties were to guard all prisoners, and in time of action to keep up all
stragglers, and while lying in camp to guard headquarters. Court
Martials were now in session, and each man under arrest was tried, and
if found guilty of any misdemeanor was immediately sentenced and placed
in confinement until the sentence was carried into effect. Some were
sentenced to hard labor, some to forfeit their pay, and various other
sentences according to the decision of the court.

Lee was now encamped in the vicinity of Madison Court House, his main
force in a dense wilderness, and comfortably quartered in log houses,
each army picketing the Rapidan, whose swollen waters would not permit
crossing at this time of the year. Occasionally a small force of cavalry
was sent out to reconnoitre, but failed to draw any portion of the enemy
from their entrenchments. The headquarters of Gen. Meade were on a hill
and tastefully arranged, near Brandy Station. A new signal corps was
organized; several from the 14th were detached and placed on duty in
this corps. This branch of service was of great use to the army, as
orders could be signalized with rapidity from one part of the army to
the other. Sutlers were in abundance at Brandy Station, erecting
shanties for their goods. Shoemaker shops, watch making and ambrotype
galleries were built, and Brandy Station soon became a thriving town.
The 14th was encamped in an old rebel camp, the men using their old
houses, refitting them as good as new. As none but re-enlisted men were
allowed furloughs, the rest of the men contented themselves with passing
their time in camp with various amusements, playing match games of base
ball when not on duty. The Rapidan was strongly picketed, details from
the regiments made every three days. The 14th now numbered but six
hundred men for duty, three hundred and fifty less than when the
regiment left New Jersey. Nearly one hundred had died; sixteen had been
killed by battle; some were on detached service; some in hospitals, and,
sad to say, numbers had deserted. Gen. Morris was on leave of absence,
his place being filled by Colonel Truex, acting Brig. General. Several
ladies now visited the army, the most of them officers' wives, remaining
until the spring campaign commenced.

In the latter part of December, a man named Armprister from the 3d
division was found guilty of desertion. He was sentenced to have his
head shaved, a board placed on his back marked utterly worthless, and to
be drummed out of camp. Such scenes were not common, this being the
first occurrence of the kind in our division. Capt. Allstrum of Co. G,
14th N.J., was appointed Provost Marshal of the division. His duty was
to see that all military rules were obeyed; that all sutlers and
purveyors were licensed, and to confiscate all rebel property that was
fortunate enough to fall into our hands. The discipline of the army was
now perfect, everything arranged and in perfect order; one grand master
mind at the head; the people North forming no idea how everything was
conducted, and with what precision each order was executed by the men. A
revival now spread throughout camp, and many became converted. Chaplain
Rose, of the 14th New Jersey, by his exertions organized prayer
meetings each evening, and through his means a greater part of the men
were led to seek God. Regimental churches were built of logs, covered
with tents furnished by the Sanitary Commission, and tracts, books and
papers distributed daily by men interested in the cause. A great many
that were converted were killed in the ensuing battles of the coming
campaign, which was destined to be the hardest ever witnessed. Tools
were furnished the men in abundance, and tents and churches rapidly
erected. A pioneer corps was also organized for each brigade. The tools
were packed in boxes, and carried on mules, slung across their backs.
During active service they were to march ahead of the troops, clearing
the way; also to bridge streams and ditches; build officers' tents, and
to make themselves useful in various ways. The troops were now taught to
maneuver by brigades and divisions; each afternoon was brigade drill and
dress parade, the officers and men presenting a fine appearance, having
lain in camp long enough to get fixed up. Clothing was issued in
abundance, and everything that was needed for an army was forwarded to
the men. Boxes were sent from home, but each one was examined by the
Provost Marshal to see if liquor was concealed therein; the men were not
allowed any. If the friends at home saw fit to send it for sickness, it
was taken from them and used by the headquarters officers. Various
dodges were resorted to by the men to obtain whiskey; packages of flour
were sent, with a small flask concealed in the inside, which was eagerly
drank by them, as rum of any kind was a luxury.

The month of December had nearly passed, and the holidays were rapidly
approaching; the cold storms of winter kept the men pretty close, the
weather being too bad to permit drilling. Christmas and New Years were
very dull, the men receiving two months pay and new clothing, and the
officers drinking their good whiskey.

Gen. Carr's headquarters were in a large white house, opposite John
Minor Botts', two miles from Brandy Station, and about a quarter of a
mile from the division. As there were several ladies visiting the
Potomac army, a grand ball was given and preparations made accordingly.
An addition was built to the house by men detailed from the division and
everything was arranged in perfect order; the room was handsomely
decorated with flags and evergreens. The night of January 25, 1864, the
ball was given, and everything passed off pleasantly; it was very
largely attended, but the privates were not allowed to enter; the
ladies were elegantly dressed. The 1st New Jersey Brigade Band, and 87th
Pennsylvania were engaged, and the music was excellent. The tickets were
ten dollars; dancing was kept up until morning; the supper was
magnificent, costing two thousand dollars; cooks were sent from
Washington, and everything that could be had; trains of cars coming up
during the afternoon loaded with officers bringing their ladies with
them. The leading generals of the Potomac army were present, the most
prominent among them being Meade, Warren, Hancock, French and others.
They enjoyed themselves very well, but the most of them were better at
fighting than at dancing.

Nothing occurred to disturb the dull monotony of camp life during those
long Winter months, everything going on as usual; re-enlisted men
returning, others going in their places. On the morning of February 6th,
the troops received marching orders, to pack up with three days' rations
and hold themselves in readiness to move, as a reconnoissance in force
was ordered to find out the whereabouts of Lee's main force. At five
o'clock in the afternoon the command was given to start; the 3d corps
commanded by Gen. Birney, Gen. French being home on leave of absence.
The Provost Guard and 122d Ohio were left to guard the camp and
headquarters; the 3d division in advance; raining hard. The weather had
been very pleasant for some time, until orders were given to move, when
a storm suddenly came up and continued for three days. The first corps
met and engaged the enemy at Culpepper Ford, and after a brisk
engagement of several hours, our forces retired, being unable to cross
the river. The reconnoissance discovered Lee in position, his line
extending from the Rapidan to Orange Court House. The troops marched
eight miles, remaining in line of battle two days south of Culpepper,
when they returned to their old quarters, the 1st corps losing about two
hundred men in killed and wounded, but bringing in several prisoners
with them. All was again quiet in camp; everything dull. On the 25th the
paymaster again arrived, paying the men two months' pay. Colonel Cook
from New Jersey was present, taking home for the soldiers thousands of
dollars. The division was now reviewed by Gen. French, near Brandy
Station, several ladies being present; it was composed of three
brigades, numbering six thousand men. On the 28th, the weather being
extremely fine, a reconnoissance was again ordered by the 6th corps,
moving out early in the morning with three days' rations; the other
corps were ordered to hold themselves in readiness if needed. Nothing,
however, was discovered, the enemy refusing to leave their
entrenchments; on the 3d of March the corps returned, having been gone
three days.

On the 29th of March the regiment was again mustered in for pay by Col.
Truex; every two months was muster, this being the eleventh time since
our enlistment. The men were formed in line, and their arms and
accoutrements examined, each man answering to his name; if not accounted
for he could not be mustered, nor could he receive his pay.

In view of the coming campaign, it was found necessary by the
authorities at Washington to place at the head of the army a general,
giving him full command of all the forces then in our armies, to rank as
Lieutenant General. Congress was for some time unable to decide which of
our generals was the most competent. General Grant, then in command of
the southwestern army was finally chosen, and ordered to report
immediately at Washington. The hero of Vicksburg, of Port Hudson, and of
Pittsburg Landing, was placed in chief command, with a commission as
Lieutenant General, wearing three stars.

From an early period in the rebellion Grant had been impressed with the
idea that active and continuous operations of all troops that could be
brought into the field, regardless of season and weather, were necessary
for a speedy termination of the war. The past two years had led us to
believe that the resources of the enemy and his numerical strength were
far inferior to ours, but as an offset to this, we had a vast territory
hostile to the government to garrison, and long lines of river and
railroad communications to protect to enable us to supply the operating
armies. The army in the east and west had thus far acted independently
and without concert, like a baulky team, no two ever pulling together,
enabling the enemy to use to great advantage his inferior lines of
communication for transporting troops from east to west, re-enforcing
the army most vigorously pressed, and enabling them to furlough large
numbers during seasons of inactivity on our part, to go to their homes
and do the work of producing for the support of their armies. It was now
the firm conviction of our leading men that no peace could be had that
would be stable and conducive to the happiness of the people, both North
and South, until the military power of the South was entirely broken.

On the 16th of March General Grant arrived at Brandy Station and
proceeded immediately to the headquarters of Gen. Meade. After
reviewing the different corps, he rapidly re-organized the army. The 3d
corps was broken up, and placed in different corps; our division was
placed in the 6th corps as 3d division; the 14th had been in the 3d
corps eight months; what had been an organization so long was now no
more. Gen. French was relieved from the front and ordered to report at
Washington, and placed in command of the troops near Baltimore. The
Potomac army now consisted of but three corps, 2d, 5th and 6th, of
thirty thousand each. The 2d corps was commanded by Hancock; the 5th by
Warren, and the 6th by Sedgwick; General Meade still retained his
position as commander of the Potomac army, receiving his orders from
Grant. Sherman was placed in chief command in the southwest, and proved
himself a successful commander.

The 3d division, which heretofore consisted of three brigades, was now
formed in two brigades; the 1st was commanded by General Morris,
consisting of the 14th New Jersey, 10th Vermont, 106th and 151st New
York, and 87th Pennsylvania. The 2nd brigade was commanded by Col.
Keifer, afterwards Brigadier General, and composed of the 110th, 122d
and 126th Ohio regiments, the only western troops in the Potomac army;
the 6th Maryland, 67th and 138th Pennsylvania troops, now commanded by
General Prince, the former commander of the 2d division, General Carr
reporting at Washington. The officers all met at headquarters
preparatory to the breaking up of the corps, and indulged in a jolly
time; groups were taken by artists, and after spending the day in mirth,
they returned to their quarters at night. Birney's old division lay in
camp near the 6th corps; they were ordered to join the 2d corps, and our
division to take their camp and join the 6th corps. Gen. Prince was
relieved, and General Ricketts placed in command of the division. Heavy
rains now came on and the order to change camp was countermanded until
April 1, when the division moved. The 14th regiment had built a new
camp, every tent on a line, and each one of an exact size; pine trees
were planted, and it was decided by General Meade to be the handsomest
camp in the Potomac army. The men were very sorry to leave, and some of
them threatened to burn their tents; the quarters we were to occupy were
in a poor place, far from the main road and very lonesome, but as
soldiers we were accustomed to such things, often putting up tents and
then compelled to leave them in a hurry.

General Grant, having now assumed command, determined to bring the war
to a close as soon as possible. As it was too early for a forward
movement, the troops were permitted to remain in camp another month.
Grant, in consultation with his officers forming their plans for the
coming campaign, having every confidence in Meade, they were constantly
together. Grant first determined to use the greatest number of troops
practicable against the armed forces of the enemy, preventing him from
using the same force at different seasons against first one and then the
other of our armies, by ordering all armies to move at the same time, he
superintending each movement, his headquarters with the Potomac army.

During the month of April, 1864, several men from the division banded
together and formed negro minstrels, building a house of logs covered
with canvass. Twenty-five cents was charged for admittance; part of the
proceeds were for the benefit of the Sanitary Commission; the house was
crowded each evening, as it was sometime since the men had seen anything
of the kind.

Behind the Union lines there were many bands of guerillas, and a large
population that were hostile to the government, making it necessary to
guard every foot of road or river used in supplying our armies. In the
South a reign of military despotism prevailed which made every man and
boy capable of bearing arms a soldier, and those who could not bear arms
in the field acted as Provost Guards for collecting deserters and
returning them; thus enabling the enemy to bring almost his entire
strength in the field. Active preparations were now made on both sides
for the campaign which was shortly to open; of the magnitude of the work
before us none then knew. The enemy had concentrated the bulk of their
forces into two armies, commanded by Generals R. E. Lee and J. E.
Johnson, their ablest and best generals. The army of the Southwest,
under Sherman, was to oppose Johnson, and the army of the Potomac, under
Meade, to oppose Lee, all under the immediate command of Grant. The army
commanded by Lee occupied the south bank of the Rapidan, covering and
defending Richmond, the rebel capital, against the army of the Potomac.
The army under Johnson occupied a strongly entrenched position at
Dalton, Ga., covering and defending Atlanta, a place of great importance
as a railroad centre, against the armies under Sherman. These two armies
and the cities covered and defended by them, were the main objects of
the campaign. General Meade was instructed by Grant that Lee's army
would be his objective point, and wherever Lee went he must follow.
From the position of Lee's forces two different routes presented
themselves, one to cross the Rapidan below Lee, moving by his right
flank, the other above Lee, moving by his left. Each presented
advantages over the other, with corresponding objections; by crossing
above, Lee would be cut off from all correspondence with Richmond, or
from going North on a raid; but if the army took this route, all we did
would have to be done while the rations held out; and it separated us
from Butler moving from Fortress Monroe; if we took the other route,
Brandy Station could be used as a base of supplies until another was
secured on the York or James River. After a long consultation with
Meade, Grant decided to take the lower route.

The Potomac army had now lain in quarters five months, the men expecting
every day orders to move. The papers North were urging a forward
movement, but Grant knew his own plans best and wished no advisers.
Three large armies were now to move on Richmond as soon as ordered by
Grant; the Potomac army covering Washington and in Lee's immediate
front; an army from Fortress Monroe commanded by Butler, and a large
force under Seigel to move up the Shenandoah Valley.

The month of April was drawing rapidly to a close, and every preparation
had been made for the campaign soon to open. Supplies were forwarded to
Brandy Station in vast numbers; wagons packed with ammunition and
forage; the troops furnished with clothing and shoes; all condemned
horses and mules branded with the letter C and sent to Alexandria to be
corralled until sold, and others sent in their places; and all batteries
were furnished new guns and new horses, equipped for a hard campaign. It
having now been decided by Grant to move across the Rapidan below Lee,
preparations were made to start. Orders were sent to all generals
commanding different posts, to move not later than May 4, and by one
combined movement of all the armies to crush, if possible, the
rebellion. The most formidable foe to encounter was the army under Lee;
leaving the other armies to the discretion of their commanders but
subject to orders, he turned his whole attention to that one point, but
as usual issuing and receiving all orders. On the 1st of May the troops
were all drawn up in line, and orders read to them as follows: That the
campaign was soon to open; that every man must do his duty; that no
straggling nor foraging would be allowed, and all private property to be
protected. As there were several regiments whose term of service
expired soon, they were very reluctant to move, as they had served three
years faithfully. Orders were read to them especially, that if any of
them were found lurking in the rear or refusing to move forward, they
would be immediately shot, and commanders of regiments instructed to see
that on a march the troops moved in regular order.

The 14th regiment had now sixteen months to serve of the three years.
Twenty months had passed since leaving New Jersey, and numbers were no
more. The regiment had been recruited and was now ready to move with six
hundred men and a full compliment of officers. Owing to the weather and
bad condition of the roads, operations were delayed later than was
intended. Every thing being now in readiness, and the weather favorable,
orders were given for the forward movement to commence immediately. The
first object aimed at was to break the military power of the rebellion
and capture the enemy's important stronghold. General Butler was to move
on Richmond with a force from Fortress Monroe, which, if successful,
would tend more to ending the war than anything else, unless it was the
capture of Lee's army. If Butler failed to take Richmond, it was Grant's
intention by hard fighting, either to compel Lee to retreat or so to
cripple him that he could not detach a large force to go North, and
still retain enough for the defences of Richmond. It was well understood
by both Butler and Meade, before starting on the campaign, that it was
the intention of Grant to place both armies south of the James, and in
case of failure to destroy Lee without it.

Before giving Butler his final instructions, Grant visited Fortress
Monroe, giving him, in minute details, the objective points of his
operations, as the army of the Potomac was to move simultaneously with
him. Lee could not detach from his army with safety, and the enemy could
not have troops elsewhere to bring to the defences of the city in time
to meet a rapid movement from the north of the James river. Commanding
all our forces as Grant did, he tried to leave, as far as possible, Gen.
Meade in independent command of the Potomac army. The campaign that
followed proved him to be the right man in the right place; but his
commanding always in the presence of an officer superior to him in rank,
has drawn from him much of that public attention that his zeal and
ability entitled him to, and which he would otherwise have received.

Having now given as far as possible the objects of the campaign, the
results of which will hereafter be shown, I will now proceed to give a
brief but true account of the campaign, in which the 14th regiment took
an active part, during the ensuing sixteen months, commencing from the
advance across the Rapidan, until the surrender of Lee's army and the
overthrow of the rebellion.

All was quiet in camp, the men wondering when the forward movement would
commence, when, on the morning of May 3d, 1864, orderlies were seen
riding in all directions. That something unusual was going on was
apparent to all. The long roll was beaten, the men falling in line
without arms, and ordered to be ready to move in the morning, with five
days' rations. The afternoon was spent in packing up and writing home,
as none knew how soon the chance would be given them to write again. For
five months we had spent pleasant times in Winter quarters; but those
times were now over, and all the scenes of the previous years of war
were to be enacted again. For a time the men had almost forgotten war.
All had confidence in Grant and Meade, and hoped the war would speedily
close. All surplus baggage was sent to the rear. The forward movement
commenced early on the morning of the 4th of May, under the immediate
direction and orders of Gen. Meade. Before night the whole army was safe
across the Rapidan, the 5th and 6th corps crossing at Germania's Ford,
and the 2d corps crossing at United States Ford; the cavalry under Major
General Sheridan moving in advance with the greater part of the trains,
numbering about 4,000 wagons, meeting with but slight opposition; passed
the railroad we lay before, changing quarters with Birney's division. At
last the army has moved; the Summer campaign has commenced, and the
North will soon look for stirring news; with Grant as leader there is no
such word as fail. The day was very fine, the air rather cool, and the
troops in good spirits, anxious to change the dull monotony of camp life
for more active service in the field. The distance marched that day by
the troops was 15 miles. This was considered a great success, that of
crossing the river in the face of an active, large, well appointed and
ably commanded army. At the different fords Lee had erected very
formidable breastworks to retard the advance of the Union army, but
changing his plans his army remained in position in the Wilderness, and
the works were found unoccupied. No signs of the enemy being seen that
night, the troops encamped in a dense thicket of pines extending for
miles. Lee had chosen a strong position in the woods known as the
Wilderness, having erected strong earthworks and manned them with three
army corps, numbering, as near as can be ascertained, 120,000 men, under
command of Ewell, Longstreet and Hill.

Early on the morning of the 5th, the advance corps, the 5th, under the
command of Major General G. K. Warren, met and engaged the enemy outside
of their entrenchments, near Mine Run. The battle raged furiously all
day, the whole army being brought into the fight as fast as the corps
could be brought into the field, which, considering the density of the
forest and narrowness of the roads, was done with commendable
promptness. Gen. Seymour, of Florida, arrived, and was placed in command
of the 2d brigade of the 3d division. Gens. Grant, Meade and staff were
at the front in the thickest of the fight, and were loudly cheered by
the men; some 400 prisoners were taken that day, among them several
officers. Five miles only were made that day, neither side gaining any
advantage; darkness coming on the firing ceased for a short time, the
troops building breastworks. Gen. Ricketts and staff being near the
front, a shell exploded in their midst, killing the horses of two staff
officers, but not injuring them. The 3d division was divided, the 1st
brigade being sent to re-enforce the centre, the 2d brigade the right;
the 14th was in the fight the entire day, and lost heavily; the 2d
brigade was fortunate, losing but few men. Gen. Sedgwick formed the 6th
corps in position, and the men lay behind their breastworks until
morning, the stars shining brightly. This was the first day's fight in
the Wilderness, resulting in no material advantage to either side; but
the losses were heavy, as both armies fought with desperation, and both
were confident of success. Gen. Burnside was ordered from North Carolina
with the 9th corps, and was at the time the army of the Potomac moved
left with the bulk of his corps at the crossing of Rappahannock River
and Alexandria Railroad, holding the road back to Bull Run, with
instructions not to move until he received notice that a crossing of the
Rapidan was secured, but to move promptly as soon as such notice was
received. This crossing he was apprised of on the afternoon of the 4th,
and by 6 o'clock on the morning of the 6th, he was leading his corps
into action near the Wilderness Tavern, or, as it was then called,
Robinson's Tavern, his troops having marched a distance of over 30
miles, crossing both the Rappahannock and Rapidan Rivers. Considering
that a large proportion of his command, probably two-thirds, was
composed of new troops, unaccustomed to marches and carrying the
accoutrements of a soldier, this was a remarkable march.

