2006 The Civil War and Monmouth County

An Exhibition of Documents and Photographs at the Monmouth County Library Headquarters

125 Symmes Drive
Manalapan, NJ

October 2 to 31, 2006

Prepared by the
Monmouth County Archives
Gary D. Saretzky, Curator
Eugene Osovitz, Preparer


“The Civil War and Monmouth County” is the product of a collaborative effort among a number of individuals and institutions. For research and captions, I was assisted by Hank Koch of the Monmouth County Archives staff; interns Ahmed Hassan and Kristen Shonburn; historians Joseph L. Bilby and David G. Martin; and archivists David Kuzma of Special Collections and University Archives, Rutgers University, and Bette Epstein, New Jersey State Archives. Joya Anderson and Joanne Nestor produced most of the digital prints except for oversize digital printing by Nicholas Spracklen. Eugene Osovitz did the exhibit preparation, including matting, mounting, and encapsulation. Editorial and other assistance for the exhibition catalog were provided by Patrick Caiazzo, Mary Ann Kiernan, and Shelagh Reilly.

The cooperation of the following individuals from lending institutions is gratefully acknowledged: Laura Poll and Carla Zimmerman, Monmouth County Historical Association, Library and Archives; Joanne Nestor, New Jersey State Archives, Department of State; Julie Mellby and Meg Rich, Firestone Library, Princeton University; Ted Bell, Jr., Ocean Grove Historical Society; Joseph F. Seliga, General James A. Garfield Camp Number 4, Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War; and Margaret Frame, Burlington County Historical Association. I would also like to thank Ken Sheinbaum, Director, Monmouth County Library, for making the exhibition space available and, last but not least, Monmouth County Clerk M. Claire French for providing the resources to enable the Monmouth County Archives to flourish.


When most of us think about the Civil War in the United States from 1861-1865, Abraham Lincoln, the end of slavery, and major battles such as Gettysburg come first to mind, as well they should. But the Civil War’s impact extended to all parts of the Union and the Confederacy. New Jersey, which in 1860, according to the U.S. Census, had a free population of 672,017, sent more than 88,000 men into the Union Army. Many of them did not return.

This exhibit is intended to remind viewers of how life must have changed in New Jersey, particularly Monmouth County, during the Civil War years. As a largely rural state, New Jersey’s able-bodied men worked primarily on farms or in agriculture-related businesses and occupations. We can easily sympathize with the difficulty farmers must have had when their sons and hired hands went off to war, for reasons of both labor and concern over their welfare. Almost every family in the state must have had either a family member or a friend who served in the military and whose life was at risk. Many of these soldiers wrote letters back home, a few of which are in the exhibit. It is not hard to imagine Peter Vredenburgh’s mother reacted upon reading, “It is queer that I was not hit for I was right up to the front most all the time . . . several shells exploded so close that many men said they saw me killed. . . .”

In addition to their roles as mothers and wives, women in New Jersey also supported the war effort through serving as nurses and cooks, organizing fund raisers, and by preparing and sending clothing and other needed goods to military hospitals. Two leading women’s organizations, the Soldiers Aid Society and the Sanitary Commission, had chapters in Monmouth County and are documented in the exhibit.

The Union Army’s seemingly insatiable demand for troops—Lincoln asked for 600,000 in the summer of 1862 alone—meant that a military draft and a volunteer recruitment program had to be implemented by local officials. Examples of documents about recruitment, bounty payments, and related topics are included in the exhibit, including information about legal ways by which men could avoid military service.

Some items in the exhibit pertain to individual soldiers from New Jersey, where possible with copies of portraits from the Civil War portrait collection at the New Jersey State Archives, Department of State; the Monmouth County Historical Association Library and Archives; and other sources. The exhibit includes documents about the men that are not directly related to their military service, such as marriage and court records from the Monmouth County Archives, as a reminder that these men had lives outside military service and that New Jersey’s archives are valuable sources of information about the backgrounds of those who served in the Civil War.

The exhibit also features selected reproductions from an outstanding collection of Civil War photographs at Rare Books & Special Collections, Firestone Library, Princeton University. Most of those in the exhibit were taken near sites of battles in which men from New Jersey fought and died. Photographs such as these could have been purchased during the war by those at home, although relatively few did so. But it is likely that many on the home front saw images similar to these as woodcut reproductions in illustrated publications.

The entries in this catalog reproduce the labels that appear in the exhibit, plus bibliographic citations and occasionally, additional information. Abbreviations used for those who wrote or contributed to the captions, in order of appearance, are as follows:

GS Gary D. Saretzky
AH Ahmed Hassan
KS Kristen Shonburn
DGM David G. Martin

JLB Joseph L. Bilby
NARA National Archives and Records Administration
WCG William C. Goble
TB Ted Bell, Jr.
CDF Charles D. Fraser

Table of Contents

1. James P. Allaire
2. Cornelius Barkalow
3. Budd S. Bodine
4. Camp Vredenburgh
5. Certification of volunteers for bounty payments
6. James Chafey
7. Civil War financing
8. Colored Soldiers! [broadside] 9. United States Colored Troops
10. Harvey G. Conover
11. James W. Conover
12. [Fourth] Officers of the Fourth New Jersey Regiment
13. Fredericksburg
14. Frederick W. Kerner
15. Keyport
16. Barzilla Mathews
17. Military Draft Exemptions
18. Military Register. 14th Regiment New Jersey Volunteers
19. Battle of Monocacy
20. Monocacy Battlefield Map
21. New Jersey Militia Enrollment List. 9 Month Volunters
22. Joel Parker
23. Patriotic Envelopes sent to Sallie Hankins
24. George W. Patterson
25. John C. Patterson
26. [Princeton]. Civil War photographs from Princeton University
27. Lewis Rainear
28. [Rainear] Soldiers Memorial. 2nd Regiment New Jersey Volunteer Cavalry
29. Frank B. Rose
30. William Burroughs Ross
31. Phillip J. Ryall
32. Jacob R. Schenck [letter re Abraham Lincoln] 33. Samuel T. Sleeper
34. The Soldiers Aid Society and the U.S. Sanitary Commission
35. Soldiers Memorials. 9th Regiment New Jersey Volunteers, Company I
36. Soldiers Record. 14th New Jersey Volunteers, Company A.
37. William S. Truex
38. James C. Taylor
39-45. Peter Vredenburgh
46. [James S. Yard] “Zeal and Efficiency Displayed”

1. James P. Allaire.

Volunteer Bounty Bond. Township of Howell. August 6, 1864. Facsimile. Monmouth County Historical Association. Collection 446.

Inventory of Property and Estate of James P. Allaire, October 1842. Facsimile. Circuit Court Records, Monmouth County Archives.

The name James P. Allaire is well-known in Monmouth County. Born in 1785, he became associated with steamboat pioneer Robert Fulton and later became the leading marine engine manufacturer in the United States. Allaire’s need for raw materials led him to acquire and develop the Howell Works to supply iron ore for his engines. Today, the site of the Howell Works is Allaire Village at Allaire State Park. Allaire’s business peaked in 1836 but then a series of setbacks began which led to his bankruptcy in 1849. The 1842 inventory of his property from a court case in which Allaire was being sued by Richard S. Hartshorne indicates that at that time Allaire still had very substantial land holdings, one of which alone was 10,000 acres. Allaire died in 1858.

The Volunteer Bounty Bond was purchased by Allaire’s grandson, another James P. Allaire (born 1836), whose father was Throckmorton Allaire. Howell used the $50 received from Allaire and other bond purchasers to pay bonuses to men who volunteered to serve in the Civil War, so that Howell could meet a quota assigned on July 18, 1864. In the 1880 Census for Howell, the younger James P. Allaire, who purchased the bond, was listed as a land surveyor.

U.S. Census, 1880, Howell, Monmouth County, New Jersey.

Guide, Allaire Family Papers. Monmouth County Historical Association.

Information provided via telephone by Marina Tortorello, Allaire Village, Aug. 31, 2006.

2. Cornelius Barkalow. Marriage Record Reported by Rev. Samuel Wheeler, December 20, 1865. Facsimile. Monmouth County Archives.

Cornelius Barkalow was born near Ardena, Howell Township, Monmouth County, in 1842. On July 31, 1862, the tall blond farmer enlisted in Company A of the 14th New Jersey Volunteer Infantry and was appointed 1st sergeant. In September 1862, Barkalow, along with other men from the 14th, was detailed to guard a group of Confederate prisoners in transit to the Union POW camp at Fort Delaware. Barkalow shared some of his own food with the hungry, ragged captives and subsequently secured them additional rations, medicine, and clean clothing. During the Battle of Monocacy, Maryland, on July 9, 1864, Barkalow was wounded and captured. Fortunately, he was recognized by an officer who had been his prisoner two years earlier. Barkalow’s kindness was amply repaid as the Confederate secured him prompt medical attention. The Confederate moved on and Barkalow was left on the battlefield. He returned to his regiment in November 1864. After his discharge as a lieutenant at the end of the war, Barkalow received the brevet (honorary) rank of major for gallantry in the assault on Petersburg, Virginia, in April 1865. Barkalow married Lydia Cooper at her father’s farm in Freehold on December 20, 1865, but stepped on a rusty nail and died of gangrene on February 12, 1866. DGM, AH & GS

Martin, David G. The Monocacy Regiment: A Commemorative History of the Fourteenth New Jersey Infantry in the Civil War, 1862-1865. Hightstown, NJ: Longstreet House, 1987, pp. 219-220.

3. Budd S. Bodine, ca. 1880s. Cabinet Card. Facsimile. General James A. Garfield Camp Number 4, Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War Museum.

