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2nd New Jersey Cavalry

Regimental History
Second Cavalry. — Col., Joseph Karge; Lieut.-Cols., Marcus L. W. Kitchen, P. Jones Yorke; Majs., Frederick B. Revere, Peter D. Vroom, Jr., Philip L. Van Rensselaer. This regiment was recruited in the summer of 1863 and left Trenton for Washington on Oct. 5 of that year, reaching the capital on the following day with 890 men. On Oct. 17 Co. A was attacked by Mosby at Fairfax, Va., and the company was routed, the captain, with 2 sergeants and 1 private being taken prisoners and 1 corporal wounded and left on the field. Being transferred to the southwest, the first skirmish of importance took place at Iuka, Miss., where two companies of the regiment encountered a force of the enemy and drove it through the place, losing 1 man killed. On Dec. 6, a change in the plan of operations in that quarter having been determined upon, the regiment was transferred by steamer to Columbus, Ky., whence, on the 15th, it proceeded to Union City, Tenn., where it was placed in the cavalry brigade commanded by Col. Waring, of the 4th Mo. cavalry. In Jan., 1864, the command moved forward rapidly without encountering the enemy in any force, but meeting and dispersing small gangs of guerrillas, until the 2nd Jersey, having the advance, came into collision with and routed a force of hostile cavalry near Aberdeen, Miss., the same evening occupying Prairie Station and destroying an immense quantity of corn, together with cotton and other property belonging to the Confederate government. The regiment, still advancing, skirmished for some hours with Forrest's cavalry, finally reaching the vicinity of West Point, about 100 miles north of Meridian, where Sherman's cooperating column had already arrived. The following day it was also engaged, and on Feb. 22 it participated in a fierce conflict at Okolona. On April 10, Maj. Yorke, with 300 men of the regiment, was sent against the enemy in the vicinity of Raleigh, Tenn., some distance north of Memphis, and coming up with the hostile force bravely charged into its midst, driving it into its brigade camp, after inflicting severe loss in killed and prisoners. The regiment also participated in the fight at Bolivar, Tenn., and lost in the engagement 2 killed and 6 wounded. The conduct of the regiment in the disastrous affair at Guntown, Miss., both in the main action and on the retreat, was creditable in the highest degree, but it suffered heavily, losing 8 officers and 130 men out of 17 officers and 350 men taken into action. On July 11, with other troops, it moved in search of the enemy, encountering him at Port Gibson, Miss., and losing in the combat which ensued, through alleged mismanagement, 2 men killed and Lieut. Braun, 26 men and 2 guidons captured. Two days afterward, at an early hour in the morning, the enemy in some force made a sharp assault upon the Union picket line, pressing it with equal vigor along the entire front, but the assailants were promptly met and after an hour's fighting were driven in confusion. Being ordered into Arkansas and disembarking at Osceola, the command crossed a swamp some 18 miles in length, the mud and water reaching to the saddle-girths of the horses, to Big lake, where after some brisk firing a Confederate train consisting of some 18 wagons, loaded with over 900 stand of arms of approved pattern, together with 11 prisoners and 2 commissioned officers, was captured. Reaching Verona, Miss., on Dec. 25, the command at once charged gallantly on the enemy, who was completely surprised and offered but a feeble resistance, most of them escaping into the timber under cover of the darkness, leaving as spoils, eight buildings filled with fixed ammunition, estimated at 300 tons, 5,000 stands of new carbines, 8,000 sacks of shelled corn, a large quantity of wheat, an immense amount of quartermaster stores, clothing, camp and garrison equipage, a train of cars and a large number of army weapons which had been captured by Forrest from Gen. Sturgis during the latter's disastrous expedition in June. The regiment also participated in the fight at Egypt Station, in which 74 men and over 80 horses of the 2nd N. J. were killed or wounded. The regiment returned by steamer to Memphis, having lost during the entire expedition 19 men killed, 69 wounded and 2 missing, and 155 horses and mules killed or disabled. The regiment was finally mustered out on Nov. 1, 1865. (This was also known as the 32nd N. J. volunteers.)

Regimental history taken from "The Union Army" by Federal Publishing Company, 1908 - Volume 3

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