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Thread: 4th New Jersey Volunteer Infantry Regiment "The Old 4th"

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    4th New Jersey Volunteer Infantry Regiment "The Old 4th"


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    Organization of the Fourth Regiment Infantry, of New Jersey

    July 22, 1861.

    The Fourth Regiment Infantry of New Jersey was organized under the provisions of an act of Congress, approved July 22nd,
    1861, as set forth in an official letter from the President of the United States, dated Washington, D. C, July 24th, 1861, and from War Department, Washington,. D. C, dated July 29th, 1861. The regiment was fully organized, equipped and officered by the nineteenth day of August, at that time it was mustered into the service of the United States, for three years, at Camp Olden, Trenton, N. J., by Captain Alfred T. A. Torbert and Captain David B. McKibbin, United States Army. It left the State August 20th, 1861, with a full complement of men — officers, 38; non-commissioned officers and privates, 871 ; total, 909. Upon arrival at Washington, the regiment was assigned to the brigade of Brigadier-General Phil Kearny, then consisting of the First, Second and Third Regiments, New Jersey Volunteers. Under the provisions of General Orders No. 191, War Department, Adjutant-General's Office, Washington, D. C, June 25th, 1863, t^^ greater part of the regiment re-enlisted in the field for three years or during the war. Those who did not re-enlist and who were with the regiment were mustered out at expiration of service, in the field, at various dates and places, by Captain A. M. Tyler,Assistant Commissary of Muster, First Division. Sixth Army Corps; while those who were absent by authority, reported by order at Trenton, N. J., and were mustered out by Captain James W. Long, United States Army. During the fall and winter of 1864-65, the strength of the regiment was greatly augmented numerically, but the esprit de corps of this magnifi- cent regiment almost ruined by the forwarding of a large numl)er of recruits and substitutes. The regiment continued its organization and remained in active service until the close of the war, when it was mustered out at Halls Hill, Va.. July 9th. 1865, by Major A. M. Tyler, Assistant Commissary of Musters, First Division, Provisional Corps.


    Brig. Gen. George W. Taylor

    No. 175.

    Report of Col. James H. Simpson, Fourth New Jersey Infantry, of the battle of Gaines Mill.

    Headquarters Fourth New Jersey Volunteers, Camp near Alexandria, Va., August 26, 1862.

    Captain: Having been taken prisoner in the battle of Gaines’ Mill, Va., on the 27th June last, carried thence to Richmond, and only released on the 13th instant, since which time my regiment has been actively engaged in journeying from camp (Harrison’s Landing) on the James River to the present camp, at which we arrived yesterday, I have not been enabled to make up my report of the part taken by my regiment till now, as follows: At about a quarter to 2 p. m. the brigade, while in Camp Lincoln, on the south side of the Chickahominy, received orders to march across the creek by the Woodbury Bridge to the east side, to resist an attack of the enemy. The order of march was, first, the Third New Jersey, next the Fourth New Jersey, next the First New Jersey, and last a battalion of the Second New Jersey. My regiment (Fourth New Jersey) marched at about 2.30 o’clock, and reached the crown of the hill, about a mile beyond the bridge, the theater of the battle, in about an hour, the latter portion of the march on the double-quick.

    The afternoon was exceedingly warm, and the consequence was the men were somewhat exhausted, but showed no relaxation of ardor for the work before them. My orders from you were to take a position on the left of the Third New Jersey. I marched up my regiment and placed it in the position assigned it, facing it toward the enemy, and was about marching it forward to the woods, when the Due de Chartres rode up, and said it was General McClellan’s order that I should form in rear of a regiment in front of which I then was. (I did not learn its name.) I immediately referred the Duc to Brigadier-General Taylor, commanding the brigade, who directed me to carry out the instructions brought by the Due. This change was made, when the Due again rode up and remarked that General McClellan desired me at once to move to the front (as you had previously ordered), and take a position in the woods to sustain a regiment then engaged with the enemy.