Before the Civil War, Budd S. Bodine, born about 1827, was a paper maker in Trenton, married with family. In May 1859, his frame house on the corner of Warren and Mill streets burned to the ground but no casualties were reported. Bodine enrolled in the 14th New Jersey Volunteers, which trained at Camp Vredenburgh in Freehold. He became 1st Lieutenant of Company B. After the Civil War, like many other Union veterans, he joined a Grand Army of the Republic (G.A.R.) post in Trenton. By 1880, he became an express agent and was the head of a household that included his wife, married daughter, son-in-law, mother-in-law, and four grandchildren. Bodine died on August 31, 1897. His wife Amy lived to the age of 91 and survived him by 21 years. GS

Daily True American, May 28, 1859, extract on Trenton Historical Society website.

Death notices, Trenton Historical Society website.

U.S. Census, 1850, 1860, and 1880.

New York Times, Sept. 16, 1918.

4. Camp Vredenburgh. Photograph probably of Camp Vredenburgh, c. 1862. Facsimile. U.S. Army Military History Institute, Carlisle, PA/Monmouth County Historical Association.

New Jersey played an important role in providing and training many Civil War volunteers, although no Civil War battles were actually fought here. More than 88,000 New Jersey troops, organized into forty regiments and five batteries, trained at ten camps around the state. The one near Freehold was named in honor of prominent local judge Peter Vredenburgh, Sr., whose son, Peter Jr., was elected Major of the 14th Regiment, the first of several units raised in the camp. The camp was initially constructed to house and train troops raised in response to President Lincoln’s July 7, 1862 call for 300,000 volunteers. It consisted of rows of wall tents for the enlisted men, rows of wooden buildings as officers’ quarters, a cook house, a parade ground, and a stockade. Picket-guards surrounded the camp and no one was allowed to enter or leave without a pass.

Troops at Camp Vredenburgh were from central New Jersey, especially Burlington, Middlesex, Monmouth, and Ocean counties. Other regiments there included the 19th, 28th, and 35th. Company H of the 35th Regiment, the last unit raised at the camp, was mustered in on September 24, 1863, and then transferred to Camp Fair Oaks at Flemington, where they joined the rest of the regiment. Camp Vredenburgh was discontinued in late January of 1864, when its buildings were dismantled and shipped to Trenton. The site of Camp Vredenburgh, now within the boundaries of Monmouth Battlefield State Park, has remained relatively untouched since the 1860s. DGM & AH

Martin, David G. The Monocacy Regiment: A Commemorative History of the Fourteenth New Jersey Infantry in the Civil War, 1862-1865. Hightstown, NJ: Longstreet House, 1987, pp. 195-209.

5. Certification of volunteers for bounty payments, 38th Regiment New Jersey Volunteers, Company A. Facsimile. Monmouth County Archives.

By 1864, as casualties mounted, it became necessary to offer large monetary incentives to recruit volunteers. Although these seventeen men were mustered in Trenton on September 22, 1864, they were from Monmouth County and the bounty of $500 (worth about $7,500 today) was paid by its Board of Freeholders under the direction of James S. Yard. Cornelius Hope of Freehold, born about 1831, was a laborer and lived on a street where his neighbors were either other laborers or worked in more skilled trades such as carpenter or mason. Unlike Hope, several of the men in Company A signed their names with an “X.” On September 27, 1864, General Benjamin Butler sent the 38th to Forts Pocahontas and Powhatan on the James River to relieve the 89th New York and the African American regiments there and at Harrison’s Landing.GS

38th Regiment, New Jersey Volunteer Infantry. http://www.philkearnycwrt.org/infantry/thirtyeight_inf.html. Last accessed: August 9, 2006.

United States Census, 1860.

6. James Chafey. Map (detail) showing Hornerstown, Upper Freehold Township, from Map of Monmouth County, New Jersey, from Original Surveys by Jesse Lightfoot, published by J.B. Shields, 1851. Reprinted by Gerald Ceres (1980s). Monmouth County Archives .

James Chafey, the ‘Sharpshooter of Company F,’ enrolled as a private in the 14th Regiment New Jersey Volunteers on August 15, 1862. Two years later, following his gallantry at the Battle of Monocacy, he was promoted to Corporal. He was wounded by shellfire at Opequon, but rejoined his unit after a few days in the hospital. His bravery at Fisher’s Hill and Cedar Creek won him promotion to 1st Sergeant of Company F. In May 1865, he was promoted to 1st Lieutenant, and then was discharged from the regiment in July. The 34-year old blacksmith from Hornerstown, who lived nearby in Plumstead at the time he enlisted, returned to his wife Emily and four children (one had died in 1863) after the war and later lived in Camden (1891) and then in Reading, Pennsylvania. He died at age 90 on June 21, 1921, his sharpshooter’s eyes long clouded by cataracts. JGB

Martin, David G. The Monocacy Regiment: A Commemorative History of the Fourteenth New Jersey Infantry In the Civil War, 1862-1865. Hightstown, NJ: Longstreet House, 1987, pp. 221. [Biography of Chafey by Joseph G. Bilby]

United States Census, 1860.

7. Civil War Financing.

Volunteer Bounty Bond No. 1. $1,000 issued to Joseph D. Bedle, April 1, 1864. Facsimile. Monmouth County Archives.

Promissory Note. $25,000. Board of Freeholders to Freehold Banking Company. August 15, 1863. Facsimile. Monmouth County Archives.

Portrait of Bedle from Ellis, History of Monmouth County.

Among the means that the Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders used to acquire money to pay bounties to men who enlisted in Civil War regiments were loans from banks and bonds issued to individuals in various amounts. Bonds numbered one and two in the Monmouth County Archives, at 6.5% per year interest, were issued to Joseph Dorsett Bedle, born in Middletown Point on January 5, 1831. By the Civil War, Bedle was an attorney with a large practice in Freehold. In 1865, Governor Joel Parker appointed him a justice of the Supreme Court of New Jersey, replacing Judge Ogden who had died. From 1875 to 1878, Bedle served as a Democratic Governor of New Jersey, after which he returned to his law office in Freehold. He died on October 21, 1894 and was buried in Maplewood Cemetery in Freehold. GS

Ellis, Franklin. History of Monmouth County, New Jersey (1885). Shrewsbury, NJ: Polyanthus, 1992, p. 292-293.

8. Colored Soldiers! Equal State Rights! And Monthly Pay with White Men!! Reproduction of broadside, 1864. National Museum of American History, Washington, DC.

This recruiting poster refers to efforts by the Lincoln administration to provide equal pay for black soldiers and equal protection for black POWs. Black soldiers were initially paid $10 per month from which $3 was automatically deducted for clothing, resulting in a net pay of $7. In contrast, white soldiers received $13 per month from which no clothing allowance was drawn. In June 1864, Congress granted equal pay to the U.S. Colored Troops and made the action retroactive. Black soldiers received the same rations and supplies. In addition, they received comparable medical care.
In 1863 the Confederate Congress threatened to punish severely officers of black troops and to enslave black soldiers. As a result, President Lincoln issued General Order 233, threatening reprisal on Confederate prisoners of war (POWs) for any mistreatment of black troops. Although the threat generally restrained the Confederates, black captives were typically treated more harshly than white captives. In perhaps the most heinous known example of abuse, Confederate soldiers shot to death black Union soldiers captured at Fort Pillow, TN, in 1864.

Teaching with Documents: The Fight for Equal Rights: Black Soldiers in the Civil War. NARA website: http://www.archives.gov/education/lessons/black-civil-war

9. United States Colored Troops.

Reimbursement Voucher for J. H. Laird for expenses in recruiting Colored Volunteers, April 25, 1864. Facsimile. Monmouth County Archives.

Photograph of Company E, 4th US Colored Infantry at Fort Lincoln. From website: http://americancivilwar.com

By General Order Number 143, May 22, 1863, the United States War Department established the United States Colored Troops (USCT) for the purpose of facilitating the recruitment of African-Americans to fight for the Union cause during the Civil War. The USCT soon comprised 175 regiments with more than 178,000 African Americans. It eventually represented approximately 10% of all Union troops. Although New Jersey was one of the very few Northern states that did not form its own black regiments, many of the state’s African Americans enlisted anyway. The Monmouth County Archives has records pertaining to 159 African Americans from Monmouth County who served in out-of-state regiments including, but not limited to the 22nd, 25th, 32nd, 34th, 41st, 43rd, 45th , and 127th United States Colored Infantry, as well as the United States Navy. The record on exhibit here documents that J.H. Laird was reimbursed $80 for expenses in recruiting eight Colored Volunteers. Laird was probably the John H. Laird who was town clerk of Manalapan during the Civil War years.

At the Battle of the Crater outside of Petersburg, Virginia, black regiments attempted to break through Confederate lines and, as a result, suffered heavy casualties. For the assault on Fort Wagner, South Carolina, on July 18, 1863, Sgt. William Carney became the first African American awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for “Most Distinguished Gallantry in Action.” After being shot in the thigh, Carney crawled uphill on his knees, bearing the Union flag and urging his troops to follow. Other notable African American soldiers in the USCT include Medal of Honor winners 1st Sgt. Decatur Dorsey and Sgt. Major Christian Fleetwood. Undeniably, the conspicuous gallantry of the USCT is evident in the way they fought and died. AH & GS

Bilby, Joseph G. Forgotten Warriors: New Jersey’s African American Soldiers in the Civil War. Hightstown, NJ: Longstreet House, 1993.

10. Harvey G. Conover. Carte-de-visite, Marken’s Gallery, Frederick, Maryland, ca. 1863. Facsimile. Monmouth County Historical Association.

Born September 12, 1843, Harvey G. Conover began his military service as 1st Sergeant, Company G, 14th New Jersey Volunteer Regiment. On January 25, 1863, he was promoted to 2nd Lieutenant in Company H. He was commissioned as 1st Lieutenant on Aug. 9, 1864, but was not mustered. Conover resigned on Sept. 3, 1864, for a disability. In 1880, he was working as a horse trainer on his father’s farm in Middletown. By 1900, he was a customs inspector in New York City. After his death on June 29, 1904, Conover was buried at Fairview Cemetery, Middletown. DGM & GS

U.S. Census, 1880 and 1900.

