21st Regiment, New Jersey Volunteer Infantry

  

Organized at Trenton, N.J., and mustered in September 15, 1862. Left State for Washington, D.C., September 16, 1862, thence moved to Frederick, Md., September 18, and Joined Army of the Potomac on battlefield of Antietam, Md. Attached to 3rd Brigade, 2nd Division, 6th Army Corps, Army of the Potomac, to June, 1863.

 

SERVICE

    Duty at Hagerstown, Md., and guard duty at Dam No. 5 till October 29.

    Movement to Falmouth, Va., October 29-November 19.

    Battle of Fredericksburg December 11-15.

    Cover laying of pontoons December 11.

    Bowling Green Road December 11 in support of Weirs' Maryland Battery.

    Duty near White Oak Church and constructing corduroy road below Fredericksburg till April, 1863.

    "Mud March" January 20-24.

    Chancellorsville Campaign April 27-May 6.

    Operations at Franklin's Crossing April 29-May 2.

    Battle of Maryes Heights, Fredericksburg, May 3.

    Salem Heights May 3-4.

    Banks' Ford May 4.

    Mustered out at Trenton, N. J., June 19, 1863.

 

Regiment lost during service 1 Officer and 20 Enlisted men killed and mortally wounded and 1 Officer and 30 Enlisted men by disease. Total 52.

 


Battle Report Filed By Gen. Thomas H. Neill, 3rd Brigade Commander, mentioning the

21st Regiment, NJVI

 

IN THE FIELD NEAR FREDERICKSBURG,
May 7, 1863.

SIR: I have the honor to report, for the information of the general commanding the division, that on the night of May 2, in obedience to orders, I led my brigade across the pontoon bridge at Mansfield, on the Rappahannock, about three-fourths of a mile below Fredericksburg, and posted two regiments, the Forty-ninth and Thirty-third New York, as pickets in front of the enemy.

At 12 midnight my brigade was ordered to march along through Bowling Green toward Fredericksburg. While waiting to get the road, the enemy attacked the left of my picket line, held by the Forty-ninth New York. The Forty-ninth repulsed them, and held their ground.

On the morning of the 3d (Sunday), at about 10 a.m., I was ordered to form three regiments as the advance of a column of assault against the heights on Marye's Hill, back of Fredericksburg. I led the Thirty-third New York, Twenty-first New Jersey, and Seventh Maine Volunteers, preceded by the Seventy-seventh New York, who were acting as skirmishers, under a heavy fire of shot and shell. Before reaching the batteries on the hill, against which we were directed, I found they had already been taken by our troops on our right, and I directed the attack against the batteries on the hills to our left, along the Richmond road. We took in succession four distinct detached earthworks, of strong profile. We captured 3 pieces of artillery--2 long brass guns and I short brass howitzer--and 1 stand of colors, belonging to the Eighteenth Mississippi Regiment, after which we marched to assist in repelling an attack of the enemy along the Chancellorsville road.

On the morning of May 4, the enemy attempted to turn our rear, when I led four regiments of my brigade back toward Fredericksburg and checked them.

I must not omit to mention that, on the morning of the 4th, a brigade of rebels advanced to take an earthwork near the Plank road, which was then occupied by our troops, where two companies of the Forty-ninth New York and one company of the Seventh Maine, supported by the Forty-ninth New York, in conjunction with two pieces of Lieutenant Martin's battery, entirely routed the whole brigade, and the three companies of infantry aforementioned captured 200 prisoners and the colors of a rebel regiment--Fifty-eighth Virginia.

On the evening of May 4, about 5 p.m., the whole of Longstreet's corps came up the Richmond road as re-enforcements, attacked my right and front, massing large numbers of his infantry in the ravines, which were held by their troops. After losing about 1,000 men, I was obliged to retire, my regiments being unable to cope with the overpowering numbers of the enemy, and fearful lest in the position I then held they would be captured by the enemy piercing our line in rear, between us and Banks' Ford.

In the assault, the Twentieth Regiment New York Volunteers broke and went to the rear. I could not rally them. The other regiments stood their ground nobly under a murderous fire, and by their stubborn resistance at that time I believe the Sixth Corps was enabled eventually to recross the Rappahannock at Banks' Ford in the night.

    Col. G. Van Houten, Twenty-first New Jersey, was wounded on the field of battle, and, I regret to say, has died, a prisoner in    the hands of the enemy, from wounds received in battle.

I cannot close my report without making free and sincere acknowledgment to the brave officers and men of the various regiments of my command who encountered the enemy at these two different battles, and would especially mention the great assistance rendered by the gallant efforts of my assistant adjutant-general, Capt. William H. Long; of the assistant inspector-general, Pryce W. Bailey, Thirty-third New York Volunteers, and of Lieuts. William H. Alberts and Horace Binney, jr., my aides-de-camp. The horses of both my aides and my own were shot.

With great respect,

 THOS. H. NEILL,

Brigadier-General.

 Maj. CHARLES MUNDEE,

Asst. Adjt. Gen., Second Division, Sixth Army Corps.