    This movement was also concurred in by you, and I thereupon marched the regiment and placed it in line of battle along the edge of the woods, about 50 yards in rear of the Third Pennsylvania Reserves, Colonel Sickel, the regiment I was to sustain. This regiment stood its ground well and was incessant in its firing. Wishing to afford it support at the proper moment, I went forward to the commanding officer and told him that I was in his rear to relieve him as soon as he should give the word. In about fifteen minutes the colonel informed me that as his regiment had been engaged some time, and was much exhausted, he wished me to take his place. This was the work of but a few moments, when my regiment, for the first time under immediate fire, commenced pouring upon the enemy a shower of lead, which continued with only occasional intervals (when I was anxious to have the din cease and the smoke roll away, the better to discern the exact position of the enemy and more effectually deliver our fire) for nearly three hours, from I to near 7.

    The regiment all this while behaved with great gallantry, and its fire, as I have since learned, told with galling effect on the enemy— Whiting’s division, of Stonewrall Jackson’s corps, the troops opposed to us. At this period, the men’s pieces in many cases having become so foul as not to admit of the cartridge being rammed home and in others so as to make it dangerous to load them, and both officers and men having-become very much exhausted, and Colonel Gallagher, of the Eleventh Pennsylvania Reserves, immediately in my rear, having twice come forward to solicit the privilege to relieve me with his regiment, I consented, I taking his position, to sustain him,' according to his request, and he mine. I had, however, no sooner taken his ground than I perceived a large body of troops drawn up on my left and extending very considerably to my rear.

    There being a diversity of opinion as to the character of these troops, some pronouncing them the enemy, while as many believed they were our own, I directed a brave officer of the regiment, Lieutenant Shaw, to go forward and certainly ascertain the truth. He soon came back, pointing to the bullet-holes through his clothes as evidence that they were the rebels. I therefore immediately changed my front so as to oppose these troops and be the better able to cope with them, and at the same time be in a position to cover Colonel Gallagher, should he be obliged to retreat. The change was effected, but no sooner commenced than the troops referred to began to pour in upon us a very destructive fire, the hissing of the balls (I can compare them to nothing else) being like that of a myriad of serpents.

    At the same time perceiving in my new rear another large body of troops, which I suspected might be rebel troops, and which another brave officer, Adjt. J. S. Studdeford, by a personal exposure to their fire, subsequently ascertained to be the truth, I felt the extreme peril of my position. Not, therefore, willing to attract the fire of these troops on my rear while the enemy was already pouring in shot upon my front, and perceiving by a jirostrate position that we would be in a manner shielded by an intervening swell of the land, and be at the same time ready to meet him with a volley and a charge should he come upon us and be the better able to protect Colonel Gallagher should he retreat, I ordered the men to lie down. We had, however, been in this position but a few minutes when I perceived the Eleventh Pennsylvania retreating from the woods and Colonel Gallagher in the rear, making signs to me that the enemy was close upon him. This was soon evinced by the rebels appearing in full pursuit at a double-quick and passing immediately by our front.

    Having performed my promise to Colonel Gallagher that I would stand by him, and giving the order to the regiment to rise and give the enemy a volley as he passed and perceiving that it would be perfect folly to attempt to hold my ground any longer, the whole army on my right and left having retreated probably as much as an hour before, there was no alternative but for my regiment also to retire. -We had, however, proceeded but a few yards when I noticed that we were moving against a large body of the enemy, drawn up in several lines, and a battery directly in our rear, to cut us off.

    The consequence was that being surrounded overwhelmingly on every side, to the front, flanks, and rear, like the Eleventh Pennsylvania, which had already been captured, we had to suffer the same fate. It was our misfortune to have been so circumstanced, but feeling with the Eleventh Pennsylvania we had done our whole duty in keeping at bay the enemy for an hour after every other regiment on our right and left had fallen back, and attributing the mishap entirely to the fact that I received no orders from the brigadier-general commanding or any other authority to retreat (being in the woods it was impossible for me to see what was going on on the flanks), I cannot reproach myself or my regiment with any fault on account of our capture.

    I cannot bear my testimony too strongly to the valor of the regiment under my command. For the first time under immediate fire, continuing the fight for nearly three consecutive hours, and holding with the Eleventh Pennsylvania Reserves the center of the front line for probably an hour after every other regiment had retreated, it showed an obstinate courage which was not unworthy of the fame of Jersey troops, and which must relieve them of any blame on account of the misfortunes of the day. In this connection it is proper to remark that while a prisoner of war in Riehmond I learned the enemy in this day’s fight outnumbered our forces engaged two to one.