11. James W. Conover.

Diary Excerpt (transcript), May 10-15, 1864. Monmouth County Historical Association.

Photograph of Captain James W. Conover, hand-colored albumen print, ca. 1862-1863. Facsimile. Monmouth County Historical Association.

James W. Conover, born on his father’s farm near Freehold on September 7, 1832, had a youthful interest in military service that led to his being commissioned lieutenant colonel of the Third New Jersey State Militia in 1857. During July and August 1862, Conover recruited one hundred men to serve in Company D, 14th Regiment, New Jersey Volunteers. Captain Conover and his men were mustered on August 26, 1862, at Camp Vredenburgh, 2.5 miles west of Freehold, and departed on September 2. On April 29, 1864, Conover began keeping a diary. Within weeks, the Army of the Potomac began the bloody Overland Campaign against Confederate General Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia. The 14th Regiment fought at the Wilderness, Spotsylvania, North Anna, Hanover Court House, and Cold Harbor. Between April 29 and June 15, Conover recorded the regiment’s movements and his company’s losses. Conover’s last entries, July 9 and 10, 1864, describe the Battle of Monocacy, near Frederick, Maryland, where he was shot through the hip and leg. Conover died from his wounds on August 4 and was laid to rest in Maplewood Cemetery, Freehold. He was survived for decades by his widow Martha but their two children died at ages three and eleven. The Grand Army of the Republic post established in Freehold after the war was named in Conover’s honor. JGB, WCG, AH, & GS

Bilby, Joseph G. and William C. Goble. Remember You Are Jerseymen!: A Military History of New Jersey’s Troops in the Civil War. Hightstown, New Jersey: Longstreet House, 1998.

“Capt. James W. Conover,” in William Nelson, The New Jersey Coast in Three Centuries. Vol. 3. NY and Chicago: Lewis, 1902, pp. 6-7.

12. [Fourth.] Officers of the Fourth New Jersey Regiment, 1861, from Photographic History of the Civil War (Review of Reviews, 1911)

Mustered in at Trenton in April 1861, the Fourth New Jersey Regiment (a three-month volunteer infantry unit) departed for Washington on May 6, 1861, and was attached to General Phil Kearney’s Brigade, Division of the Potomac, to form a defensive perimeter around Washington. The Fourth was on duty at Meridian Hill until May 24th, when it took part in the occupation of Arlington Heights. It also was in the reserve at the Battle of Bull Run on July 21st, 1861. Ten days later, on July 31st, the Fourth was mustered out at the expiration of its term of service. On August 19, 1861, a new Fourth Regiment with a three-year term of enlistment was mustered in at Camp Olden in Trenton. At least nine men from Monmouth County enlisted in this regiment between September 1861 and January 1865. The second Fourth endured many battles, including Antietam and Gettysburg, and by the time it was mustered out on July 9, 1865, more than one-fourth of the men (266) had died from battle or disease. AH & GS

Photograph from Francis Trevelyan Miller,. The Photographic History of the Civil War in Ten Volumes. Volume Eight. New York, NY: The Review of Reviews Co., 1911, p. 85.

Civil War Archive, http://www.civilwararchive.com, last accessed July 7, 2006.

13. Fredericksburg. List of Names of the Killed, Wounded, & Missing in the 28th Regiment New Jersey Volunteers at the Battle of Frederickburg, December 13, 1862. Facsimile. James S. Yard Papers, Monmouth County Historical Association.

The Battle of Fredericksburg, Virginia, was a notable defeat of the Union Army. Among other disastrous errors of judgment, General Ambrose E. Burnside sent fourteen individual charges against well protected Rebel lines, none of which succeeded. The Union suffered 12,653 casualties and the Confederates, 5,377. The document on exhibit was prepared twelve days after the battle, on December 25. After listing the killed, wounded, and missing, Thomas Applegate mentions that Lt. Col. E.A.L. Roberts, commander of the 28th, will be dismissed for cowardice during the battle and closes with wishes for a “Merry Christmas.” James S. Yard (1826-1900), who received or otherwise obtained this document, was responsible for recruitment of the 28th and 29th regiments and was commander of Camp Vredenburgh near Freehold, where the troops were trained. During his career, he held a number of positions of responsibility, including member of the Board of Chosen Freeholders, 1862-1865. GS

Densky-Wolff, Lois. Guide to the Yard Family Papers. Collection 19. Monmouth County Historical Association.

14. Frederick W. Kerner.

Frederick W. Kerner. Carte-de-visite by John Roth (Freehold). Facsimile. New Jersey State Archives.

“From the 14th Reg’t,” Monmouth Democrat, June 23, 1864. Facsimile.

Indictment of Catherine Frawley, Freehold, 1864. Facsimile. Monmouth County Archives, Oyer & Terminer Records.

Frederick W. Kerner, who enlisted on July 15, 1862, was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant, Company A, 14th Regiment New Jersey Volunteers, on August 26 and promoted to 1st Lieutenant on October 31. Major Peter Vredenburgh believed that Kerner stole a personal letter from him which likely had something to do with Kerner’s plans to marry Theodosia Forman. In his letters home, November 1862-January 1863, Vredenburgh referred to Kerner as “a consummate humbug,” “an infernal rascal,” and “one of those kinds of villains who will never repent.” “I hope he will not succeed and measures have been taken to apprise her of his character, so that if she has him now, she will deserve what will follow.” “I would have him dismissed from the service if it were not for Theodosia.” When Kerner fell off his horse in May 1864 and injured his shoulder, resulting in his eventual medical discharge in August, Vredenburgh commented, “Kerner has gone to the hospital—says he fell from his horse but he is such a white livered coward that I don’t believe he is hurt at all.” Back home in Freehold, on July 4, 1864, Theodosia Kerner was the victim of a theft of jewelry and clothing by Catherine Frawley, who was sentenced to two months in jail for the crime.

Vredenburgh’s opinion of Kerner may have been well justified, as suggested by post-war records. By 1870, according to the census, Theodosia and her five-year-old son, Frederick S. Kerner, were living with her parents in Freehold. After Theodosia’s father Jonathan Forman’s death in 1873, her mother Matilda wrote a will in which she left everything to Theodosia, specifically excluding her husband. Kerner married again and his widow, Minnie B. Kerner, residing in Michigan, filed for a pension in 1896. GS

Letters of Peter Vredenburgh, November 16 and December 21, 1862, January 1, 1863, and May 19, 1864, in Bernard A. Olsen, ed. Upon the Tented Field. Red Bank, NJ: Historic Projects, 1993, 65, 77, 81, 237. [Originals at Monmouth County Historical Association]

Martin, David G. The Monocacy Regiment: A Commemorative History of the Fourteenth New Jersey Infantry in the Civil War, 1862-1865. Hightstown, NJ: Longstreet House, 1987, 254.

U.S. Census, 1870, Monmouth County, Freehold Township, page 64.

New Jersey Death Records, New Jersey State Archives (Jonathan T. Forman, vol. AV, p. 115; Matilda Forman, 13436M – Will & Inv. 1877)

Frederick W. Kerner Civil War Pension File, Ancestry.com

Defense-Adjuntant General’s Office (Civil War) Muster Rolls, Company A, 14th Regiment, Dec. 31, 1864, New Jersey State Archives [lists Kerner, 1st Lt., age 32]

15. Keyport. Receipts, April 1865. Keyport Draft Insurance Club. Facsimile. Monmouth County Historical Association, Subjects Alpha 28a.

These receipts are from the records of Rufus Ogden, administrator of the Keyport Draft Insurance Club (KDIC). Ogden also was the administrator of the military draft in Raritan Township (including Keyport). Members of the KDIC paid a premium of $25 so that, if selected for the military draft, the club would provide funds to hire a substitute or pay a commutation fee. The two receipts in the exhibit are records of payments of $100 to Aaron Bedle and Elias H. Ford, to find a substitute or serve themselves. The records carry 5 cent revenue stamps to show proof that the federal tax was paid on official documents. GS

Guide, Keyport Draft Insurance Club Papers. Monmouth County Historical Association, Subjects Alpha 28a.

16. Barzilla Mathews, ca. 1880s. Cabinet Card. Facsimile. General James A. Garfield Camp Number 4, Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War Museum.

The Union veterans’ organization, Grand Army of the Republic (GAR), founded by Dr. Benjamin Franklin Stephenson on April 6, 1866 in Decatur, Illinois, as a fraternal organization, worked for the relief of fellow soldiers but later often became involved in supporting Republican political causes. Local GAR organizations were called “posts” which were numbered consecutively but also could be named after an honored person. The GAR initiated what is now called Memorial Day in 1868; it became a national holiday in 1971. Although GAR membership declined in the 1870s, between 1879 and 1884 it increased from 26,899 to 233,595. In the late 19th century, the GAR was active holding parades and in other ways promoting patriotism and remembrance of the Civil War. The GAR began holding annual national encampments in November 1866; the last was held in 1949, when there were only 16 surviving members. The last member, Albert Woolson, died in 1956 at the age of 106.


Barzilla Mathews, whose first name is also found as Brazil, Brazilian, and Brazilaer, was from Point Pleasant, New Jersey, the fourth child of William, a farmer, and Pauline Mathews. In 1860, just before the Civil War, Mathews worked as a 19-year-old farm laborer for William Leonard of Middletown, living with Leonard, his wife, Abbey, and their three children. He joined Company B of the 14th New Jersey Volunteers on August 15, 1862. Mathews must have been wounded because he applied for a federal pension as an invalid on April 24, 1868. Subsequently, he joined one of three GAR posts in Trenton, where he held various jobs, including deputy at the State Prison (1881), laborer (1882), and clerk (1900).GS

Civil War Pension Index: General Index to Pension Files (AncestryLibrary.com)

Haines, Charlotte. “G.A.R. Chronology,” May 1, 2006, prepared for Sons of Union War Veterans of the Civil War Museum, Lawrenceville, NJ. (Rutgers Public History Internship Project)

Trenton City Directories (Trenton Historical Society web site, http://www.trentonhistory.org, last accessed July 12, 2006.

