Chapter 14 ESSEX COUNTY IN THE WAR OF 1861-65.
Originally published in 1884
(Compiled from John Y. Foster's "New Jeisey and the Rebellion,"
and " Record of Officers and Men of New Jersey in the Civil War, 18615,
by Gen. W. S. Stryker.)|
THE causes which led to the great Slave-holders' Rebellion of several of the Southern States in the very early part of 1861, have been so often repeated, that it is unnecessary at this time to go into the details of that accursed suicidal act of a few disappointed political aspirants of a once powerful system of oppression, conceived in sin and born in iniquity, and whose final overthrow was brought about by the indomitable energy and perseverance of a free and independent people, guided by the hand of Him who created all men free and equal, and who gave to each the inalienable right of free thought, free speech and a free and pure ballot.
From the earliest period of our history as a nation the principles of slavery and freedom had been in conflict, each silently but desperately struggling for the mastery.
Civilization builds itself up slowly, but the law of its growth is sure, and so it came to pass, that out of the long, dismal years of feudalism, "in which there had been but little talk of human right, but little obedience to divine reason," the Republic was slowly emerging at last into a nobler life and a grander destiny. The Hand of the Supreme, wheeling forward with stately purpose the chariot wheels of Progress, and beating down whatever opposed the elevation of man and the enlarged recognition of his rights, would not stay at the bidding of any class, or lords of such hellish misrule.
He who established us a people, and laid broad, deep and strong the foundation of universal freedom, did not mean that the nation's life should remain forever wrapped "in the ancient cerecloths and stiffening in the stony sarcophagus of a by-gone age of tyranny." The Free States, with their schools, colleges, churches, manufactures and agriculture, their active and intense thought; with their deepening culture, their concentrated population, and their appreciation of the principles under which they had grown and flourished, grew steadily in strength and in influence in society and in the government; while the states, that under their feudal and sin-cursed institutions would dam the currents of national freedom and human progress, were hopelessly declining in power an d respectability. At length, in 1860,the dominance of the Free States became politically, complete, and the key to the portal of power, so long worn at the girdle of the slave power, was transferred absolutely to other hands. Then, seeing their downfall at hand, realizing that the government could no longer be employed to shield or promote a system of involuntary servitude; that it would be administered for the good of all, rather than for the advantage of a few slaveholders, the minority, burning still with a lust of power - inflammable, petulant, audacious, eager to assail-rose in rebellion against the voice of the majority, threw off their allegiance to the constitutional authority, and madly attempted the dissolution of the Union, to the end that some fragment, falling to their share, might give them a new lease of power, and a foundation for a new empire dedicated to the perpetuation of those doctrines and ideas which, though rejected by all the world, were by them cherished as divine. This was the slave-holder's tendency and condition, seen and known of all men, tending more and more to barbarism, which cannot possibly share the destiny of civilization; vigorous and healthy life cannot be bound to disease and decay.
These principles - principles of misrule, of discord and death, embodying intrinsically all the perils of anarchy - had long been in possession of the Southern mind. The whole Southern people had been educated in this faith, and Southern society everywhere was permeated by its influence.
It was but natural, therefore, that when, in the inevitable attrition of these hostile principles, those who recognized no restraints of law or fealty demanded the dissolution of the Union, the people of the North, educated to regard that Union as the embodiment of the national aspirations and the safeguard of the national interests, and as necessarily by the organic laws of its structure perpetual, should resist resolutely, even as one resists an attempt to strike down those of his own household.
New Jersey Brigade. -Thus, when on the 12th
day of April, 1861, the first shot of the slave power
was fired upon a feeble garrison of Federal soldiers in
Fort Sumter, the hearts of the people of Essex
County, New Jersey, were fully aroused to such a pitch
as never before in the memory of map.