The battle of the Wilderness was renewed by us on the morning of the
6th, and continued with unabated fury until darkness set in, each army
holding their old positions. At night the enemy by a decisive movement
succeeded in turning our right flank, and a general stampede ensued,
horses, wagons and pack mules moving to the rear. The 2d brigade was in
the hottest of the fight and suffered severely, the 6th Maryland losing
more than one-half of their men and nearly all their officers. General
Seymour, commanding the brigade, was captured together with several
hundred prisoners, but the promptness of Gen. Sedgwick, who was
personally present, and commanding that portion of our line, soon
re-formed it and restored order; the 1st brigade still in a position
near the centre and under fire, but losing few men, the troops holding
their positions during the night. On the morning of the 7th,
reconnoissances showed that the enemy had fallen back behind their
entrenchments, with pickets to the front covering part of the battle
field. From this it was evident that the past two days' fighting had
satisfied Lee of his inability to further maintain the contest in the
open field. Notwithstanding his advantage of position, and that he would
wait an attack behind his works, as he could not be driven out by a
direct assault, orders were issued to move immediately, and, if
possible, get between him and Richmond. On the night of the 7th the
march was commenced towards Spottsylvania Court House, the 5th corps
moving on the most direct road; but the enemy became apprised of our
movement and having the shorter line was enabled to reach there first.
On the morning of the 8th General Warren met a force of the enemy which
had been sent out to oppose and delay his advance, to gain time to
fortify the line taken up at Spottsylvania. This force was steadily
driven back on the main force, within their recently constructed works
after considerable fighting, resulting in severe loss on both sides. It
has been currently reported and afterwards believed, that the Union army
was defeated in the first two days' fight in the Wilderness, but that
the bull dog courage of Grant refused to stay whipped, and unlike our
former generals, instead of retreating back across the Rapidan, he
determined on a flank movement on the enemy's right, and although
unsuccessful at first, it finally resulted in the capture of Richmond.
Burnside's corps was partly composed of negro troops; they were in a
fine condition and looked extremely well. All day long on Sunday (7th)
the 5th corps engaged the enemy at Spottsylvania; at dark they were
relieved by the 6th corps, and the 14th New Jersey was again heavily
engaged. Forming in line the troops erected works during the night after
marching that day fifteen miles, passing Chancellorsville, where a
number of bones and skulls lay around, the remnant of the old
Chancellorsville battle ground, where the rebel General Stonewall
Jackson was killed. The enemy had now strongly entrenched themselves,
assuming the defensive. Our losses in the last four days were severe.
Finding that Lee would not again leave his works, nothing was left but
to attack him, although a heavy loss of life would ensue in charging
their works; there was no other alternative. In those battles thousands
of brave men lost their lives in vain attempts to take the enemy's
works, and hundreds of wounded were hourly brought in from various
portions of the line. Hospitals were established in the rear, and
surgeons were busily engaged in amputating limbs and dressing wounds.
The weather was very warm, and the men suffered from thirst, as water
was scarce. During the night the troops remained in line, with but
little sleep.

On the morning of the 9th, General Sheridan started on a raid with a
large cavalry force, to cut the enemy's communications; all day long
skirmishing was kept up, but not resulting in any battle. Major General
Sedgwick, who had so long commanded the 6th corps, an able and
distinguished soldier, was killed; he was at the front, on the left of
the 14th regiment, superintending the planting of a battery, when a
bullet from a sharpshooter struck him in the forehead, killing him
instantly. He was carried to the rear and his remains sent North; his
loss was greatly lamented, as he was beloved by all. Major Gen. H. B.
Wright succeeded him in command, the former commander of the 1st
division. General Morris being with him at the time, was also wounded in
the leg; Col. Truex succeeded him, being placed temporarily in command
of the brigade. The night of the 9th found the men in the same position.
The morning of the 10th was spent in maneuvering and fighting without
any decisive results; at noon a general engagement commenced; the rattle
of musketry and artillery was awful; this was the sixth day's fighting;
the enemy had been flanked from their strong position in the Wilderness,
at Mine Run, and with their whole force at Spottsylvania were opposing
us with desperation. Orders were now read to the men that Sherman had
whipped Johnson at Dalton, and that Butler was advancing on Richmond;
the troops were encouraged at this news and fought desperately. At 6
o'clock a division of the 6th corps made a charge and captured a rebel
brigade numbering nearly three thousand men. Nothing but skirmishing was
kept up on the 11th until the morning of the 12th, when a general attack
was made on the enemy in position. This day will ever be remembered as
the hardest day's fighting the world ever saw; the entire line engaged
in all was over 200,000 men; the woods being very dense. Early in the
morning the 2d corps, Major General Hancock commanding, carried a
portion of the enemy's line, capturing the most of Bushrod Johnson's
division of Ewell's corps and twenty pieces of artillery; but the
resistance was so obstinate that the advantage gained did not prove
decisive. The rebels made three different charges to retake the line,
but were foiled in every attempt, our men mowing them down like grass,
as they lay piled on each other three and four deep; this was called the
slaughter pen; the 1st New Jersey suffered severely in this charge. The
13th, 14th, 15th, 16th, 17th and 18th were consumed in maneuvering and
skirmishing at various points, but nothing important was gained;
re-inforcements were now arriving in large numbers from Washington; our
losses thus far were over 20,000 men. Deeming it impracticable to make
any further attack upon the enemy at Spottsylvania, orders were issued
on the 18th with a view to a new movement to the North Anna river, to
commence on the night of the 19th at 12 o'clock. Late on the afternoon
of the 19th, Ewell's corps came out of their works on our extreme right
flank, but the attack was promptly repulsed with heavy loss. This
delayed the movement to the North Anna river until the night of the
21st, when it was commenced; but the enemy having again the shorter line
and being in possession of the main roads, were enabled to reach the
river in advance of us and took up a position behind it. At 11 o'clock
the troops started, marching all night and passing Guinia Station, the
enemy's former base of supplies, halting Sunday morning for breakfast,
and marching altogether thirty miles; halting for the night on the main
road; the 14th encamping at a place called Flipper Store; marching again
on the 23d ten miles, the 5th corps reaching the river in the afternoon,
followed closely by the 6th, and halting at night at Mount Carmel
Church, three miles from the river; the 2d and 9th corps got up about
the same time, the 2d holding the railroad bridge, and the 9th laying
between that and Jerico Ford. General Warren effected a crossing the
same afternoon, and succeeded in getting into position without much
opposition; soon after he was violently attacked, but repulsed the enemy
with great slaughter. On the morning of the 24th, the 6th corps moved
five miles, crossing the river on pontoons at Jerico's Ford, and passing
the enemy's rifle pits hastily thrown up, but more hastily evacuated on
the approach of the 5th corps; the 2d corps now joined the others, and
lay in a pine woods until morning.

On Wednesday, the 25th, the 3d division was ordered to move, marching
five miles to Noles' Station, for the purpose of destroying a portion of
the Virginia Central Railroad, forty miles from Gordonsville and thirty
from Richmond; the men stacking arms went to work with a will, and the
road was soon destroyed for a distance of eight miles; at night the
division moved back to their old position with the corps. During the
afternoon Gen. Sheridan rejoined the army of the Potomac from the raid
which he had started upon at Spottsylvania, having destroyed the depot
at Beaver Dam and Ashland Station, four trains of cars, large supplies
of rations, and many miles of track, besides re-capturing 400 of our
prisoners who were on their way to Richmond under guard; met and
defeated the enemy's cavalry at Yellow Tavern; captured the first line
of works around Richmond, but finding the second line too strong to be
carried by assault, he re-crossed to the north bank of the Chickahominy
at Meadow's Bridge under heavy fire, and communicated with General
Butler. This raid had the effect of drawing off the whole of the enemy's
cavalry, making it comparatively easy to guard our trains.

According to orders, Gen. Butler moved his main force up the James
River, and succeeded in taking Petersburg and destroying the railroad,
but, failing to fortify his position, he was attacked in a fog by
Beauregard and driven back; his army, therefore, though in a position of
great security, was as completely shut off from further operations
against Richmond as if it had been in a bottle strongly corked, and it
required but a small force of the enemy to hold it there. The army
having been sent to operate against Richmond was now lying at Bermuda
Hundred, without power to do anything. Butler had thus far proved
himself a military governor, but when it came to taking an army in the
field he was not competent; but had General Sheridan been placed in
command, Richmond would have fallen and the war ended sooner, thereby
saving thousands of lives; but those scenes are past, and errors that
are now seen if known at the time could have been avoided. The enemy
were now enabled to bring the most, if not all, of the re-enforcements
brought from the South by Beauregard, against the army of the Potomac,
and in addition to this a very considerable force was brought in, not
less than 15,000 men, by calling in the scattered troops under
Breckinridge from the western part of Virginia. The position at Bermuda
Hundred was as easy to defend as it was difficult to operate against the
enemy. Grant therefore determined to bring from it all available forces,
leaving only enough to secure what had been gained, and accordingly on
the 22d, the 18th army corps, under command of Major General W. F.
Smith, joined the army of the Potomac. On the 24th of May the 9th corps,
which had been a temporary command, was assigned to the army of the
Potomac, and from that time forward constituted a portion of General
Meade's command. Finding the enemy's position on the North Anna stronger
than any of his previous ones, Grant ordered another flank movement on
the night of the 26th to the north bank of the North Anna river, and
moved via Hanovertown, to turn the enemy's position by his right,
starting at dark and re-crossing at Jerico's Ford, marching seven miles
and then halting in the morning at Chesterfield's Station to issue
rations. Thus far our regiment had taken an active part in the campaign,
losing a great many men. Leaving Chesterfield at seven o'clock, we
marched during the day twenty miles, passing Concord Church and
Bowersville. Generals Torbert and Merritts' divisions of the cavalry,
and the 6th corps were in advance, crossing the Pamunkey river at
Hanovertown after considerable fighting, and on the 28th the two
divisions of cavalry had a severe but successful engagement with the
enemy near the river. On the 29th and 30th the troops advanced with
heavy skirmishing to the Hanover Court House and Cold Harbor Road, and
developed the enemy's position north of the Chickahominy. Late on the
evening of the 31st the enemy came out and attacked our left, but were
repulsed with considerable loss. An attack was immediately ordered by
General Meade along the entire line, which resulted in driving the enemy
from a part of his entrenched skirmish line. The 14th was on the
skirmish line during the afternoon, and lost several in killed and
wounded. Orderly Black of Co. I was shot in the heart and instantly
killed; Col. Truex was slightly wounded in the hand, but remained on
duty during the time; he was a brave officer and a fighting man, always
at the head of his men when they were in action.

On the 31st General Wilson's division of cavalry destroyed the railroad
bridges over the North Anna river, and defeated the enemy's cavalry.
General Sheridan on the same day reached Cold Harbor Road, and held it
until relieved by the 6th corps and General Smith's command, which had
just arrived via White House, from General Butler's army.

Grant had thus far failed to exterminate Lee, but, confident of success,
he determined, using his own expression, to fight it out on this line if
it took all summer. The 6th corps had thus far suffered severely in
those terrible battles of the Wilderness and Spottsylvania, losing over
10,000 men; but there was yet more to be done, as Lee was merely acting
on the defensive, choosing his own position. On the morning of June 1st,
1864, the army was again ordered to move, the 6th corps in advance,
starting at two o'clock a. m., and marching fifteen miles, relieving the
cavalry at Cold Harbor; the roads were very dusty and the sun very warm;
a heavy line of battle was formed during the afternoon; again the enemy
were ahead of us and were strongly entrenched awaiting our approach; the
cavalry had discovered their position and awaited our arrival. An attack
was made at five o'clock, forming in four lines of battle, the 3d
division being ahead, and the 14th New Jersey in the front line. A
terrible battle was fought which lasted long after dark; the losses were
very heavy on both sides; the 14th suffered severely, losing in the
fight, in the short space of two hours, two hundred and forty in killed
and wounded; Lieutenant Stults, of Co. H, and Lieutenant Tingley, of Co.
E, were killed. Our men were compelled to fall back a short distance,
entrenching during the night and building three lines of works. Firing
continued during the night; a great many wounded had fallen between the
lines unable to move, and lay all night under fire from both sides.
Robert Perrine, of Co. K, being wounded in the hip fell in a ravine,
being unable to move; he was struck eight times while lying there and
mortally wounded; he was brought in next morning, and died at the White
House. The Colonel of the 106th New York was also killed, his body lay
but a short distance off from our lines, but the firing being so heavy
it was impossible to get to him. The other corps having been held in
readiness now came up and formed under a heavy fire, the 9th corps on
the extreme left, the 5th on the right, and the 2d, 6th and 18th in the
centre. We were now but twelve miles from Richmond, and had, at an
immense loss of life, succeeded in driving Lee steadily back from Mine
Run. The dust and heat were almost intolerable and flies and lice were
in abundance. The men were compelled to lie close, as skirmishing was
continued day and night. During the attack the enemy made repeated
assaults on each of the corps not engaged in the main attack, but were
repulsed with heavy losses in every instance. The 2d of June was spent
in getting troops into position for an attack on the 3d, when the
enemy's works were again assaulted in hopes of driving them from their
position; in the attempt our loss was heavy, the 14th again suffering
severely. Both armies were very much weakened by repeated losses, the
enemy acting only on the defensive. Over 350 men had been lost from the
14th since crossing the Rapidan, but one short month before, and more
were yet to be lost ere the rebellion would be crushed. The troops
remained in line at Cold Harbor twelve days, and forts were built, heavy
lines of works erected, and a regular siege commenced. Firing was kept
up by the pickets and sharpshooters day and night, the men lying close
when not on duty; many were shot while going after water and cooking.
There was no place to wash and the weather was intensely hot; officers
and men were covered with lice, huddled together as they were behind the
works. Those twelve days were days that never will be forgotten; the
sufferings of the men can never be told; it was death to stand up, as
the bullets were continually flying through the air.

On the night of the 9th the enemy made an attack along the line, hoping
to surprise our men, but they were handsomely repulsed by the 2d corps,
driving them back from their first line of works. On the afternoon of
the 6th a flag of truce was sent in by Lee requesting a suspension of
hostilities for two hours, for the purpose of burying the dead between
the lines; it was granted by General Meade, the pioneers were sent out
and the wounded brought in, the dead being buried where they lay. But a
few moments before both armies were engaged in hostile combat, now all
was as still as death, the men talking with each other and exchanging
papers, the Yankees trading sugar and coffee for tobacco; the works were
lined with unarmed men, all gazing upon the solemn scene. The two hours
soon passed, the signal was given, the men rushed back to their arms,
and the rattle of musketry was again commenced along the line, Lieut.
Tingly's body was recovered, but the body of Lieut Stults could not be
found. The brigade was still commanded by Colonel Truex, the regiment by
Lieut. Colonel Hall. The men were weary of the campaign, but there was
no rest, it being Grant's determination to take Richmond. From the
proximity of the enemy to their defences around Richmond it was
impossible, by any flank movement, to interpose between them and the
city. The army was still in a condition to either move by Lee's left
flank and invest Richmond from the north side, or continue the move by
his right flank to the south side of the James. Grant's plan from the
start was to defeat Lee north of Richmond, if possible; then after
destroying his lines of communication north of the James River,
transport the army to the south side and besiege Lee in Richmond, or
follow him south if he should retreat. After the battle of the
Wilderness, it was evident that Lee deemed it of the first importance to
run no risks with the army he then had, and acted fully on the defensive
behind his works, or feebly on the offensive immediately in front of
them, and in case of repulse could easily retire behind them. Without a
greater sacrifice of life than Grant was willing to make, all could not
be accomplished that he had desired north of Richmond; he therefore
determined to hold the ground we then occupied, taking advantage of any
favorable circumstances that might present themselves, until the cavalry
could be sent to Charlottesville or Gordonsville to break the enemy's
communications between Richmond and the southwest, and to cut off their
supplies, compelling them in time to evacuate Richmond; when the cavalry
got well off so that the enemy's cavalry would follow, to move the whole
army south of the James by the enemy's right flank, and, if possible,
cut off all supplies from all sources except by the canal.

On the 7th, two divisions of cavalry were sent under General Sheridan
against the Virginia Central Railroad, to join with Hunter, who was then
moving up the Shenandoah Valley. Seigel had met the enemy and was
defeated by them with heavy loss, and was superseded by General Hunter.
Thus far the work of the three armies had been but one-half
accomplished. From the start, Butler was to take Richmond and
Petersburg; Siegel to move on Lynchburg, and the Potomac army to whip
Lee. Butler and Siegel had both failed, and the Potomac Army, that had
never yet failed, had thus far accomplished all that was desired of it,
and was left to finish what the other armies could not do. When Sheridan
started for Lynchburg he was instructed to again join the Potomac army,
choosing his own route in returning, after fulfilling his instructions.

Attaching great importance to the possession of Petersburg, General
Smith's command, the 18th army corps was sent back to Bermuda Hundred
via White House, to reach there in advance of the army of the Potomac.
This was for the express purpose of capturing Petersburg, if possible,
before the enemy became aware of our intentions and re-enforce the
place. The 1st New Jersey regiment, whose term of office had now
expired, were relieved from the front and sent home; they bade their
comrades good-bye with happy hearts, soon to meet their loved ones at
home. For three long years they had battled for their country, and their
thinned ranks showed that they had suffered severely. The 14th had still
fifteen months to serve, the hardest yet to come.

Finding that nothing more could be accomplished at Cold Harbor, the
movement to the south side of the James commenced. After dark, on the
night of the 12th, one division of cavalry under General Wilson, and the
5th corps, crossed the Chickahominy at Long Bridge, and moved out to
White Oak Swamp, to cover the crossing of the other corps. The advance
Corps reached James River at Charles City Court House on the night of
June 13th; the 6th corps was left to guard the rear and the trains;
marching on the night of the 12th twenty miles, halting thirty-two miles
from Richmond; on the morning of the 14th marched eight miles to Charles
City Court House, halting at noon near the river and pitching tents;
guarding the rear until the trains passed; a pontoon bridge was laid,
the troops crossing at Wyandott's Landing. The 3d division, the rear of
the entire army, remaining on the banks of the James three days, until
the trains had all passed. The army had now joined with Butler and moved
on Richmond. After the army had crossed, the pontoons were taken up, and
the 3d division placed on transports, and after sailing 25 miles--a
splendid moonlight night--we landed at Bermuda Hundred at three o'clock
the next morning. The James is a splendid River. One year ago the 14th
was on the cars riding to Harper's Ferry; now in the vicinity of
Petersburg. After landing the division marched eight miles, halting at
five o'clock near Butler's headquarters for breakfast; cannonading and
musketry at the front; the army was now in position, having failed to
capture Petersburg, were investing the place.

During three years the armies of the Potomac and Northern Virginia had
been confronting each other. In that time they had fought more desperate
battles than it had ever fell to the lot of two armies to fight, without
materially changing the vantage ground of either. The southern press and
people, with more shrewdness than was displayed in the north, finding
that they had failed to capture Washington and march on to New York, as
they had boasted they would do, assured that they only defended their
capital and southern territory; hence Antietam, Gettysburg, and all the
other battles that had been fought, were by them set down as failures on
our part and victories for them. Their armies believed this, and it
produced a morale which could only be overcome by desperate and
continuous hard fighting. The battles of the Wilderness, Spottsylvania,
North Anna and Cold Harbor, bloody and terrible as they were on our
side, were even more damaging to the enemy, and so crippled them as to
make them wary ever after of taking the offensive. Their losses in men
were probably not so great, owing to the fact that we were, save in the
Wilderness, almost invariably the attacking party, and when they did
attack it was in the open field. The details of those battles, which for
endurance and bravery on the part of the soldiery, have rarely been
surpassed, are too fresh in the minds of every one to be repeated again.
During the campaign of forty-three days from the Rapidan to James River,
the army had to be supplied from an ever-shifting base by wagons, over
narrow roads and through a densely wooded country, with a lack of
wharves at each new base at which to conveniently discharge vessels. Too
much credit cannot therefore be given to our chief quartermaster, as the
trains were made to occupy all the available roads between the army and
our water course, and but little difficulty was experienced in
protecting them.

Before proceeding farther, it will be necessary to explain as briefly as
possible why Petersburg was not taken. As soon as the crossing of the
army commenced, Grant proceeded by steamer immediately to Bermuda
Hundred to give the necessary orders for the capture of the place. The
instructions to Butler were to send to General Smith immediately that
night all the troops he could give him, without sacrificing the position
he held. After remaining with Butler a few hours, he returned
immediately to the Potomac Army to hasten the crossing, and throw it
forward to Petersburg by divisions as rapidly as possible. We could thus
re-enforce our army more rapidly there than the enemy could bring troops
against us. General Smith got off as directed, and confronted the
enemy's pickets near Petersburg before daylight the next morning, but
for some reason did not get ready to assault their lines until near
sundown; then, with a part of his command only, he made the assault, and
carried the first line for a distance of two and a half miles, capturing
fifteen pieces of artillery and three hundred prisoners. This was about
seven P. M. Between the line thus captured and Petersburg there was
another line, and there was yet no evidence that the enemy had
re-enforced Petersburg with a single brigade from any source. The night
was clear, the moon shining brightly, and favorable to further
operations. General Hancock, with two divisions of the 2d corps, reached
General Smith soon after dark, but instead of taking those troops, and
pushing at once into Petersburg, he lay quiet until morning, when the
enemy under Beauregard came down from Richmond in force, and by the next
morning the inner line of the works was fully manned by rebel troops. An
attack was ordered the next morning, but failed, as the enemy were too
strongly posted. The troops commenced entrenching, and a strong line of
works was built around Petersburg.

The 5th and 9th corps had now arrived, and the attack was again renewed
and persisted in with great fury, but only resulted in forcing the enemy
to an interior line of works, from which they could not be dislodged;
but the advantage gained in position by us was very great. The army then
proceeded to envelope Petersburg towards the south side road as far as
possible, without attacking their fortifications. The enemy, to
re-enforce Petersburg, withdrew from a part of their entrenchments in
front of Bermuda Hundred. Butler, taking advantage of this, at once
moved a force on the railroad between Petersburg and Richmond. The 3d
division was ordered to support Butler, if necessary, and was then lying
in front awaiting orders. About two o'clock Butler was forced back, the
enemy re-occupying their old line. As our division was not needed, we
were ordered to join the balance of the corps that had preceded us.

On Sunday afternoon, June 19th, orders were issued. Accordingly at two
o'clock the division started, marching ten miles and crossing the
Appomattox River on pontoons. The evening was splendid; the boats
sailing on the river all reminded us of home. The negro troops were
guarding the bridge, their bands playing national airs as the columns
passed. At 11 o'clock the division halted near Petersburg, in full view
of the city. The next day a negro was hung in presence of the army, for
abusing a white lady. We remained in line the next day, the enemy
shelling the train.