U.S. Census, 1850, Brick, Ocean County, p. 18.

U.S. Census, 1860, Middletown, Monmouth County, p. 87.

17. Military Draft Exemptions.

Notice to Persons Claiming Exemption from the Draft, August 22, 1862. Facsimile. James S. Yard Papers. Monmouth County Historical Association.

Page from list of men exempted from the draft. Facsimile. James S. Yard Papers. Monmouth County Historical Association.

Dr. William A. Newell, carte-de-visite by Mathew Brady studio, Washington, DC. Facsimile. Monmouth County Archives.

On August 4, 1862, President Lincoln called up 300,000 men for nine months service, in addition to 300,000 three-year men he had asked for in July. Each state was given a quota and had to meet it with volunteers by August 15 or men between the ages 18 to 45 would be drafted to make up the difference. While some fled to Canada, many more volunteered so that they could receive a bounty and avoid the draft. On August 9, the War Department issued General Order 99, which provided draft exemptions for aliens, those already in military service, and certain occupations, including, among others, members of Congress, telegraph operators, locomotive engineers, ship pilots, ministers, divinity students, and post office employees. In the list of exempted men on exhibit, more than half were postal workers. In addition, as explained in the Notice on exhibit, Monmouth County men could also be exempted if they failed a physical examination by Dr. William A. Newell, who had served as Governor of New Jersey from 1857 to 1860. GS

Printed letter, Frederick T. Frelinghuysen, Attorney General, to “Sir,” August 26, 1862, James S. Yard Papers, Monmouth County Historical Association.

Harper, Douglas, “Northern Draft of 1862,” http://www.etymonlin.com/cw/draft2.htm
Last accessed August 16, 2006.

18. Military Register. 14th Regiment New Jersey Volunteers. Company I. Facsimile. Monmouth County Historical Association.

Mercer County contributed two companies to the 14th Regiment (B and I), while Monmouth sent three (A, D, and G), Middlesex, two (H and K), Ocean, one (F), and Union, two (C and E). At the time this document was printed, the company commander of Company I was Captain Cornelius S. Barkalow, who had previously been in Company A. [See another item about Barkalow in this exhibit.] The Register contains useful information on which men were transferred, discharged, or deceased. GS & JGB

19. Battle of Monocacy. Photo of Major General Lew Wallace. Facsimile.

The Battle of Monocacy, July 9, 1864, on the banks of the Monocacy River near Frederick, Maryland, was “The Battle that Saved Washington.” In 1864, Confederate troops under General Jubal A. Early marched north through the Shenandoah Valley and crossed the Potomac River into Maryland. His forces were stopped by the Union’s VIII Corps, commanded by Major General Lew Wallace. If it had not been for the sturdy courage of the Union troops, particularly the 14th New Jersey Regiment led by Colonel William Truex, Washington would have been captured. Major Peter Vredenburgh of the outnumbered 14th Regiment described the conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity of the New Jersey volunteers: “our men at Thomas’ gate then charged up [?] and drove the enemy around the corners, behind the trees, and everywhere, till they retired. . . .” Although Early’s Confederate troops ultimately were victorious, his men suffered from exhaustion and were no longer fit to fight, much less capture Washington. Early had to postpone his attack, which provided General Ulysses S. Grant the necessary time to dispatch two divisions to reinforce Fort Stevens and bolster the capital’s defenses. Early was repulsed and withdrew his forces three days later. But as Grant later remarked, “If Early had been but one day earlier, he might have entered the capital before the arrival of the reinforcements I had sent.” The 14th New Jersey Regiment’s contribution to the positive outcome for the Union has never been fully acknowledged; these soldiers deserve their rightful place in history. AH & GS

Caption primarily based on Walt Albro, “The Forgotten Battle for the Capital,” Civil War Times Illustrated, 1993, pp. 40-43, 56, 58, 60-61.

20. The Monocacy Battlefield Map. From Civil War Times, January/February 1993, p. 40.

The Battle of Monocacy, July 9, 1864, took place on the banks of the Monocacy River near Frederick, Maryland. Confederate forces under General Jubal A. Early marched north to invade Maryland, diverted Federal troops away from General Robert E. Lee’s Front at Petersburg, Virginia, and threatened Washington. Only 2,300 Federal soldiers, under the command of General Lewis Wallace, stood between the Confederate troops and the capital. General Wallace sent his troops by train to Monocacy Junction, which was three miles southeast of Frederick, and set up a defensive position on the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Bridge spanning the Monocacy. Wallace’s objective was to stretch his small force over the riverfront to protect both the railroad and the Covered Bridge as well as to delay Early’s Confederate forces as long as possible. General Grant also sent General Ricketts’ veteran forces, composed of 3,500 soldiers, to bolster the defense of Monocacy.

The Federal troops formed at the post fence dividing the Thomas and Worthington Farms, parallel to Washington Pike. Confederate General Ramseur’s division collided with Wallace’s troops along the Georgetown Pike on Monocacy River’s west bank while General Rodes’s division clashed with Federal soldiers on the National Road. The Confederates sought to pin down Union forces protecting the Stone Bridge. Early sent McCausland’s division down Buckeystown Road to find a ford and outflank the Union line while Evan’s and York’s Confederate divisions marched up Brooks Hill and toward Thomas’ farm. General Terry’s brigade, which was adjacent to the river, attacked the Federal forces from the left while General Gordon planned to backup Terry’s division by striking the Federal forces on their left and overlapping them. The Confederate troops penetrated the Monocacy defenses below the Worthington Ford and attacked Wallace’s left flank. Indeed, some of the bloodiest and fiercest fighting that day took place where the McCausland division confronted Ricketts’ veteran soldiers at a fence separating the Worthington and Thomas farms.

The Federals fought courageously to hold their position, but it was only a matter of time before the Confederates—who numbered nearly 15,000—gained control. Confederates massed on Washington Pike and threatened to break at the Covered Bridge. General Gordon’s division successfully pushed Ricketts back toward the National Road where he was joined by the fatigued and wounded troops who had fought Rodes and Ramseur all day. Consequently, Early’s Confederate forces won the battle at Monocacy, but at the expense of close to 900 killed and wounded and a day lost. Early had to delay his attack on the nation’s capital; repulsed, he withdrew his forces three days later. AH & GS

Cooling, Franklin B. Monocacy: The Battle that Saved Washington (Shippensburg, PA: White Mane Publishing Company, 2000), ix.

21. New Jersey Militia Enrollment List. 9 Month Volunteers, August 25, 1862. Facsmile. Monmouth County Historical Association.

On August 25, 1862, men lined up in Freehold to volunteer to serve for nine months in the Union Army. At least some of these men were mustered a few days later into Company G of the 29th Regiment, including James H. Magee, who became the 1st Lieutenant. Each signed his name on this list. (Those who could not write their names signed with an “X.”) We will probably never know why each man signed up–to serve a cause they believed in, to have a change in lifestyle, or some combination of these or other factors. But each man knew that his decision was probably the most important he had ever made. Most of the three officers and ninety-five men in Company G returned after nine months: three were discharged after hospitalization and three died of typhoid fever.GS

Stryker, William S. Record of Officers and Men of New Jersey in the Civil War, 1861-1865. Volume I. Trenton: John L. Murphy, 1876, pp. 912-913 [accessed on New Jersey State Library website: http://www.njstatelib.org/NJ_Information/Searchable_Publications/

22. Joel Parker, Governor of New Jersey.

Joel Parker. Carte-de-visite portrait c. 1863. Facsimile. Monmouth County Historical Association.

Indictment of Thomas Higgins, 1857, Oyer & Terminer Court, signed by Joel Parker, Prosecuting Attorney. Facsimile. Monmouth County Archives.

Born near Freehold on November 24, 1816, to Charles and Sarah (Coward) Parker, Joel Parker attended the College of New Jersey (now Princeton University), where he graduated in 1839. Admitted to the New Jersey Bar in 1842, Parker was elected to New Jersey State Legislature in 1847 and became Monmouth County Prosecutor of Pleas in 1851. Nominated for Governor by the Democratic Party in 1862, Parker ran as a ‘War Democrat’ supporting a military solution to the Civil War. He defeated Marcus L. Ward by the largest margin in the state’s history and served as the 27th Governor of New Jersey from 1863 to 1866. Parker was highly critical of Lincoln for curtailing civil liberties by suspending habeas corpus and for the Emancipation Proclamation, which he thought unconstitutional. Elected to a second gubernatorial term in 1871, Parker also served as Attorney General of New Jersey and, from 1880 to his death on January 2, 1888, as New Jersey Supreme Court justice. He is buried in Maplewood Cemetery in Freehold. AH & GS

Bilby, Joseph G. and William C. Goble. Remember You Are Jerseymen! A Military History of New Jersey’s Troops in the Civil War. Hightstown, NJ: Longstreet House, 1998, pp. 25- 27, 31-34, 216, 305.

Wikipedia. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joel_Parker

23. Patriotic envelopes sent to Sallie Hankins. Facsimiles. Burlington County Historical Society.

During the Civil War, soldiers often used patriotic envelopes such as this one of General George B. McClellan in oval frame, surrounded by stars, flags, cannons, shield, and bayonets. McClellan was born in Philadelphia on December 3, 1826, and was educated at the University of Pennsylvania and West Point. At the outbreak of the Civil War, he was commissioned major general and, after the First Battle of Bull Run, commanded the Army of the Potomac. In November 1861, Lincoln appointed McClellan commander-in-chief of the Union army. Although songs, like that of M.A. Kidder, praised McClellan’s gallantry with “brave McClellan is our leader now,” and “we have beat our last retreat,” his record as a general was controversial. In 1864, he unsuccessfully ran against Lincoln for the presidency. From 1878 to 1881, “Little Mac” served as governor of New Jersey before his death in Orange on October 29, 1885.

