14th NH Infantry Volunteer Regiment

last of the (3 year enlistments)

14th New Hampshire Volunteer Regiment was the last three-year regiment raised in New Hampshire, serving from September 24, 1862 to July 8, 1865. Carroll Davidson Wright was one of its regimental leaders. The regiment lost a total of 232 men during its service; 8 officers and 63 enlisted men killed and mortally wounded, 4 officers and 151 enlisted men by disease.

Four Newmarket Soldiers

ARNDT, Otto — Enlisted in U Company, as a Private in the 14th NH Infantry. Born in Prussia; age 32; resident of Elizabeth, NJ, credited to Newmarket; enlisted  and mustered in on 3 Aug 1864.

O’BRIEN, Cornelius – Substitute – enlisted and mustered in 5 Aug 1864 at age 21 as a Private in Company I, 14th Regiment.  He was discharged 6 Jul 1865 with a military job description as a teamster.  He was born in Ireland and credited to Newmarket.

PAGE, John M. – MIA - enlisted 4 Sep 1862 at age 26 as a Private in Company I, 14th Regiment.  He mustered in 26 Sep 1862; appointed to Corporal 17 Jun 1864; reported missing 19 Sep 1864 at Opequan, VA; gained from missing; mustered out 8 Jul 1865.  He was born, resided in and credited to the town of Newport with an occupation as a mechanic. His name is on the G.A.R. memorial.

SHELLAN, Morris – enlisted 5 Aug 1864 at age 21 as a Recruit in Company I, 14th Regiment.  Occupation given as a laborer. No discharge date given

 

Regimental History


On September 24, 1862, the regiment was organized and mustered in Concord, New Hampshire. In October 1862, the 14th NH arrived in Washington, D.C. where it camped on East Capitol Hill before establishing winter quarters at Poolesville, Maryland. From November 1862 to April 1863, the 14th NH served picket duty along the upper Potomac River. From the fall of 1862 until early 1864 the 14th performed bloodless garrison duty in and around Washington, and it sailed to Louisiana and back on a foiled mission during the first half of that year.

 In April 1863, the regiment moved its quarters to Camp Adirondack, in northeast Washington D.C. From April 1863 to the end of the year, the 14th NH performed guard duty at Old Capitol Prison, transporting prisoners and deserters, and at the Navy Yard Bridge (Benning’s Bridge). In early 1864, the 14th NH briefly performed picket duty, in the Shenandoah Valley.  The regiment returned to New Hampshire to vote in the spring elections which were heavily contested.

On March 16, 1864, the 14th N.H. departed for Louisiana to participate in the Red River Campaign, but arrived after it had ended. The regiment served at Camp Parapet, Carrollton, and Jefferson City until June 1864, when they returned to Virginia. The 14th served at Fortress Monroe and Berryville in Virginia until the end of July 1864. From August to December 1864, the regiment was part of General Sheridan’s Army of the Shenandoah, and participated in Three Battles: the Battle of Opequon (AKA the Third Battle of Winchester) on September 19, 1864;  they then suffered heavy losses at the Battle of Fisher’s Hill on September 22, 1864;  and then the 14th fought its last fight at the  Battle at Cedar Creek  on October 19, 1864.

 At the conclusion of the Civil War, the 14th NH was stationed near Augusta and Savannah, Georgia. On July 8, 1865, the 14th New Hampshire Volunteer Regiment was mustered out in Savannah.

The Battle of Opequon

(photo: destroyed RR bridge over the Opequon River)

This battle, more commonly known as the Third Battle of Winchester, was fought in Winchester, Virginia, on September 19, 1864, during the Valley Campaigns of 1864 in the American Civil War.

As Confederate Lt. Gen. Jubal A. Early raided the B&O Railroad at Martinsburg, WV, Union Maj. Gen. Philip H. Sheridan advanced toward Winchester along the Berryville Pike crossing Opequon Creek. The Union advance was delayed long enough for Early to concentrate his forces to meet the main assault, which continued for several hours. Casualties were very heavy. The Confederate line was gradually driven back toward the town. Mid-afternoon, Early ordered a general retreat. The Confederate army was in full retreat. Caught in the retreat were the wives of several Confederate generals staying in Winchester.  John B. Gordon was forced to leave his wife behind in attempts to keep his troops intact, believing she would become a prisoner of the Union army. She did, however, manage to escape in time.

Because of its size, intensity, serious casualties among the general officers on both sides, and its result, many historians consider this the most important conflict of the Shenandoah Valley.