On the afternoon of the 21st, the corps was ordered to move and take
position on the left, the 3d division in advance; passed the 2d and 9th
corps, marching six miles, and forming in line of battle to cut the
enemy's communications, crossing the Norfolk railroad that had been
taken possession of by General Smith, in the attempt to take Petersburg;
lay in line of battle during the night, and advancing the next day,
building works. The Weldon railroad was reached and torn up some
distance. During the afternoon the enemy appeared in force, and
succeeded in flanking us, capturing several from the division; about
forty from the 14th were captured and several killed. At night the
troops fell back, after destroying three miles of road. The headquarters
of the 3d division was at the house of Brig.-General Williams, of the
rebel army. A new line of works was soon erected, the men sleeping on
their arms. The house of General Williams had been ransacked from top to
bottom by the soldiers, carpets torn up and everything destroyed. A
splendid piano was left in the house, and as several of the men could
play, dancing and singing were kept up in a rude style for several

On the 22d, General Wilson, with two divisions of cavalry from the army
of the Potomac, and one division from the army of the James, moved
against the enemy's railroads south of the James and southwest of
Richmond, striking the Weldon railroad at Reams' Station, where he met
and defeated a force of the enemy's cavalry, reaching Burksville Station
on the afternoon of the 23d; and from there he destroyed the Danville
railroad for a distance of twenty-five miles, where he found the enemy
in position and was defeated with small loss. He then commenced his
return march, and on the 28th met the enemy again in force on the Weldon
Railroad, near Stony Creek; moving on the left, with a view of reaching
Reams' Station, supposing it to be in our possession. Here he again
engaged the enemy's cavalry supported by infantry, and was cut off with
all communication, with the loss of his artillery and train. A
Lieutenant and a few of his men cut their way through, and succeeded in
reaching headquarters. Informing General Meade of the situation of
General Wilson, orders were immediately issued to General Wright to take
the 6th corps and move out to the support of Wilson; starting at three
o'clock on the afternoon of July 29th, marched eight miles and halted
for the night near Reams' Station, the enemy retiring, as their force
was insufficient to cope with the cavalry and 6th corps.

Wilson was now extricated from his perilous position, and with the 6th
corps remained at Reams' Station three days. The 14th New Jersey and
106th New York were detailed to destroy the railroad. General Wilson,
with the remainder of his force, crossed the Nattoway River, coming in
safely on our left and rear. The damage to the enemy in this expedition
more than compensated for the losses sustained; it severed all
connection with Richmond for several weeks. On the 13th of July the
regiment was mustered in for the thirteenth time, for four months' pay,
March, April, May and June, by Lieutenant-Colonel Hall. Our lines now
extended a distance of over thirty miles, from Reams' Station to the
Appomattox; the Potomac army lay behind extensive works that had been
erected under fire. In the recent campaign our losses had been heavy,
but still the army was large, as recruits and convalescents were
continually arriving. Butler's army extended from the Appomattox to Deep
Bottom, with cavalry on the flank and rear. It has been estimated that
Grant lost from the Rapidan to Petersburg, eighty thousand men in killed
and wounded. The losses of the enemy were not so great, as they were
acting on the defensive behind their works.

It was supposed the enemy would make a grand attack on the morning of
the 4th of July, and preparations were made to meet them. The morning
dawned and the troops were all in line behind their works; the enemy's
communications were in danger, and the Potomac army must be driven back;
the morning passed and not a shot was fired along the entire line. It
was now evident that the enemy did not intend attacking, and the troops
laid aside their arms. The weather was warm and the sand dry and hot.
The men laid off in their shelter tents thinking of former days, when
the 4th was spent in a different manner. At noon General Butler, for the
purpose of firing a salute, trained and shotted one hundred guns upon
Petersburg, and the shells were soon flying through the air; the enemy
replied, and a lively cannonade was kept up until sunset.

General Hunter having been placed in command of the armies of Western
Virginia, immediately took up the offensive, and moved up the Shenandoah
Valley, where he met the enemy, routed and defeated them, and moved
direct on Lynchburg, which place he reached on June 15th. Up to this
time he was very successful, and but for the difficulty of taking with
him sufficient ordnance stores over so long a march through a hostile
country, he would no doubt have captured that important place. To meet
this movement under Gen. Hunter, General Lee sent a force equal to a
corps, a part of which reached Lynchburg before Hunter. After
considerable skirmishing, Hunter, owing to a want of ammunition to give
battle, retired back from the place, and moved back by the way of the
Kanawha Valley; this lost to us the use of his troops for several weeks.
Immediately upon the enemy ascertaining that Hunter was retreating from
Lynchburg by way of the Kanawha River, thus laying the Shenandoah Valley
open for raids into Maryland and Pennsylvania, he moved down that
Valley. It was at first supposed to be only a small force of the enemy,
and General Wallace, with a brigade of one hundred days' men and
detachments from the Invalid corps, was sent to Monocacy Bridge. Their
advance, consisting of a few guerillas under the notorious Harry
Gillmore, were met and driven back. The troops in the Potomac army were
all lying in front of Petersburg, under fire day and night, preparing to
besiege the place.

At two o'clock on the morning of July 6th the bugle sounded, and the
troops were ordered to fall in and prepare to move, the 3d division
being ordered to Harper's Ferry; the men were glad to go, as they were
tired of lying in the sand. At four o'clock the division started, and
marched fifteen miles to City Point, the dust and sand so thick that
nothing could be seen, the men being completely covered and no water
could be had; this march was very tiresome to the men, numbers falling
out on the way. City Point was reached at noon, and the men were placed
on transports, and new clothing was issued. The 14th Regiment and 151st
New York were placed on a splendid steamboat called the Sylvan Shore,
the men enjoying the sail very much, a distance of three hundred miles,
passing Fortress Monroe, Point Lookout, and the Rip Raps. The scenery
along the river was grand; they landed at Locust Point near Baltimore on
the morning of the 8th, at five o'clock. Rumors were now in circulation,
and the people of the North were alarmed for the safety of our National
Capitol, for instead of a few guerillas as was first supposed, it was a
grand raid of the enemy in force on an extensive scale. So silently and
secretly had this movement been conducted, that none were aware of the
magnitude of the invasion. Major General Jubal Early, with a force of
thirty thousand veteran troops, had taken possession of Martinsburg.
General Seigel, who was in command of our forces there, retreated across
the Potomac to Shepardstown, and General Weber, commanding at Harper's
Ferry, crossed the river and occupied Maryland Heights. On the 6th the
enemy occupied Hagerstown, moving a strong column toward Frederick City.

The 3d division, under General Ricketts, numbering but five thousand
men, were placed immediately on baggage cars and forwarded to Monocacy,
the first train carrying the 87th Pennsylvanian and 14th New Jersey. The
enemy were now in force at Frederick City. The Baltimore American was
issued that day with the following address to the public: "That
Ricketts' division had arrived from the Potomac army; that the 14th New
Jersey and 87th Pennsylvania had reached Monocacy, and with such veteran
regiments as these nothing more need be feared" from the then supposed
guerillas. The remainder of the division was forwarded as rapidly as
possible, reporting to Gen. Wallace, then in chief command. Fourteen
months had elapsed since the 14th regiment had left Monocacy Bridge, but
the place looked natural; none dreamed that on the morrow a terrible
battle would be fought on the old camping ground; grass and weeds had
grown in abundance, and scarcely a vestige of the former camp could be
seen. The regiment with the troops that lay there, marched up to
Frederick City, and then around a circuit of ten miles, but nothing of
the enemy could be seen, and halting at ten o'clock, near the bridge, in
line of battle.

Saturday, July 19th, 1834, will long be remembered by the Jersey boys.
The remainder of the division with General Ricketts and staff had
arrived, and orders were issued to form the men in line and prepare to
repel an attack, as it was now discovered that instead of a small force
it was a corps of rebels thirty thousand strong. To retreat would only
result in the capture of Washington and Baltimore, and it was determined
by Generals Wallace and Ricketts to hold Monocacy Bridge at all hazards,
and to retard the advance of the enemy as much as possible until
re-enforcements would arrive. Just one year had passed since the 14th
joined the Potomac army, and during that time we lost a great number of

At 9 o'clock the enemy's advanced skirmishers made their appearance; our
skirmishers had crossed the river, and advanced with promptness to meet
them. After a short time it was found impossible to withstand the enemy,
as they out-numbered us six to one. Our skirmishers were driven back
across the river, and the battle began, the enemy opening with several
pieces of artillery; the battle raged terribly for eight long hours. The
enemy crossed the river, driving our men steadily back, and coming up in
four lines of battle thirty thousand strong. Our little band of five
thousand men fought as if everything depended upon the issue, several
times driving the enemy back, strewing the ground with rebel dead, and
not until flanked right and left did the men fall back. The boys from
the 14th fought nobly, but with regret saw that they must retreat. The
regiment being on the extreme left of the line suffered severely;
Lieut.-Col. Hall, Adjutant Buckalew and several officers were wounded;
Captains Stullts, Kanine and Conover were killed, and every officer,
both field and line, was either killed or wounded except Captain J. J.
Janeway of Co. K. The command of the regiment devolved upon him, and he
fought bravely, leading the men on. The one hundred days' men would not
fight, but ran in all directions panic-struck, some of them reaching
Baltimore, fifty-eight miles distant, without halting.

Eight long hours had passed, the enemy were pressing on all sides, and
it soon became evident that unless we retreated all would be lost. At
four o'clock the order was given to fall back, which was done in order,
the men disputing every inch of the ground; we had but four pieces of
artillery, and that without ammunition. The enemy poured grape and
cannister into our retreating columns, mowing down the men like grass.
More than one-half of the division were killed and wounded; several hid
in the woods and were captured next day. It was now every man for
himself; knapsacks, haversacks, and even canteens were thrown away. The
main force of the enemy moved on the Georgetown Pike to Washington, the
cavalry and a portion of the infantry following the retreating column as
far as New Market, six miles distance. It was a hard fought battle, but
what could five thousand men do against thirty thousand? Capt. Harris,
from Co. C, was twice wounded, and was again struck while being helped
to an ambulance; several staff officers were also wounded, among them
Capt. King, adjutant general of the division. Capt. Janeway was wounded
in the shoulder shortly after taking command, and was forced to leave;
the regiment was now without a commander. Several recruits had arrived
after the battle of Cold Harbor, and the regiment was partly filled,
entering the fight with three hundred and fifty men; but ninety-five
came out, two hundred and fifty-five being killed, wounded and captured
in that terrible battle. Of the nine hundred and fifty men that left New
Jersey, but ninety-five were left for duty, on the night of July 9th,
without an officer to command them. The other regiments suffered
greatly, but none of them losing as many men as the 14th. The news had
reached Baltimore and Washington that the enemy were pressing on and
preparations were made for an immediate defence, the citizens turning
out in vast numbers entrenching. The cities were proclaimed under
martial law and none allowed to leave. Time and again had the 14th
regiment drilled battalion and skirmish drills over the same hills,
little thinking that a terrible battle would be fought, and that the
regiment would suffer as it did. Although it resulted in a defeat to our
arms, it detained the enemy, and thereby served to enable Gen. Wright to
reach Washington with the two remaining divisions of the 6th corps,
which had been sent as soon as Gen. Grant was aware of the enemy's

The 19th army corps from General Banks' command had been sent to
reinforce the Potomac army, but were immediately sent north with the 6th
army corps, together with the 8th army corps that had lain along the
Baltimore and Ohio railroad as guards. In a few hours a large army had
assembled at Washington, with the citizens of the place and every foot
of ground guarded; every avenue bristling with cannon. It was three days
march for the enemy from Moncacy and in that time Washington was in a
state of defence; all the forts were manned and the heavy guns loaded
and shotted. Citizens were armed and formed in companies, all work being
suspended. The remnant of the division reached the Baltimore pike,
retreating rapidly toward Baltimore, marching all night, passing through
New Market, Mount Airy and several small villages along the route;
reaching Ellicott's Mills on Sunday afternoon, having marched fifty-five
miles without resting. Harry Gillmore, with two hundred rebel cavalry,
had advanced as far as the railroad, destroying it between Baltimore
and Washington, capturing a train of cars and a mail and severing all
communication for two days; there was no Union cavalry near and they did
as they pleased. Frederick City was filled with rebel wounded, as our
boys had made every shot tell; if the first line was missed they were
sure to hit one of the rear lines. Two hundred thousand dollars was
demanded from the citizens, or the place would be laid in ashes; the
amount was paid by the banks; the city was pillaged and the houses
robbed. From Monocacy, the enemy having moved on Washington, reached
Rockville on the evening of the 10th.

The 1st and 2d divisions of the 6th corps had been sent from City Point
and landed at Washington, and on a double quick proceeded to Fort
Stephens; by this time the enemy had reached there. Skirmishers from
both armies were immediately thrown out; the enemy, with dismay, saw
that instead of one hundred days' men and men from the Invalid corps,
they saw the red and white cross of the old 6th corps; they had laid in
front of Washington during the afternoon, intending to attack at night;
during that time the 6th and 19th corps had reached there, and
Washington was out of danger. The 3d division deserves all the praise
for saving the National Capital; holding them in check so long at
Monocacy, enabled other troops to arrive, but not a moment too soon. A
severe skirmish ensued, in which we lost about two hundred in killed and
wounded; the enemy's loss supposed to be greater. All was anxiety in the
city, as the fighting was but three miles distant, near Tennelly Town,
but when the veterans from the Potomac army arrived they were loudly
cheered, and were treated well. President Lincoln and members of the
Cabinet were present in Fort Stephens, witnessing the fight; the
skirmish lasted two hours, in which the enemy were defeated and driven
back; Washington almost within their grasp, was no longer in their
power. Vain delusion! Had the 3d division retreated from Monocacy
without fighting, the enemy would have reached there twelve hours
sooner, and the place would have been taken and hundreds of men lost
their lives. Every drop of blood shed at Monocacy, every life lost, was
sacrificed in a noble cause. Those fallen heroes, whose bones lie
bleaching there, if they could only know that their lives saved our
National Capital from destruction, would willingly exclaim, "I die
content, I gave my life for my country."

The division remained at Ellicott's Mills until Monday afternoon,
stragglers coming in every few hours in squads; the men were placed on
baggage cars for Baltimore, sixteen miles distant, arriving there at
dark, lying near the track until morning; then marching two miles to
Druid Hill Park, near the outskirts of the city. This park was fitted up
at a great expense and was a beautiful place, the citizens were very
unwilling that the troops should encamp there, but General Ricketts
promising that nothing would be disturbed, consent was given, the men
encamping in regimental order; tents on a line and orders given not to
molest a thing, which was done. The rolls of the different regiments
were called; but one thousand three hundred men reported for duty of the
five thousand men embarked from Petersburg; three thousand seven hundred
had been killed, wounded and captured at Monocacy Bridge; an equal
number of the enemy were slain as they advanced in four lines, and a
bullet was sure to hit one. General Ricketts reported the division unfit
for duty; the men had lost their blankets and all their clothing,
keeping nothing but their guns. General Early finding that
re-enforcements had arrived retreated from Washington and was pursued by
the two divisions of the 6th corps, and the 8th and 19th corps on the
afternoon of the 14th. The division was ordered to join in the pursuit;
being placed in baggage cars for Washington, forty miles distant,
reaching the suburbs of the city at night, encamping until morning. The
next day marching through the city and through Georgetown, halting in
the afternoon near Tennelly Town; rations were issued and cattle
furnished for a tramp; moving again, marching in all eighteen miles;
halting at night near Cross Roads twelve miles from Washington.

Learning the exact condition of affairs at Washington, General Grant
telegraphed the assignment of Major General Wright to the command of all
the troops that could be available to operate in the field against the
enemy, and directed that he should get outside of the trenches with all
the force he could and push Early to the last moment. On the 16th the
division started early, marching twenty-five miles; crossing the Potomac
at Edwards Ferry, wading it, nearly one mile wide and waist deep. While
the remnant of the Potomac army was lying in their camps at Petersburg,
the 6th corps was marching in the hottest of weather from fifteen to
twenty-five and even thirty miles per day, moving up and down the
Shenandoah Valley until a decisive battle was fought at Winchester,
resulting in defeat to the enemy and victory to us. On Sunday, the 17th,
but eight miles were made; the column halting near Leesburg; the 3d
division joining the corps as they had halted for us to come up, and now
began the hardest marching, unparalleled in history. The 6th corps
having the name of marching farther than any corps in the army and were
called Wright's walkers, for their rapidity in marching; horses and
mules fell lifeless along the road and were speedily replaced by others,
but the men that fell never to rise again could not be replaced. The
ambulances were full, and every baggage wagon with those that could not
walk. The army now numbered over forty thousand men, all under command
of Major General Wright, and was called the middle military division,
composed of the 6th, 8th and 19th army corps, with sixty pieces of

The 6th corps was temporarily commanded by Gen. Ricketts, the 8th by
Gen. Kelly and the 19th by Gen. Emory. The rebel army confronting us
were thirty-five thousand strong, commanded by Gen. Jubal Early, and
formed in five divisions, commanded by Gens. Rhodes, Ramsen, Wharton,
Pegram and Gordon, with the notorious guerillas, Imboden, Jones and
Harry Gillmore, the latter from Baltimore, together with Mosby, ever
hovering in our rear and on our flank, and knowing every foot of the
ground. These for a time were more than a match for our gallant little
army, as every house our army passed contained persons that would not
hesitate to inform the enemy of our movements, and who were in league
with those guerilla bands. The troops were all now together, and were
encamped near Leesburg, until three o'clock on the morning of the 18th,
when the troops were routed out, drawing three days' rations, with
orders to move. Marching out on the Georgetown pike, passing a place
called Hamilton, and then marching ten miles, through Snickersville,
near Snicker's Gap, the Potomac army encamped on the same ground the
previous year when in pursuit of Lee--reaching the banks of the
Shenandoah river during the afternoon; the enemy had halted, and were in
force on the opposite side, with a determination to resist our advance
and to give battle if our troops attempted a crossing; everything was in
their favor, as our men had the river to cross under fire. There was no
other alternative but to wade it nearly waist deep, and with a raking
fire from concealed batteries posted on a hill. The column halted, and a
skirmish line was formed, the men cooking dinner. Nearly every man had
something that he had picked up on the way, as the country was filled
with everything, such as hogs, chickens, honey and potatoes; all served
for a meal, and was eaten with a relish. Hard-tack and salt pork
remained in the haversack until needed.

The command of General Hunter had now reached and re-occupied
Martinsburg, destroying over one million dollars worth of rations, and
capturing one thousand prisoners that the rebels had left as guards,
moving by detour, he flanked the enemy. As his force was insufficient to
meet them if they should fall suddenly upon him, he with his command
reached us while at Snicker's Gap, and reported to General Wright; they
had suffered almost incredible hardships, having lived on the country
for several weeks. Hunter was ordered to throw out a line of
skirmishers, and force the river; supported by the 1st division of the
6th corps they succeeded in crossing the river, when the enemy's
skirmishers advanced in three lines, driving Hunter's men pell mell back
in confusion, several of them being drowned; the 1st division did not
cross, as darkness came on. Both sides commenced shelling, and several
in the 6th corps were killed and wounded, the Major of the 2d New Jersey
infantry losing his leg; thus the day ended in disaster and defeat; but
the men were not disheartened, and rested as quietly on their arms as
though at home; a man can soon get used to anything. Many soldiers have
slept as soundly in action as if nothing was occurring, the deep booming
of the cannon and even shells striking near, failing to arouse them.

The troops remained at Snicker's Gap two days, and nothing important
occurred, the enemy being still in force on the opposite side, and both
armies with pickets on each side of the river. All sorts of rumors were
circulated throughout camp, some of them very absurd. The men were glad
to rest, as none felt like marching, the sun being hot and the sand very
dry. On the morning of the 20th, it was discovered that the enemy had
left our immediate front, but having no cavalry, Gen. Wright could not
ascertain their movements. At eleven o'clock the troops were ordered to
move, wading the Shenandoah at Snicker's Gap. A splendid shower came up
and was very refreshing, as there had been no rain in sometime; the
column halted in a woods on the banks of a river. It was now evident
that the enemy were again making for Washington, and at dark the troops
were ordered immediately back, recrossing the river; marching all night
and part of the next day; moving back on the same road, the men nearly
worn out, and halting all night near Goose Run Creek, having marched
since crossing the Shenandoah thirty miles.

The men now began to murmur at General Wright for marching them so hard,
this march being equal to the retreat from Culpepper, then the weather
being cold the men were enabled to stand it better. The next morning the
troops moved out again, marching twenty miles; halting at dark near
Lewinsville, the men were too tired to cook, and threw themselves on the
ground regardless of anything, and were soon asleep; it was now sixteen
days since the division had left Petersburg; having travelled during
that time, by water three hundred miles, by rail one hundred and sixteen
miles, and on foot one hundred and seventy-five miles, total five
hundred and ninety-one miles in that short space of time; but this was
comparatively nothing, considering the marching the men were compelled
to undergo while in the Shenandoah Valley.