    Where the officers generally behaved so gallantly it is not expected that I should mention them particularly, but I would be derelict did I not present the names of Lieut. Col. William B. Hatch and Adjt. J. S, Studdeford, who more especially and conspicuously aided me by their zeal, coolness, and activity in inciting the regiment to the brave and persistent stand which it took under such adverse circumstances during the whole engagement. I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant, J. H. SIMPSON, Colonel Fourth Few Jersey Vols.

    2nd BULL RUN

    Reports of Capts. Napoleon B. Aaronson and Thomas M. Fetters, Fourth New Jersey Infantry, of action at Bull Run Bridge.

    Camp California, August 30, 1862. Sir : In compliance with an order received from Brigadier-General Taylor on the morning of August 27, I marched the Fourth Regiment to the California Station of the Orange and Alexandria Railroad, and proceeded by cars to an obstruction on said railroad 1 mile distant from Bull Bun Bridge, where we left the cars and marched to the bridge, which I received orders from General Taylor to hold at all hazards, which I did till the general fell back with his command across the bridge in great confusion at about 11 o’clock.

    At the same time I received orders through Captain Dunham, assistant adjutant-general, to march my command down the road a distance of 3 miles, leaving three companies on a hill to the right of the road at the bridge. Having complied with the last order, Captain Dunham ordered me to halt and return. At this time^2 p. m.) I was compelled, from the effects of the sun, to give up the command of the regiment to Captain Fetters. I regret to report the following casualties, viz: Captain Nippins and 5 men wounded and 5 men missing.

    I have the honor to be, sir, your obedient servant, N. B. Aaronson, Captain Company F, Fourth New Jersey Volunteers. Lieutenant-Colonel Hatch, Commanding Fourth Regiment New Jersey Volunteers.

    In continuation of the within [foregoing] permit me to make the following report: I was ordered by Captain Aaronson about 2 p. m. on August 27 last to take command of the Fourth Regiment New Jersey Volunteers, then lying on the Orange and Alexandria Railroad, about 1 mile below Bull Run Bridge, at the obstructions on the road, to which it had retreated. I received orders from Colonel Scammon’s aide to march my command immediately back to the bridge in support of the Eleventh and Twelfth Ohio Regiments, then contending at the bridge against great odds. I ordered my command about and marched until near the bridge, when I was ordered to halt by Colonel Brown, he being in command of the brigade.

    He then ordered me to form a line of battle on the west side of the railroad, upon the banks of the road, facing the road, at which time Joseph Kelley, private in Company K, was wounded. I was then ordered by Colonel Brown to withdraw my command and follow the balance of the brigade down the road, which I did until we halted with the brigade at Fairfax Station. While resting at the station a small scout of cavalry made a dash at us, and without doing any damage fell back rapidly and were seen no more.

    Colonel Brown then ordered the brigade to form and marched it to the church on the Fairfax Court-House road, where we halted and rested until about 11 p. m., when we were ordered to fall in, and marched back to Fairfax Station and then down the railroad. After marching about 1 and a Ĺ miles our advanced guard discovered what they took to be the enemy’s picket on the railroad, when we were ordered to about-face and returned back again to Fairfax Station, and then took the Fairfax Court-House road to the junction of the road leading to Burke’s Station, then along said road until near the station, when we were informed that the rebels were in possession of Burke’s Station, and we were again ordered to about-face and march back, which we did until we came to Annandale road, and took said road until we came to the Little River turnpike and down the turnpike to our camp, where we arrived at about 11 o’clock on the 28th, the casualties being as within stated. Sir, I have the honor to be, your obedient servant, THOS. M. FETTERS, Captain Company K, Fourth Regiment New Jersey Volunteers.


    Lieut. H. P. Cooke,

    Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.

    No. 115.

    Report of Col. William B. Hatch, Fourth New Jersey Infantry, of the battle of Crampton’s Pass.

    Crampton’s Pass, Md., September 16, 1862.

    Sir : I have the honor to report that, in compliance with orders received on the 16th instant from Col. A. T. A. Torbert, then in command of the brigade, I took a position with the Fourth Regiment New Jersey Volunteers in rear of the Second Regiment, forming part of the second line of battle. The Second Regiment had engaged the enemy, who held a strong position behind a stone wall at the foot of the mountain with a large force of infantry.

