WELCOME TO CAMP STOCKTON, WOODBURY NJ - 1862Many of you may be wondering why we included a page concerning the U.S. Civil War as part of our website. Here's why:
In 1862, President Abraham Lincoln, fearing the Confederacy was making headway in the Civil War, asked for 300,00 new Union volunteers. From this request, the 12th Regiment of New Jersey was formed. This new regiment was trained and "mustered" at Camp Stockton, located in Woodbury, NJ, "on the Dickinson Farm, adjoining the lower end of town, on the line of the West Jersey Railroad upon the high good ground."*
During the summer of 2003 it was been brought to our attention that the "high good ground" described is part of our (Woodbury Cement Products) current property. According to Frank Stewart, in his 1939 publication, "Gloucester County in The Civil War", "The camp was between the Delaware Shore and Bridgeton Railroad and what is known now as South Barber avenue and Mantua avenue and Carpenter street. A picture of this camp was drawn years ago by the late Ware Scott and it now hangs in the stairway of the Gloucester County Historical Society" (see below). Currently we are using this property as part of our concrete recycling division.
We have now completed the construction of a "monument" memorializing the camp itself and the men who were trained here. September 10, 2005 was the official dedication. Click here for complete photo collection including highlights of the dedication itself and the flag raising.
Speaking of the men, Ms. Barbara Price from the Gloucester County Historical Society was kind enough to provide me with a list of some of the men who trained and mustered at Camp Stockton. Click here to review the list. Perhaps there is family member you never even knew about on it.
If you were walking the roads of Gloucester County, NJ early in 1862, you might have seen this recruiting poster
Jerseymen! To the Rescue!
Flag of the 12th NJ Volunteer Infantry
WOODBURY -- Mostly, it's only history buffs who know there was a training camp for Union soldiers in Woodbury and where it was located.
It was called Camp Stockton. Recruits for the 12th New Jersey Regiment of the Union army were trained there. Then they'd load right onto trains -- the railroad tracks went through the camp -- and head to Virginia. Historians will tell you that Camp Stockton was At the spot where Carpenter Street and state Route 45 meet -- right at the southern end of the city.
The camp itself extended further south, with its southern boundary roughly in the area of Evergreen Avenue -- which is why a Civil War monument is being created there, just across the street from Woodbury Cement Products.
The idea for the memorial came from the Col. Louis R. Francine camp of the Sons of Union Veterans, which is actually located in Hammonton, said one of its members, Fred Mossbrucker.
Mossbrucker, who lives in Turnersville, is a re-enactor who portrays a soldier of the 12th New Jersey. He was researching regimental histories when he discovered Camp Stockton and where it had been situated. The "brothers" from the Sons of Union Veterans decided it would be a good idea to mark the location of Camp Stockton.
A lot of people eventually became involved in the effort. Mayor Leslie Clark introduced Mossbrucker to the late Tom Stone, who had quite a lot to do with the project. John Leech jumped in to help after Stone died, Mossbrucker said.
That eventually led to Ray Tresch, owner of Woodbury Cement, who owns that land across Evergreen Avenue.
The SUV, as Mossbrucker calls his organization, sold paving bricks to finance the memorial. Mossbrucker thought they might sell 30 or so bricks. The group sold 201.
The memorial is now about 10 days or so from completion. There are still 40 or so engraved bricks that need to be inserted into the design, which features as its center piece water-jet cut paving stones in the shape -- and color -- of the Union flag used by the 12th New Jersey.
A 40-inch statue of a Union soldier is coming from a company in Hammonton that decided to donate the item to the memorial effort, Mossbrucker said.
"The Tresch family has been phenomenal," he said.
Woodbury's Civil War role
A reenactment group wants to build a monument to a training camp.
Philadelphia Inquirer Suburban Staff
It was Fred Mossbrucker's keen
interest in the Civil War, he is an
active member of Company D, 12th New
Jersey reenactment regiment - that
piqued his fascination with the history
Mossbrucker, a special-education teacher
at Pitman High School, said members of
the reenactment group and members of the
Sons of Union Veterans wanted to give
more recognition to Camp Stockton and
mark the place to honor their ancestors'
THE CIVIL WAR and the 12th VOLUNTEERS
A year after the war started the Union faced a shortage
of men and President Lincoln requested that each state
The goal was to recruit 10 companies of 100 men each. The first to be recruited was Company F of Gloucester County. Two months after the call went out for volunteers the Regiment 12th Volunteers was mustered into Federal service. Almost immediately the 12th Volunteers were sent to Maryland to encounter the Rebel Army. Here they received their first casualties. Six men died of disease, the first was John W. DuBois of Woodstown. During their stay in Maryland the Regiment as able to capture 21 Confederate soldiers and forty Maryland Home Guards. The regiment stayed in Maryland until December when they were sent to Acquia Point, Virginia. They met with the 24th and 28th New Jersey near Fredericksburg. It must have been a welcomed sight to meet with fellow statesmen and converse about familiar settings and home.