On the 23d of July the troops marched fifteen miles, crossing the
Potomac at Chain Bridge; again were the men within the defences of
Washington. The paymasters were present, paying the guards, and the
various detachments. On the 25th the troops received their pay for four
months, remaining at Washington four days, when the enemy again
attempted to remove north into Maryland and Pennsylvania. Gen. Wright
was ordered to move immediately to the vicinity of Harper's Ferry. The
troops started on the afternoon of July 26th, marching ten miles,
passing Tennelly Town, and halting at Rockville, the next day marching
eighteen miles, passing Gatysburg and Clarksburg, halting in the
afternoon near Hyattstown, with sore and blistered feet. Such marching
now began to tell upon the men, and many wished to meet the enemy and
engage in battle, rather than be marched to death. On the 28th marched
ten miles, passing Hyattstown and Urbanna, halting during the afternoon
at Monocacy Bridge, on the battle ground of July 9th. The ground was
broken up and traces of the conflict could be seen; remnants of shells,
cannon, and unburied corpses lay strewn around. Our boys, with feelings
of kindness ever displayed toward the enemy, carefully buried both
friend and foe. The members of the 14th regiment visiting their old
camp; after leaving Monocacy to join the Potomac army the men had never
expected to see the place again, but they were destined to fight as
severe a battle on the same ground one year after as was fought during
the war, and to see the place several during the three years, as the
army moved back and forth eight successive times while in Maryland. They
had tried to destroy the railroad bridge, but failed, as the pillars
were hollow and could not be blown up. The hotel and tank at the depot
were burned, the bridge also, crossing at the main road. There was now a
sufficient force to meet the enemy, without fear of flanking, and the
men anxious to fight. The 3d Maryland regiment was there guarding the
bridge. After resting a few hours orders were given to move, marching
eight more miles, halting at Jefferson until morning in the same field
the division halted when leaving Maryland Heights to join the Potomac
army the previous year. Leaving Jefferson on the morning of the 29th,
passing Petersville, Knoxville and Sandy Hook, crossing the Potomac at
Harper's Ferry, on pontoons, marching twenty-five miles, and halting at
Halltown on Bolivar Heights, near the headquarters of Gen. Crook.

In the meantime Early had sent a raiding party into Pennsylvania, which
on the 30th burned the beautiful village of Chambersburg, and then
retreated towards Cumberland, where they were met and defeated by
General Kelley, and with diminished numbers escaped into the mountains
of West Virginia. From the time of the first raid, the telegraph wires
were frequently down between Washington and City Point, making it
necessary to transmit messages by boat. It took from twenty-four to
thirty-six hours to get dispatches through and return answers back, so
that often orders would be given by General Grant, and then information
would be received, showing a different state of things from those on
which they were based, causing a confusion and apparent contradiction of
orders, considerably embarrassing General Wright, and rendering
operations against the enemy less effective than they otherwise would
have been. To remedy this evil, it was necessary to have a commander
with full power, to act as he thought proper. General Grant therefore
ordered General Sheridan to have the supreme command of all the forces
in the departments of West Virginia, Washington and the middle military

General Sheridan had not yet arrived, and General Wright acting under
orders remained at Halltown, when it was discovered that the enemy were
again bent on invading the north; on the 30th of July the troops were
again ordered to move; marching back, passing Bolivar, re-crossing the
Potomac on pontoons at Harper's Ferry; marching all night, and all next
day thirty miles; halting on Sunday evening near Frederick City. As the
weather was hot and the roads dry, more than one half of the men fell
out; remaining three days, until August 3d, when the column marched six
miles; wading the Monocacy at Buckeystown, remaining in camp until the
night of the 5th, when orders were given to move, marching five miles to
Monocacy Bridge, it raining hard. At this time the enemy were in force
near Winchester, while our forces were at Monocacy, at the crossing of
the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad; leaving open to the enemy Maryland and
Pennsylvania. General Grant being so far off hesitated to give positive
orders for the troops to move lest by so doing it should expose
Washington. On the 4th of August, he left City Point, and visited
General Wright, at Monocacy, to determine for himself what was best to
be done; arriving there he consulted with Generals Wright and Hunter,
and then issued to them the following instructions:

                      MONOCACY BRIDGE, MD., Aug 5th, 1864--8 P. M.

  _Maj.-Gen. Wright._

  GENERAL: Concentrate all your available force without delay, in the
  vicinity of Harper's Ferry, leaving only such railroad guards and
  garrisons, for public property, as may be necessary. Use in this
  concentrating the railroads, if so doing, time can be saved from
  Harper's Ferry. If it is found the enemy has moved north of the
  Potomac in large force, push north, follow them and attack them
  wherever found. Follow them if driven south of the Potomac as long
  as it is safe to do so. If it is ascertained that the enemy has but
  a small force north of the Potomac, then push south with the main
  force, detaching under a competent commander a sufficient force to
  look after the raiders and drive them to their homes. In detaching
  such a force, the brigade of cavalry, now _en route_ from Washington
  via Rockville, may be taken into account.

  There are now on the way to join you three other brigades of
  cavalry, numbering at least five thousand men and horse. These will
  be instructed, in absence of further orders, to join you by the
  south side of the Potomac, one brigade will start to-morrow. In
  pushing up the Shenandoah Valley, where it is expected you will have
  to go first or last, it is desirable that nothing should be left to
  invite the enemy to return. Take all provisions, forage and stock
  wanted for your command, and such as cannot be consumed destroy. It
  is not desirable that the buildings should be destroyed; they should
  rather be protected, but the people should be informed that as long
  as an army can subsist among them, recurrences of these raids must
  be expected, and we are determined to stop them at all hazards.

  Bear in mind that the object is to drive the enemy south, and to do
  this you want to keep the enemy always in sight. Be guarded in the
  course by the course they take. Make your own arrangements for
  supplies of all kinds, giving regular vouchers for such as may be
  taken from loyal citizens in the country through which you march.

                                      U. S. GRANT,
                                           _Lieut.-Gen. U. S. Armies._

The troops were immediately put in motion, and were placed on the cars
at Harper's Ferry. General Grant was recognized and cheered by the men;
riding twenty-five miles, stopping at Bolivar Heights, near Halltown,
remaining there three days; the weather very warm. On the 6th of August
General Sheridan arrived, and after a conference with General Grant in
relation to military affairs in that vicinity, General Grant left for
City Point by way of Washington on the 7th. The middle military
department and the departments of West Virginia, Washington and
Susquehanna were constituted into the middle military division, and
Major-General Sheridan was assigned to temporary command of the same.
Two divisions of cavalry were sent from the army of the Potomac,
commanded by Generals Tolbert and Wilson. The middle military division
now numbered nearly fifty thousand men well armed and equipped, ready to
move and attack the rebel army now in position near Winchester; they had
also received re-enforcements, a division under General Anderson having
arrived. Both armies were nearly equal in strength, with the advantage
on the side of the enemy, as they had no capital to cover, and could
move in whatever direction they pleased. The men were engaged in
thrashing wheat and forwarding it to Richmond, having compelled every
farmer to give all their proceeds to the help of the Confederacy,
keeping but one-tenth for themselves.

On the 10th of August, the troops moved out from their position at
Halltown, marching fifteen miles, passing through Charlestown, where
John Brown was hung. The march was continued the next day, marching
eighteen miles more, the enemy retreating up the valley, our forces
following them. After marching fifty miles in three successive days,
overtaking their rear guard on the afternoon of the 12th at Cedar Creek,
having passed through Newtown and Middletown, secesh villages, filled
with Mosby's guerillas, who were very peaceable until our army passed,
when they were ready to fall upon our rear guard, plundering, robbing,
and even murdering all they could. The main body of the rebels were
strongly entrenched on Fisher Hill, a place almost impregnable, that
could not be carried by a direct assault. The Shenandoah Valley was
filled with waving fields of grain, the crops ripe and ready for the
scythe. For nearly one hundred miles, the valley was level, and the
scenery splendid, this being the prettiest part of Virginia. At a
distance of seven to twelve miles apart, were villages that could be
discerned in the distance from Harper's Ferry to Stanton. No engagement
took place at Cedar Creek, as was expected, as we were too far from our
base of supplies to risk a battle. After lying near Cedar Creek three
days, the troops were ordered to fall back for the purpose of drawing
the enemy from Fisher Hill; starting at dark, moving back on the valley
pike; marching all night, passing through Newtown, Middletown and
Kurrentown, halting at Winchester for breakfast, passing through the
place, once a fine village, but now nearly deserted; no business was
transacted, as both rebel and union armies occupied the place at
different times. The troops marched during the night eighteen miles, and
during the morning ten miles, halting on a hill.

The enemy supposing us retreating, followed us closely, skirmishing with
the cavalry at Winchester, in which a portion of the 1st New Jersey
brigade was captured while supporting the cavalry. Our rear guard was
driven from Winchester with considerable loss. The troops were compelled
to move the next day eighteen miles, encamping near Charlestown, the
enemy again halting at Winchester. In retaliation for Chambersburg, the
men burned and destroyed everything, entering houses and helping
themselves to all that came in their way. The men were out of rations,
living on the country two days, but flour, green corn and chickens in

Both armies were again in camp, with tents up in regular order, the
operations during the month of August being both of an offensive and
defensive character, resulting in a few skirmishes, but as yet no
general engagement had taken place. The two armies now lay in such a
position, the enemy on the west bank of the Opequan Creek, covering
Winchester, and our forces in position at Charlestown, so that either
army could bring on a battle at any time. Defeat to us would lay open to
the enemy Maryland and Pennsylvania for long distances, before our army
could check them, and under such circumstances Gen. Sheridan hesitated
to attack, and waited for more positive orders from Grant. The 14th
regiment was again recruited, swelling the number to about three
hundred men. Colonel Truex being at home, the regiment was commanded by
Major Vredenberg. Lieutenant Colonel Hall having been wounded at
Monocacy, resigned his commission. Major Vredenberg having been for the
past year inspector general on headquarter staff, he being the ranking
officer was relieved, and ordered to the command of the regiment at
Halltown on the 19th of August.

Sunday, August 21st, the enemy surprised our camp at daylight attacking
in force. The troops soon formed in line of battle, fighting during the
day and building works; but few were lost on either side, as nothing but
skirmishing was kept up. At night our forces fell back to our old
position at Halltown, eight miles distant, the enemy pursuing and firing
upon our rear guard, compelling them to fall back in a hurry within the
defences of Maryland Heights, when the pursuit was abandoned, the rain
pouring in torrents. For several days bodies of troops, mostly cavalry,
were sent out on a reconnoissance, which discovered the enemy still in
position at Charlestown. The men were fast losing confidence in General
Sheridan, as he did nothing but advance and retreat without fighting a
decisive battle; but none of the men knew the energy and determination
of their gallant leader, who was only waiting for orders from General
Grant to bring on a general engagement.

The troops remained in camp at Halltown six days, until Sunday, the
28th, when orders were given to move, passing the enemy's works near
Charlestown (the enemy having fallen back), and halted in a wood. During
the afternoon Chaplain Rose delivered a brief discourse as the men lay
in line, after which we moved again, halting in the old camp we were
driven from the previous Sunday, eight miles from Halltown, remaining
there until September 3d, when the troops moved again, marching eight
miles, encamping at a place called Clifton Farm. The 8th corps being on
the advance, met the enemy at Opequan Creek, and after a severe
engagement drove them back across the creek, with heavy loss on both
sides. Darkness and rain ended the contest, the troops sleeping on their
arms. Both armies were now very vigilant, as they were but a few miles
apart. The troops lay in camp at Clifton Farm fifteen days, drawing
extra rations and clothing. On the 15th of September, the 2d division of
the 6th corps with a brigade of cavalry, moved out on a reconnoissance
to Opequan Creek. The enemy were found in force, with strong works
erected on the opposite side, they were completely surprised. The 2d
division succeeded in capturing a South Carolina regiment, numbering
four hundred men, together with its officers and colors.

After exchanging a few shots, the division returned with the prisoners
captured, the rebels crestfallen at our daring, but afraid to follow us
up. The men were very tired of maneuvering up and down the valley, and
were anxious to meet the enemy and decide which of the two armies was
the most competent to hold the valley. Grant finding the use of the
Baltimore and Ohio Railroad and the Chesapeake and Ohio canal, which
were both obstructed by the enemy, became so indispensably necessary to
us, and the importance of relieving Maryland and Pennsylvania from
continuously threatened invasion so great, that he determined to visit
General Sheridan and order an immediate attack. Leaving City Point on
the 15th of September, he visited him at Charlestown to decide after a
conference with him, what should be done, and after a calm deliberation
it was decided to attack as soon as the army and trains could be brought
into position. For convenience of forage the teams for supplying the
army were kept at Harper's Ferry. Grant remained at Sheridan's
headquarters but one day, giving his final orders, and leaving Harper's
Ferry for City Point, Sheridan returning to his headquarters and issuing
orders for a forward movement.

On afternoon of Sunday, the 18th, orders were given the troops to move
at a moment's notice. All now felt that the time had arrived when the
rebel army under its audacious leaders, should be driven from the
Shenandoah Valley, where for the last two months they had bid defiance
to the loyal North, and with their frowning earthworks at Winchester
were ever ready to resist our advance. For several mornings previous to
the attack, the cavalry had darted up to their front and then retired,
after exchanging a few shots. This was done so often that when the
attack was made they were not as well prepared as if this had not been
done, as the advance was led by the dashing Custer, with his brigade of

At two o'clock on the morning of the 19th of September, the troops on
two roads moved out, and marching twelve miles, crossed at Opequan
Creek. As usual the cavalry in stronger force than heretofore, attacked
them in their position. The rebels were completely surprised. Kershaw's
division had left the day before for the purpose of burning and
destroying what they could in Maryland and Pennsylvania. They were at
Bunker's Hill, ten miles off, when the attack was made, and Gen. Early
sent immediately for them, when they returned in haste, nearly all the
way on a double quick.

Both armies soon became hotly engaged, and for some time it was doubtful
which side was gaining, but after a most sanguinary battle, which lasted
until six o'clock in the evening, the enemy were defeated with heavy
loss, their entire position carried from Opequan Creek to Winchester,
together with several thousand prisoners and five pieces of artillery;
the enemy rallied several times, only to be broken again by the terrible
onslaught of the Union boys. Kershaw's division arrived during the
afternoon, but too late, and with their comrades were compelled to fall
back. During the morning, the 19th army corps, which was on the extreme
left, was driven in, but supported by one division of the 6th corps they
rallied, and in turn drove the enemy back some distance; it was a hard
fought battle, and the enemy with their thinned ranks in a demoralized
condition retreated in haste through Winchester. General Early was so
intoxicated that it was with much difficulty that he could keep upon his
horse; the rebel press attributed their defeat to this. The rebel
soldiers were positive that Grant was in command, as Sheridan never
before had exhibited such generalship. The 3d division lost heavily in
killed and wounded; Colonel Ebright commanding the 126th Ohio was
killed, also General Russell, commanding 1st division 6th corps.

The 14th lost in killed and wounded one hundred and sixty men, but the
greatest loss of all was Major Vredenberg. A braver officer never lived.
He was at the head of his regiment, ordering the men to charge a rebel
battery, when a shell struck him in the breast, knocking him from his
horse and killing him instantly. He was carried to the rear and his
remains sent to New Jersey. His loss was deeply felt by the men, as he
was always esteemed a brave and competent officer. The regiment charged
the battery, captured it, and the last order ever given by him was
executed with promptness, and the death of Major Vredenberg avenged.
Lieut. Green, commanding Co. I, was killed, and Capt. Bodwell, of Co. E,
wounded. Capt. Janeway was as conspicuous as ever, and fought well. He
was again placed in command of the regiment, as every other officer was
disabled, either killed or wounded. The 87th Pennsylvania had but a few
days to stay, but were as eager as ever to join in the fight. Several of
them were killed whose term had already expired. The rebel loss was very
severe in officers and men. Gens. Rhodes and Wharton that led the attack
at Monocacy, in which the 3d division suffered so severely, were both

The ground was covered with the munitions of war, as our victorious army
pressed on after the flying rebels. The groans of the wounded and dying
were forgotten. Ghastly sights everywhere presented themselves to the
eye, but to the soldiers were as nothing, as such scenes were every day
sights. The houses in Winchester were filled with rebel wounded, who
were kindly cared for by the ladies of the place, both loyal and
disloyal. The news of our success was telegraphed immediately to
Washington, and the papers North were full of praises of our gallant
little Sheridan and his noble army; there was now no fear of another
invasion, and our National Capital was out of danger. The army now
reposed every confidence in Sheridan, and gave him the name of "Little
Phil," and those who but a few weeks before were ever ready to denounce
him were now the loudest in his praise. One hundred guns were fired at
Washington in honor of this great victory, which in itself was
considered one of the decisive battles of the war. Had our forces been
defeated and driven back, both Washington and Baltimore would have been
taken, and before another army could have been raised, both places would
have lain in ashes. This was the third and last attempted invasion of
the North by the Confederate army, which had each time ended in
disaster. The rebel papers were clamorous for the removal of Early, who
had praised him so highly but a short time before.

The enemy retreated during the night, and made a stand in their strong
position at Fisher Hill; here they were confident of success, as it was
thought impossible to dislodge them from their position. Here Early
intended to make a stand until he received re-enforcements from
Richmond, and then retrieve his fast falling reputation. He supposed
General Sheridan would not attack, and he would have time to recruit.
Our column had halted at Winchester until daylight the next morning,
when they rapidly pressed on; the enemy were at this time on Fisher
Hill, twenty-two miles from Winchester; the troops halted at nine
o'clock at Newton for breakfast. The men had marched up and down the
valley so often, that every house and barn was familiar to them.
Kurrentown was the birthplace of the rebel General, Stonewall Jackson,
whose remains now repose there; had he then been living, and in command
of the rebel forces in the valley, it would have been different, for as
a strategic leader he had no equal. One day he would be in our front,
the next day in our rear, and it would have required all the skill of
our leaders to oppose him; as it was, Early was completely out-generaled
by General Sheridan.

The troops halted at Newton one hour, and then moved forward; squads of
rebel prisoners were picked up, as they were too tired to proceed
farther. The number of prisoners captured in all was about five
thousand, while our loss at Winchester would not exceed one thousand
five hundred. After marching twenty-two miles, we crossed Cedar Creek on
a bridge built by the enemy, halting in the same woods the troops were
in five weeks before. The rebel army had just been paid in Confederate
money, which to them was as nothing; gold, which had been up to its
highest notch, now fell some twenty per cent., and produce in

The 21st of September was spent in forming the troops in position, as
General Sheridan had determined to attack; but nothing was accomplished
till night, when the 126th Ohio and 6th Maryland regiments charged the
enemy's skirmish line, driving them back two miles, and occupying a
splendid position for artillery; batteries were placed and the enemy
shelled, they not replying, as their ammunition was scarce. The morning
of the 22d found the troops in position; batteries from all parts of the
line opened, but as yet no response from the rebels. At three o'clock
Sheridan ordered an advance, the troops moving forward in eight lines of
battle. Early, expecting an attack in his immediate front, withdrew his
forces from the left of his line; taking advantage of this, the 8th
corps, with the 3d division, moved on their flank, and before they were
aware of it our cavalry were completely in their rear. A desperate
battle now ensued, which lasted until dark, when the enemy were driven
pell mell from their fortified position and retreated in confusion,
flanked both right and left, and their cavalry, under Imboden and Jones,
were compelled to run in one demoralized mass, followed by our
victorious columns pouring shot and shell into their retreating ranks.
The 3d division captured six pieces of artillery, two of them were taken
by the 14th regiment. Twenty-four pieces of artillery, fifteen stand of
colors, and one thousand one hundred prisoners were the fruits of this
victory. Sheridan was now almost worshiped by the men, as Fisher's Hill
had always been considered as impregnable, but "Cavalry Phil," or
"Flanking Sheridan," as he was called, had accomplished what Fremont,
Hunter, Banks and Shields had failed to do in the early days of the
rebellion. He was appointed a Maj.-General in the regular army, to fill
the place vacated by McClellan. In the battle of Fisher's Hill, the loss
in the 14th regiment was small, as they were on the flank with the 8th
corps; the 2d division lost heavily in killed. The casualties in the
regiment were but ten killed and thirty wounded. Captain McKnight's
battery of the 3d division created considerable panic in the enemy's
ranks, as every shell they fired fell among them. Under cover of this
battery, the division advanced and captured a line of works with four
hundred prisoners and four pieces of artillery. No time was allowed the
men to rest, although tired and weary and begrimed with dirt and powder.
The flying rebels were pursued during the night of the 22d, marching
twelve miles, through Strasburg and Woodstock, halting for a few hours'
rest in the morning. The enemy had a mortal fear of Custer and his
cavalry, as he was always on their flank and rear when least expected;
with one brigade to charge and another to blow the bugle, they could not
stand. Their cavalry leader, Imboden, was called "Runboden," as he was
always first to run when our cavalry appeared in sight. Four days'
rations were issued the men at Woodstock, the trains having followed.
The 87th Pennsylvania had served their three years, and were ordered to
return home, with the exception of the re-enlisted men, whose term of
service had not yet expired.

Leaving Woodstock on the afternoon of the 23d, the troops marched six
miles, passing the village of Edenburg, and encamping in woods near the
railroad. The enemy had again halted on a hill and were skirmishing with
the cavalry. In the battles of Winchester and Fisher's Hill, the enemy
had lost in killed, wounded and prisoners, fifteen thousand men, fifteen
stands of colors, and thirty pieces of artillery, while the Union army
had lost but four thousand men. The troops were now pretty well rested,
and moved again on Saturday, the 24th, marching twenty miles, passing
the villages of Mount Jackson, Hawkenstown and New Market, still
following the enemy and skirmishing with the entire march. The pike was
level, and the retreating rebels could be plainly seen. McKnight's
battery was placed on the skirmish line, continually shelling the rear.
It was a splendid sight; the troops, in four parallel lines, with
cavalry on either flank, pursuing the flying rebels, they making a stand
several times, but our skirmish line compelled them to leave. The
weather was yet very warm. At dark the enemy opened upon us from a hill
with four pieces of artillery, but were soon compelled to leave. It was
a splendid picture for an artist--the sun setting behind the hills; the
flash of the cannon and musketry was grand beyond description. The men
foraging lived well, as the country was filled with vegetables of all
kinds; the army was now forty-two miles from Winchester and thirty miles
from Staunton. The troops entered camp for the night, marching the next
day eighteen miles in line of battle up the valley; the enemy could not
be seen, having moved during the night up the Luray Valley; halting at
Harrisonberg, 3d division headquarters at the house formerly occupied by
Fremont and Hunter as their headquarters. The troops remained in camp at
Harrisonberg ten days, confiscating tobacco, sugar, matches, etc.;
Harrisonberg is a very pretty place, twenty miles from Staunton, of
about one thousand inhabitants. Squads of men were sent out each day to
forage on the country, as the troops were out of rations, and it was
necessary the men should be supplied. The army was now one hundred and
four miles from Harper's Ferry, the base of supplies; it took the teams
four days to go and four to come; the route was infested with guerillas,
making it necessary to have a strong guard; but in spite of all
vigilance numbers of men were killed and the wagons captured.

