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10th New Jersey Infantry

Regimental History
Tenth Infantry, — Cols., William Bryan, William R. Murphy, Henry O. Ryerson; Lieut.-Cols., John W. Wright, William S. Truex, Charles H. Tay, John D. Johnson; Majs., Mathew W. Berriman, Daniel Lodor, Jr., Henry A. Perrine, James W. McNeely. This regiment was organized under the provisions of an act of Congress, approved July 22, 1861, and by authority issued by the war department direct to private individuals resident of the state, and not in any way under the control or supervision of the state authorities. Under the authority thus given, recruiting was commenced and the organization soon completed. It was then accepted by the war department as an independent organization, having been designated the "Olden Legion." The regiment went into camp at Beverly, N. J., and from thence proceeded to Washington on Dec 26, 1861, with 35 officers, 883 non-commissioned officers and privates, a total of 918. It went into camp at Camp Clay on the Bladensburg turnpike, a mile from Washington. On Jan. 29, 1862, the regiment was transferred to the state authorities and it was then thoroughly reorganized and designated the 10th regiment. The greater part of its early service was performed in and around Washington, having been assigned there for provost duty. On April 12, 1863, it was detached and proceeded to Suffolk, Va., to assist in repelling a demonstration by the enemy at that point. Coming up with the enemy at Carrsville, near the Blackwater, the 10th speedily became engaged, capturing some prisoners and inflicting considerable loss on the retreating foe, the regiment losing several men in killed and wounded. During the following winter, which was spent in the mining regions of Pennsylvania, many of the organization reenlisted and the regiment was otherwise recruited, but to such an extent were desertions instigated by the people of that section, that the colonel, who was anxious to be united with the Army of the Potomac, urged the department to place his command in the held. It shared in all the battles of the Wilderness campaign all the way to Petersburg, on every field displaying conspicuous gallantry. In the battle of the Wilderness it suffered severely, especially in the assault of the Confederate Gen. Gordon late on May 6. In the engagement resulting from this assault, the regiment lost nearly one entire company in prisoners alone. On the evening of the 8th it again met the foe, when the regiment on its left became in some way separated from it and the two being thus isolated, were pounced upon by the enemy with great force, compelling them to give way, with heavy loss — the 10th having 80 men and several officers captured, including Col. Tay, the prisoners being taken to the rear and the next day started for Richmond, but were fortunately on the same day rescued from the hands of their guards by Gen. Sheridan, at Beaver Dam Station. The total loss of the regiment up to this time, aside from prisoners, had been 113 — 18 killed and 95 wounded. In the fighting along the Po river the 10th shared with the brigade, and at Cold Harbor again suffered largely, being in the first day's engagement in the third line of battle, and losing some 70 in killed and wounded. In the assault upon the enemy's position the regiment charged alone at a peculiarly exposed point and sustained heavy loss, amounting in all to some 65 in killed and wounded. On Aug. 15 it participated in a sharp picket skirmish near Strasburg, and two days afterward took part in the battle of Winchester, assisting to hold the whole of Early's army in check for a period of six hours. The regiment not only lost considerably in killed and wounded, but also in prisoners, Col. Tay being again captured, with 115 men of the brigade. At the close of this affair, the 10th, which crossed the Rapidan in May with 600 men, had only 80 men left for duty — a fact which exhibits more forcibly than any words the severity of the experience which it had been called upon to undergo. In the subsequent battles in the Shenandoah Valley the regiment, feeble as it was, bravely maintained its reputation. During the winter of 1864-65, having with the brigade rejoined the army before Petersburg and being largely recruited, it participated in the various movements which resulted so detrimentally to the enemy and in the grand assault of April 2 rendered distinguished service. When the Confederate flag went down at Appomattox, the regiment turned its face homeward, reaching the vicinity of Washington, 450 strong, on June 2, and was mustered out of service at Hall's hill, Va., June 22, 1865. The total strength of the regiment was 2,584, and it lost, by resignation 20, by discharge 293, by promotion 69, by transfer 162, by death 274, by desertion 748, by dismissal 1, not accounted for 138, mustered out 879.

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

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