The population of the whole state at that time
amounted to only six hundred and seventy-six thousand, and of this number, ninety-eight thousand eight
hundred and six were liable to military duty, though
without military experience, and to a great extent
ignorant of the use of arms. But when the call came
for men to defend the nation's capital, there was no
delay or hesitation in the people's response. New
Jersey, from her Revolutionary battle-fields, answered
the nation's call with eager pledges of help. The old
flag, displayed aforetime only on fair holidays when
no storms beat, flung out its folds in every town and
hamlet, and over secluded country homes, and became
a perpetual sign of covenant-keeping faithfulness, a
pledge to all the world that the cause it symbolized
should be maintained at whatever cost. It had gone
down torn and soiled at Sumter, but it should be
raised again, some day, triumphant and with new
stars shining in its azure field. In every town and
village of old Essex County, the people assembled in
public meetings, and pledged their utmost resources
in behalf of their imperiled Government. The Banks
of the County came forward with liberal offers of
money; leading citizens proffered their assistance to
the authorities; every fireside shone with the lustre of
patriotic feeling. It was a carnival of patriotism all
through the county, and in fact all through New
Upon the first call of President Lincoln for troops, made April 15, 1861, the people became thoroughly aroused to a sense of their danger and duty, and everywhere responded with an alacrity and enthusiasm unequaled in any age of the world. The then existing military companies, though few in number, at once opened recruiting offices, and in a brief period of time were enabled to march forward in defence of their homes and firesides.
This first call of troops required four regiments from New Jersey; Essex County furnishing its full share, were soon mustered into the service, and awaited orders to move forward. (The first regiment of this pioneer brigade was clothed at Newark, at the expense of the State.) The brigade organization was completed by the appointment of Theodore Runyou, of Newark, as Brigadier-General, with Major Alexander V. Bonnet as Brigade Inspector, and Captain James B. Mulligan as Aide-de-camp.
General Runyon was a prominent lawyer of Newark, aged about thirty-eight years, and had for some years manifested a deep interest in military affairs, laboring earnestly to establish the militia system upon a vigorous and efficient basis. He was, however, without experience in the marshalling of troops, having never "set a squadron a-field," or participated in active service. But he possessed fine executive capacity and marked firmness of character ; understood the value of discipline, comprehended the gravity of the situaation, and was, by virtue of his identification with the military of the State, peculiarly entitled to the distinction of the supreme command of the volunteer contingent from this State. His commission was dated April 27, 1861, and he at once took command of the brigade, thus giving Essex County the honor of furnishing the first General officer from this State. The task before him was by no means an easy one, as it involved the whole business of organizing, disciplining and equipping three thousand troops, many of whom had never handled a musket, most of whom were totally ignorant of drill, and none of whom knew anything, practically, of the rigors and discomforts of service in the field. These volunteers, though inexperienced, had the spirit of veteran soldiers, and to the development of this, General Runyon promptly directed all his energies, which were warmly and ably seconded by all the regimental commanders. The troops came gradually to understand the necessity of subordination, and when the order came to move, the brigade was in all respects well calculated to reflect honor upon the State, as well as the several localities individually represented.
Hostilities Commenced. Before the first of May, communication with Washington by way of Baltimore had been cut off by the burning of bridges and the destruction of sections of the railroad running through Maryland, and it became necessary, therefore, that the New Jersey Brigade should proceed thither by way of Annapolis.
It was determined, after consultation, to employ the propellers plying on the Delaware and Raritan Canal in their transportation by this route, no other means of conveyance being available. (Mr. John G. Steven is said to have first suggested the adoption of this route and method of transportation.)