In 1863 the 12th Volunteer encountered Stonewall Jackson's Corps where they lost 24 men, 132 wounded and 22 captured but their spirits remained high. Some of the officers killed were; 2nf Lieutenant Joseph Pierson, Company F, from Mullica Hill and Sergeant William R. Walton. Later they were sent to Pennsylvania, near Gettysburg, to support troops under attack by Lee's army. The commanding officer requested volunteers to clear out a Confederate outpost near the Bliss farm. The NJ 12th volunteers took the call and Companies B, E, G and H were sent. They managed to capture 7 officers and 92 men, the rest retreated. Captain Charles K. Horsfall was killed in battle along with 387 soldiers. hey would later encounter hordes of rebel soldiers determined to take Cemetery Ridge. It was a very bloody battle and over 2200 Union soldiers were killed or wounded, but the Ridge was not lost.
The battle over Gettysburg was the worst battle ever encountered by Americans. Anyone that has read the story of this awful event knows that the loss of life was enormous. After the battle, Brigadier General Alexander Hays reported that a Confederate color-bearer was given a special burial by the Union army. She was wrapped in the flag that she carried. Her identity remains unknown.
By 1864 the 12th Volunteers were back in Virginia near the Potomac. They fought many battles but the most memorable was called the "Bloody Angle" where hand-hand combat lasted almost a full day. The losses were severe and the Regiment was exhausted but they continued on to later rescue 270 Union soldiers that were wounded and almost taken prisoner.
During 1865 the regiment remained in Virginia and assisted in forcing the retreat of the Confederate army to Appomattox Station. On April 9, 1865, General Lee surrendered. Captain William A. Potter of Company G, 12th NJ Volunteers was one of the five officers chosen to deliver the surrender colors of the Northern Virginia Army to the War Department.
The 12th Regiment lost 1700 men during the war through fifty battles and skirmishes but they never lost their colors. Space does not allow me to list all of the men enlisted in the 12th Regiment. They were from Salem, Camden, Burlington, Cumberland and Gloucester County. You can find the roster in the publication 12th New Jersey Volunteers 1862-65 by Frederick W. Jago, printed in the Gloucester County Historical Society. I am sure that many will find ancestors listed and know that they can be proud of the contributions that the 12th Regiment made to the war
12th New Jersey Volunteers
The 12th New Jersey was formed during the summer of 1862 when President Lincoln called for an additional 300,000 men to form the ranks of the Union Army. The 12th trained in Woodbury through the late summer of 1862 and was officially mustered into the United States service on September 4, 1862 with a total of 992 men.
The 12th moved to Ellicott Mills, Maryland just outside of Baltimore for three months until they were given orders to again move Southward towards the war. The 12th was ordered to Falmouth, Virginia to join the 2nd Corp which was to last throughout the war. Most of the time was spent in drills, inspections and reviews.
In 1863 the raw 12th New Jersey joined with the 14th Connecticut and the 108th New York which were two regiments which had been engaged in Antietam and Fredericksburg. The fresh 12th was badly needed in the brigade.
The Chancellorsville Campaign began for the 2nd Corp when they left their camp in Falmouth on April 27th. The 12th was in the lead when they crossed the Rappahannock at United States Ford. On the morning of May 1st, the 12th New Jersey contacted the Confederates East of Chancellorsville. At dawn of May 2nd, Stonewall Jackson’s Corp outflanked the Union right. The 2nd Corp was in reserve and formed a battleline that repulsed Jackson’s veterans. On May 3rd, the 12th fell back to protect the 2nd Corps artillery. The 12th New Jersey had been under heavy fire for the first time and has resisted bravely and stubbornly. The regiment had been welded into a fighting unit and had been accepted by the veterans of the brigade.
They lost 24 killed, 132 wounded and 22 captured. The regiment returned to Falmouth and performed guard detail until mid June when news had spread the Confederate cavalry had been observed near Chambersburg, PA.
Under Presidential orders, the troops moved Northward screening the capital while cavalry sought out the Confederate army destination. The 2nd Corp turned towards the impending battle and headed towards the protection of Lee’s invasion of the North through Pennsylvania. On Wednesday, July 1st Northwest of the tiny town of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania the 9th New York Cavalry encountered Confederate General Archer’s advance as the confederates were heading to Gettysburg in search of badly needed shoes (the shoes were never found). The 12th reached Gettysburg after a long hard march around midnight on July 2nd. General Meade was disturbed by the open spaces in the lines on Cemetery Ridge and he moved the 2nd and 3rd Corps into those positions by 7:00 AM. That night, Union commanders met with General Meade and warned him that an attack would probably come at their position the next day. Confederate sharpshooters occupied the Bliss Farm which was situated halfway across the field, now known as Pickett’s Charge. The 12th New Jersey volunteered to clean them out which resulted in capturing over 90 Confederate sharpshooters and officers. Just after 1:00 PM, 130 Confederate cannons opened fire and 180 Union guns replied. It was the greatest number of cannon fire in the history of warfare to that time. It lasted for almost an hour until the guns eventually fell silent. A magnificent scene unfolded, a sight that would never been seen again, as from out of the protected woods filed a mile long line of gray infantry with battle flags fluttering and swords and bayonets gleaming. The Union troops watched in fascination as the Brigades formed in precise alignment as though on dress parade. Then 15,000 men under General George E. Pickett stepped off for the long march across the valley to Cemetery Ridge. The 14th Connecticut and the 12th New Jersey out in front as skirmishers burned the annoying Bliss Farm before retiring to their position with the 2nd Corp. The 2nd Corp has borne the brunt of the charge. The 12th New Jersey, using their 69 caliber muskets broke their cartridges apart using only buckshot and waited until the Confederates were only a few hundred yards to their front. When the smoke cleared, not a single man from the advancing Confederates in front of the 12th remained standing. The 12th New Jersey’s losses were two officers and 21 men killed, four officers and 79 men wounded and 12 men captured. Among the first volunteer nurses to go to Gettysburg was Miss Cornelia Hancock, a Quaker from Salem County. She helped to tend to nearly 20,000 Union and Confederate lying on the bare ground without shelter of any kind.