The other envelope commemorates the victory at Hatteras, North Carolina, of General Benjamin Butler and Commander Silas Stringham. The Southeast coast was a haven for Confederate blockade-runners and commerce raiders. On August 26, 1861, an Army contingent under the command of General Benjamin Butler and a federal fleet under the command of Silas Stringham headed south to plug Hatteras Inlet by sinking hulks in the narrow gap in the middle of the barrier island chain to block channels to the sea. The inlet was guarded by two forts, Fort Clark and Fort Hatteras. On August 28, the fleet began to shell the forts. The Confederates surrendered the next day. AH & GS

American Memory (Library of Congress web site).

“August-September 1861: A Mighty Mean-Fowt Fight.” http://www.vectorsite.net/twcw_05.html

24. Lt. George W. Patterson.

Carte-de-visite of Patterson by John Roth, Freehold, [1862?]. Facsimile. New Jersey State Archives.

Carte-de-visite of Patterson and his wife, Mary, 1862. Facsimile. Monmouth County Historical Association.

Son of carpenter John C. and Sarah Patterson of Howell, George W. Patterson was born in 1830. On March 4, 1854, he married Mary Ann Shepard in Freehold. By 1860, Patterson had become a furniture dealer in Freehold and a member of the Board of Chosen Freeholders. In 1862, he raised three companies of volunteers and served as lieutenant of Company G, 14th Regiment, New Jersey Volunteers, for two years until sidelined by disease. Patterson then managed a store with his brother in Blue Ball (1868), dealt in horses and cattle (c. 1870), and served as Inspector of the State Prison (1871), New Jersey State Assemblyman (1873-1875), and Tax Collector of Freehold (1871-1874). In 1875, Patterson was convicted of embezzling $13,000 from Freehold tax revenues and served a five-month prison term. He then relocated to Asbury Park, where he became a butcher (c. 1880), fire fighter, and Democratic Party leader. In 1879 and 1881, Patterson ran for State Senator but was defeated by Judge George C. Beekman and John S. Applegate. Patterson died of pneumonia on January 9, 1890. His funeral was attended by 1,500 people, including former political opponents, who honored “one of the best-known Democratic politicians in the state.” GS

American Civil War Soldiers Record, AncestryLibrary.com.

Matawan Journal, October 16, 1875, p. 2.

Marriage Returns, Monmouth County Archives, D3h-103.

New Jersey Legislative Manual, 1874, pp. 83-84.

New York Times, October 12, 1875; March 23, 1876; May 20, 1880; September 25, 1881; November 9, 1881; January 10, 1890; January 14, 1890.

New Jersey State Census, 1875, Monmouth County, Monmouth County Archives.

Oyer & Terminer Records, 1875, Monmouth County Archives.

U.S. Census, Monmouth County, 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880.

25. Col. John C. Patterson.

Carte-de-visite by John Roth, Freehold. Facsimile. New Jersey State Archives.

Record of Patterson’s marriage to Mary Corlies, June 29, 1859. Facsimile. Monmouth County Archives.

Portrait of Patterson as older man, from Nelson, Jersey Coast (1902). John C. Patterson, Jr., born in Howell in 1834, became a well-known county resident through both his military heroism and his subsequent public service. As a young man, he followed in his father’s occupation as a carpenter. On August 20, 1862, he joined Company F, 14th Regiment New Jersey Volunteers as a private, was appointed 1st Lieutenant, and received successive promotions to Captain, Brevet Major, Major, Brevet Lt. Colonel, and finally Colonel on March 13, 1865. At the Battle of Cold Harbor on June 1, 1864, with only a 14-man detail, Patterson flanked a Confederate regiment and captured 100 men. At Cedar Creek on October 19, he led three desperate charges that saved a battery of artillery. Patterson survived thirty-two engagements. After the war, retired with the rank of brevet brigadier-general, he became known as General Patterson but remained “Major” to his friends. Patterson served as a member of the United States Life Saving Service for sixteen years in Sandy Hook and Avon and rescued 147 persons from drowning. In 1871, he settled in Ocean Grove, where he became superintendent, chief of police, justice of the peace, and building inspector, as well as president of the Monmouth County Board of Elections. He died in 1918. GS

Anon. “Maj. Patterson’s Military Career,” Asbury Park Press, July 31, 1903.

Bilby, Joseph G. and William C. Goble. Remember You Are Jerseymen! A Military History of New Jersey’s Troops in the Civil War. Hightstown, NJ: Longstreet House, 1998, p. 257.

Martin, David G. The Monocacy Regiment: A Commemorative History of the Fourteenth New Jersey Infantry in the Civil War, 1862-1865. Hightstown, NJ: Longstreet House, 1987, pp. 258, 293.

Nelson, William. “John C. Patterson,” The New Jersey Coast in Three Centuries. Vol. 3. New York & Chicago: 1902, pp. 350-351.

26. [Princeton]. Selected Reproductions from Civil War Photographs Collection, Graphic Arts Collection, Department of Rare Books and Special Collections, Princeton University Library.

Most of these photographs are scenes associated with New Jersey regiments during the Civil War, including the battles of Bull Run, Virginia, July 4, 1861 (4th New Jersey Regiment [three month volunteers]); Antietam, Maryland, September 16-17, 1862 (13th NJ Regiment); Fredericksburg, Maryland, June 30-July 2, 1863 (14th NJ Regiment); North Anna, Virginia, May 23-26, 1864 (14th NJ Regiment); Cold Harbor, Virginia, June 1-12, 1864 (14th NJ Regiment); and Petersburg, Virginia, June 17-July 9, 1864 (14th NJ Regiment). Included are two images of Lincoln by Alexander Gardner, one of the most celebrated Civil War photographers, taken at or near Antietam several weeks after the battle. Also displayed are several images depicting camp life that could have been taken in a number of places during the war. Except as noted, the photographers are not identified but it is likely that they were taken by, or under the direction of, Gardner or Mathew Brady. GS

Published Photographs

The President, Major General McClernand, and E.J. Allen, Chief of S.S.U.S. at Secret Service Department, Headquarters, Army of the Potomac, Near Antietam, October 4, 1862. Photograph by Alexander Gardner. Published by Mathew B. Brady. [Note: E.J. Allen was an alias used for security reasons by Allan Pinkerton, founder and chief of the Secret Service.]

The President, General McClellan and Suite on the Battlefield of Antietam, October 3, 1862. Photograph by Alexander Gardner. Published by Mathew B. Brady. [Note: Lincoln and McClellan face each other, showing the significant difference in height, exaggerated by the President’s hat, between Abe and “Little Mac.”]

Antietam Bridge on the Sharpsburgh and Boonsboro Turnpike, September 17, 1862. Photograph by Alexander Gardner. Published by Mathew B. Brady.

Other Photographs, Undated and Unattributed

Bull Run, Near the Bridge
Camp Life in Front of Petersburg
Cold Harbor, Va.
Camp Life in the Woods, Cold Harbor
A Lonely Grave at Antietam
On the North Anna
Photographers Tent
Removing Wounded from the Field
View of Fredericksburg

Untitled (group in camp, detail)
A Welcome Visitor

27. Captain Lewis Rainear.

Photographs, ca. 1890, of Rainear, Rainear and his second wife Mary, and their home in Ocean Grove. Facsimile. Ocean Grove Historical Association.

Sketch by Rainear made at Andersonville prison camp. Facsimile. Ocean Grove Historical Association.

Born in Burlington County in June 1843, Lewis Rainear entered military service on April 24, 1861, as Private, Company A, 4th New Jersey Volunteer Militia at Trenton. On November 1, 1865, after having been wounded three times and reenlisting four times, he was mustered out as Captain, 2nd New Jersey Volunteer Cavalry. Rainear saw action in more than thirty skirmishes and was captured and imprisoned at Andersonville, South Carolina, and Charlotte and Goldsborough, North Carolina. By 1880, Rainear became Superintendent of Buildings and Grounds at the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association. His home at 118 Main Avenue, pictured here, is now the Ocean Grove Memorial Funeral Home. In 1900, Rainear resigned to accept a similar position at Wardenclyffe on Long Island. After his death in 1905, he was buried in the First Methodist Church Cemetery in West Long Branch. TB & GS

Rainear file, Ocean Grove Historical Society.

United States Census Records, 1880 and 1900.

28. [Rainear] Soldiers Memorial. 2nd Regiment, New Jersey Volunteer Cavalry, Company E. Published in Trenton, 1865. Facsimile. Ocean Grove Historical Society.

Lewis Rainear, while a member of the 1st Regiment, New Jersey Volunteer Cavalry, was wounded at Cedar Mountain, VA, on August 9, 1862, and was mustered out when released from an infirmary a few months later. On September 16, 1863, he joined the 2nd Regiment, New Jersey Volunteer Cavalry, Company E, as a lieutenant. The 2nd Regiment operated primarily in Mississippi, where on June 1864, Rainear was captured at Tishamingo Creek and was incarcerated in the infamous prison at Andersonville, Georgia, where 13,000 Union soldiers died. After transfer to two other prisons, Rainear was paroled on March 2nd, 1865. Meanwhile, his unit continued to fight until the end of the war. The 2nd Regiment lost 3 officers and 48 enlisted men killed and mortally wounded and 190 enlisted men by disease. [See exhibit cases for more items about Rainear.] GS

Rainear service record, Ocean Grove Historical Society.

2nd New Jersey Cavalry Regiment, http://www.newjersey1861.com/2ndregimencavalry.html, last accessed 8/22/2006.

29. Chaplain Frank B. Rose.

From the 14th Regiment. List of Casualties, June 4, 1864, by Frank B. Rose, Chaplain, Fourteenth Regiment, New Jersey Volunteers. Monmouth Democrat, June 16, 1864. Facsimile. Monmouth County Archives.

Copy photograph of Frank B. Rose. Facsimile. Monmouth County Historical Association, courtesy David G. Martin.