Accordingly, on May 2, an order was issued to General Runyon, directing the embarkation of troops "as soon as possible;" and on the same day, final instructions were issued to the Commandant for his government while en route to the field. In these instructions, General Runyon was directed to proceed by way of the Delaware and Chesapeake Canal to Annapolis, and there report to the officer commanding, for further orders. As soon as possible, he was directed to ascertain, by careful inspection, any deficiencies which might exist in the arms, equipments, and hospital stores of the brigade, and to notify the State as to what was needed, if the deficiency could not be supplied by the Government. The instructions closed with this injunction: "The honor of New Jersey is in your keeping." The day following, the fleet (Captain R. F. Loper in command), left Trenton, and on the night of the fourth, arrived off Annapolis, having been greeted all the way along the route with manifestations of pleasure. The arrival of the brigade was at once reported to General B. F. Butler, who, after some ceremony, ordered its advance to Washington, and on the fifth, the First Regiment, with six companies of the Second and nine companies of the Third, started forward in two trains of cars. (see Lossing's "Civil War in America," vol. 1. chap. la.) The first of these trains reached Washington about midnight, and the second at eight o'clock the next morning. The same evening, the Fourth Regiment and the remaining company of the Third, reached the capital. The four companies of the Second, left at Annapolis, were detailed, by order of General Scott, to the service of guarding the telegraph and railroad between Washington and Annapolis Junction.
On May 6, the arrival of the brigade was reported to General Scott, and, no camps being provided, the troops went into such quarters as were available in Washington. On all sides, the arrival of the troops was hailed with pleasure, and men felt that now the capital was safe.
These three thousand Jerseymen, thoroughly armed and equipped as no regiments previously arrived had been, could be relied upon to repel all assaults. New Jersey never stood higher in the estimation of the loyal people of the country than at that time, when she sent to the nation's defence the first full brigade of troops that reached the field. Two days after its arrival in Washington, the brigade paraded the city, and was everywhere hailed with the liveliest demonstration of enthusiasm by the people.
May 9, the Fourth Regiment was ordered to go into camp at Meridian Hill, and within a few days the entire brigade was encamped at that point; and on May 12 was honored by a visit from the President, who warmly complimented the appearance of the troops.
At this point, the army life of the volunteer commenced in earnest, the utmost exactness being required in all points of discipline. All the hard routine of camp duties was daily observed. The work of the soldier was found to be something more than mere festive employment, and demanded every energy, the fullest devotion, the loftiest self-sacrifice.
The brigade remained at Camp Monmouth, perfecting its drill and soldierly accomplishments, until May 22, when an order was received from General Mansfield, commanding the Department of Washington, directing that immediate preparations be made for a movement. The day following, definite orders from the same authority supplied the needed information as to the objective of the proposed movement, and the camp was accordingly abandoned. There were then in and around Washington some thirteen thousand national troops, under command of General Mansfield, and May 22, orders were issued to him, to occupy the Virginia shore of the Potomac, and also the city of Alexandria, nine miles below the city of Washington.
It was to participate in this movement that the New Jersey brigade struck their tents on May 23, and abandoned their camp on Meridian Hill.
The order issued to General Runyon required him to have his brigade at Long Bridge at two o'clock on the morning of the 24th. Accordingly, at the evening parade, the Second, Third, and Fourth Regiments were paraded in heavy marching order, and being supplied with one day's rations, at about midnight took up the line of march in silence for Long Bridge, which was reached at the hour appointed. (The First Regiment did not cross until the next day.) The bridge being crossed, the Second Regiment was posted at Roach's Spring, and the Third and Fourth, about half a mile beyond, on the Alexandria road, the Third being located near Abingdon House, the mansion of Bushrod W. Hunter, formerly a lieutenant in the U. S. Navy. Immediately upon the arrival of the brigade, details were made to construct a fortification which had been staked out by the Government engineers, at the junction of the Columbia and Alexandria roads, the remainder of the troops remaining under arms until daylight. The brigade head-quarters were established near Columbia Springs, and tents being supplied by the Government, the troops went into camp along the Heights, which had been by this. movement saved from the rebel clutch.