    I then received orders to charge the enemy. I advanced across a plowed field of 400 yards in extent under a heavy from the enemy’s artillery, which was planted on the mountain slope, driving him from every point in front of us. We leaped the walls and continued in pursuit over the mountain into the gorge and up the next ascent to its summit, the enemy retreating in disorder into the valley below. We took many prisoners, including a large number of officers, among whom was Colonel Lamar, wounded, and his adjutant; also two stand of colors.

    In the eagerness of pursuit we ran over two other rebel flags, which were picked up by a New York regiment. Among the spoils of the engagement obtained by us were a sufficient number of Springfield rifled muskets to equip my whole command, who were previously armed with an imperfect smoothbore musket.

    Where officers and men fought with such determination it is impossible for me to make an exception for brave and gallant conduct during the engagement. My officers bravely cheered on their men, who advanced with unflinching steadiness, and maintained their alignment with almost the precision of a battalion drill.

    On the list of casualties of the day the most to be regretted is Adjt. Josiah S. Studdeford, who was instantly killed after we had reached the gorge between the mountain cliffs. He had borne himself gallantly, everywhere cheering the men to victory. Ten killed, 27 wounded ; total, 37.
    Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
    WM. B. HATCH,
    Colonel Fourth New Jersey Volunteers.
    Lieut. H. P. Cooke, Acting Assistant Adjutant-General, First New Jersey Brigade.


    Assistant Adjutant General, Sixth Corps.

    No. 255

    Report of Col. A. T. A. Torbert, First New Jersey Infantry, commanding First Brigade.

    Headquarters First Brigade, December 16,1862. Sir : I have the honor to report the following as the part taken by this brigade in the battle of Fredericksburg, Ya.: The brigade, consisting of the First, Second, Third, Fourth, Fifteenth, and Twenty-third Regiments New Jersey Volunteers, arrived on the north bank of the Rappahannock on the 11th instant, and encamped for the night. At daylight on the 12th, the brigade started to cross the river. On reaching the south bank it was formed in two lines, in rear of the division; first line, Fifteenth and Twenty-third Regiments, deployed; second line, First, Second, Third, and Fourth Regiments, in line of masses lOO yards in rear.

    About 1 o’clock the brigade advanced across a beautiful plain to support the second line of the division, during which time the enemy shelled them, but without effect. They were then put in a deep ravine to shelter them from the enemy’s fire, where they lay on their arms all night, one or two being wounded by shells while there. On the morning of the 13th, 1 relieved the pickets of the division by the Fifteenth Regiment, and supported them by the balance of the brigade. About 3 p. m. General Brooks, commanding division, ordered me to advance one regiment, supported by another, and drive the enemy from and hold their position, posted in a railroad cut and behind the embankment, just where the railroad crossed a deep ravine, and on the extreme left of my picket line.

    At the same time two regiments of the Third Brigade were placed under my orders. I immediately ordered Colonel Hatch, with the Fourth Regiment New Jersey Volunteers (about 300 rifles), to advance and take the position above referred to, at the same time directing the left of my picket line, with its reserve, under Major Brown, Fifteenth Regiment, to advance with them. These troops advanced in a handsome manner under a severe fire, and then charged the enemy’s position, led by their gallant leader, Colonel Hatch, driving them from it with great loss, capturing about 25 prisoners of a Georgia and North Carolina regiment. The enemy being in a stronger force than was supposed, I at once ordered the Twenty-third Regiment New Jersey Volunteers, under Colonel Ryerson, and the two regiments of the Third Brigade, to advance and support the Fourth and Fifteenth.

