Library & Archives
United States Army. New Jersey Infantry. 14th Regiment. Company D (1862-1865)
Records, 1862 July 20 - August 20
Carla Z. Tobias
Monmouth County Historical Association
70 Court Street
Freehold, New Jersey
The 14th Regiment, New Jersey Volunteers was organized in response to President Abraham Lincoln's July 7, 1862 call for 300,000 volunteers to serve for an enlistment of three years. It was one of five three-year regiments raised in New Jersey during the summer of 1862. The ten companies of which it was composed came from the counties of Union, Middlesex, Mercer, Monmouth and Ocean.
Companies A, D, and G were composed of residents of Monmouth County. Company D was recruited in Freehold during July and August 1862 by Captain James W. Conover. He was able to enlist 100 men to serve in his company. As they were enrolled, the recruits were forwarded to Camp Vredenburgh, 2.5 miles west of Freehold, where they were equipped and trained.
The men of Company D reflected the rural character of Monmouth County in the 1860's. Fifty nine of them listed their occupation as farmer on their volunteer enlistment forms. Other occupations included laborer, carpenter, blacksmith, carriage maker, shoemaker, sailor, clerk, school teacher, and dentist. Seventy two of them listed either Monmouth County or some Monmouth municipality as their birthplace. There were 5 immigrants in the company, 3 from Ireland and one each from England and Switzerland. Sixty three were between the ages of 20 and 29. Thirty two were illiterate, as their enlistment forms show the words "his mark" with an "X" between them in place of a signature.
The men of Company D, and the 14th Regiment, would leave Monmouth County for the war in early September 1862. Their first assignment was to guard the vital Baltimore and Ohio Railroad bridge over the Monocacy River east of Frederick, Maryland. In July 1863 they were attached to the Army of the Potomac, where they were assigned to the III Corps until March 1864, when they became part of the VI Corps. They participated in several major engagements including Mine Run, the Wilderness, Spotsylvania, North Anna, Hanover Court House, Cold Harbor, Monocacy, Opequon, Cedar Creek and the Siege of Petersburg. They were mustered out of the army near Washington, DC on June 18, 1865.
DESCRIPTION OF COLLECTION
This collection consists of 98 volunteer enlistment forms, representing 98 of the 100 men who enrolled in Company D between July 20 and August 20, 1862. Missing are forms for Musician Augustus Linder and Private Charles Sutton. The 29 recruits and conscripts who joined Company D between 1863 and 1865 are not represented in this collection.
Each enlistment form contains the state and town in which the recruit was enlisted, the recruit's name, place of birth, age, occupation, date of enlistment, eye color, hair color, complexion and height. The recruit's signature is also found on the form, along with that of the recruiting officer, F.W. Kerner, and the examining surgeon, whose signature is illegible on all 98 forms. Illiterate recruits have an "X" between the words "his mark" in place of a signature. The back of each form has a signed and witnessed oath, a note showing who enrolled the recruit and what company he had been assigned to and a consent that was to be filled out if a recruit was a minor. One enlistee in Company D, drummer Joseph Brown of Farmingdale, gave his age as 17, but the parental consent section of his enlistment form was never completed.
The Company D enlistment documents are an excellent resource for researchers wishing to investigate the backgrounds of Monmouth County men who served in the Civil War. The wealth of personal information found on these forms lends itself to a detailed statistical survey. Military and social historians, as well as Civil War reenactors, will find these papers of value.
Other Civil War collections in the MCHA Archives that relate to the Company D papers are Collection 1 Peter Vredenburgh Papers; Collection 9 Williams Burroughs Ross Papers; Collection 33 Cowart Papers; Collection 134 US Army, New Jersey Infantry Regiment, 14th, Company G, Records, 1862 July 22-October 25; Collection 146 US Army, New Jersey Infantry Regiment, 14th, Company E, 1862-1865 and Collection 148 James W. Conover Papers. The MCHA Library contains copies of two useful histories of the 14th Regiment, David G. Martin's The Monocacy Regiment: A Commemorative History of the Fourteenth New Jersey Infantry in the Civil War (Hightstown, NJ: Longstreet House, 1987) and Bernard Olsen's Upon the Tented Field (Red Bank, NJ: Historical Projects, 1993).
For a complete list of the MCHA's Civil War holdings, see the librarian for the guide to the MCHA Civil War collections.
The arrangement of the collection is described at the beginning of the container list.
Provenance: Gift of Mr. James W. McClees.
Number of Items: 98, 1 inch.
This collection is arranged alphabetically by the enlistee's last name.
BOX # / FOLDER # / DESCRIPTION
1 / 1 / Enlistment forms, A-C, 27 items
1 / 2 / Enlistment forms, D-L, 30 items
1 / 3 / Enlistment forms, M-R, 24 items
1 / 4 / Enlistment forms, S-Y, 17 items
The letter Z is not found in the filing system as there are no recruits whose last names begin with that letter.
1. 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.
2. Martin, David G. The Monocacy Regiment: A Commemorative History of the Fourteenth New Jersey Infantry, 1862-1865. Hightstown, NJ: Longstreet House, 1987.
3. Olsen, Bernard. Upon the Tented Field. Red Bank, NJ: Historical Projects, 1993.
4. Stryker, William S. Record of Officers and Men of New Jersey in the Civil War. Trenton, NJ: John Murphy, 1876.
Engagements in which the Fourteenth Regiment Participated.
(From Stryker, William S. Record of Officers and Men of New Jersey in the Civil War. Trenton, NJ: John Murphy, 1876.)
July 17, 1863 Manassas Gap, VA.
July 24, 1863 Wapping Heights, VA.
October 12, 1863 Culpepper, VA.
October 14, 1863 Bristow Station, VA.
November 7, 1863 Kelly's Ford, VA.
November 8, 1863 Brandy Station, VA.
November 27, 1863 Locust Grove, VA.
November 29, 1863 Mine Run, VA.
May 4-7, 1864 Wilderness, VA.
May 8-11, 1864 Spotsylvania, VA.
May 15, 1864 Po River, VA.
May 23-24, 1864 North Anna River, VA.
May 30-31, 1864 Hanover Court House, VA.
June 1-10, 1864 Cold Harbor, VA.
June 14, 1864 Bermuda Hundred, VA.
June 16-23, 1864 Before Petersburg, VA.
July 9, 1864 Monocacy, MD.
July 18, 1864 Snicker's Gap, VA.
August 15, 1864 Strasburg, VA.
August 21, 1864 Charlestown, VA.
September 19, 1864 Opequan, VA.
September 21, 1864 Flint Hill, VA.
September 22, 1864 Fisher's Hill, VA.
September 25, 1864 Mount Jackson, VA.
October 19, 1864 Cedar Creek, VA.
February 5, 1865 Hatcher's Run, VA.
March 25, 1865 Fort Stedman, VA.
April 2, 1865 Capture of Petersburg, VA.
April 6, 1865 Sailor's Creek, VA.
April 7, 1865 Farmville, VA.
April 9, 1865 Lee's Surrender, (Appomattox, VA.)
This page last updated 31 July 2008.