Thus, at last, a secure lodgement of national troops was effected on the soil of Virginia. Alexandria had been captured, and the enemy for the time being was. driven from the line of the Potomac. No point occupied by our troops was of greater strategetic importance than that held by the -New Jersey Brigade; and this fact, while illustrating the confidence of the Commander-in-chief in their trustworthiness, also imposed extraordinary responsibility as well as unexpected labors. Immediately upon the establishment of the lines on the 24th, details from all the regiments were put to work in constructing intrenchments and redoubts. (These defences extended from Roach's spring, on the Washington and Alexandria road, across Arlington Heights.) And it was, and is still, among the chief honors of this brigade, that the first regular work constructed by the national troops at the beginning of the war, and the first over which the nation's flag was flung out was completed by the brawny arms of Jerseymen, many of whom were altogether unaccustomed to manual labor, but all of whom worked with unflagging vigor and industry with the tools at their command. (The whole of the New Jersey Brigade have been actively employedd upon the fortifications; their labors have been unceasing from six A. M. till seven P. M., every day since the work began. The men work three hours at a time, and every company in the brigade has to do its share of the labor, besides its other duties of guard, &e. There is very little, if any, complaint of the labor ; as far as I can learn, the men do it cheerfully. It is a work of considerable magnitude, and covers many acres of ground. It will command all the approaches to Washington from this, quarter.- Extract from a lefts dated June 1, 1861) During the whole period of the war these works stood as monuments of the muscular activity and vigor of our volunteers; and it was only just that the principal fortification having been built exclusively by Jerseymen should be named, as it was, Fort Runyon, and so known ever after. This name was; selected by the troops under authority of a letter from E. D. Townsend, Assistant-Adjutant-General of the army, directing that the troops employed on the intrenchments be permitted to name them.
On the 18th of June an order was received from General McDowell (who on May 27 had notified General Runyon that he had taken command of the department), directing that the head-quarters of the brigade be changed, and two regiments moved to a new position about three miles from Camp Princeton. Accordingly the First and Third Regiments were advanced to a point near Roach's Mill, on the line of the Arlington and Loudon Railway, leaving the fortifications and Arlington Heights in the rear, and within five miles of the picket guard of the enemy. On the 20th a further order from General McDowell directed the command to be held in readiness to march. An engagement having occurred at Virna, on the 17th, and the enemy known to be in considerable force in front, this order was generally accepted as indicating an advance of our army, and the excitement among the troops was consequently great, all manifesting the utmost eagerness to march. But this expectation was not immediately realized, as the brigade remained in its old position until July 16, when the First Regiment was advanced to a point three miles beyond Springfield, and detachments from other regiments were detailed for duty at other points in advance of the line then occupied.
It will thus be seen that while the enemy was marshalling his forces and preparing for some decisive movement, the Union forces were also being set in battle array, or at least preparing to meet any emergency that might arise. By the middle of July 1861, at least fifty thousand troops had been gathered around the capital, but unfortunately most of them had been enlisted for only three months, and at that date had but a short time longer to serve. The exigencies of the case became pressing, the necessity of a movement became imperative, and on the 15th of July the order for an advance was given.
It is safe to say that no army ever marched afield with higher hopes, more patriotic devotion, or more courageously nor better backed by a nation's good wishes; yet all this availed not, for the young army was not qualified for the work before it. It lacked leadership, it lacked discipline, it lacked the experience of service in the field; yet the Jersey brigade never faltered, never disobeyed an order, but performed every duty with soldierly obedience. The battle of Bull Run was fought and lost to the nation's troops, yet it was no fault of the First -New Jersey Brigade or its commander, General Runyon. When all was disorder and dismay, when all others had left their posts of duty and skulked away under cover of the night that followed the battle, the Jersey brigade was found standing as a wall between the enemy and the capital.
When all the duties required of this brigade had been performed, and their term of enlistment had expired, the brigade was ordered to report to General Mansfield, and on the 24th and 25th of July, 1861, was mustered out of service, and proceeded to Washington, where the troops delivered up all arms and equipments in their possession, belonging to the Government.
The reception of these troops upon their return home was most cordial and enthusiastic; and hundreds of the men still eager to serve their country, at once re-enlisted in other regiments then being raised for three years or during the war.