On the 29th the troops moved out at four o'clock, marching seven miles
to relieve the cavalry at Mount Crawford. Finding the enemy in strong
position they were driven back, as they were strongly posted in a gap in
the mountains; they were not again attacked and the troops moved back to

On the first of October the supply train arrived from Harper's Ferry,
with mail and papers, also the paymaster; the troops receiving two
months' pay. It was rumored in camp that Grant had moved at Petersburg,
capturing fifteen guns and four hundred prisoners. The cavalry again
started off, reaching Staunton, destroying the bridges and a large
amount of supplies, and advanced as far as Charlottesville.

On the 6th of October orders were given to move; marching back, the
valley was now clear of the enemy. As it was feared they would again
return, every barn, out-house and hay-stack was burned on the route, to
prevent the enemy from subsisting in the valley, as most of the farmers
were secesh and helped the guerillas along. It was a splendid sight to
see the fires as the troops moved up the valley, from mountain to
mountain one continual blaze of fire. Twenty-four miles were made that
day, as it was cool, and the men were out of rations; the supply train
could not get up, and the valley was stripped by troops continually
passing. The troops slept that night in sight of Mount Jackson with
nothing to eat. The next day we marched seventeen miles, through Mount
Jackson and Woodstock, halting at dark; on the 8th marching twelve miles
to Strasburg, passing Fisher's Hill, where the enemy were whipped so
badly on the 22d of September. After stripping the valley of the most of
their supplies for the rebel army, the troops halted at Strasburg, and
took position on the north bank of Cedar Creek.

Having received considerable re-enforcements, Early again returned to
the valley, and on the 9th of October encountered our cavalry near
Strasburg. Custer with his brigade advanced, and after a brief encounter
the enemy captured thirty wagons from General Torbert; the weather was
very cold and windy. Our whole force of cavalry now arrived, and the
enemy was driven back some distance, with the loss of eleven pieces of
artillery, a number of prisoners, and all their wagons, with those
captured from Torbert, our forces following them vigorously.

As the valley was supposed to be clear of the enemy, the 6th corps was
ordered to Petersburg. Grant had moved several times and had captured
the Weldon Rail Road, extending his lines some distance. On the 10th,
orders were given to move, marching seventeen miles, passing through
Strasburg and Middletown, halting at Front Royal near Manassas Gap.
During our stay there, a man was accidentally shot in the Regiment,
dying the next day; his name was Ayers, of Co. B. A petition was
circulated among the Jersey soldiers to return home and vote; it was
signed by the officers, but was not carried through. The Legislature of
New Jersey was opposed to it, and used their utmost endeavors to prevent
it. While all other troops were allowed to vote in the field, New Jersey
was in the hands of the Copperheads, and her soldiers were not allowed
the privilege, and with bitter feelings of enmity towards them the
soldiers were compelled to stand it.

The troops were now ordered to Petersburg, as there was no sign of the
enemy in the valley. On the 13th the corps started from Front Royal.
The troops had been in the valley some time, and did not wish to leave.
Sheridan was loved by all, and the men were still anxious to be under
his command, but positive orders from Grant were that the corps should
again join the Potomac army, having been only temporarily detached. The
weather was very cold, and visions of earthworks and trenches in front
of Petersburg rose vividly before the men, and none wished to go. After
marching fifteen miles, passing a place called White Post, the column
was ordered to halt, and soon it resounded throughout the line that the
order was countermanded. Cheer after cheer was given, and it was noised
around that Grant had taken Petersburg, with sixty pieces of artillery
and thirty thousand prisoners. The men were very jubilant over the move,
as it was believed. Moving back, the troops halted at a very pretty
place called Millwood, and the men immediately commenced foraging, as
there was provisions in abundance, no troops having ever encamped there.
It turned out that Grant's taking Petersburg was a hoax, and instead,
Early was moving down the valley, having received considerable
re-enforcements. The 8th and 19th corps were compelled to fall back from
Fisher's Hill, and encamped on the north bank of Cedar Creek. Soon the
deep booming of the cannon was heard at Millwood; at first the men
thought it a salute in honor of the great victory, but it proved to be
the 8th and 19th corps engaged with Early at Cedar Creek. On the morning
of the 14th at 2 o'clock, the corps was ordered to move immediately back
the same road to Fisher's Hill, marching twenty miles, and halting in
position near Middletown, as the enemy were again in force on Fisher's
Hill. All idea of going to Petersburg was now abandoned, as there was
enough to attend to in the valley. Early again had a large army and once
more confronted Sheridan, this time with both flanks heavily guarded on
Fisher's Hill. It was not then known how many troops the enemy had, as
their coming was unexpected. Pickets were doubled, and a line of works
erected on Fisher's Hill for the purpose of resisting our advance. The
troops now moved forward to Cedar Creek and were formed in line as
follows: The 8th corps on the extreme left, near Manchuhattan Mountain;
the 19th corps next, and the 6th on the right. Every morning the men
were routed out early expecting an attack, but none was made, and the
vigilance of the men was relaxed; five days the troops remained in camp
near Middletown. General Sheridan being on a visit to Grant at City
Point, during his absence the army was commanded by General Wright. All
was thought secure, and the men began to think the enemy's force
comparatively small; but they were in force, and the boys of the Union
soon knew it. Early had determined to make one grand effort, and if
possible save his reputation and recover all he had lost. Filled with
this determination he moved his whole force on the night of October
18th, crossed the mountain in single file which separated the branches
of the Shenandoah, forded the north fork, and early on the morning of
the 19th, under cover of the darkness and the fog, surprised and turned
our left flank, and captured the batteries that infiladed our whole
line, some 24 in all; the men were aroused from slumber only to find the
enemy in their rear. The 8th corps, panic stricken, fled, leaving all
their arms and ammunition in the hands of the enemy; they knew not which
way to turn, and hundreds were shot down and numbers captured. The 6th
corps, used to such things, rallied, and formed in line near Middletown.
By this time the wagons were on the road to Winchester. It was a
complete surprise, the troops falling back in confusion five miles.
General Wright ordered them to re-form, but with the 8th and 19th corps
in full retreat, the 6th could not stand alone, and with the rest were
compelled to fall back, but in order. A terrible battle was now fought,
and Early, confident of victory, urged on his men, who fought with
desperation; and visions of Washington again appeared before them. The
spoils that fell in their hands were a great compensation for what they
had lost; shelters, rubbers, knapsacks, blankets, and well filled
haversacks fell in the hands of the Johnnies, and to their half starved
and half clothed bodies were indeed prizes. After falling back five
miles our lines were partly rallied and the retreat stopped, but at a
fearful loss of life, and our boys were mad, fairly mad to think that
after ridding the valley of the enemy as they supposed, and whipping
them so badly, they were again in force and our army retreating from
them. Where is Sheridan? was the cry, as all seemed to feel that if he
was near the tide of battle would be turned in our favor. Soon a cloud
of dust was seen on the road; far in the distance, and with thunder
tread, came the well-known horse, carrying with it its rider, the brave
Sheridan; reaching the disordered line he inquired for General Wright.
The men soon knew that Sheridan was near, and all felt confident of
success. When the battle commenced he was at Winchester, but he arrived
in time to arrange the lines and repulse a heavy attack of the enemy.
The 8th and 19th corps were now partially rallied and formed in line,
with the 6th corps in the centre, immediately assuming the offensive and
attacking the enemy in turn. After considerable maneuvering Sheridan
ordered a charge, and the enemy in turn were driven back with great
slaughter, with the loss of their trains and artillery and the trophies
captured during the morning. Had not Sheridan arrived as he did, all
would have been lost. The cavalry under Custer were sent on their flank,
driving them pell mell across Cedar Creek, slaughtering them like sheep.
Sixty-one pieces of artillery were captured from them and eight thousand
prisoners. Our success was complete, though our loss was heavy, and
victory crowned our arms. Capt. McKnight's battery lost four pieces, and
nearly all their horses were killed or wounded. The 14th regiment was
commanded by Captain Janeway and lost heavily. Adjutant Burroughs Rose
was killed; he was formerly a private, and for gallant conduct had been
promoted from one position to another until he received his commission
as Adjutant, in place of Buckalew, who had resigned on account of wounds
received at Monocacy; he was a fine officer, and his loss could not
easily be supplied.

The wreck of the rebel army escaped during the night, and fled in the
direction of Staunton and Lynchburg, and pursuit being made by the
cavalry to Mount Jackson, hundreds of them were captured. The battle of
Cedar Creek will long be remembered by the 6th corps. At first driven
back with severe loss, they in turn rallied, and to the brave 6th corps
will be attributed the tide of battle turning in our favor; for, had
they retreated in such confusion as the other corps, the enemy would
have been victorious. But the Wilderness, and those hard-fought battles
of the Potomac army, were lessons not easily forgotten, and the 6th
corps, as usual, was ready for any emergency. The 2d division lost
heavily in men, more so than the rest, as our lines fell back. The enemy
had stripped our dead and wounded as they lay on the field, and when our
men recovered their lost ground they were seen lying as they fell, stark
naked, and cold in the embrace of death. Such scenes only made our men
fight the harder, and Early paid dearly for his boldness in surprising
us in the morning. The rebel General, Ramsuer, was mortally wounded and
fell in our hands a prisoner. He died at the headquarters of General
Sheridan, and his remains were sent South by way of City Point. Thus
ended the enemy's last attempt to invade the North via the Shenandoah
valley; and Early, with his demoralized and disheartened troops, was
seen no more in that vicinity. Ninety pieces of artillery had been taken
from them at different times in the valley, and with ten pieces of
artillery, and about ten thousand men, they reached Staunton, and all
but one brigade were transported to Richmond, there to take part in the
subsequent battles near Petersburg. Our forces encamped in their old
position, and the next day engaged in burying the dead, the ground being
covered with both Union and Rebel soldiers. The field was hotly
contested by our men, and although surprised they were not whipped.
General Sheridan rode along the lines and was cheered by the men.
General Ricketts was temporarily placed in command of the 6th corps, and
was severely wounded early in the day. He was the best division
commander in the service, and when the men heard of his wound, all were
anxious for his safety. The papers spoke of him in the highest praise as
an excellent and able general. The following is an extract from Harper's
Weekly, which is quoted for the benefit of those who knew him well:

  General James B. Ricketts, wounded in the battle of Cedar Creek, is
  a native of New York, from which State he was appointed a Cadet to
  West Point in 1835. He graduated in 1839 with the grade of 2d
  Lieutenant of artillery; in 1846 he was promoted to 1st Lieutenant,
  and in August, 1852, was appointed Captain, having since 1849
  occupied the position of Regimental Quarter Master.

  General Ricketts was wounded in the first battle of Bull Run and
  taken prisoner. For distinguished service in that battle he was
  promoted to the rank of Brigadier General, and in nearly all the
  Virginia campaign he has commanded a division. His division of the
  6th corps was in July last detached from the army of the Potomac and
  sent to Harper's Ferry, taking part in the battle of Monocacy and in
  all the subsequent battles in the Shenandoah Valley. In General
  Sheridan's absence, General Wright assumed command of the army of
  the Valley; his place at the head of the corps was occupied by
  General Ricketts, who was wounded in the early part of the battle on
  the 19th, and was for some time supposed to be in a dying condition.
  If his wound should indeed prove a mortal one, the country will have
  lost a very able officer.

General Sheridan had again immortalized his name. As he came down the
pike, he exclaimed to the men: "Join your commands, boys, I'll wax h--l
out of them before night." At the sight of him our men pressed forward
with their usual impetuosity, and soon the Johnnies were in full
retreat. Thus a decisive battle was gained, which, but for the timely
arrival of General Sheridan, would have resulted in disaster. The
troops again entered camp, the tents on a line, with the cavalry in
pursuit of the flying enemy far up the valley. General Custer succeeded
in recapturing the colors lost by the 15th New Jersey; their
color-bearer being killed, it fell into the hands of the enemy. He
complimented the men for their bravery, telling them not from cowardice,
but through accident, they were lost, and that he was very much
gratified to return them.

The weather was now very cold, and there were yet no signs of Winter
quarters. Nearly six months had passed since the troops crossed the
Rapidan, and what had been accomplished? Lee was driven step by step
from his stronghold in the Wilderness, flanked several times by Grant,
until he was within the fortifications of Richmond, his supplies cut
off, and closely besieged by Grant. Sherman had driven Johnson and his
successor, Hood, whipping them in every battle, and finally capturing
Atlanta, their stronghold, in the very heart of the Confederacy. Early
had been whipped in four pitched battles by Sheridan, and driven far up
the valley to Staunton, his artillery nearly all captured and his army
completely routed, and everything that an army could subsist on in the
valley destroyed. Price, in Missouri, had been driven in confusion, and
was in full retreat, followed by Rosecrans. The Copperheads North,
defeated in their every scheme, the soldiers now looked for the
re-election of Lincoln, and for a speedy termination of the war.

It was now currently reported that Longstreet had succeeded Early, and
with thirty-five thousand men was again advancing up the valley. The
troops lay in camp at Middletown nineteen days, and it was discovered
the enemy had left the valley. On Nov. 6th the troops were ordered back
in the direction of Winchester, but the morning being very cold and
frosty the order was countermanded. On the 8th the election for
President was held in the various camps; the people of New Jersey had
denied their soldiers that privilege, and with bitter curses toward
them, the men lay quietly in camp. McClellan was scarcely thought of,
and the votes for Lincoln were far ahead. New Jersey had long been
considered as disloyal, and had she been one of the border States, would
long ago have seceded. Staunch old Maryland stood firm, and was far more
loyal than Jersey. But the rule of the Copperheads was of short
duration, and when the war was ended, and the boys in blue returned to
their homes, they were soon ruled out and their places filled by loyal

On the 9th of November the orders to move were again given, marching ten
miles, and passing for the last time Middletown and Newtown, halting at
Kurrentown, a very nice place; wood plenty, but water scarce. The
enemy's cavalry had again advanced, under their leader, Rosser, and
attacked our out-posts, but after considerable skirmishing they were
driven back in confusion and retired during the night. The papers now
arrived, and the re-election of Lincoln was hailed by the soldiers with
joy, as the majority of them were in favor of him. Many of the men now
commenced to build Winter quarters, and log huts were rapidly erected,
with chimneys built of sod. Officers and men were uncertain what to do,
as no orders were given to build Winter quarters.

Nothing of importance occurred during the month of November; as usual
rumors were plenty. The different regiments were detailed to guard the
supply trains to and from Martinsburg, our base of supplies, as the
guerillas still infested the route. A railroad was commenced, and was
soon built from Halltown to Winchester, and was heavily guarded by the
8th corps. Winchester now became a lively place, as Sheridan's
headquarters were there.

The 6th corps was reviewed by General Sheridan, and preparations were
again made to leave, as orders from Grant were to send the 6th corps to
Petersburg. The review was witnessed by the people of the surrounding
country; the day was not pleasant, but rainy and disagreeable. General
Sheridan took a farewell leave of the men, thanking them for their
bravery, and was sorry to see them leave; to the 6th corps the praise of
saving Washington was given. The men gave three rousing cheers for
Sheridan and the Shenandoah Valley; he then rode to his headquarters,
and the troops dispersed to their various camps. Their work in the
valley was over, and they were to again join the Potomac army, to take
part in the final drama--the capture of Richmond. Since leaving
Petersburg, the troops had in five months fought five pitched battles,
each time victorious, and had marched nearly 1,000 miles, a record that
no other corps in the army could boast of. The men deserved the praise
which was awarded them.

On the 1st of December the 1st division moved, and was placed on cars at
Winchester for Washington. It was now certain the corps was to leave and
Winter quarters were abandoned. On the 3d, the 3d division followed the
1st, General Wright having gone the previous day. The division marched
ten miles, taking the cars at Stephenson Station and riding one hundred
and forty-two miles on the Baltimore and Ohio railroad, again passing
Monocacy Bridge; it being night the men were mostly asleep; arrived at
Washington on Sunday morning. But a few months before, when the city was
in danger and the troops were hurried from City Point, the people
flocked to see them and cheer them on their way, now scarcely a sound
was heard, Washington was out of danger. The 6th corps was again to
return to City Point, and by the people their hardships in the valley
were forgotten; they passed scarcely noticing the men, and without a
reception of any kind the troops were placed on transports for City
Point. The weather had changed and was as warm and as mild as spring.
The troops were furnished with three days' rations, and by three o'clock
were all on board. The 14th was placed on transport Keyport, passing
Fortress Monroe, and arriving at City Point at 11 o'clock on Monday
morning, riding on Grant's railroad sixteen miles. This track is laid on
the ground without grading and runs up hill and down in range of the
enemy's shells. The corps was to take the quarters of the 5th corps,
they moving on a reconnoissance to Weldon, North Carolina, for the
purpose of cutting the Southside railroad, and as much of the enemy's
communications as possible. The regiment had been in the middle
department nine months, lying at Monocacy Bridge; in the Potomac army
one year; and in the valley five months, and now back in the Potomac
army again. The 5th corps' quarters were on the Weldon railroad that had
been captured at an immense loss of life. There were now but two roads
leading into Richmond, the Southside road and the Danville road, which
were now aimed for, and as soon as the 6th corps arrived, the 5th with
two divisions of cavalry, moved out to Hatcher's Run, on the Boydton
plank road. They did not wish to leave their quarters, but were glad to
see the 6th corps come back and willingly gave up their quarters to
them. The troops halted until morning, and then occupied the tents
vacated by the 5th corps. The headquarters of the 3d division was in a
pretty place, having been fitted up with considerable care, but the
quarters of the men were very poor, being put up in the Fall with no
intention of remaining.

The troops remained in quarters but one day, when they were ordered to
the support of the 5th corps, which had attacked the enemy at Weldon,
destroying thirty miles of the Southside road, and burning a large
amount of rations, besides capturing a number of prisoners and
contrabands. The division returned the next day, having marched but ten
miles, the 5th corps needing no assistance. It was snowing hard, and the
men suffering severely lying out in the storm. Both armies now
confronted each other for a distance of forty miles, with works in some
places but a few rods apart, but every precaution was taken to prevent a
surprise. The men from both sides were on friendly terms, talking with
each other and exchanging papers. In front of Petersburg was a fort
named Fort H--l from its close proximity to the rebels. Firing from
this fort was incessantly carried on day and night, and the men gave it
that name as it was continually under fire, killing numbers daily.

Winter quarters were now fairly established, the men fixing up the old
tents very comfortably. Cold weather had now commenced and rainy days
were frequent; furloughs were granted the men from ten to twenty days,
large numbers visiting their homes. General Sherman was moving through
the heart of Georgia. His campaign is familiar to my readers, and as the
14th was in the Potomac army, it is not necessary to give an account of
Sherman's march. It was supposed by the men that the armies of Grant and
Sheridan would be consolidated in time, but all ideas of soon moving
were abandoned, as the roads were almost impassable, while Sherman was
farther south and able to move with his heavy trains, living on the
country. It was the main object of Grant to hold Lee in check to prevent
him from re-enforcing Johnson, and in time to sever all communication
from Richmond, compelling Lee to retreat farther south or to surrender.
By frequent moving he had extended his lines some distance, thereby
weakening the enemy's lines considerably. They were getting short of
rations, as Sherman was cutting their railroads in every direction. A
vast amount of supplies was stored at City Point for the use of our
armies; sutlers were in abundance and City Point in reality soon became
a city. The headquarters of General Grant were on a hill near the river.
Immense guns and fortifications were seen in all directions, fully
manned by men, while it was with difficulty that the enemy could raise
enough men to fill their works. Pickets and videttes from each side were
but a few rods apart, and frequently conversed with each other. The
battles of the Wilderness, Spottsylvania, Cold Harbor, and Petersburg
were forgotten, and no one would ever think that those men who now were
so friendly with each other, had ever engaged in terrible strife on the
field of battle. The men from Early's command were in front of the 3d
division, and when on picket the scenes of the valley were often talked
of, but always with bitterness on the side of the enemy. Our boys would
cry out, "Halloo, Johnny Reb., did you get enough of the valley?" Johnny
replies, with his fingers up to his nose, "Do you Yanks see anything of
the South-side railroad?" Our men had been aiming for that, but had
failed repeatedly.

The 14th was now re-organized, having received several recruits, to the
amount of two hundred. Captain Janeway, for bravery and meritorious
conduct, was promoted to the colonelcy of the regiment, he and
Lieutenant Baily being the only old officers from Freehold. The officers
were now mostly enlisted men, and by their conduct had won for
themselves a lasting reputation. Among those that distinguished
themselves, and in every action were at their posts, were Captains
Wanser, Manning and Marsh; Lieutenants Foster, Barkalew, Fletcher,
Hanning, White and Manderville. Each one had entered the ranks and had
won for himself his position. Colonel Truex was still in command of the
brigade, acting Brigadier General. The division commanded by General
Seymour, formerly commander of the 2d brigade, being captured in the
Wilderness, he was taken to Charleston and subsequently released, and
placed in command of the division in the absence of General Ricketts.

