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Primary Sources for the 1st New Jersey Militia

West Jersey Press, July 27, 1864


FORT DIX, July, 25th, 1864.


Sinnickson Chew Esq:
DEAR SIR:—If you find any item of interest in the following, which is a resume of the doings of some of our citizens, in their present condition, of “citizen soldiers” -alias “emergency men,” alias patriots—it will afford me pleasure to contribute some items, which came to my knowledge, both by observation and otherwise. The company during the past week, both officers and men, have been busily, and profitably employed. Capt. Lee, and his clerk (Mr. Scovel) were engaged during the early part of the week taking testimony in a very important trial, of an officer belonging to one of the Ohio Regiments— it was a military commission. A detachment of the company under command of 1st Lieut. Shinn, was sent out towards the Monocacy battle ground, among the “Sesesh” of that region, for the purpose of collecting property stolen during the recent raid, made by their bold and more honorable companions in arms, under command of the Ex-Hon. Rebel Breckinridge.— They obtained several thousand dollars worth of blankets, muskets, clothing, &c., which had been secreted through that section of the country.— At one place, where they stopped, upon inquiry being made of the lady (?) of the house for stolen property, she brought down from the upper story an old pair of “unmentionables,” which she informed them was all they had; but Lieut. Shinn, apprehending some mistake, proposed looking himself, and taking with him some of the men, found a large number of muskets, clothing and blankets. From the latter they had drawn out the threads forming the letters U. S. The authorities are sifting out the rebel sympathizers in Maryland, and if they will extend their operations, to more northerly latitudes, they would probably be doing good service—as, instead of stealing clothing, &c., our rebel sypathizers, are aiding in the slaughter of our precious ones. O when will the day of retribution come? hasten it Oh God of justice. But I am digressing. Lieut. Kain, with a detachment of men under Sergt. Elder, are now engaged guarding a number of prisoners, among whom are some infernal sympathizers. On Saturday evening last, a shot was heard, breaking the silence of the night, and reverberating from hill to hill. Upon inquiry it was found to proceed from the guard, a prisoner, supposed to be a rebel spy was brought in, hand-cuffed, soon as he was free, he made a spring, towards what appeared a piece of woods, but which was in reality bushes upon the edge of a precipice of more than an hundred feet in height—when he was fired upon, the shot not taking affect. It is supposed he caught upon some roots extending out a short distance, and in the darkness escaped.— If he had gone ten feet farther west, he would have been dashed in pieces. It appeared miraculous that he was not killed on the spot. Gen. Tyler, in command of that post, visited the camp of our “emergency men” and upon learning that they had been in the service but one week, expressed much surprise at the order and military precision which met his eye; quite a compliment to the only 30 days men in the service of our good old state. I will conclude […] our men are doing good service, at […] most important points this side of […] they are not on a holiday picnic.— Any message or information may be obtained by inquiry at 423 Cooper Street.
P. C. B.


West Jersey Press, August 10, 1864


FORT DIX, August 6th 1864.

Editor West Jersey Press - SIR - You have no doubt heard through other sources accounts from Co. A 1st N. J. Militia, which so promptly responded to the call of Gov, Parker, and feel proud that Camden Co. was the first to step forward in this patriotic enterprise, and furnish such a noble body of loyal men for the emergency. Our men without one exception have ever been ready to respond to any order from Gen. Tyler, no matter for what destination, if a command came to move to the front every man would be at his post only too glad to offer his life in behalf of this country. The body of old troops stationed at this post were hurried forward to the front as soon as we arrived, and are now rendering efficient service in the field, men of experience have thus been allowed to return, to their duties in the front where they are absolutely required, while the militia are being drilled and disciplined in fortifications and important points along the border, so they may be ready and competent to repel the invader. Our company I think without exaggeration can boast of as fine a set of men as were over mustered into the service. Capt. Lee is an old veteran, has been tried in the crucible and found to be true, brave and loyal. Lt: Wm. C. Shinn is universally liked, he was wounded in the fight at Chancellorsville, which deprived him of an eye, his courage is undisputed. Our 2d Lt. Charles H. Kain, though inexperienced, is remarkably well posted and has gained the confidence of the members of Co. A, and his ability cannot be questioned. Thus Co. A, under such efficient officers, has become remarkably well drilled and disciplined, and in case of another emergency will be ready and thoroughly qualified to take any post that may be assigned to them. Fort Dix is situated near tho Relay House on a high bluff at the junction of the Washington branch of the Baltimore and Ohio Rail Road, garrisoned by a portion of Co A; and an efficient body of New York Artillerymen, who did good service in the fight at Monocacy, is mounted with six James' rifled 12 pounders, and one, 24 pound howitzer, which stand like faithful monitors ready at any moment to thunder forth the alarm, and scatter death. among the ranks of the invader. The river Patapsco lies about a quarter of a mile from the fort and it is spaned by & massive stone bridge, the country is wild and hilly, and a view from the parapet, to those who appreciate a glimpse at nature is a rare treat.