The Colonel of the First Regiment was Adolphus J. Johnson, who for some years had been connected with the militia of the city of Newark. He, subsequently, served with distinction in the three years' service, and still wears honorable scars received in the country's defence. The organization of the First Regiment at this time was as follows:
Newark, though situated at the North, was essentially a Southern work-shop. For about two-thirds of a century the shoemakers of Newark shod the South, its planters and its plantation hands, to a large extent. For generations the bulk of the carriages, saddlery, harness and clothing manufactured in Newark, found a ready and profitable market south of Mason and Dixon's line. And so it was to a greater or lesser extent with all our other industries. Newark, therefore, was substantially interested in the South. Indeed, the defeat of Governor William Pennington for Congress in November, 1860, was attributed to that interest by some of his partisans. A publicist of the day, who sorely felt the Governor's defeat - he was then Speaker of the National House of Representatives - went so far as to declare that "his (Governor Pennington's) friends wish to express their thorough and hearty contempt for that band of mercenary and unprincipled men, engaged in Southern trade, who have been foremost in producing this result." "If," continued the same writer, with the emphasis of italics, "they had been slaves themselves, and every morning had been lashed into humility, they could not have worked more heartily to carry out the wishes of their Southern masters." While this decidedly vigorous language had for a basis, doubtless, more partisan chagrin and disappointment than fact, it is not unlikely, nevertheless, that bread and butter, like blood, proved thicker than water, and that Newark's interest in the South cost Mr. Pennington the comparatively few votes which defeated him. Be that as it may, the undoubted fact remains that Newark had material reasons for being kindly prejudiced towards the South. When called upon to act her part in the dreadful drama then about to be enacted, did she allow these kindly prejudices to warp her judgment and enervate her patriotism? We shall see presently.
As may be imagined from the relationship existing between Newark and the South, as above set forth, nowhere was there taken a deeper interest in the political campaign of 1860, resulting in the election of Abraham Lincoln to the Presidency, than here. "The same is true as regards the events quickly following. Every breeze from the feverish South was felt in Newark. On Thursday, December 20th, 1860, South Carolina passed her Ordinance of Secession. 'Two weeks later, on January 8th, the anniversary of Jackson's victory over Packenham at New Orleans, the Mayor of Newark closed his annual message to the Common Council with the following patriotic and statesmanlike references to "the present crisis:"
Without a prospect of continued and permanent peace there can be no permanent happiness and prosperity ; and shall our dearest interests be sacrificed or put in jeopardy by contests about abstractions which the laws of climate, production and immigration, together with territorial position, will practically settle under the Constitution and Supreme Judiciary of the country, to which all are bound to submit? As citizens of New Jersey, and the representatives of her most flourishing and important city, I congratulate you upon her record as a State faithful to the Constitution and loyal to the rights and institutions of all her sisters in the Confederacy. Let us endeavor to extend and perpetuate this spirit within her borders, and in emulation of the teachings and example of Him who 'spake as never man spake,' continue to `render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's,' firmly trusting that under Providence our great and powerful Union of States will ever remain like the mighty waters which bound its eastern and western shores - "though distinct as the billows, yet one as the sea."
Coming, as did these wise and noble sentiments, from one whose political training and business inter- ests would be apt to lean him toward the South and its views of States' Rights, and who spoke not for himself alone, but for those affiliated with him politically, we are enabled to estimate the general opinion of the community on the same subject. That it was thoroughly loyal to the Union and the Constitution, admits of no question. The evidence thereof is beyond measure. Let us produce some of it.
Soon the opportunity and the necessity arrived for putting to the severest test the patriotism of these "fair women," and the mettle of these "brave men." Within another month the second "shot heard round the world" boomed over the water of Charleston harbor. The Civil War had begun! Four days after the memorable twelfth of April, Horace Greeley said in the great journal founded by him : " We have lost Fort Sumter, but we have united the North." It was even so. It was eminently so here. When, upon the fifteenth of April President Lincoln issued his first call for troops, there were many who sincerely and honestly questioned the wisdom of the policy of "coercion" foreshadowed by the Administration; but nowhere among the great majority masses of the Northern people was there any doubt as to the right and duty of the General Government to maintain at all hazards, and at all cost, the indissolubility of the Union. "The Union must and shall be preserved!" was the sentiment which wholly possessed every freeman's mind. With the men of Newark, when the call "To arms ! to arms!" was sounded, it was the same as it was with the six hundred heroes of the madly impetuous charge at Balaklava-
Theirs not to reason why,
Theirs but to do and die."