General Meade reluctantly decided that he must attack on July 14th only to find that the Confederates had managed to escape across the Potomac into Virginia. This ended Lee’s invasion campaign to disrupt the North.
In 1864, the 12th camped near Stevensburg, Virginia until the end of April and the 12th was kept in reserve. As the spring progressed, the 1st and 3rd Corp were disbanded and assigned to other Corps. Desertion mounted as men grew tired of the war. On March 12th 1864, the rank of Lieutenant General was revived and Ulysses S. Grant was promoted to command all of the Union Armies (George Washington and Winfield Scott were the only two men to hold this rank prior to Grant’s commission).
On May 3rd, the 12th New Jersey marched out of winter quarters and marched passed Chancellorsville reminding them of their first battle about one year before into the gloomy Wilderness. Confusion filled the entire day as troops struggled through the forest often scarcely able to see their comrades. The Wilderness became an inferno of thick smoke broken by flashes of gunfire. Many wounded perished as the undergrowth caught fire.
By May 7th, General Grant broke off the battle and shifted further South of the Wilderness towards Spotsylvania Courthouse. Grant kept up a relentless pressure. The 12th New Jersey entered the battle near the Po River. On May 12th, the 2nd and 6th Corp were given the task of attacking a bulge or salient in the Confederate defenses. The vicious hand-to-hand combat lasted almost all day and would become notorious as the battle of the "Bloody Angle". At midnight, the exhausted 2nd Corp retired having captured two Generals, 4000 men and 20 cannons. Their own losses were severe which included the death of Lieutenant Colonel Davis. The battered 12th New Jersey engaged in a light skirmish on May 13th and the following day were sent to the rear of the lines to rescue 270 Union wounded who had almost been captured by Confederate cavalry. There were 21 men killed, 122 wounded and 19 missing and presumed dead.
With minor skirmishes along the way, the 12th was sent to the big Union base of City Point, Virginia on August 2nd. The 12th would find itself fighting in and around Petersburg, Virginia through the fall and into February of 1865. On March 29th, Sheridan’s Cavalry demolished the extreme right flank of the Confederate line which lead to the falling of Confederate fortifications at Petersburg. Confederate General A. P. Hill was killed as the gray lines collapsed all the way to the Appomattox River. General Lee was forced to put his shattered army into retreat.
At Saylers Creek, on April 6th, the 2nd Corp captured many prisoners including General Ewell. On Palm Sunday, April 9th, the Army of Northern Virginia was formerly surrendered by General Robert E. Lee to Lieutenant General Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Courthouse. Captain William A. Potter of the 12th New Jersey was one of the five officers selected to deliver all of the surrendered colors of the Army of Northern Virginia to the war department on May 1st.
The 12th New Jersey returned in leisurely fashion to Washington by May 2nd. It participated in the grand review of the Army of the Potomac on May 23rd and was assigned light duties around Washington until July. Veterans of the 12th New Jersey were given leave on June 11th and left for Trenton where their unexpected arrival the next day lead to a rather dreary foodless reception. Paid off on June 17th, most of the men left by train to Camden where they went separate ways to their homes. They were soldiers no longer. The officers and men still in Washington were mustered out on July 15th, officially terminating the service of the 12th New Jersey Volunteers.
Of the regiment that had left Woodbury on September 7, 1862, less than half remained in service at the end of the hostilities. Over 1500 men had served in the regiment. There had been almost half as many replacements as the original number mustered in on September 4, 1862. Official records list nine officers and 177 men killed or mortally wounded in action and 101 men dead of disease. Officers discharged or resigned, mostly because of disability, totaled 26. Official records are not available for the wounded but at least 410 were discharged because of disabling wounds.
Descendants of the men who served in the 12th New Jersey Volunteer Infantry may well be proud of their forefathers who fought and died to keep this a strong and united nation.
city of woodbury, circa 1860
*Edward G. Longacre - "To Gettysburg and
Longstreet House, 1988