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|Twenty-first Infantry. Col., Gilliam Van Houten ; Lieut. -Col,
Isaac S. Mettler; Maj., Hiram Van Buskirk. This regiment was organized at Trenton, in
Aug., 1862. and was composed of eight companies from Hudson county and two from Mercer
county. Being organized, armed and equipped in about ten days, it was mustered into the U.
S. service on Sept. 15, and the next day took its departure for Washington. Immediately
upon reaching headquarters it was attached to the 3d brigade, 2nd division, 6th corps,
with which it served during its entire term of enlistment (9 months), sharing the
privations and hardships, and participating in all the engagements in which that famous
corps took part during the nine months following. At the battle of Fredericksburg the
regiment was assigned as a support to Wier's battery on the Bowling Green road, and this
trying position it held from the afternoon of Dec. 11 until the morning of Dec. 15, during
the whole of the hard-fought and desperate engagements. Although it was under a severe
cross-fire of the enemy's artillery, it had but 6 or 8 men wounded. On the evening of May
2, 1863, the corps moved forward to attack the Confederates at Chancellorsville and during
that night the regiment was engaged, supporting the skirmish line in driving the enemy to
his entrenchments. In the engagement at Salem Church, which immediately followed, the
regiment lost heavily, in both officers and men, killed, wounded and prisoners. In the
skirmish at Franklin's crossing the regiment lost 1 man killed shot through the
head by the enemy's sharpshooters while on the skirmish line. This ended the fighting of
the 21st, and soon after the action it was ordered to Trenton, its term of service having
expired. Reaching Trenton about June 15, it was reviewed by Gov. Parker, handsomely
entertained by a public dinner given by the citizens and presided over by the mayor, and
soon afterward was mustered out and the men returned to their homes. The total strength of
the regiment was 1,004, and it lost during its term of service, by resignation 3, by
discharge 31, by promotion 4, by transfer 3, by death 51, by desertion 44, by dismissal 3,
not accounted for 1, mustered out, 864.
Regimental history taken from "The Union Army" by Federal Publishing
Company, 1908 - Volume 3