All was now quiet in camp, with the exception of cannonading in front of
Petersburg, and picket firing along some portion of the line. This was
the third and last Winter in the army for the regiment; the first Winter
was spent at Monocacy, the second at Brandy Station, and the third at

Reports from various sources led Grant to believe that the enemy had
again detached three divisions from the army in front of Petersburg, to
again attempt the capture of Washington, via the Shenandoah Valley. He
therefore sent the 2d corps and Greggs' division of cavalry from the
army of the Potomac, and a force of General Butler's army, to threaten
Richmond from the north side of the James to prevent Lee from sending
troops away, and if possible to draw back those that were sent. In this
move six pieces of artillery and several hundred prisoners were
captured. Detained troops that were under marching orders ascertained
that but one division of the three reported detached had gone, which
soon returned when the movements of our forces had been discovered. The
enemy having drawn heavily from Petersburg to resist this movement, the
5th corps moved out on a reconnoissance on the left, to take possession
of the South-side road. During the day there was considerable fighting,
but the enemy were found in force, and the 5th corps was ordered back,
forming a line in rear of the army and building new quarters.

The 6th corps was under marching orders, but did not leave as they were
not needed. Camp life again passed very pleasantly, as quiet was
resumed. A branch railroad was completed from the City Point and
Petersburg Railroad to the Weldon Railroad, and supplies were forwarded
in all kinds of weather without difficulty to all parts of the line.
Occasionally the enemy shelled our trains as they passed, but our
batteries opening theirs were soon silenced, as our ammunition was
plenty and theirs scarce. Recruits now arrived rapidly, and the army was
increased to one hundred and fifty thousand men. The enemy, by merciless
conscription, had pressed every man and boy in the field capable of
bearing arms, leaving none but the negroes at home to do the work. Each
Friday there was an execution of some kind in the army; men were hung
for deserting to the enemy, and others were shot for jumping bounties
and then deserting. It soon became a common thing, but it was necessary
as a lesson to others that these men should be executed. The troops had
lain in camp some time, when Grant again attempted to take the
South-side Road. The 2d corps followed by two divisions of the 5th
corps, with the cavalry in advance and covering the left flank of the
army, forced a passage of Hatcher's Run and moved up the north side of
it towards the South-side Road, until the 2d corps and part of the
cavalry reached the Boydton Plank Road where it crosses Hatcher's Run;
at this point our advance was but six miles distant from the South-side
Road, and the whistle of the enemy's engine could be plainly heard. But
finding that we had not reached the end of the enemy's communications,
and no place presented itself for a successful assault, it was
determined to withdraw within our fortified line, and orders were given
accordingly. On the return the enemy moved out across Hatcher's Run, and
made a desperate attack on General Hancock's right and rear. Hancock
immediately faced his corps to meet it, and after a bloody combat drove
the enemy within his works, and withdrew that night to his old position.

From this time forward the operations in front of Richmond and
Petersburg until the spring campaign of 1865 were confined to the
defence and extension of our lines, and to offensive movements for
crippling the enemy's lines of communications, and to prevent his
detaching any considerable force to send south. Visitors from the north
again came in large numbers, among them several distinguished
foreigners. Our lines were to them a wonder, as they thought it
impossible for two armies to lie in such close proximity to each other
without fighting all the time; but the past had taught the men that
picket firing was but murder, and resulted in no advantage to either
side. The men drilled daily and were inspected each Sunday. The spring
campaign was looked forward to as a hard one, as it was supposed that
Lee and Johnson combined, if once together, would move south, and we
would have to follow. The tents of the men were ordered to be cleaned
neatly, as several cases of small-pox had made their appearance. General
Seymour commanding the division, was a strict disciplinarian, and orders
were issued by him that were thought by the men to be useless; every
non-commissioned officer was ordered to wear his chevrons, and if not
obeying was immediately reduced; each man in the division was also
ordered to wear his badge, and if any private was found without the blue
cross, he was placed under arrest. Division headquarters were but a
short distance from the troops, and were near the camp of the 50th New
York engineers, they having the prettiest camp in the army. They built a
splendid church, and negro minstrels were held nightly, officers of
distinction visiting it, and divine service was forgotten; each night
found the church full of men, who, if service had been held, would not
have been found there.

Christmas was spent as usual dull and lonesome. Boxes were sent from
home to the men, and those that had none fared well, as the rations
given the men by the Government were plenty. The last day of the year
was very rainy. Early in the morning the rebel pickets in front of the
division made an attack, and surprised our men. The morning was dark and
our men were driven back, but the reserve pickets soon formed and drove
the rebels back in turn. Three men from the 9th New York were killed and
several were captured. The firing soon ceased, and the last day of the
year passed gloomily enough. The regiment was mustered in for four
months pay by Colonel Janeway, and the members of the 14th spent the
last day of the year very dull and lonesome in camp.

January 1st, 1865, was a dull New Year's to the men, for instead of a
warm dinner at home, the fare of the men was hard-tack and salt pork.
The bands of the regiments were playing national airs. It was the
Sabbath and all was as still as death; not a shot disturbed the silence
of the day. The soldier as he thought of his home, contrasted that with
camp life, and wondered when the war would end. Most of the headquarter
officers were under the influence of liquor, but the regimental officers
were unable to obtain whiskey and remained sober, as the orders of Gen.
Seymour were very strict, that no whiskey should be sold at the brigade
commissaries. It was feared that the enemy would make an attack at
night, and orders were given the pickets not to sleep, as it was rumored
in the southern papers that Lee was about to astonish the world by some
bold movement, and what it was no one could tell. His movement was
anxiously looked forward to by the men, as it was reported that he was
heavily re-enforced by troops from General Hardee's command and from
Breckinridge's. The rebels seemed to be in good spirits, and our men
supposed something unusual had occurred, but it turned out that the
rebel officers had furnished the men gunpowder and whiskey, and then
ordered them to cheer in honor of some great victory, but what victory
it was they knew not, neither did our men.

General Sherman was making sad havoc on southern soil, and the rebel
soldiers, disheartened by repeated defeats, were discouraged, and they
deserted in large numbers to our ranks. Proclamations were issued by the
authorities at Washington and freely distributed among the rebel
pickets, that any one of their number deserting would be sent within any
part of our lines to his home, and paid for his musket and equipments;
though many deserted to our ranks, there were double the number that
went to the rear. The rebel soldiers were ordered to fire on all their
men attempting to desert, but the most of them were anxious to leave,
and fired their muskets in the air. Despondency now prevailed to a great
extent among the rebels, and all felt that their cause was lost, while
on our side the men were furnished with clothing in abundance, with
plenty of rations, and were well contented. Guerillas and raiders were
very active, hovering on our flank and rear; often with concealed
batteries posted on a hill on the banks of the James, would fire on our
boats as they passed to and fro from Washington to City Point. The river
was lined with gunboats, but a few shells from our iron-clads soon drove
them off. The most noted of those was Mosby; with picked men from
Virginia, men that knew every road, his operations were very successful,
but not so successful as the previous year, when our army was dependent
upon a single track railroad from Washington to Brandy Station, as this
passed the entire distance through a hostile country, and every mile had
to be guarded by troops. Occasionally Mosby with his men would make a
grand raid, and after destroying a portion of the track, would retire
with but small loss and with considerable plunder, before our men could
recover from their surprise; now our water communications needed but a
few men on iron-clads, while the most of the troops were at the front.
Heavy rains now set in, and nothing of importance occurred during the
month of January. During this time Jefferson Davis visited Macon,
Georgia, and made a speech, which was reported in the papers south, and
soon became known to the whole country, as the men exchanged papers
daily with the enemy in front of Petersburg. He disclosed his plans,
thus enabling Grant to fully meet him. He also exhibited the weakness of
supposing that an army that had been beaten and fearfully decimated in
vain attempt at the defensive, could successfully undertake the
offensive against the army that had so often defeated it, as he said in
his speech that Lee would soon resume the offensive, and would drive the
Potomac army from its almost impregnable hold on Richmond and
Petersburg; but the future showed that this never was accomplished.

The rebel cause now Looked gloomy enough. Sherman had reached the sea
coast, and the Confederacy was cut completely in two. Nothing more could
be looked for in the southwest, and the whole attention of Grant and Lee
was turned to this one point. In the latter part of January the enemy
again attempted to surprise our pickets and break our lines if possible,
but they were signally defeated in their plans and driven back with
severe loss. In front of the 2d brigade of the 3d division was one of
the largest forts on the line, mounting fifteen guns; it was named Fort
Fisher, and was manned by the 9th New York Heavy Artillery. A large
lookout some two hundred feet high was built near this fort for the
purpose of witnessing the enemy's movements. It was reported that on a
certain day the enemy were to shell this lookout; all preparations were
made in Fort Fisher, the guns doubly shotted and turned upon the enemy's
works, and upon the headquarters of General Longstreet, but a short
distance in the rear of their lines. The day passed and not a shot was
fired, as they knew full well that our guns out-numbered theirs two to
one, and if once opened would do terrible execution, as they had done
heretofore. The breastworks at this point were nearer together than at
any other part of the line, being but a few rods apart. Details were
made from the various regiments daily to guard supplies from City Point,
and to bring ordnance stores for the troops. The new recruits were also
guarded to the front, and then furnished with arms and assigned to their
different commands.

On the night of January 16th, the troops were formed in line of battle,
as it was rumored that the enemy were about to attack; with extreme
caution the men formed in line behind the works, but no attack was made.
It was not known what move they would make, as their leaders were
becoming desperate, and would not hesitate to sacrifice the lives of the
men to accomplish their ends. The news of the capture of Fort Fisher was
read to the troops, and cheer after cheer given for our army and navy.
Gen. Butler was denounced as incompetent to command an army in the
field; all honor was due Major General Terry for his bravery. One
hundred guns were shotted and trained upon the enemy's works from Fort
H--l as a salute. The enemy did not reply; they were crest-fallen
enough, as Wilmington, their most important point, would soon fall, and
like Fort Fisher would soon be occupied by United States troops.

On the 24th of January, the enemy made a desperate attempt to break
through our water communications at City Point. Three gunboats moved
down, and after a desperate fight with our shore batteries, they were
compelled to fall back with the loss of one of their boats and another
disabled. Our iron-clads had nearly all of them gone with the expedition
to Fort Fisher. Lee hoped to take advantage of this, and lay City Point
in ashes and destroy our base of supplies, thereby compelling Gen. Grant
to fall back; but the shore batteries of one hundred pound guns did
terrible execution, and with but small loss on our side, the enemy
retired with heavy loss. For several months Gen. Butler had been digging
Dutch Gap Canal, which had proved a failure, as the war ended before it
was finished; he was relieved by order of General Grant, and ordered to
report at Lowell, Massachusetts. The weather was now very cold, and the
Potomac was frozen; often two and three days elapsed before the
transports could arrive from Washington. The month of January passed
dull enough. Desertions from the enemy were more numerous than ever,
often one and two hundred coming over each night.

On the morning of February 1st, all was excitement in camp, as the
troops were ordered to move out on the left of the line to Hatcher's
Run. The sick were all sent to City Point, and preparations made to move
with all the troops, with the exception of enough to hold the lines in
our immediate front, which were strengthened by the pioneers. All
preparations were made when a terrible storm arose, and the movement was
abandoned. Montgomery Blair had been on a mission of peace to Richmond
but had failed. President Lincoln had agreed to meet representatives
from the Southern Confederacy, and arrange, if possible, terms of peace.
Accordingly Vice President Stephens, Hunter and Campbell passed through
the lines on February 2d, and met President Lincoln and Secretary Seward
at Hampton Roads; but no terms could be agreed upon, as the enemy wished
the recognition of the Southern Confederacy, their cry being
independence or extermination. After a brief conference they returned to
Richmond, and all hope of a speedy peace was abandoned.

The 67th Pennsylvania from the 3d division was filled with new recruits
that had received large bounties. A great many of them deserted, and
several of them were caught and sent back to division headquarters and
placed in irons. They were tried by a military court-martial, and one of
their number sentenced to be shot as a warning to others. Six of them
had hid in the woods near City Point, and were constructing a raft for
the purpose of escaping, but were captured, and one of their number
named James Hicks, was sentenced to death. He was placed in close
confinement in a tent with two guards over him, and was informed of his
fate but bore it very composedly. He was furnished with good victuals,
and attended by a Catholic priest from the 2d corps. He was also allowed
to telegraph to his friends who interceded for him, and was finally
pardoned by President Lincoln, and ever after made a good soldier, doing
his duty well.

On the 5th of February, the 5th corps with two divisions of cavalry,
moved out again to Hatcher's Run, on the Boydton Plank Road, for the
purpose of lengthening our lines. After remaining out two days, the
enemy in force attacked the 5th corps driving them back. The 1st
division, 6th corps, was ordered to their support, and arrived in time
to assist the 5th corps, driving the enemy back in return. The whole
army was under marching orders but did not move, as nothing could be
accomplished, and the 5th corps returned with the loss of one thousand
men, several of the wounded dying from cold and exposure.

The rebels were now deserting at the rate of one hundred per day. The
fall of Charleston was announced, causing gloom in the rebel army, but
great rejoicing in ours, and the men now looked forward to the end of
the war, it being currently reported that the enemy were to evacuate
Petersburg and Richmond. Nearly four years had passed, and now our flag
was floating over the battered walls of Fort Sumter and Charleston where
the ordinance of secession was first passed. General Sherman was moving
rapidly northward, and news of victories were constantly reaching us.
The fall of Wilmington was their last important place, and they were now
cornered, not knowing which way to move. The officers were now deserting
as well as the men, bringing with them their side-arms and equipments.

General Grant deemed it of the utmost importance before a general
movement of the armies operating against Richmond, that all
communications North of the James River should be cut off, the enemy
having withdrawn the bulk of their forces from the Shenandoah Valley,
and sent it South up the valley, which, if successful, would accomplish
a great deal towards the capture of Richmond. Ordering General Sheridan
to move on Lynchburg, leaving a sufficient force to look after Mosby and
his guerillas, he started from Winchester on the 27th of Feb. with two
divisions of cavalry numbering five thousand each, and on the 1st of
March he secured the bridge which the enemy attempted to destroy, across
the middle fork of the Shenandoah at Mount Crawford, and entered
Staunton on the 2d, the enemy having retreated to Waynesboro. Thence he
pushed on to that place, where he found the enemy in force in an
entrenched position under General Early, and without stopping to make a
reconnoissance, an immediate attack was ordered, the position carried,
and one thousand six hundred prisoners, eleven pieces of artillery and
seventeen battle flags were captured; the prisoners under a strong
escort were sent back to Winchester. After destroying a vast amount of
property and railroads, he took up his line of march for the White
House, following the canal towards Columbia, destroying every lock upon
it and cutting the banks wherever practicable. He rested at Columbia one
day, and sent information to General Grant of his whereabouts; an
infantry force was sent to get possession of the White House, with
supplies to meet him. Moving from Columbia in a direction to threaten
Richmond, he crossed both North and South Anna Rivers, and after
destroying all the bridges and many miles of railroad, proceeded down
the north bank of the Pamunkey to White House, which place he reached on
the 19th with his command in safety. After the long march by the cavalry
over Winter roads, it was necessary to rest and refit at the White
House. At this time the greatest uneasiness to the men was, the fear
that Lee would leave his stronghold about Petersburg for the purpose of
uniting with Johnson before driven out, or before our men were ready for
pursuit, as Lee had the interior route and could form with Johnson, and
with their forces combined, whip Sherman before our forces could get up.

As usual before a campaign, the troops were furnished with new clothing
and extra rations. On the 24th of February the paymasters arrived, and
the troops received four months' pay, their last payment in the field;
but none knew it then, nor had the least idea of the war ending so soon.
General Sheridan's raid had created a panic in Richmond, and Pegram's
division was sent through Richmond at a double quick on Sunday morning,
passing Libby Prison, and was seen by our prisoners; but they returned
the next day, as Gen. Sheridan was safely at the White House strongly
fortified against any attack. The pickets were ordered to watch the
enemy closely, and if they attempted to leave at night, to follow them
up. The 28th of February was the last day of Winter, and was rainy and
disagreeable; the log shanties, or as the men called them, shebangs,
were full of water, as this was the hardest rain there had been in some
time. At division headquarters there were nineteen bounty jumpers
heavily ironed, and under sentence of court martial; it was determined
by the military court that one of them should die as a warning to the
rest. Hicks had been pardoned by the President, and was at his regiment
doing duty. Rebel officers now came in our lines, three and four each
night; when the officers began to desert, there was not much to look for
from the men.

Of the number of bounty jumpers under sentence of court martial, John
Kelly, from the 67th Pennsylvania, was sentenced to be shot to death
with musketry on Friday, the 10th of March. The rest were punished in
various ways; some of them were sent to the Rip Raps, and others were to
work on the fortifications around Fortress Monroe. As this was the
first military execution in the division, it was hoped that he would be
pardoned. His friends interposed in his behalf, but all to no purpose,
and the order for his execution was given. The morning of Friday, March
10th, dawned clear and bright, and all were impressed with the solemn
scene. The division was formed in line at nine o'clock about one mile
from camp, to witness the sad event. He had been visited daily by the
priest, and was prepared to die. At 10 o'clock he was led from the
guard-house by the sergeant in charge of the prisoners from the 14th New
Jersey, and the procession moved as follows: First, the band playing the
dead march, followed by the prisoner sitting on his coffin with the
priest and four pall-bearers, and an escort of twenty men marching with
reverse arms to the scene of the execution. The division in line
presented arms. After passing the troops, the band and firing party
filed to the right, the prisoner and pall-bearers to the left. His
sentence was then read to him, and the priest administered the
sacrament; but he seemed totally indifferent, and as unmoved as if a
spectator. He was then placed on his coffin with his arms and eyes
bandaged, and exclaimed, "Fire low, boys, hit me in the heart and kill
me at once." The command was given to fire, and eight balls entered his
body; each one of them would have proved mortal. Four men were reserved
in case he was not killed, but they were not needed, as he was instantly
killed, a warning to all deserters. He was placed in his coffin and
buried where he fell. The arrangements were conducted by the Provost
Marshal, Major Brown; everything was in perfect order, and the division
returned to their quarters.

It was now evident to all that the end of the rebellion was near at
hand. Johnson was retreating from before Sherman, who, with the forces
of Generals Terry and Schofield combined, was sweeping everything before
them. Charleston and Wilmington in our hands, and all blockade running
stopped, there was no hope for them. The last gun and the last article
from England had reached them, and all hopes of foreign intervention
long since abandoned. With their men deserting by hundreds, and all
communication with Richmond and Petersburg severed, with the exception
of two roads, and those insufficient to supply the armies within the
defences of the rebel capital; the last raid of Sheridan had done them
more injury than any previous one. Our army was large and well equipped,
only waiting for the roads to permit an advance. The men dreaded a
forward movement, as there was no way of flanking Lee; their works must
be assaulted and carried at an immense loss of life if attempted, but a
decisive blow must be struck and that soon.

The 17th of March being St. Patrick's day, it was largely celebrated by
the Irish brigade, by racing, tumbling and jumping for the amusement of
the rest; there were several accidents, and one or two were killed. On
the 20th, the 1st division 6th corps was reviewed by General Meade. This
was the finest day there had been in some time and the men presented a
fine appearance. The New Jersey brigade was admired by all for its
precision in marching, and for the noble bearing of the men. Several
major-generals were present; also Admiral Porter. General Wheaton, the
division commander, was mounted on a superb horse, with a splendid
bridle and saddle presented to him by the men. At three o'clock the
review was over, and the men marched back to their quarters.

All surplus baggage was now sent to the rear, as instructions for a
general movement of the armies operating against Richmond were issued,
and all sutlers, purveyors and citizens were ordered to leave within
twenty-four hours. General Sherman moved from the White House, crossed
the James, and formed a junction with the army of the Potomac in front
of Petersburg.

The 14th regiment now numbered three hundred men for duty, commanded by
Lieut. Colonel Janeway. The men had but a few months to stay, and were
not anxious to again enter an engagement. The orders from Grant were for
the men to move on the left, for the purpose of turning the enemy from
their position around Petersburg. All preparations were how made for an
immediate advance as soon as the weather would permit. The month of
March with its colds and rains had nearly passed. Gen. Sherman had
reached Goldsboro, and was resting his weary army. Johnson was in
command of Hood's army, but like the army of Lee, his men were deserting
in large numbers, as they deemed their cause lost; but their leaders
determined to hold on to the last, and then, if unsuccessful, to leave
the country.

The 6th corps had been so far recruited that it numbered nearly twenty
thousand men. After the battle of Monocacy the 14th numbered but
ninety-five men for duty. The regiment had been repeatedly recruited,
and now, with three hundred men and eighteen officers, was ready for the
campaign. A great many of the men had received furloughs, but there
were some who had not seen their homes since enlisting. Of the number
that had left New Jersey nearly three years before, there but few
remained; numbers had been killed, and numbers were at their homes
discharged on account of wounds. At the hospitals many poor fellows lay
in pain that would willingly rejoin their comrades if able; there were
scarcely any of the old boys left that had not been wounded.

On the 23d of March, Lee passed along the whole line of the rebel army,
inspecting and reviewing the troops. There was very little display of
the old enthusiasm with which his presence was wont to be greeted, as
the men were discouraged and saw no farther use of fighting. Desertions
were still numerous, and a new arrangement was made by the rebel
officers; instead of details from the several regiments as heretofore, a
whole regiment was placed at once on picket. They believed that this
would prevent desertions. But this new device was wholly without effect,
as whole companies would desert at once, bringing with them their arms
and equipments.

