New Jersey’s Civil War Sesquicentennial Commemoration
The State of New Jersey sent nearly 77,000 men to fight for the Union in the Civil War, and over 5700 died. At the Battle of Chancellorsville in May 1863, five of the top 20 Union regiments in terms of total casualties were from New Jersey. At the Battle of Gettysburg, the 11th New Jersey Infantry of the Third Corps suffered 153 casualties on July 2nd, 1863,the second day of the three day battle. The 12th New Jersey Infantry of the Second Corps helped repel the assault of General George E. Pickett’s command, the decisive action of the battle, on July 3rd.
The 15th New Jersey Infantry suffered the most deaths of all the New Jersey regiments, with 240 men killed or died of wounds. The 15th New Jersey entered Federal service in August of 1862, and served in the Sixth Corps until the close of the war. The year 1864 was particularly costly as the regiment had 186 battle deaths. These included 116 in the fighting at Spotsylvania, Virginia on May 8th to 12th, and another 27 at the Battle of Cedar Creek in the Shenandoah Valley in October.
Most of the New Jersey regiments fought in the states of Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania, but there were some notable exceptions. The 2nd New Jersey Cavalry fought at The Battle of Brice’s Crossroads in Mississippi against General Nathan Bedford Forest’s Confederate cavalry. The 2nd Cavalry and 34th New Jersey Infantry fought in the Mobile Alabama Campaign in March and April 1865. The 33rd and 35th Infantry Regiments participated in Major General William T. Sherman’s Atlanta Campaign , the March to the Sea, and the Carolinas Campaign. The 13th New Jersey Infantry was just about everywhere. The regiment saw action at Antietam, Chancellorsville, and Gettysburg. It also participated in Sherman’s campaigns in Georgia and the Carolinas.
Information on New Jersey’s commemoration events can be found at the New Jersey Civil War 150th Anniversary Committee website and at the New Jersey Civil War Sesquicentennial Facebook page.