We are not the only troops stationed at this junction, the 93d New York, hundred days men, and twelve hundred emergency men from Delaware are encamped near us. Well has she been called the diamond State, her brilliancy shall still light up the pages of history with an undying lustre.

God bless her rocky Brandywine,
Where patriot fathers fought and died,
And heroes blood poured forth like wine,
And crimson turned the crystal tide.

She has done nobly in this emergency and with her sister states is ever ready to stand by the old flag. The sentiment of the people in this portion of Maryland is generally secession. We have met with some however who still cling to the Union. The family of Mr. Thomas Donelson, who reside in a beautiful country seat near the Relay House, are devoted loyalists and furnish tho boys with fruit and vegetables in abundance. Mr. Donelson is an eminent Baltimore Counsellor and his kindness will long be remembered by the members of Co. A. Our Guard House is filled with disloyal men and spies, a special guard is detailed for the purpose of keeping them secure, but notwithstanding the vigilance of the officers and men two have escaped, one complained of being sick and then taken out of the Guard House and relieved of his hand-cuffs looked remarkably droopy but in an instant almost he was over the fence and down a precipice, some 50 or 60 feet, the sentry fired, a search was made, but it has since been decided that he took the under ground Rail Road.

You have heard some unfavorable accounts of Co. A. but from sources that flavor strongly of Copper—reports have been circulated by certain newspapers speaking of the departure of the thirty days men as a mere excursion, a seasonable pleasure trip, of their “luxuriating at the Relay House,” &c., &c., now men who publish such things should certainly not object to being published themselves, because in doing a great and good act it is a universal maxim among men (of Morry's stripe) to let the world know what they were done for the exaltation of the race and the glory of mankind, the world, of course, being unable to discover their virtuous acts. Our friend the editor of the Democrat can sit in his editorial sanctum and cry to the world, Gentlemen I told you so, this Government has been conducted upon wrong principles, is conducted upon wrong principles, it has made a great mistake in prosecuting this war for the establishment of the Union, then indeed it is not necessary, if the democratic party had the power to-day [if it only had the power!] -you would see a different state of things, the Government would be conducted upon sound principles and the old ship of state would ride peacefully upon the waters of the political sea—this is the shout of the democracy, it is thus they raise a great furore at home a great hue and cry about nothing, slandering the President, spitting out the vile venom of copperheadism, endeavoring to poison the minds of our people and create a rebellion at the north. Thus it is that they give confidence to traitors and increase the enemies of the Government when they owe their very life to its existence. — Such is the political insanity that affects a majority of the Democratic party, alas that Morry should become its victim still you can hear them repeating

“Alas the age of virtuous men has past,
And we are deep in that of mere pretence—
Men have grown to old to be sincere,
And we to wise to word them.”



Press, August 15, 1864


Company A, New Jersey Militia, under Captain R. N. Lee, emergency men, from Camden and Gloucester counties, New Jersey, arrived at Broad and Prime streets depot on Saturday morning, at four o'clock. This company relieved three companies of the 1st Maryland, in charge of Fort Dix, on the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. Brigadier General E. B. Tyler issued a complimentary order thanking Company A for its good conduct and for the valuable services rendered by this company in his department.


West Jersey Press, August 17, 1864

Captain Lee's company of Emergency Men returned last Saturday, bronzed like veterans. They have been garrisoning Fort Dix, near the Relay House, and have rescued property alone equal to ten times the amount of money paid them.


1st_new_jersey_militia_sources.txt · Last modified: 2019/06/11 14:01 by admin