The troops were all in their respective positions, with no positive
orders to move, nor was it scarcely thought that the enemy would dare
attack our position. Early on the morning of the 25th of March, when
least expected, they assaulted our lines in front of the 9th corps, and
so unexpected was the attack, that ere our men could recover from their
surprise the enemy had captured Fort Steadman and part of the line to
the right and left of it, established themselves and turned the guns of
the fort upon us. But the troops on either flank held their ground until
the reserves were brought up, and after a desperate battle the enemy was
driven back with heavy loss in killed and wounded, and two thousand
prisoners. They paid dearly for their advance, as it was their intention
to break our lines, if possible. General Meade at once ordered the other
corps to advance and feel the enemy in their respective fronts. The
campaign had now commenced, which soon ended in the downfall of the
rebellion. It was hastened by the enemy, as General Grant would not have
moved so soon.

The whole army was now in motion and winter quarters abandoned; pushing
forward, the 2nd and 6th corps captured and held the enemy's strongly
intrenched picket line with heavy loss. The enemy made desperate
attempts to retake this line but without success; our losses were heavy
but the enemy's still greater. Ever since General Grant halted in front
of Petersburg, General Lee had been watching for some weak point in our
lines where he might hope for success, and not waste his men against our
strongly fortified line. He took his time because it was necessary to be
very careful, he could not afford to lose a chance or a single man and
yet this point where he made his attack was apparently on the
supposition that Gen. Grant had weakened his lines to help Sherman, as
his attack was in heavy force; but the whole affair was a splendid one
for us as they were repulsed with great slaughter, their loss in killed,
wounded and prisoners amounting to nearly six thousand men, and this at
that time was a terrible loss to Lee. The nights were spent with anxiety
by the men, lest each morning should bring the report that the enemy had
retreated during the night before. It was firmly believed that Lee would
retreat, and with Johnson and him combined, a long, tedious and
expensive campaign consuming most of the Summer, would become necessary.
By moving out of quarters, the army would be in a better condition for
pursuit, and would at least by the destruction of the Danville Railroad,
retard the concentration of the two armies of Generals Lee and Johnson,
and cause the enemy to abandon much material that they might otherwise

It was not fully ascertained at first the amount of damage done by the
enemy in their attack on the 25th. They had massed four divisions under
General Gordon, and when our men were asleep, made a furious attack on
our line in front of the 9th corps, capturing the fort and guns, and at
the same time they attacked Fort Haskell, but were repulsed with heavy
loss. President Lincoln and lady were present, and witnessed the fight
at a distance. For several days, the division commanded by General
Gordon had held a position in front of the 9th corps, and at midnight
they were silently and promptly formed for a charge; everything was now
ready, and the order forward was given without raising an alarm or a
suspicion. The rebel troops were out safely to their line of works
thrown up for the protection of their skirmishers. At a given signal
they bounded over these works and rapidly cutting gaps in our _Chevaux
de Frise_, pressed on with a yell towards our lines. The attack being
sudden and totally unexpected, and made in almost overwhelming force,
caused our skirmish line to give way before our reserves could get up.
The rebels, confident of success, pressed on with vigor and succeeded in
breaking our line at a point near Fort Steadman; reaching our abattis
they poured a terrific volley in our lines, breaking through on the
left; they captured the fort by charging from the rear. So rapidly was
this accomplished that the officer in command of the fort was captured
with a portion of his men. Re-enforcements soon arrived from the other
corps, and a terrible volley was poured into the enemy's ranks, who were
now bent only on plunder; they could not long remain under such heavy
fire and at last were compelled to fall back. Our infantry flanked the
fort and cut off a large body of the rebel troops, that were commanded
in person by Gen. Gordon, who led the attack. As they fell back they
were literally slaughtered by our men, as grape and cannister were
poured in their retreating ranks. This was their last hope, and
crest-fallen, they fell back to their lines with a loss of over six
thousand men.

Just four hours after the repulse of the rebel attack on the right of
our line, the thunder of artillery and the crash of musketry again
rolled loudly on the chilly March air. This time, however, everything
was changed, the sound came from the left, not from the right; we were
now the attacking party, not the rebels, and the ground we won was not
recovered by them. General Grant, angry at their boldness, determined to
let them know that the Potomac army was yet as ready as ever, and the
6th corps, which never knew the word fail, was ordered to the assault
for the purpose of preventing the rebels from massing their troops, and
at the same time to ascertain if possible their strength; advancing in
three lines, the enemy's entire skirmish line was captured. They had
erected a number of rifle pits in front of their main line; they were
driven out of these works and compelled to fall back or else be
captured; several surrendered at once as they were anxious to enter our
lines. The position from which the attack was made by the 6th corps, was
at the left of our line and near Fort Fisher; the thirty pound guns
doing terrible execution. At two o'clock in the morning, Major-General
Wright and staff reached Fort Fisher, where he was joined by Generals
Wheaton, Seymour, Getty, Keifer and other 6th corps officers. The picket
line was now held by the 10th Vermont and 14th New Jersey, supported by
the 110th and 122d Ohio regiments. The order forward was given, and the
first assault was made by the 10th and 14th, under command of Colonel
George B. Davison, of the 10th Vermont. The rebel position was charged
with great gallantry and success, entering and occupying the line
assaulted. The rebels were now aware of the weakness of the attacking
party, as the two regiments advanced, and they soon massed a column of
troops to drive them back; but the 3d division of the 6th corps was on
hand and gave them such a volley that they fell back in confusion, and
the entire line remained in our possession. The loss in the 14th
regiment was comparatively small, as the fighting did not continue long.
The artillery in the different forts by this time became warmly engaged
with the rebel batteries, and a company of the 9th N. Y. Heavy
Artillery, of the 3d division, sent a shell with such accuracy as to
blow up a caisson in one of the rebel forts; shells were screaming
through the air, and away to the left volleys of musketry told that the
2nd corps was now heavily engaged. Part of the 3d division was placed on
the left of the line with the 2d corps. It was composed of the 10th
Vermont, 14th New Jersey, 110th and 122d Ohio, 6th Maryland and part of
the 9th N. York Heavy Artillery; this composed nearly all the 2d
brigade, with two regiments from the 1st brigade.

The line was now formed for another assault, and when everything was in
readiness the flag of the 1st brigade of Colonel Truex was waved as a
signal to move forward. From the parapet of Fort Fisher the blue cross
of the 3d division, 6th corps, waved, and from thousands of brave men
about to risk life and limb came back a ringing cheer, and as onward
they swept many a God-speed followed them. The batteries on both sides
were hard at work, and not many minutes elapsed before the sharper ring
of small arms was heard.

The line was fast closing on the rebel position, and their outer works
were soon reached. Major Prentiss, from the 6th Maryland, was the first
to enter their works. Scores of rebels preferred capture to running
away, and as soon as they saw our troops inside of their lines, they
threw down their arms and gave themselves up as prisoners of war. The
loss on both sides was heavy; the 14th, as usual, fought well, losing
their share of men in killed and wounded. The result of this fight
proved that the enthusiasm and energy of Lee's troops had dwindled down
to zero. They fought like hopeless, not desperate, men; the spirit which
animated them two years ago had been broken by repeated defeats, and
tamed by short rations. The new position gained was, on Sunday morning,
March 26, held by the entire 6th corps, ready to repel any attack the
enemy would make. The 14th was again on picket, and the long night
passed slowly away, without a shot along the entire line; the enemy was
badly beaten and was quiet the rest of the night. Our men fought
splendidly and successfully, and at night there was a wide-spread
enthusiasm among the troops at the glorious success of the day. The
enemy began the sanguinary work.

The Spring campaign was now opened with favorable auspices to our side,
with a prospect of soon ending the war. The ground gained by the 6th
corps was held during the next three days, the lines having been
advanced one mile and a half from our former position. The 14th was now
relieved from picket; tired and weary, the men lay down to sleep, having
had none for nearly three days. The rebel dead, as they lay strewn
around, were but skin and bone, a fact not to be wondered at, when it is
remembered that for the last six months their chief article of diet had
been a small quantity of corn meal daily.

From the night of the 29th to the morning of the 31st, the rain fell in
such torrents as to make it impossible to move a wheeled vehicle, except
when corduroy roads were laid in front of them. On the 30th, General
Sheridan had advanced as far as Five Forks, where he found the enemy in
force, and awaited re-enforcements. In the meantime, the 2d and 6th
corps were holding the line they had captured without any farther
fighting, awaiting orders to advance. The men were now confident that
the enemy's main works could be carried, and were clamorous to be led
on; but the rain and roads would not permit an advance.

On the morning of April 1st, General Sheridan, re-enforced by the 5th
corps, drove the enemy back on Five Forks, capturing all their artillery
and six thousand prisoners. In front of the 2d and 6th corps there was
nothing but picket firing during the day; at night a heavy cannonade
commenced, and was kept up until morning. Gen. Grant now ordered an
attack along the entire line; accordingly, the 6th corps was massed and
formed in three divisions. At three o'clock on Sunday morning, without a
noise, the column was formed for a charge, with the 9th corps in reserve
to follow the 6th, if successful. General Sheridan, with his cavalry and
the 5th corps, were to attack at the same time, the result being well
known to our readers. At four o'clock the order to move forward was
given, and the 3d division in advance, with a yell charged the enemy's
works, and their entire line was captured with many prisoners and guns.
The 6th corps swept everything before them; the wildest enthusiasm
prevailed, and the men fought reckless of life and limb. Three thousand
prisoners were captured by the 6th corps alone. There was a tremendous
struggle during the day in woods, fields, hills and valleys, and on the
roads and creeks a few miles south and west of Petersburg, and from
twenty to thirty miles beyond the rebel Capital; never was such a scene
presented to the eye. The whole rebel army was now in full retreat
before our victorious troops. Petersburg was captured by the 6th corps
and the Southside road reached and torn up for many miles. The result of
this day's fight was the capture of Petersburg with twelve thousand
prisoners, many thousand stand of arms, and the utter rout of the rebel
army. The most wicked of all rebellions had now absolutely received its
death-blow, and was so positively crushed that no power on earth could
save it. Lee's retreat proved an utter rout. At midnight on Sunday,
Richmond was evacuated, Jeff. Davis taking the rail for Danville; the
lower portion of the city was burned and totally destroyed. For four
long years had our brave men fought, and now the rebel Capital was in
our possession, General Wetsell entering and occupying it on Monday
morning at daylight. The rebel army seemed to hold together feebly
before the battles, but the fierce struggle of Saturday and Sunday had
completely used them up. We had taken twelve thousand prisoners in the
two days, and there were twelve thousand more killed and wounded. Only
one-half of Lee's army was now left; such a force could not long stand
alone with a victorious army in pursuit. It was now Lee's intention to
join Johnson if possible, and such a run would cost them ten thousand
more men.

While the 6th corps was holding the captured picket line without much
fighting, there was severe fighting on the left of the line. It was
reserved for this corps to divide the formidable rebel army, which for
so many months defied our power to drive them from the city of
Petersburg. There were two objects in view; one to create a division in
favor of Gen. Sheridan, and the other to cut the rebel army in two and
destroy the far-famed Southside road. The first notice given the men was
at nine o'clock, when a dispatch came from Gen. Meade, telling of the
success of Gen. Sheridan on the left, and his heavy capture of
prisoners, and ordered the troops to be massed at three o'clock on
Sunday morning as was heretofore stated, and charge the rebel line. The
pickets were also ordered to advance in front of the different
divisions, but did not succeed in arousing a suspicion among them that
we were to attack. The rebels showed how far they were from suspecting a
movement, by calling out to know if we were celebrating April fool's day
at that time in the morning. The order given for the assault was carried
out very punctually, owing to the fact that the greater the surprise the
greater would be our chance of success; the troops therefore moved
outside of the works at two o'clock. The moon had gone down, and the
night was intensely dark; a thin chilly mist arose from the ground,
which served still farther to conceal our movements from the enemy. On
the extreme left of the line was the 1st brigade, with Colonel Truex in
command, and the 14th New Jersey on the right of the brigade under
Colonel Janeway. In forming the line, it was Gen. Wright's intention to
attack in such overwhelming force that failure would be impossible; then
when the column had made good its entrance into the rebel works, the
divisions on the right and left might deploy, and drive the enemy from
their works as effectually as if a fresh corps had attacked. To
co-operate with the attacking column, Gen. Park, with the 9th corps, was
held in reserve, while Sheridan, far away to the left, was thundering on
their flank. Just before the attack, Gen. Wright and staff rode up to
the picket line; a match was struck and the time ascertained; it wanted
just fifteen minutes of four o'clock, and an officer was sent back to
Fort Fisher with orders to fire a signal gun exactly at four o'clock. A
few shots were fired by the enemy as the match was struck, and then all
was still; no object was visible at a distance of a few yards, and of
the thousands of men massed, not one could be seen by the enemy's line.

Suddenly a bright flash leaped out into the darkness, and a loud report
from a twelve pounder rolled in the air; a minute elapsed and a similar
sound came from the left some ten miles away, telling that the signal
was understood. The veterans of the different divisions were now pushed
forward, and the dull crash of musketry and the flash of artillery told
that the battle had begun. The enemy was surprised, but soon rallied,
and a terrific strife now took place. The entire line from right to left
was heavily engaged. Daylight dawned slowly to the men, whose hearts
were already relieved, as it was noticed that the enemy's firing became
more feeble. Gen. Wright's assertion was fulfilled, that he would go
through them like a knife, as their entire line was captured, together
with thousands of prisoners, numerous pieces of artillery and many
battle flags. It was the most complete achievement of the war, and the
first rays of the morning's sun beamed on the ramparts of the captured
forts with the rebel army in full retreat. To retain what we had gained
was necessary to gain more; for this purpose, the 3rd division was
deployed to the left from forts on other parts of the line. The rebels
were already firing on our men, and it was necessary to capture those
forts and silence the guns. The two brigades under command of Colonels
Truex and Keifer, pushed gallantly forward, and Gen. Wright after
assuring himself of the safety of that part of the line, turned his
attention to the left. The division took possession of a portion of the
rebel lines, and soon struck the Southside road, destroying it for over
ten miles. Later in the day when our men had completely cleared the
rebels out of that part of the line, the work of destroying the road was
resumed. General Seymour continued pushing toward the rebels left with
the 3d division, and at one point had as severe a fight as any which
occurred during the day. The rebels had a battery of six guns, two
twenty pounders and four light field pieces, which they served in
magnificent style. Our line was rapidly advanced and a charge made by
the 1st brigade, and six more guns were added to the number already
captured. From this point our progress to the left was comparatively
easy, as the enemy were in full retreat. Soon a line of glittering
bayonets were seen advancing towards us, and Major-General Gibbons
informed Gen. Wright that the advancing column belonged to the 24th

The 6th corps had by this time reached the vicinity of Hatcher's Run,
and it was decided to right-about-face and march for Petersburg by the
Boydton Plank Road. The troops had but commenced moving towards
Petersburg, when a hearty cheer was given by the rear regiments. The
cause was soon ascertained to be the arrival of Lieut. General Grant and
staff, and as soon as the soldiers saw the Lieutenant-General, they
shouted, "Boys, here's General Grant, three cheers for him," and all
along the line as he rode on his black horse, Jeff. Davis, the men
cheered him with the wildest enthusiasm; he rode with head uncovered,
and bowed his thanks for the soldiers' hearty greeting. On seeing
Generals Wright, Seymour, Wheaton and other 6th corps officers, he shook
hands with great heartiness, and after spending a short time in
conversation, he proceeded towards Petersburg, the corps following
rapidly. On reaching the place, preparations were at once commenced to
attack the works immediately surrounding Petersburg. For this purpose
Gen. Seymour of the 3d division was sent forward to the right of the
line; Gen. Getty to the centre, and Gen. Wheaton to the left. Artillery
was put into position, and soon the battle raged with even greater fury
than in the morning. The rebels seemed determined to defend their forts
to the last, but nothing could withstand the tried valor of General
Wright's troops. The long lines were gradually closed on the forts and
garrisons, and they were compelled to give way before the hard fighting
of the 6th corps. Until after nightfall the contest continued, and the
fate of Petersburg was decided. Major C. K. Prentiss, of the 6th
Maryland, was the first to enter the rebel works, but was unfortunately
shot through the chest a short time afterward. A rebel lieutenant was
picked up wounded, who gave his name as Lieut. Prentiss, of the 2d
Maryland regiment; he was a younger brother of the major, whom he had
not seen since the rebellion broke out; they were both placed in the
hospital together, and their wounds dressed. The meeting between the
brothers was very affecting, causing many to shed tears. Our losses in
killed and wounded, considering the hard fighting, were very light, as
the rebels aimed too high for their fire to be destructive. Night found
us in the possession of Petersburg, with an immense quantity of stores
and ammunition that the enemy had left in their haste. Lee with the
remnant of his army, had fled in the direction of Danville, a
demoralized disheartened force. The loss in the 14th did not exceed one
hundred in killed and wounded. The troops fought well, but none better
than the 14th New Jersey. Led by a brave officer, Lieut.-Colonel
Janeway, they with the rest caused many a rebel to bite the dust, and
with about one hundred and fifty men left, participated in the attack.

The charge of Major-Gen. Wright's veterans under cover of the darkness
and mist, preceding the break of day, will forever live in history as
one of the grandest and most sublime actions of the war. With
irresistible force they broke through the rebel line, in which months of
labor had been expended, and then turning the rebel guns on other
hostile forts, they swept along the rebel line for a distance of five
miles, capturing men, guns and colors. When it is remembered how much
depended on them, and what would have been the consequence if they
failed, the country will treasure as household words the names of
Wright, Getty, Seymour, Wheaton, and other generals who led the
oft-tried but never defeated men of the 6th corps to victory, on the
morning of Sunday, April 2d.

Under cover of the darkness on Sunday night, Lee withdrew the remnant of
his army and fell back across the Appomattox. The bridge across the
river was partially burned by them, but the flames were soon
extinguished by our troops, who commenced entering Petersburg shortly
after sunrise on Monday morning, and were objects of great curiosity to
the negroes of the city. They capered around our men in a most ludicrous
manner, and at every fresh arrival yelled out, "Dar comes de clebber
yankees." The stores were all closed, and the city seemed to have left
off doing business. Our enterprising news boys entered the city along
with the soldiers, and almost before the rear guard of the rebels had
crossed the river, the New York Herald, of March 31st, was sold in the
streets of Petersburg.

The final movement in pursuit of the balance of Lee's army commenced at
daylight. It was General Grant's intention to use them up entirely in
case the charge of the 6th corps should prove a success, and accordingly
the 2d, 5th, 6th and 24th corps, together with the cavalry under General
Sheridan, were put in motion to find the rebels. The camps around
Petersburg were left, and the whole of the grand army of the Potomac was
fairly en route by eight o'clock, with all their teams, ambulances, pack
mules, droves of cattle, and all other necessities for campaigning.
After long weary waiting around Petersburg for nearly nine months, the
change was agreeable, and the recent victories added considerably to the
good spirits of the men. The country passed through was in a fine state
of cultivation, and the bright green of early vegetation looked very
cheerful when contrasted with the brown sandy waste we had looked on for
so long a time. The 6th corps moved in the following order: Getty's
division ahead, Wheaton in the centre, and Seymour with the 3d division
in the rear.

During the day the troops marched forty miles; night found the advance
at Mount Pleasant Church. Hundreds of rebels had been picked up on the
march. The roads were very muddy from the recent rains, and on no other
occasion could the men have marched as far, but all knew the necessity
of capturing Lee's army, and all were willing to do their best. During a
temporary halt in the afternoon, Gen. Meade passed the 6th corps on his
way to the front. He was recognized by the men and greeted with loud and
enthusiastic cheers; for a short time the scene was one that could be
better imagined than described, so great was the enthusiasm inspired by
the presence of the Commander of the army of the Potomac. Caps were
waved and cheers given in a manner which is only heard and seen where
thousands of soldiers are greeting a commander who has won their
confidence and esteem. General Meade returned the greeting of the 6th
corps by repeated bows, although compelled to bestow considerable
attention on the management of the spirited horse he was riding. On
reaching the spot where Gen. Wright was standing, he reined in his
horse, and said to him, laughingly, "The 6th corps men are in such good
spirits that they seem determined to break my neck;" to which the
General replied, that "He imagined they were proud of their success,"
when Gen. Meade, with much feeling said, "Yes, we all know, _and the
country shall know_, that the 6th corps did the business; to them we owe
our success in breaking the rebel line, and we feel very grateful to
them for it."

On the 6th at daylight, the 2d, 5th and 6th corps were at Burksville
Station, and Lee was near Amelia Court House. The enemy again made a
stand, when they were attacked by General Sheridan with his cavalry, and
the 1st and 3d divisions of the 6th corps. A desperate battle was again
fought, which resulted in the capture of six rebel generals, Ewell,
Pegram, Barton, DeBoise, Corse and Fitz Hugh Lee, several thousand
prisoners, fourteen pieces of artillery, and thousands of small arms.
Lee's army was now closely pressed, and nothing could save him from
capture. The troops moving down the road on a parallel with the enemy,
they were again attacked at Sailor's Creek. The 3d division in advance
was moved up the road held by the enemy, which was carried by the
division. By this time Wheaton's division was put into position as
rapidly as possible on the left of the line. While these operations were
going on, similar ones were occurring at other points. By bold and
strategic movements Grant had almost surrounded Lee, and his surrender
was speedily looked for. The men were exhausted and needed rest, but
there was none until Lee's army had been captured. The lines of the 1st
and 3d divisions were again advanced, and swept down the road for a
distance of two miles. Arriving at a deep and difficult creek, the enemy
were found in line on the opposite side; they were immediately attacked
and driven back from Sailor's Creek. In this engagement our loss was
heavy, especially in the 1st division, as the men were compelled to
cross under heavy fire. The 14th was now rapidly diminished in numbers,
with only about 100 men left; but those that were left were as full of
fight as ever. The rebel General A. P. Hill was killed in front of
Petersburg while urging on his men; his loss was felt by them, as he was
one of their leading corps commanders. Ewell was in our hands, and of
the four leading generals of the rebel army, Lee and Longstreet only
were left.

