• 4th NJ Soldier Reports Wounded And Dead Left On Battlefield In Seven Days Campaign

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    The 4th New Jersey Infantry Regiment was organized at Trenton, NJ, on April 27th, 186, for three months.  The regiment was honored by a visit from President Lincoln.  Most of the first three months were spent guarding the bridge over the Potomac and the Orange and Alexandria Railroad.  After being reorganized, the regiment saw action in many major battles, including Gettysburg, Seven Days, Gaines Mill, Malvern Hill, Bull Run, Second Battle of Bull Run, Fredericksburg, Antietam, Chancellorsville, Wilderness, South Mountain, Petersburg, Appomattox and the surrender of Lee and his army. The reorganized 4th was mustered out on July 9th, 1865, at Hall’s Hill, VA.

    Meanwhile, the 6th New Jersey Infantry Regiment was formed, which was made up of many soldiers from the 4th. 

    George W. Hill was mustered into K Co. of the 4th on April 27th, 1861. While research indicates he mustered out on July 31, 1861, his letters extend well beyond that date clearly indicating that he remained in the army.  

    2 1/2 pp, 8 x 10, Camp on the James River, July 6th, 1862. [Seven Days Campaign] “...Since you last heard from me last there has been some very mysterious movements with our army before Richmond. This retreat commenced on last Sunday and we just arrived two days ago...The evacuation commenced at 12 o’clock last night while our regiment was on picket within 500 yards of the rebel pickets. If we had known what was going on how do you supposed we would have felt...I will write you all about it...The enemy followed us down all the way the river and [we were] ready to fight them at any point. Fighting every day for a week...We had to leave our killed and wounded in the hand of the enemy. I suppose you have read it in the paper before...but I could tell you many things more than the papers stated that we did not lose a man out of our regiment. The Fifth lost 2. A bum shell cut him in half.  General Hooker took pity on the Jersey men.  We did not get in to where the bullets flew. We was supporting batteries all the time, but we was exposed to the bum shells...We had to lay on our bellies all the time. The fight would commence about 2 in the afternoon and last til dark and there we would stand in line of battle til 12 in the night and then start up at a rapid pace toward the James River for 4 hours and form another line of battle and wait for the rebels and they would not be long showing themselves...They got the worse of the bargain. In fact, they say so themselves. Now they have went back to Richmond and we are very comfortable encamped in the pine woods...”

     

    Quite readable in period brown ink. Some ink blotching, toning and staining as evident in the scans.

     

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