    Six companies of the Twenty-third were soon engaged. At this time I received orders to halt the balance of my supports and fall back from the railroad, and hold it with pickets only, if possible, for fear that a general engagement might be brought on. The enemy seeing my small force at the railroad, and that retiring, charged with a whole brigade to the railroad. My men fell back and the pickets held their original line. On the morning of the 14th, my pickets and brigade were relieved by the Second Brigade, when they were placed in the ravine before referred to, to shelter them from the enemy’s fire. On the morning of the 15th, the First Regiment New Jersey Volunteers was placed on picket, covering the right of the division. About 11 o’clock at night on the 15th, I received orders that the whole army was recrossing the river, and that my brigade and that of Brigadier-General Devens would cover the crossing, and be the last to pass over. Arriving at the river, I was ordered to send the Fourth, Fifteenth, and Twenty-third Regiments across the river, covering the right with the Second and Third Regiments in two lines, deployed. In good time the First Regiment (which had been on picket) and all of the pickets of the left grand division arrived and crossed the river, when the troops which had covered the crossing passed over. In this affair I regret to mention the loss of 1 officer and 16 enlisted men killed; 5 officers and 90 enlisted men wounded, and 50 enlisted men missing in action.* Many of the missing were wounded and taken prisoners.

    The brigade has lost one of its best and gallant officers in Col. William B. Hatch, Fourth Regiment New Jersey Volunteers, who was wounded in the right leg, having to have it amputated near the thigh. Captain Slater, Company G, Fifteenth Regiment New Jersey Volunteers, unfortunately lost a leg also. I am pleased to speak in the highest terms of the conduct of the Twenty-third Regiment New Jersey Volunteers, being a nine-months’ regiment, and the first time they were under fire. Their colonel (Ryer-son), formerly of the Second Regiment New Jersey Volunteers, who was badly wounded at Gaines’ Mill, was to be seen in the thickest of the fight (mounted), cheering on his men.

    Major Grubb, of the Twenty- third, lately promoted from my staff, deserves great credit for the manner in which he fought a part of his regiment. Major Brown, of the Fifteenth, in command of the pickets (who was also wounded), behaved with great coolness and bravery. I am much indebted to my staff, First Lieut. William E. Sturgis, Second Regiment ]New Jersey Volunteers, acting assistant adjutant-general; First Lieut. J. T. Whitehead, quartermaster Second Regiment New Jersey Volunteers, acting aide-de-camp, and Second Lieut. H. H. Goldsmith, Twenty-third Regiment New Jersey Volunteers, acting aide-de-camp, for their bravery and coolness in transmitting my orders with promptness and precision to different parts of the field and in the thickest of the fight. Accompanying please find a list of the killed, wounded, and missing.* I am, very respectfully, &c., A. T. A. TORBERT.

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    Last edited by TRaider; 10-02-2019 at 04:33 PM.

  2. #2

    CSA Captain

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    Nov 2013
    Good luck to you boys, hope to see you on the field.

  3. #3
    S. Johnson's Avatar
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    Mar 2018
    The Union
    Looks awesome!

  4. #4
    Thank you gentlemen

  5. #5

    USA General of the Army

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    Jun 2014
    Perthshire, Scotland
    Would it not be a better idea to consolidate and grow your first company before rushing headlong into a new one?

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Bravescot View Post
    Would it not be a better idea to consolidate and grow your first company before rushing headlong into a new one?
    Gm Bravescot,

    IRL Iím a reenactor with the 4th NJ and my reenactment Captain has asked me to protect the reputation of the 4th NJ in WoR. We will be filling both companies up and eventually it is our goal to represent all companies of the 4th NJ. I totally get where youíre coming from and respect your opinion.

  7. #7

    CSA Major

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    May 2015
    Welcome TRaider!

    By the by, did you ever try installing WoR into a different location than default?

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Leifr View Post
    Welcome TRaider!

    By the by, did you ever try installing WoR into a different location than default?
    I don't recall that recommendation but I'll give it a try. I had 0 issues last night but the day before it was acting up.

  9. #9

    USA General of the Army

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    Jun 2014
    Perthshire, Scotland
    Quote Originally Posted by TRaider View Post
    Gm Bravescot,

    IRL I’m a reenactor with the 4th NJ and my reenactment Captain has asked me to protect the reputation of the 4th NJ in WoR. We will be filling both companies up and eventually it is our goal to represent all companies of the 4th NJ. I totally get where you’re coming from and respect your opinion.
    Understandable, I can see the logic. Good luck in your endeavour as you have set yourself a hell of a challenge!

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Bravescot View Post
    Understandable, I can see the logic. Good luck in your endeavour as you have set yourself a hell of a challenge!
    Thank you

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