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15th New Jersey Infantry

Posted 8/1/2023

  The 15th Regiment of New Jersey Volunteers, was one of five regiments of infantry furnished by the state of New Jersey after the call by President Lincoln for three hundred thousand men on July 1st, 1862.  Approximately one thousand men of New Jersey from at least five New Jersey county's answered the call and were eventually mustered into the Fifteenth New Jersey Regiment of Infantry, on July 24, 1862. By August 29th 1862, the regiment was moving toward the war through Washington D.C. The regiment was eventually assigned to the Army of the Potomac. During the war, the regiment would muster 1871 men, including officers.  The Fifteenth, not unlike any other regiments during that war,  would see death through disease, wounds, deserters, soldiers taken prisoner, and at least 138 of its regiment killed in battle, or dying of wounds received in battle. 

  Two of the color bearers of the regiment are seen below in Carte De Visites.' The one on the left is in the Gil Barret collection in Maryland, while the image on the right was previously in the collection of John Kuhl of Hunterdon County, New Jersey, who is a well known historian of Hunterdon County, and Fifteenth New Jersey History. In the image on the left, standing, is Joseph G. Runkle of East Amwell, New Jersey  a Color Sergeant  who died of his wounds received at Spotsylvania Court House on May 12, 1864. The image on the right is of Color Sergeant Edwin D. Ulmer who was wounded at Cedar Creek in October 1864. Sergeant Ulmer eventually had his left leg amputated up to the hip. 


 In the image below, is the non commissioned staff and First Sergeants of the Fifteenth New Jersey Volunteers. Standing fifth from the left holding the flag, is Color Sergeant S. Rubadou wearing a flag carrier harness. This style harness is a heart shaped brass and leather piece that seems to have been the most used type during the war. Flag carriers of this style have been seen by the author in the Maine and Iowa state Civil War collections. 

15th Ulmer.jpg

  The following images are of a brass heart shaped flag staff carrier in the authors collection. The carrier was previously in the John Kuhl collection in Hunterdon County, New Jersey. Mr. Kuhl owned the piece for approximately 50 years. Prior to that, the previous owner owned the piece for approximately 50 years. On the inside of the strap is marked "15th New Jersey Infantry," and also, a date  is found  of, "June 15th 1862." There is also a makers stamp on the piece, however, this is distorted in such a way so it cannot be read. The carrier in the authors collection appears to be identical as the one worn by Color Sergeant S. Rubadou in the image above. 

What is not known by the author is when the carriers were used by the color guard. Were they used in battle or for parade review, or were they an intricate part of the uniform to be used every day? 


John Kuhl, Hunterdon County, New Jersey

History of The Fifteenth Regiment New Jersey Volunteers, Haines, Alanson A. Chaplain of the Regiment, 1883

Hunterdon County in the Civil War, The Times, The Men, Their Stories, Kuhl, John W. 2013

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