Sumter fell on the thirteenth. Six days later, on Friday evening, April 19th-it was the anniversary of the battle of Lexington-the Common Council met, its political complexion being nearly a two-thirds Democratic majority, and unanimously passed the following resolutions, offered by Mr. Henry A. Whitney, a Democrat, of the Sixth ward:
Resolved, That deeply impressed with the solemnity of our sworn alle- giance to the State and its constitutional obligations, we declare our de. termination at every hazard and with all our power to sustain the laws of our Pity, our State and Nation, and utterly reprobate all mob violence, and tendency thereto, wherever found, and however and whenever exhibited.
Five days later the same body, on motion of Alderman Thomas McGrath, of the Seventh ward, unanimously voted an appropriation of $100,000 "for the support of the families of our citizens who shall enter the military service." An additional sum of $5,000 was also appropriated "toward the purchase of suitable clothing for the volunteers, in addition to their regular equipments." Nor was that all. More grandly and eloquently still was the mighty voice of the people of Newark raised at a great open-air mass meeting held in front of the Court House, on the afternoon of Monday, April 22. It was called " without respect to previous political opinions or associations, to express their sentiments in the present crisis of our national affairs, and their determination to uphold the Government of the country, and maintain the authority of its Constitution and the laws." "The whole population seemed to be on the street," and "the greatest enthusiasm prevailed." Mayor Bigelow presided. " All classes, professions, sexes and conditions were numerously represented." Among the clergy present were Rev. J. F. Stearns, D, D., Presbyterian ; Rev. H. C. Fish, D. D., Baptist ; Rev. B. F. McQuaid (now Bishop of Rochester) and Rev. George H. Doane, Roman Catholic. The venerable Judge Haines was also present, and the long list of vice-presidents and secretaries included representative citizens from each of the eleven wards then composing the city. The first speaker was Hon. C. L. C. Gifford. "Whatever may have been our past differences," said he, "we now stand together as one people to take council together in the present extraordinary crisis which finds us arrayed against those whose duty it was to stand by us. But when, misled by fanaticism, they seek to overthrow that Government which is cemented by the blood of heroes and of martyrs - when they attempt to strike out a single star from that glorious flag, we say to them, `Stand back! thus far thou shalt go, but no farther!"' William Pennington, who but six weeks before had ended his term as Speaker of the House of Representatives, spoke next. "It was his lot," he said, "to stand before his friends in Newark on former occasions, but he never remembered to appear before them on an occasion so momentous as the present. It was no time now to talk about patriotism, but to act it out. They had now either to stand by the country or against the Constitution. He was glad to seethe unanimity that prevailed among them all in reference to the interesting questions that now agitate us. There were now no Democrats, Republicans or Americans: the question was-are we for our country or against it? ['We are for it'-cheers.] He always believed it to be a happy sign that when some foe-a Confederate State or an enemy abroad-attempted to destroy the Government, that our people were willing, as one man, to fight shoulder to shoulder, in defense of the institutions of the country." The appearance of Rev. Father McQuaid as the third speaker "was the signal for an enthusiastic outburst of applause, which was kept up for several minutes." He spoke impassionedly in favor of the Union and the Constitution-one flag and one country. " We hold," said he, "a common creed - obedience to the laws and Constitution of the land. Some of you might, in the past, have supposed that because we stood aloof we were not good American citizens; that our hopes were not where our bodies are. But when danger threatened our Country, we have ever been found standing side by side with the defenders of the country; you may call us traitors - you may proscribe us - that moment has come, and we are true. It was not his place to be here, but he felt that his duty obliged him to come-a strong conviction of duty as an American citizen. His religion (meaning the Roman Catholic) commanded him to give to his Country all he had; it commanded him to stand faithful to this great, free