Chaplain Rose reports on the casualties from the Battle of Cold Harbor, Virginia, including Colonel William Truex, who was wounded in the hand. The 14th Regiment had about 500 men left when the battle began. Including casualties not listed here, 29 were killed, 110 were wounded, and 15 were missing. One can imagine the feelings of newspaper readers in Monmouth County at this time. Each issue carried reports of heavy losses due to battle or disease on one page and lists with the names of men drafted to take their places on the next. A few weeks after Cold Harbor, at the Battle of Monocacy, the 14th lost another 140 men. In August 1862, 950 were mustered in; at Appomattox in April 1865, 230 were mustered out.

Chaplain Rose was born in Tuckerton on April 5, 1836. After becoming a minister in the Methodist Episcopal Church, his first assignment was in Freehold. He then served as chaplain of the 14th regiment during its existence from 1862 to 1865. For a few years after the war, Rose was a businessman but in 1870, he joined the Navy as a chaplain. He had many different assignments before his retirement as a Rear Admiral in 1906. Rose died on March 23, 1910, and was buried in West Laurel Cemetery in Philadelphia. GS

Casualty list for the 14th Regiment New Jersey Volunteers, 1862-65. http://www.14njvols.com/casualty.htm

Fraser, Charles D., “Frank Bremwell Rose,” in David G. Martin, ed.,The Monocacy Regiment. A Commemorative History of the Fourteenth New Jersey Infantry in the Civil War, 1862- 1865. Hightstown, NJ: Longstreet House, 1987, p. 228

30. William Burroughs Ross. Carte-de-visite by Marken’s Gallery, Frederick, Maryland, ca. 1863. Facsimile. Monmouth County Historical Association.

Born near Freehold in 1844, William B. Ross lived with his parents, Andrew and Ann M. Ross, until he enlisted as a private in Company A of the 14th on July 28, 1862. Assigned to be clerk to the Adjutant, he then was promoted to regimental Sergeant Major on January 24, 1864. As the 14th’s sergeant major, he was one of the last Union soldiers to retreat at the Battle of Monocacy, where at the conclusion of the battle, he saw Confederate soldiers closing in around him and sprinted 200 yards to a woodlot, where he successfully hid all night. “We had a race for it,” he wrote to his mother. Ross also remarked that “he was not born to be shot” and that he “should like to be home to take a trip down to Long Branch and get a good wash.” After serving in all the regiment’s battles that year, he was advanced to the rank of 1st Lieutenant on September 18, 1864. On October 19, 1864, at the Battle of Cedar Creek, Virginia, he was the only officer of his regiment killed in action. Ross was buried at the Presbyterian burial grounds in Trenton, New Jersey, on November 24, 1864; his remains were later removed to Maplewood Cemetery in Freehold. CDF in DGM, AH & GS

Martin, David G. The Monocacy Regiment: A Commemorative History of the Fourteenth New Jersey Infantry in the Civil War, 1862-1865. Hightstown, NJ: Longstreet House, 1987, pp. 229.

Bilby, Joseph G. and William C. Goble. Remember You Are Jerseymen!: A Military History of New Jersey’s Troops in the Civil War. Hightstown, New Jersey: Longstreet House, 1998, pp. 263, 265.

31. Phillip J. Ryall.

Commission as Quartermaster with the Rank of Captain to the Staff of Brigadier General Charles Haight, August 29, 1862, signed by New Jersey Governor Charles S. Olden. Facsimile. Monmouth County Historical Association, Commissions, SA31.

Portrait of Ryall from Ellis, History of Monmouth County (1885)

Phillip J. Ryall (1836-1874) was a prominent attorney in Freehold. After graduating from Rutgers (1854), he joined the law office of Joseph D. Bedle, later Governor of New Jersey. Ryall practiced law in Jersey City for two years, then relocated to his native Freehold in 1859. While still in his twenties, he was the principal attorney defending the notorious Peter Slocum, who on November 27, 1863, was publicly executed for his wife’s murder after giving a long speech to a large crowd. Known for his high standards and cheerful disposition, despite pulmonary problems that shortened his life, Ryall died on his estate in St. Augustine, Florida, on March 14, 1874.

General Haight, to whose staff Ryall was appointed in 1862, was the first commander at Camp Vredenburgh, established in July of that year near Freehold. The first regiment that trained there was the 14th, which left for the front on September 22, just after Ryall’s appointment on August 29. As Quartermaster, Ryall no doubt was involved in supplying the troops with equipment and provisions. After the departure of the 14th, other units continued to train at Camp Vredenburgh, in particular the 28th and 29th regiments. The camp was dismantled in January 1864. GS

Ellils, Franklin. History of Monmouth County (1885). Polyanthos: Cottonport, LA, 1992, pp. 305-306.

Martin, David G., ed., The Monocacy Regiment: A Commemorative History of the Fourteenth New Jersey Infantry in the Civil War, 1862-1865. Hightstown, NJ: Longstreet House, 1987, pp. 206-207.

“Peter Slocum,” Olde Monmouth Times (Monmouth County Archives), 1:5 (February 1999).

32. [Schenck.] “Lincoln . . . is very tall, and is very homely.” Jacob R. Schenck to his wife, November 2, 1862. Facsimile. Schenck Papers, Monmouth County Historical Association.

Jacob R. Schenck of the 29th New Jersey Infantry here writes from Camp Monmouth in Maryland, providing many interesting details about his life and feelings for his wife. He recalls that a parade of his regiment was reviewed by President Lincoln and Secretary of State Seward, and that the latter was better looking. Schenck also reports speculation in camp that one of the men on picket duty shot himself in the leg deliberately. He closes with “Keep in good heart dear wife, and do not mourn for me, for I think, if God spares my life, I will be healthier than ever before. . . . Receive a full share of my love and remember me.”

The son of a doctor, Schenck was born in Flemington in 1831 and had a lively career before and after the Civil War as a journalist and publisher of Democratic newspapers in Woodstown, Keyport, Flemington, Clinton, and Toms River, where he died of TB in 1880. During his nine months of volunteer service in Company I of the 29th, he rose from Private to Quartermaster Sergeant to 2nd Lieutenant. His regiment was assigned mainly to guard duty in defense of Washington, DC.GS

Biography in Guide, Schenck Papers, Collection 68, Monmouth County Historical Association.

U.S. Census 1880, Dover, Ocean County, NJ. Listing for widow Jennie Schenck and two children, Ida and George.

Stryker, William S. Record of Officers and Men of New Jersey in the Civil War, 1861-1865. Volume I. Trenton: John L. Murphy, 1876, p. 901. Accessed on New Jersey State Library website: http://www.njstatelib.org/NJ_Information/Searchable_Publications/

33. Samuel T. Sleeper.

Certification of membership in Allstrom Light Guard, Second Regiment, November 23, 1861. Facsimile. Monmouth County Historical Association, Coll. 135.
Commission as Captain from State of New Jersey, June 1863, signed by Governor Joel Parker. Facsimile. Monmouth County Historical Association, Commissions, SA31.

Samuel T. Sleeper was born in 1822. He and Abigail White were married at Christ Church in Shrewsbury, New Jersey on January 25, 1848, by Rev. Harry Finch. The Civil War was already sixteen months old when Sleeper, a tailor, answered the country’s call for volunteers in 1862. That summer, he helped raise part of an infantry company at Shrewsbury. That unit eventually became part of Company I, Eleventh New Jersey Volunteers. Sleeper and his new company mustered in at Camp Olden, Trenton, New Jersey on August 6. Governor Charles Olden approved Sleeper’s appointment as First Lieutenant of his company the next day. Sleeper’s regiment left Trenton for Washington, DC, on August 25, where it performed duty within the defenses of the capital. It was subsequently attached to the First Brigade, Second Division, Third Army Corps, Army of the Potomac. While so assigned, Sleeper and his unit participated in the Battle of Fredericksburg, VA (December 12-15, 1862) and the famous “Mud March” (January 20 – 24, 1863). Just before the Battle of Chancellorsville, VA (May 1-5), Lieutenant Sleeper found himself in command of his company. The company’s original commander, Captain John T. Hill, was promoted and transferred to the Twelfth New Jersey Infantry on April 17. On that date, Sleeper became the acting commander of Company I. He officially held that position after June 2, 1862, when Governor Joel Parker commissioned him as Captain. For a brief moment, Sleeper was also in charge of the whole regiment. During the Battle of Gettysburg, PA (July 1 – 3, 1863) several officers became casualties and Sleeper was temporarily the senior officer. Captain Sleeper continued to lead his company in the campaigns of Bristoe, VA (October 9 – 22, 1863), Mine Run, VA (November 26 – December 2, 1863), and Wilderness, VA (May 5 – 7, 1864). He left his post only once during a winter encampment. Christmas 1863 found Sleeper at home on a ten day furlough. That was the last time his family ever saw him.
The following spring, the Army of the Potomac launched a very determined offensive against the Confederate Army in Virginia. The Eleventh New Jersey was part of this big push. For Sleeper, the campaign ended at the Battle of Spotsylvania. In a charge on May 12, 1864, he was killed by a gunshot to the chest. After the battle, the Eleventh’s Chaplain, E. Clark Cline, recovered Sleeper’s body along with those of two other officers also killed in the battle. Chaplain Cline tried, but failed, to get the three bodies back to New Jersey. With all the available wagons busy carrying wounded soldiers to hospitals, Cline had no way to transport the three dead officers from the battlefield. The entire army was preparing to move again, so the chaplain hurried them into graves near the Third Division’s field hospital.
Upon learning of Samuel’s death, Abby Sleeper sought Secretary of War Edwin Stanton’s help in retrieving her husband’s body. Evidently the grave site was not well recorded, as the War Department soon apologized that, “under existing circumstances it would be impracticable to recover the body.” After the war, the government attempted to locate and consolidate as many soldiers’ graves as it could. The Quartermaster General’s burial inventory shows that a large number of graves were found near Spotsylvania Court House and were removed to Fredericksburg National Cemetery. Undoubtedly, Sleeper and his two fellow officers lie in three of the 12,601 “Unknown” graves at Fredericksburg, VA.
R.B. Rauscher, edited by Barbara Carver Smith (1993) & GS

Rauscher, R.B. and Barbara Carver Smith. Guide, Samuel T. Sleeper Papers, Collection 62, Monmouth County Historical Association Library and Archives, 1993.