The pursuit was kept up the entire week following the capture of
Richmond and Petersburg, in which the troops marched over two hundred
miles. It was soon found that the enemy had fled from Sailor's Creek to
the north side of the Appomattox; but so close was the pursuit that our
forces secured the bridge, and immediately crossed the 6th corps at
Farmersville. Feeling that Gen. Lee's chance of escape was utterly
hopeless, and his men dropping out at every mile, the following dispatch
was sent to him by General Grant;



  The result of the last week must convince you of the hopelessness of
  further resistance on the part of the army of Northern Virginia. In
  this struggle I feel that it is so, and regard it as my duty to
  shift from myself the responsibility of any further effusion of
  blood, by asking of you the surrender of that portion of the
  Confederate States army known as the army of Northern Virginia.

                                              U. S. GRANT,
                                                       Lieut. General.

To this General Lee replied:

  I received your note of this date. Though not entertaining the
  opinion you express on the hopelessness of further resistance on the
  part of the army of Northern Virginia, I reciprocate your desire to
  avoid useless effusion of blood, and therefore will treat with you
  on terms of surrender.

                                                       R. E. LEE,

While this correspondence was carried on, the troops were not idle, and
Sunday morning found both armies again in line at Appomattox Court
House. Writing and fighting at the same time, General Grant showed that
he was more than a match for Lee; just as he would have stopped any
attempt on Lee's part to escape through his lines, so he stopped his
attempt to escape from him. In the afternoon an arrangement was made for
an interview with the rebel General. General Grant offered to parole all
of Lee's army, and give the officers their side arms and private
property. Lee at once accepted this proposition and the fighting ceased,
and the war was practically ended; so in a few days, and by means of a
few short letters, the dreadful contest which had disturbed the country
for four years, was brought to a close, and the whole rebel army was in
our hands.

The troops were fighting at Appomattox Court House, and knew nothing of
the correspondence of Grant and Lee, when orders came for a suspension
of hostilities for two hours. At two o'clock in the afternoon General
Meade rode along the lines, and with hat in hand, exclaimed, "Boys, Lee
has surrendered." At first it was not credited, but coming from the
mouth of General Meade, it could not be doubted, and one continuous
shout was given. The men were in ecstasies, and could scarcely restrain
themselves; tremendous cheers were given and caps were thrown in the
air. Men hugged and squeezed each other, and all felt that the war was

The stipulations for the surrender were carried into effect, and the
rebel army was no longer an organized body of men. Twenty-five thousand
men were all that were left, and ten thousand of them were unarmed. They
were permitted to return to their homes, which they gladly did, and the
army of Northern Virginia ceased to exist. It could scarcely be believed
that Lee had surrendered, and while the men were marching and fighting,
Grant and Lee were in correspondence with each other. Sunday, the 9th of
April, will ever be remembered, especially by the soldiers of the
Potomac army. In the short space of fifteen days, Lee had been driven
from his position in front of Petersburg and compelled to retreat;
Richmond in our possession, and he finally compelled to surrender to
General Grant.

The 5th corps and one division of cavalry were ordered to remain at
Appomattox Court House, until the paroling of the surrendered army was
completed and to take charge of the public property. The remainder of
the army immediately returned to Petersburg, but were ordered to halt at
Burksville and enter camp; the men were greatly in need of rest and
rations. Once more tents were placed on a line as before. Nothing was
talked of but the recent victories, and the people North were rejoicing;
guns were fired throughout the country in honor of our success. Too much
praise cannot be given to the privates and officers of the Potomac army,
and to our noble leader, Grant.

With but one hundred men for duty, the 14th entered camp at Burksville,
with bronzed features and soiled garments, covered with Virginia mud;
they looked for a speedy return to their homes. All that was possible
for them to do they had done, and New Jersey cannot but be proud of such
a noble band of heroic men. Commencing on the river from which the
Potomac army derived its name, until the surrender of Lee at Appomattox
Court House, Virginia, all have a proud record for having done their
full share in restoring our Union as it was.

Johnson had not yet surrendered, and as each day passed reports were
circulated among the men, that the Potomac army was to march in his
rear. Scarcely had the men commenced to rejoice at their success, when
there came a blow that was more terrible than any defeat. In camp at
Burkesville the men little knew what calamity was to befall the nation.
A dispatch was sent from Washington that our beloved President had been
assassinated. Our noble leader who for the last four years had guided
our nation in the midst of war was foully stricken down by the
assassin's hand. Rejoicing was turned into mourning, and the men when
fully aware that Lincoln was no more, were clamorous to move on Gen.
Johnson, and with vows of vengeance, determined if possible to avenge
his death. Gloom now prevailed among the men, as he was beloved by
friend and foe. But a few days before he was at the front, and by his
presence cheered the men on to victory; now he lay in the cold embrace
of death. The Southern leaders, now fleeing from their homes, were the
instigators of this horrible crime. All business was suspended in the
army on the day of his burial. Jeff. Davis had fled, and at Danville
stopped long enough to make a speech. He told his followers that their
cause was not yet lost; that the rebel capital had been evacuated for
the purpose of concentrating their armies; he did not then know that Lee
had surrendered his army to Grant. Remaining a few hours at Danville he
proceeded South, and was finally captured in the disguise of a female--a
fitting end for such a leader.

The men were now anxious to move towards Washington and be mustered out,
as the Potomac army had done its duty; but Johnson had still a large
army, and was in consultation with Gen. Sherman in regard to a
surrender, but no terms could be agreed upon, and it was determined to
crush him. Accordingly, the 6th corps and Sheridan's cavalry were
ordered to move on his rear. On Sunday night, April 23d, the corps was
ordered to be ready to move at daylight, which way the men knew not, but
it was supposed for Washington; but the men soon found out that they
had a hard march before them to Danville, one hundred and twenty miles
distant. In four days the march was made; the sun was very warm, and the
men suffered very much. General Wright, wishing to win more glory, was
anxious to fall on Johnson's rear. He marched the men very fast, until
he was bitterly cursed by them, and with blistered feet and weary limbs
the men plodded on in dust and sun, and were loud in their complaints
against Wright for marching so fast. When in pursuit of Lee, the men
deemed it necessary and did not murmur, but marching thirty miles a day,
for four successive days was more than human nature could bear, when it
was unnecessary. Water was very scarce; often ten and twelve miles were
passed without meeting a stream or well of any kind. Danville was
reached by the 1st division at noon on the fourth day, and was quietly
taken possession of by Gen. Hamlin's brigade. The Union army had never
marched that way, and the Yanks were an object of curiosity to the
negroes. There was considerable of rolling stock in the place which had
not been moved, and was captured. The troops marched through the place
and encamped on the outskirts of the town. One day was given the men to
rest, and orders issued to move again. The corps was but forty miles
from Johnson, and in two days would have been thundering on his rear.
Gen. Wright was very anxious that the corps should win new laurels, but
the men were not, as they had won enough, for if anything was done, the
praise was given the officers and not the men, when they did the work.

The troops were in camp but a few hours, when a dispatch was received by
General Wright with the news of Johnson's surrender; the men were formed
in line and the dispatch read to them. All knew that their marching and
fighting was done, and cheers were given for Sherman and his noble army;
each battery was ordered to fire a salute of thirty-two guns, and the
bands ordered to play national airs. The war was now over and right glad
were the men of it. Home was now talked of, but the men were too weary
to rejoice much. The campaign, from winter quarters to the surrender of
Lee and the march to Danville, had been a hard one. Thirty miles a day
when the war was over was more than the men of the 6th corps wished for,
and Gen. Wright lost much of the respect due him, as he was in command,
and such marching was needless.

Danville is a town of some importance, forty miles from Goldsboro, the
scene of Johnson's surrender. Had he not surrendered as soon as he did,
he would have heard the thunder of the artillery and musketry of the 6th
corps in his rear in less than forty-eight hours; but the men were not
anxious to move further south, and remained quietly in camp. At this
place the rebels had a large house where the Union prisoners were kept.
The graveyard where they were buried was visited by the men; the most of
them had died of starvation and cruel treatment. About seven thousand
were crowded in a small lot; it will ever remain a curse to the South,
showing the cruel treatment our men received at their hands.

The troops remained in camp at Danville until the 16th of May, when
orders came to move; leaving camp at four in the morning, marching
through Danville, and placed on baggage cars, riding one hundred and
sixty miles all day and all night, to Richmond. The day was warm and
dusty, and the ride very tedious, as the men were in open cars; crossed
Staunton River on a bridge built by our forces since the occupation of
Danville, passing the old camp at Burksville, reaching Richmond on the
morning of the 17th, and entering camp near Manchester, remained there
eight days. The other corps were at Washington with Sherman's army, and
were paid off and mustered out as rapidly as possible. The 6th corps,
always first in action, was the last to go home; their work was now
done, and all were anxious to return to their homes. Camp life passed
very pleasantly, and passes were given the men to visit Richmond. Rebel
officers and soldiers were numerous, and were loitering around with
feelings of hatred towards the Union soldiers; they were whipped but not
subdued, and to-day the same feeling exists in the South as it did four
years ago.

The remainder of the troops were now at Washington, and Gen. Wright did
all he could to get transportation for his corps; but the authorities at
Washington were not willing, and the men ware compelled to march. When
Washington was threatened by Early, the 6th corps was transported there
in a hurry; but now the war was over, and with hundreds of transports
lying at City Point, the men were not allowed to ride. The distance was
one hundred and twenty miles, the sun warm and the roads muddy from
recent rains. The 24th army corps of the army of the James was still at
Richmond doing guard duty, with headquarters at the former residence of
Jeff. Davis.

On Monday, March 24, the corps was ordered to move for Washington,
marching out at three o'clock, passing in review at Manchester and at
Richmond, crossing the James on pontoons. After marching through the
principal streets, the troops took the road to Washington, marching that
day twenty miles, the roads in some places almost impassable, several
teams sticking in the mud; passed the works thrown up by McClellan in
the Peninsula campaign, crossing the Chickahominy River and Stony Creek,
and halting for the night at Hanover Court House. We moved out the next
day on the same road the army was on one year ago; then after the enemy,
trying to take Richmond, now with the war over, bound for home. The day
was very warm, and the men fell out by hundreds; many were sunstruck,
several dying. At night the column halted at Chesterfield Station,
having marched twenty miles since morning.

On the 29th the rain fell in torrents, wetting the men to the skin; the
roads were in a horrible condition, the mud knee-deep. The weather had
suddenly changed and it was very cold; the men were as wet as they could
be. At 9 o'clock the troops moved out; the marching was very slow as the
men ware nearly worn out, having done nothing but march since last
winter quarters. But ten miles were made that day, the men entering camp
at dark. Shelter tents were hastily put up, but the damp ground was a
hard place to lie for tired and weary man, but the men did not care, as
the war was over and they were homeward bound. The corps was now stuck
in the mud and could not move; this was the last march, and a hard one
it was. The men lay in camp until the roads were nearly dried, which did
not take long, as the sandy roads of Virginia did not long remain muddy
with the hot sun to dry them; two days were spent in camp. Six days were
given Gen. Wright to march from Richmond to Washington, but it could not
be done. The rations were giving out, the men having nothing but
hard-tack and coffee.

On Monday, the 29th, the roads were in better condition, and the troops
moved out. The day was cool, marching in eight hours twenty miles to
Fredericksburg, arriving there at noon, crossed the Mat Ta Po and Nye
Rivers, these four streams forming the Mattapony River. Headquarters
were near the city on the Heights where Generals Burnside and Hooker
fought in '62 and '63. The next day the march was resumed, the 3d
division in the rear, passed through Fredericksburg, a very pretty
place, but now nearly every house bore the marks of shells; the place
was in a very dilapidated condition. The column crossed the
Rappahannock on pontoons, marching sixteen miles, wading Aquia Creek,
camping in a field at four o'clock. On the 31st, the 3d division was in
the centre, marching eighteen miles very fast, arriving in camp at three
o'clock. Hard-tack, coffee and sugar were issued the men at night. On
June 1st the headquarter wagons were sent ahead, marching eighteen
miles, and encamping near Fairfax Court House. The next day fourteen
miles were made, passing the Potomac army lying quietly in their camp,
anxiously awaiting orders to be mustered out. Tents were pitched on a
line at Bailey's Cross Roads, eight miles from Washington, having been
ten days coming from Richmond, two days stuck in the mud.

The marching and fighting were now over, and the men entered camp with
the expectation of soon seeing their homes. The remaining corps were
soon mustered out as rapidly as possible, and the officers of the
different regiments were working day and night on the muster rolls. The
weather was very warm and dry, and rations poor. The nearer the troops
were to Washington the poorer were the rations they had to eat. The
detached men from the regiment were now ordered back, and the new
recruits transferred to the 2d New Jersey with two hundred and thirty
men; all that remained of the old 14th New Jersey were ready to return

On Thursday, June 8th, the 6th corps was reviewed in Washington in
presence of President Johnson and other leading officials. At four
o'clock in the morning the men moved out of camp, marching to
Washington. At nine o'clock the column was formed; the men were neatly
brushed, with muskets in fine order and wearing white gloves, crossing
Long Bridge and passing in review down Pennsylvania avenue. The sun was
intensely hot, and in the crowded streets the men suffered very much;
many were sunstruck and died. The men were not used to pavements, nor to
marching in close order. After the review the troops returned to their
respective camps, having marched twenty miles since leaving camp; it was
more than a day's march, and very hard on the men. Soon the muster rolls
were ready, and were sent into headquarters for inspection; they were
pronounced correct, and preparations were made to muster out the men as
soon as possible. The rolls of the 14th were ready first, and they were
the first to leave for their homes.

Seventeen days had elapsed since the corps arrived at Washington. On
the afternoon of June 19th, the regiment was formed in line and marched
to headquarters, and was mustered out of the United States service.
Soldiering in the field was now done, and with happy hearts the men
returned to their quarters. At midnight the long roll was beaten and the
regiment ordered to move at daylight, marching to Washington, passing
through Georgetown. The men were placed on baggage cars, but did not get
off until night, arriving in Philadelphia on the morning of the 21st. A
good breakfast was given the men by the Volunteer Refreshment Saloon.
Three cheers for the ladies of Philadelphia were given, and the regiment
marched to the ferry, crossing over to Camden and taking the cars for
Trenton, forty miles distant, arriving at noon. The ladies of the place
gave the war-worn veterans a hearty welcome and a warm reception. A
splendid dinner was provided, and the men enjoyed it much; such a dinner
was indeed a feast, such as the men had not seen for many a long day,
after which they were marched to the barracks and ordered in. At first
they refused to go, but the promise of a speedy payment was
satisfactory, and the men entered, remaining all night; the next day
forming in line and marching through the principal streets; everywhere
the regiment was greeted with cheers. Another dinner was served, and
speeches made by Governor Parker, Lieut.-Colonel Hall, and others. The
men then returned to the barracks, and passes were given them for five
days. All were in good spirits, and were glad they were again in their
native State.

The regiment had bean gone nearly three years, leaving New Jersey with
nine hundred and fifty active men; two hundred and thirty returned.
During that time, having participated in numerous battles and
skirmishes, fighting each time with that bravery for which the New
Jersey troops were noted for. In that time the regiment had traveled by
rail one thousand and fifty miles, by water six hundred and twenty-eight
miles, and on foot two thousand and fifteen miles. At the expiration of
five days the men returned, and on the 20th of June, 1865, received
their final payment by Major Newell, after passing through almost
incredible hardships, participating in all the battles of the Potomac
Army from Gettysburg to the surrender of Lee, leaving more than one half
of their men on Southern soil, their bones now bleaching in the sun. The
men were soon to separate and return to their homes. The clash of arms
and the groans of the wounded and dying would no more be heard, and
those that were left would soon engage in the active pursuits of life,
and war forgotten. The 14th New Jersey, a noble regiment, will ever be
remembered by the people of the State as the defenders of our Union and


Fellow soldiers: For three years we battled for our country's rights
and for our homes. We are widely separated; but with grateful memory
of the past we live for the future. Our country is now at peace. If
the call to arms should ever again resound throughout the land, may
we ever be ready. Let not the thoughts of former days and past
hardships deter us from again rushing to arms, for without a country
we are as nothing. With proud hearts we think of the past, knowing
and feeling that we have done our duty. We were welcomed home, and
by the fireside relate tales of by-gone days; of days of pleasure
and of pain; of those dark hours when our country was in danger, and
when we answered the call TO ARMS. Prosperity now reigns. Our flag,
the proud emblem of liberty, floats throughout the land from North
to South, and we as a nation are happy and prosperous beneath its
folds. The proud Eagle of America soars aloft on every ocean, and
the star-spangled banner floats on every sea. Our nation has passed
through a great deal in four years, and New Jersey has done her duty
nobly. Thousands of her brave sons have given their lives for their
country, and those that remain will read this book with interest. As
these pages are perused by the members of the 14th, scenes that were
long since forgotten will be fresh in memory. Soldiers, our work is
done! These terrible days of war are over. Throughout the land
soldiers' societies exist. Let every man that was a soldier join
these societies, and do all in their power to help those widows and
orphans whose husbands and fathers fill a soldier's grave, and ever
remember that our flag, the stars and stripes, must wave o'er this
Glorious Union now and forever. As a country we have no equal.
Slavery forever abolished and our nation saved, with thanks to the
Almighty for our safe return to our homes and families, to go no
more to war.

Those men who in the hour of peril remained at home and did all in
their power to help along the glorious cause, and by their actions
showed that they respected a soldier, will be looked upon by the
returned veterans as men; but those mean sneaking Copperheads that
were forever denouncing the North and were in favor of the South,
will be despised by us for their meanness. New Jersey is redeemed,
and to-day a loyal Governor sits in his seat at Trenton, a soldier's
friend. What we have passed through can be known only to us, and now
happy at our homes are content. The South is subdued, and has
learned a terrible lesson, that this Union can never be broken, and
as a united nation will live forever. As a regiment, the 14th no
longer exists, but the name of the 14th New Jersey from the old 6th
corps, will never be forgotten, but ever be remembered with pride as
a band of heroic men, that gave themselves for their country in its
hour of peril. It is but natural that the people should turn with
beaming eyes and grateful hearts to the heroic Union soldiers who
have nobly periled their all in defence of their country. Forever
shall the memory of our gallant dead be embalmed in the hearts of
the living. On the banks of many southern rivers; under the
spreading foliage of many a forest tree; on the hillsides and in the
valleys of the South, are tens of thousands of those grassy mounds
which mark the last resting places of the noble Union dead. In many
a northern home the widow and the orphan, the brother and the
sister, the bereaved father and disconsolate mother await the coming
of that step that so often in the past had been the sweetest music
to their ears. But they await in vain. Never more shall a mother's
kiss be pressed upon his brow as he sleeps in his little cot in the
humble chamber of the old homestead; but in the heart of a redeemed
nation his memory shall live forever. Comrades, I am done! Our
beloved country, healed of its wounds, to-day stands among other
powers a free and independent nation forever. Liberty, that
priceless gem, was purchased at a fearful cost. But those brave men
who now live will ever, with proud step and beaming eye, exclaim
with emotion, that with my help the country was saved. The
star-spangled banner planted high upon the everlasting hills of
truth and justice, shall wave to the breeze till time shall be no
more; recognized by foreign powers as the head of all nations. In
the annals of fame, our country lives forever!

                           Written by SERGEANT J. NEWTON TERRILL,
                                          New Brunswick, New Jersey.

Commenced Sept. 1st, 1865; finished July 15th, 1866.


  Text in italics is surrounded with underscores: _italics_.

  Inconsistencies in capitalization and hyphenation have been retained
  from the original.

  Inconsistencies in spelling have been retained from the original
  unless they are obvious typographical errors which have been corrected
  as follows:
    Page 9: anp changed to and
    Page 10: batallion changed to battalion
    Page 14: extra word "the" removed
             Monacacy changed to Monocacy
    Page 18: west-tern changed to western
    Page 20: obbing changed to robbing
    Page 21: loosing changed to losing
             cecesh changed to secesh
             weer changed to were
    Page 24: Patomac changed to Potomac
             A changed to At
    Page 25: bayanets changed to bayonets
    Page 27: ffve changed to five
    Page 28: onr changed to our
    Page 34: eqally changed to equally
    Page 35: ceaceless changed to ceaseless
    Page 36: Manasses changed to Manassas
    Page 47: af changed to of
    Page 48: misdeameanor changed to misdemeanor
    Page 50: maneuvre changed to maneuver
    Page 54: sonth changed to south
    Page 63: missing word "of" added
             farward changed to forward
             Torbett changed to Torbert
    Page 66: superceded changed to superseded
    Page 71: regi-iment changed to regiment
    Page 73: date in original is unclear; it must be Saturday, July
               19th, 1834.
    Page 75: date in original shows July 9th; it possibly could be July
    Page 76: advancrd changed to advanced
             Tennery changed to Tennelly
             sacrified changed to sacrificed
    Page 79: Hark-tack changed to Hard-tack
    Page 81: extra word "the" removed
             neccessary changed to necessary
    Page 82: Monacacy changed to Monocacy
    Page 91: Charlottsville changed to Charlottesville
    Page 94: infaladed changed to infiladed
    Page 97: ther changed to their
    Page 99: quartere changed to quarters
    Page 100: Spotttylvania changed to Spottsylvania
    Page 108: Waynsboro changed to Waynesboro
    Page 122: sgirits changed to spirits
    Page 124: remembred changed to remembered
    Page 127: were changed to where
    Page 132: river changed to rivers
              foilage changed to foliage

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