and independent Government. He knew of no other country like this on the face of God's earth. We had lived and prospered under its Constitution, and hoped we all might go on prospering, and be true to ourselves, to the laws, and to the Government. If we hesitate now and permit the powers of mischief to prevail, anarchy will ensue; then comes a military despotism, and the American people will never submit to such an iron heel. There were others here whose place it was to tell them about the causes of the present difficulties, but the speaker declared emphatically that this glorious Union would be sus- tained against any enemy, whether in our own land or from a foreign country." "Party spirit," said the next speaker, Joseph P. Bradley, (now a United States Supreme Court Justice), "is buried deep in the ground. There are no Republicans, no Democrats; we are to-day American citizens, and nothing else. We do not regard the opinions of our leader - his politics or his religion - all we ask is, is he a patriot? Is he invested with the control of the Government? The people have come out to express their fealty to the Government of their choice. We have no feelings of revenge against the citizens of the South; there is but one feeling predominant, and that is, that the Government must be sustained," Cortlandt Parker "called upon all men to give their prayers, their money, their strength to the cause, and the women, too, to give everything for what is great and good." He added: "He that would not fight now is a Bastard." Theodore Runyon-who, five days later was commissioned by Gov. Charles S. Olden, Brigadier-General of New Jersey troops-gave eloquent expression to his sentiments. He said they had come together as citizens of the Republic, ignoring all party politics, "to counsel upon the great question of upholding the banner of our country. It was by no act of his that the present incumbent of the Presidential chair was placed in that position; he tried all he could to keep Abraham Lincoln out. He (the General) had but one duty now to do, and that was to recognize him as the legal President of the United States, and to support his Government." In a similar strain of patriotic fervor, Frederick T. Frelinghuysen - a grandson of that Frelinghuysen whose valor contributed largely to the Revolutionary turning-tide victory at Trenton in 1776 - then Attorney-General of the State, spoke, and in regard to a national separation insisted that it should not be done without the consent of the Government, and in a manner consistent with the honor of the national ensign, and consistent with the Government and its laws. Anthony Q. Keasbey, who had just been appointed United States District Attorney for the District of New Jersey, "spoke exultantly of the manifestations all around of loyalty to the Government." Speeches were also made by Joseph C. Jackson, F. Scriba and Samuel H. Baldwin. As the unanimous sentiment of the great gathering, resolutions were adopted setting forth "that it is the firm, unanimous and unalterable determination of the citizens of Newark, first of all, and above all other duties, laying aside all party distinctions and associations, to sustain the Government under which they live"; and, furthermore:
A resolution was also passed authorizing the chairman to appoint a committee of citizens "to take in charge and carry forward all measures needful for the equipment of troops, and to take such measures in co-operating with the authorities for the general secu- rity and protection as may be deemed advisable. " This committee consisted of the following well-known citizens:
To this committe were added the Mayor and Aldermen John C. Littell, James Smith, John Remer, Charles S. Macknet and W. A. Whitney. It organized the day following the mass-meeting, under the name of the "Public Aid Committee of the City of Newark," and with the following officers:
How thoroughly the great Court House meeting voiced the sentiments of the entire community was speedily made manifest. Soon came the actions which spoke louder than words. Upon the Wednesday following the meeting, the women of Newark set a noble example to their sisters throughout the State-an example which was generously emulated everywhere in New Jersey. Under the lead of Mrs. William Pennington, the patriotic wife of the ex-Governor, they organized an association, "to co-operate with the authorities and citizens in relieving the families of those who from this city go to uphold the laws. " The active committee chosen represented the various religious denominations, as follows: Mrs. Dr. Wilson, South