34. The Soldiers Aid Society and the Sanitary Commission in Monmouth County during the Civil War.

Summary of Meetings, November-December 1861, Ladies Soldiers Aid Society, Middletown. Facsimile. Louise Hartshorne Papers, Monmouth County Historical Association.

Clippings, regarding the U.S. Sanitary Commission, Monmouth Democrat, February 11 & 18, 1864. Facsimiles. Monmouth County Archives.

Two of the principal organizations through which women in the North contributed to the war effort were the Soldiers Aid Society and the U.S. Sanitary Commission. The Soldiers Aid Society was a private organization that operated throughout the war with many chapters in the Northern states, including Middletown in Monmouth County. Women in these chapters fabricated or donated articles of clothing to men where they were needed, based either on letters from the field or newspaper reports. Some women also visited hospitals and distributed clothing directly to the injured. The first president of the Monmouth County Chapter was Mrs. Joseph D. Taylor, who was probably closely related to other Taylors whose names preface the proceedings of their first meetings. Vice-President Catherine L. Taylor, 52 years old, was the wife of Dr. Edward Taylor. Their daughter Mary, 24, was one of seven members of the Board of Directors and Sarah, 18, was the Secretary.

An official agency of the United States government that sought to coordinate efforts of women in the North, the U.S. Sanitary Commission had some of the same functions as the Soldiers Aid Society and absorbed many of its chapters. The Commission was planned and led throughout its existence by clergyman Henry Whitney Bellows (1814-1882). Between 1861 and 1866, it raised $25 million to support the war effort through donations. Under Commission auspices, women worked as nurses and camp cooks, and (like Society chapters) provided baked and knitted goods for soldiers. Sanitary agents inspected camps and hospitals and recommended measures to reduce the death rate from disease. The clipping in the exhibit reports plans for a fund raising concert on February 25, 1864 in Freehold in support of the Commission, and the formation of a local auxiliary to support the work of the Commission. It mentions that officers of the Middletown Soldiers Aid Society would be involved in future fund raising efforts. GS

U.S. Census, 1860, Middletown, Monmouth County.

35. Soldiers Memorials. 9th Regiment New Jersey Volunteers, Company I. Published August 25, 1863. Facsimile. Monmouth County Historical Association.

The 9th Regiment was mustered in Trenton on October 8, 1861, as a “sharpshooter” regiment. It had a strong representation of Jersey Shore baymen and duck hunters, as well as German target shooters from Newark. The men signed up for three years; others joined later. The 9th operated primarily in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia, including the Battle of Cold Harbor in June 1864. The Memorial notes that the regiment’s original commander, Colonel Joseph W. Allen, drowned on January 15, 1862 (during Burnside’s expedition to Hatteras Inlet). The 9th also lost the first New Jersey officer killed in action, Captain Joseph Henry of Company H, at Roanoke Island, on February 8, 1862. By the time the 9th was mustered out on July 12, 1865, it had lost 262 men, 163 from disease. GS & JLB

36. Soldiers Record. 14th Regiment New Jersey Volunteers. Company A. Facsimile. Monmouth County Historical Association.

Company A of the 14th Regiment, led by Captain Austin Patterson, was recruited in Monmouth County. Included among those listed as a company member is 1st Lieutenant Kerner, whose relationship with Major Peter Vredenburgh is the subject of another part of this exhibit. The Record was published during the war, before the death in 1864 of Peter Vredenburgh, who is still here listed as a regimental officer. GS

37. General William S. Truex. Carte-de-visite portrait by John Roth, Freehold, c. 1863. Facsimile. New Jersey State Archives.

Probably born in Middletown, Monmouth County, on October 2, 1819, Truex attended West Point and was promoted to 1st Lieutenant at the end of the Mexican War. In the 1850s, Truex lived on a farm owned by William Brey in Freehold Township, initially with his widowed mother Althea. On June 5, 1854, Truex married Ellen Elizabeth Woodford of Upper Freehold, with whom he had at least six children. Commissioned Major of the 5th New Jersey Infantry on August 14, 1861, Truex became Lt. Colonel of the 10th Regiment on March 7, 1862. In June, when the 14th Regiment, NJ Volunteers, began to form at Camp Vredenburgh near Freehold, Truex took command as a full Colonel. Major Peter Vredenburgh praised Truex as able and experienced. Truex left the 14th to lead the 1st Brigade, 3rd Division, 6th Corps, on May 14, 1864. On June 1, he was wounded in the left hand at Cold Harbor, VA, and for his valor in this battle, he was promoted to Brevet Brigadier General on April 2, 1865. However, by that time, he had been dismissed in August 1864 for insubordination involving a dispute about horses with General Ricketts. After the Civil War, Truex farmed in Chancellor, Spotsylvania County, VA, but by 1880, he was a farmer in Neptune. Truex died on September 6, 1889, in Trenton, where his sons Edgar T. and Marcus had a grocery store. The Veterans Schedule of the 1890 Census, most of which was lost after a fire in 1921, listed his widow Ellen at 803 E. State Street, Trenton. GS

Fraser, Charles D., “William Snyder Truex,” in David G. Martin, ed., The Monocacy Regiment: A Commemorative History of the Fourteenth New Jersey Infantry in the Civil War, 1862-1865. Hightstown, NJ: Longstreet House, 1987, p. 232.

Family Data Collection – Births Record, Ancestry.Library.com [Reports William Snyder Truex’s birth to Johannes Truax [sic] and Althea Snyder on October 2, 1819, in Virginia, contradicting 1850, 1860, 1870, and 1880 census records which indicate that he was born in New Jersey in 1819. (The 1850 census has an error involving ditto marks resulting in a listing erroneously suggesting a birth in New York.) Family Data Collection lists seven older brothers and sisters, all born in New Jersey.]

Marriage record, Truex-Woodford, Monmouth County Archives, D3h-103.

Peter Vredenburgh to father, October 7, 1862 and August 5, 1864, and William Burroughs Ross to father, August 9, 1864, in Bernard A. Olsen, ed., Upon the Tented Field. Red Bank, NJ: Historic Projects, 1993, pp. 51, 258-259.

Trenton City Directory, 1882. Listing for Truex and Brother (M.W. and E.T. Truex).

U.S. Census, 1850 and 1860. Freehold Township, Monmouth County, New Jersey. Listings for Truex on farm owned by William Brey, in 1850 for Truex and his mother Althea, in 1860 {“Truax”], with his wife Ellen and sons Edgar and William.

U.S. Census, 1870, Chancellor, Spotsylvania, Virginia. Listing for Truex, his wife Ellen, and four children Eddgar T., Marcus, Althea, and Nellie).

U.S. Census, 1880, Neptune Township, Monmouth County. Listing for Truex, his wife Ellen, and five children (Edgar T., William S., Althea J., Nellie C., and Jennie).

U.S. Census, 1890, Special Veterans Schedule, Hamilton, Mercer, New Jersey, via AncestryLibrary.com.

38. James C. Taylor. Reproduction of ambrotype, John W. Kuhl Collection, reproduced in David G. Martin, The Monocacy Regiment.

Although the 14th Regiment New Jersey Volunteers trained at Camp Vredenburgh near Freehold, its ranks included men from other central New Jersey counties, including Mercer. Born in Lambertville in 1842, James Taylor was living in the Mill Hill section of Trenton when he enlisted in Company B of the 14th Regiment in August 1862. Taylor’s father, James Sr., was a mortician who became rich through his invention of a body cooler. Enrolled as a corporal, Taylor was reduced to the ranks in October 1863 for some unknown infraction. Although hospitalized for illness during brief periods over the next two years, he took part in all the regiment’s battles through Monocacy, where he was captured in the wake of the assault that overwhelmed the VI Corps’ 3rd Division. Originally reported as missing in action, his fate was clarified when his note about being captured, later published in the Trenton True American, was discovered amidst the battlefield detritus. After seven months incarceration at Danville, Virginia, Taylor, in ill health due to his captivity, was exchanged on February 22, 1865. After the war, like his father, Taylor became an undertaker. He also became prominent in veterans’ affairs as a member of Aaron Wilkes Post #23, GAR. Taylor served a term in the New Jersey state legislature in 1886. Lucky in war, Taylor was not so fortunate in his post-war private life: three of his four sons and his wife predeceased him. He died on March 20, 1904, and was buried “with Grant Army honors,” at Riverview Cemetery in Trenton.

While most Civil War-era photographic images are tintypes or albumen paper prints mounted on cardboard such as the carte-de-visite, Taylor’s portrait is an ambrotype, which had been a widely used process in the late 1850s but was waning in popularity by the onset of the war. An ambrotype is an under-exposed collodion glass negative that appears positive either through the use of a dark backing or by making the image on a dark colored glass, which was usually red (known as ruby ambrotypes). Ambrotypes are typically housed in cases similar to that used by its predecessor, the daguerreotype, and the edge of the brass mat which separates the image glass from the cover glass is visible in the reproduction. DGM & GS

Martin, David G., ed. The Monocacy Regiment: A Commemorative History of the Fourteenth New Jersey Infantry in the Civil War, 1862-1865. Hightstown, NJ: Longstreet House, 1987, pp. 230, 270.

39. Major Peter Vredenburgh, ca. 1863. Carte-de-visite attributed to Marken’s Gallery, Frederick, Maryland. Facsimile. New Jersey State Archives, Department of State. SDEA 4010-343.