Park Presbyterian Church; Mrs. F. T. Fre- linghuysen, North Dutch Church; Mrs. Dr. H. C. Fish, First Baptist Church; Mrs. R. L. Dashiell, Central M. E. Church; Mrs. McKenzie, High Street Presbyterian Church; Mrs. Dr. William O'Gorman, Roman Catholic Church; Airs. Edward Wright, House of Prayer (Episcopal); Miss Fanny Rowland, Park Street Presbyterian Church; Mrs. Dr. Craven, Third Presbyterian Church; Mrs. W. T. Clough, Trinity (Episcopal) Church; Mrs. W. B. Brown, Con- gregational Church; Airs. Dr. C. M. Nichols, Central Presbyterian Church; Mrs. Crockett and Mrs. A. Q. Keasbey, Grace (Episcopal) Church. Also prominent in the movement were Mrs. A. P. Whitehead, Mrs. J. F. Stearns, Mrs. J. P. Jackson, Mrs. Frederick G. Scriba, firs. Jane Trimble, Mrs. Peter Duryee, Mrs. S. H. Condict, Mrs. John Rutherfurd, Airs. J. P. Bradley, Airs. Cortlandt Parker, Mrs. E. F. Hornblower, Mrs. S. H. Pennington, Mrs. Captain Gillespie, Airs. W. H. Steele, Mrs. Daniel Dodd, Mrs. J. P. Wilson, Mrs. Thomas Colyer, Mrs. W. T. Mercer and Mrs. William Wright. To recount the services of these noble women and their associates, to recall their labors of love in camp, in hospital, and in the homes of absent heroes, is a task that the imagination can alone faintly attempt. It is no mere figure of speech to say, however, that hosts of suffering soldiers, and - other hosts of suffering wives and little ones, were moved to say of each of these genuine Sisters of Mercy:
A ministering angel thou.
`Women of all classes of society were almost alike interested in such organizations. The American, the German, the Irish - all brought their gifts and laid them upon the altar of patriotism.' The churches contributed not alone of their means but of their membership. Upon the Sunday following the assault upon Fort Sumter, there was scarcely a pulpit in the city which -did not give voice in advance to the great meeting held in front of the Court House. Later, when the tall for troops came, none responded with greater promptitude than " those who professed and called themselves Christians." One church alone (the First Baptist) sent into the military and naval service of the country no less than one hundred and seventy-two of its members, of which number about thirty were killed. Many members of the same congregation were represented in the war by substitutes. Other Newark churches were almost as largely represented in the army and navy. Even the schools " shared in the absorbing excitement," and made contributions of money. The attack upon Fort Sumter rekindled the fires of '76. "A carnival" of patriotism prevailed. The day following the Court House meeting Major Robert Anderson (afterwards General) the heroic defender of Fort Sumter, visited Newark-he was to have been present at the Union meeting, but mistook the date-and was received with the greatest enthusiasm, Captain Toler's Montgomery Battalion escorting him from the Market Street station. While passing St. John's (R. C.) Church the hero of the hour was complimented with "Hail Columbia," admirably rendered on the beautiful chimes of the church. Every incident furnished occasion for an outburst of Union feeling.
And thus, within a couple of weeks after the first shot was fired in Charleston harbor upon the ensign of American unity, the people of Newark had grandly answered the slanderous charge made some months before that they included "mercenary and unprincipled men" who cared more for "Southern trade" and "the wishes of their Southern masters" than for the public interests - the indivisibility of the American Union! And thus acts, not words, swept aside the calumny uttered in the sore disappointment and anger of political defeat.
Beauregard's guns aimed not alone at Sumter, but
at the heart of the American Republic, and their
flash was instantly transmitted to the North, thrilling
every chord of patriotism in the national heart. The
effect in Newark was instantaneous. With a common
impulse her citizen soldiery sprang to arms and resolved to move in defence of the Union upon the first
call. Forty-eight hours had scarcely elapsed before
every company of the First Regiment (the chief
organization of the Newark Brigade) had agreed to
stand by the old flag and maintain it against every
foe. This action, though simultaneous, was unpreconcerted. In every company almost there was an
American Rouget de Lisle to arouse his compatriots
with a soul-stirring Americanized Marseillaise hymn;
The steed, the mustering squadron and the clattering car,
Went pouring forward with impetuous speed,
And swiftly forming in the ranks of war."