The popular Vredenburgh (1837-1864), son of the judge after whom Camp Vredenburgh in Freehold was named, in an unattributed photograph virtually identical to another taken at Marken’s Gallery in Frederick, Maryland, where he was stationed, now in the collection of the Monmouth County Historical Association. The carte-de-visite was an albumen paper (coated with egg white) photograph mounted on thin card stock, approximately 2.5 x 4 inches. The size was standardized for use in photographic albums with window mats intended for the format. Cartes-de-visite were patented in 1854 by the French photographer A.A.E. Disderi in Paris and began to be used in the United States in 1859. By the time the Civil War started, they were extremely popular. Carte-de-visite photographers often used cameras with four lenses that allowed them to take eight negatives on one glass plate, either simultaneously or sequentially; after contact printing, the pictures would be cut up and mounted separately. GS

Martin, David G., ed. The Monocacy Regiment: A Commemorative History of the Fourtheenth Infantry in the Civil War, 1862-1865. Hightstown, NJ: Longstreet House, 1987, p. 134.

40. Excerpts, Peter Vredenburgh to his mother, September 19, 1862. Facsimile. Monmouth County Historical Association.

Major Peter Vredenburgh was a well-respected officer in the 14th Regiment New Jersey Volunteer Infantry. Born in Freehold on September 12, 1837, he earned his commission just weeks before his twenty-sixth birthday. At the outset of his military service, Peter was both confident in his own abilities as an officer and optimistic about the Union’s chances of winning the war quickly. Over the course of the war, however, he seemed to lose some of this faith. As the eldest son of a prominent Freehold judge, Vredenburgh had gotten the kind of education that was typical among army officers. After college, he had read law in the office of Judge Bennington F. Randolph, also of Freehold. His schooling had prepared him for the many administrative positions in which he would flourish. It did little, however, to prepare him for the horrors of the battlefield.

Throughout his correspondence with his parents, Vredenburgh repeatedly mentions the “brutality” that he witnessed in the soldiers’ treatment of servants, local civilians, and animals. Although he vowed to trust “such things to the care of the Great Ruler of the Universe,” these incidents continued to bother him. When Vredenburgh was promoted to Inspector General, he began to right the wrongs that he saw being committed around him.

The brutality, Mother, is horrible, every man must look out for himself. I never think of moving outside of the camp after dark without my revolver. My humanity has come near getting me in difficulty twice, it having led me to interfere with teamsters who I have seen fearfully abusing their mules. I am almost afraid to look towards the place where the army wagons are stationed for I always see some of the wretched drivers apparently trying to kill their mules. I suppose I will have to do as others do, leave such things to the care of the Great Ruler of the Universe. KS

Olsen, Bernard A., ed. Upon the Tented Field. Red Bank, New Jersey: Historic Projects Inc., 1993, p. 38. [Transcript, original letter at Monmouth County Historical Association]

41. Excerpt, Peter Vredenburgh to his father, October 7, 1862. Facsimile. Monmouth County Historical Association.

Don’t you think that the emancipation proclamation of the [President] will have an injurious effect in every way? I do. You may depend upon it we will have bitter fighting before the war is over. I am afraid it will have the effect of repelling the border states, besides having a bad effect abroad.

Lincoln’s preliminary Emancipation Proclamation of September 22, 1862, which declared his intention to free the slaves on January 1, 1863, was not welcomed by Vredenburgh, who like many others at the time, thought that it would prolong the war because it would make the South fight all the harder. In its final form, the Proclamation did not immediately free any slaves because it only applied to territory that was in rebellion and outside Union control; it did not apply to the border states about which Vredenburgh expressed concern, nor to his home state of New Jersey, where slavery persisted until the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified on December 6, 1865. In his letter, Vredenburgh also expressed high praise for his commanding officer, Colonel Truex, “a much more intelligent and literary man than I supposed.” GS

42. Excerpt, Peter Vredenburgh to his father, January 16, 1863. Facsimile. Monmouth County Historical Association.

I have made some very pleasant acquaintances here in Frederick, some few Union, but mostly Secesh. But I am so used to meeting persons who openly proclaim their sympathies for the rebels that I am quite used to it and talk the matter with them as I would any other political subject.

Vredenburgh’s feelings towards Confederate sympathizers changed considerably over the course of his correspondence with his parents. In early 1863 he stated that most of his acquaintances were “Secesh.” Despite his position in the Union army, it was possible for him to respect the political opinions of pro-Confederate civilians. Over time, however, Vredenburgh’s duties as Provost Marshall got in the way of these relationships. His thorough enforcement of policies regarding contraband and travel did not endear him to the local Secesh, and by the end of his stay at Frederick many (though not all) were openly hostile towards him. KS

Olsen, Bernard A. Upon the Tented Field. Red Bank, New Jersey: Historic Projects Inc., 1993, p. 87. [Original letter at Monmouth County Historical Association]

43. Excerpt, Peter Vredenburgh to Doctor Kimball, June 25, 1864. Facsimile. Monmouth County Historical Association.

The papers publish so many lies that I hardly see how you can have any definite idea of the situation of affairs. Lee has never retreated a step since the opening of the campaign. He has ever been between us and Richmond and when we moved by the left flank he moved by the right…. Grant has done just right I think and in the best manner but these stories that would lead you to believe that Lee has ever retreated are untrue.

During the summer of 1864, Vredenburgh repeatedly commented on the unreliable nature of newspaper reports covering the war. He complained several times of prominent Northern publications exaggerating Union victories and even fabricating Confederate retreats. For the most part he was confident in the Confederacy’s eventual defeat by the Union, but he clearly disapproved of the papers’ tactics. He was, however, careful not to imply any criticism of the command in these letters. He seemed to believe that his commanding officers were doing their jobs, but that the press was misinterpreting their strategies as more aggressive or successful than they really were. KS

Olsen, Bernard A. Upon the Tented Field. Red Bank, New Jersey: Historic Projects Inc., 1993, p. 247. [Original letter at Monmouth County Historical Association]

44. Excerpt, Peter Vredenburgh to his mother, July 12, 1864. Facsimile. Monmouth County Historical Association.

It is queer that I was not hit for I was right up to the front most all the time and though several shells exploded so close that many men said they saw me killed yet I didn’t get a scratch. Our Adjutant General who was mounted also, came up by me and was shot almost instantly in the leg and arm. I have just been informed that our report of missing this morning was 1600 but four or five hundred more will likely come in and reduce our loss to about 1100. . . . General Wallace who commands all the troops at Monocacy stood up on a hill where he could see everything and recognized me by my straw hat and the next day he told Gen’l Ricketts (who told me) that I was a most valuable officer, that he had seen me all the time. He complemented the Division very highly in his official report to Halleck.

Two months before his death in battle, Vredenburgh writes to his mother from Baltimore. At the Battle of Monocacy near Fredericksburg, Maryland, his regiment, outnumbered about two to one, had suffered heavy casualties but succeeded in delaying the Confederate advance toward Washington, D.C. sufficiently that the capital could be saved from capture. General Lew Wallace (1827-1905), to whom Vredenburgh refers, had a distinguished military and political career but achieved his most lasting fame for his novel Ben-Hur (1880). GS

Transcript in Bernard A. Olsen, ed. Upon the Tented Field. Red Bank, NJ: Historic Projects, 1993, pp. 252-254.

45. Poem

IN MEMORIAM to Major Peter Vredenburgh, Jr.

MAJOR P —- V———- SEPT. 19, 1864.

Once more the solemn shadows of the tomb
Come thronging up around life’s busy way.
And by the fireside of another home
Grief holds her sad and dreary court to-day,
For one is not ! and fond affection weeps
O’er a low grave, where the young hero sleeps.

True patriot fire was glowing in his breast,
When, answering his imperiled country’s cry
He bade farewell to all he loved the best,
And sought the field of strife – alas, to die!
Yet not before his valiant deeds had made
Bright laurels for him, which shall never fade.

His name shall live; and as the withered flowers
Which the rude gleaner’s hand hath flung aside
Leave their sweet fragrance in the garden bowers,
So in our hearts his memory shall abide,

Hallowed and precious; changeless as the light
That glistens on the coronet of night.

Then rest thee, brother, in thy lonely grave!
Not in the valley where thy comrades sleep,
But where thine own familiar flowers shall wave,
Where thine own kindred loving watch shall keep;
One gleam of comfort in those hours of gloom,
That they may watch and weep around thy tomb!

Saviour of all! Thy love alone can cheer
The saddened spirit, desolate and weak;
In all Thy loving tenderness, come near
To these lone hearts, in tones of pity speak,
And through the darkened pathway grief has made,
Lead them to fairer joys that never fade!


Poem by H., in David G. Martin, ed. The Monocacy Regiment: A Commemorative History of the Fourteenth Infantry in the Civil War, 1862-1865. Hightstown, NJ: Longstreet House,
1987, p. 165.


Minutes, Board of Freeholders, Monmouth County, November 20, 1863. Facsimile of transcript, ca. 1940. Monmouth County Archives.

Copy photograph of James S. Yard, ca. 1860. Facsimile. Monmouth County Historical Association, P-2159.

In these minutes, Col. James Sterling Yard and Capt. James A. Perrine, both members of the Board of Freeholders, were praised in a resolution for raising volunteers to meet the quota for soldiers to fight the Civil War. Among other notable activities, Yard (1826-1900) edited and published the newspaper, Monmouth Democrat, from 1854 to 1900; served as postmaster of Freehold, 1855-1860; as Freeholder, 1862-1865; Commissioner of Railroad Taxation, 1873-1881; and Mayor of Freehold, 1888-1894, during which time the sewer system was constructed. During the Civil War, Yard actively served in the 3rd Regiment for three months and then was involved in recruitment and training, including service as commander of Camp Vredenburgh in Freehold, one of the major military camps in New Jersey.

The Monmouth County Archives is missing only two books of Freeholder minutes, of which Volume 4, including the Civil War years, is one. Fortunately, typed excerpts were made as part of a W.P.A. history project, ca. 1940, and eventually deposited in the New Jersey State Archives, from which the copy in the Monmouth County Archives derives. GS

Chronology in Guide, Yard Family Papers, Collection 19. Monmouth County Historical Association.