 

In January, 1867, while serving as the head of the Department of the Gulf, in New Orleans, Gen. Philip Sheridan penned a letter to Rebecca Wright, in Winchester, Virginia, regarding affairs in which she had played part, less than three years before. “You are not probably aware of how great a service you rendered the Union cause”, wrote Sheridan, “by the information you sent me by the colored man a few days before the battle of Opequon, on Sept. 19, 1864.”

(photo: General  Sheridan, who wrote to Rebecca Wright)

 (photo: drawing of Rebecca Wright)

To find out  more about just who was Rebecca Wright, and  how big a part she played in the Battle of Opequon — this intriguing story of the Quaker School Teacher, a black vegetable seller and ‘go-between’ named Thomas Laws can be viewed at   http://southernunionistschronicles.wordpress.com/tag/thomas-laws

 

 

The Battle of Fisher’s Hill

Located near Strasburg, Virginia, the second battle the 14thInfantry fought in was the Battle of Fisher’s Hill on  September 21–22, 1864, as part of the Valley Campaigns of 1864.

(photo: Confederate prisoners taken at Fisher’s Hill)

Union Maj. Gen. Philip Sheridan had almost 30,000 men in the Shenandoah Valley opposing Confederate Lt. Gen. Jubal Early who had just under 10,000 men. Early, following the Third Battle of Winchester took a strong position. His right rested on the North Branch of the Shenandoah River. The left flank of his infantry was on Fisher’s Hill. Confederate cavalry was expected to hold the ground from there to Little North Mountain.

Maj. Gen. George Crook advised Sheridan to flank this position. His command was assigned to move along the wooded slopes of the mountain to attack the cavalry. Crook’s attack began about 4 p.m. on September 22, 1864. The infantry attack pushed the Confederate troopers out of their way. The Confederates fell back to Waynesboro, Virginia. Union Brig. Gen. Alfred Torbert was sent into the Luray Valley with 6,000 cavalrymen to force his way through the 1,200 Confederate cavalrymen.  Torbert was then supposed to move through the New Market and Luray Gap in Massanutten Mountain and come up behind Early and cut-off his retreat at Fisher’s Hill. Torbert fell back after making a token effort against Wickham’s force at Milford (present day Overall) and Early escaped.

 

Battle of the Battle of Cedar Creek

The last engagement fought by the 14th Infantry  (also known as the Battle of Belle Grove) was  fought on 19 Oct 1864.  It was the culminating battle of the Valley Campaigns of 1864 during the American Civil War. Confederate Lt. Gen. Jubal Early launched a surprise attack against the encamped army of Union Maj. Gen. Philip Sheridan, across Cedar Creek, northeast of Strasburg, Virginia. During the morning fighting, seven Union infantry divisions were forced to fall back and lost numerous prisoners and cannons. Early failed to continue his attack north of Middletown and Sheridan, dramatically riding to the battlefield from Winchester, was able to rally his troops to hold a new defensive line. Sheridan had spent the night in Winchester, on his way back from the Washington conference. Maj. Gen. Horatio G. Wright was in temporary command of the Army of the Shenandoah. A Union counterattack that afternoon routed Early’s army.

(photo: Sheridan’s ride at Cedar Creek, chromolithograph by Louis Prang Company)

General Sheridan wrote in his official report an account of the famous ride:

I was unconscious of the true condition of affairs until about 9 o’clock, when having ridden through the town of Winchester, the sound of the artillery made a battle unmistakable, and on reaching Mill Creek, half a mile south of Winchester, the head of the fugitives appeared in sight, trains and men coming to the rear with appalling rapidity. I immediately gave directions to halt and park the trains at Mill Creek, and ordered the brigade at Winchester to stretch across the country and stop all stragglers. Taking twenty men from my escort, I pushed on to the front, leaving the balance under General Forsyth and Colonels Thom and Alexander to do what they could in stemming the torrent of fugitives. I am happy to say that hundreds of the men, when of reflection found they had not done themselves justice, came back with cheers. … still none behaved more gallantly or exhibited greater courage than those who returned from the rear determined to reoccupy their lost camp.[*]

The final Confederate invasion of the North was effectively ended. The Confederacy was never again able to threaten Washington, D.C., through the Shenandoah Valley, nor protect one of its key economic bases in Virginia. The stunning Union victory aided the reelection of Abraham Lincoln and Sheridan won lasting fame.

 

Sources:

Heritage Preservation Services, CWSAC Battle Summaries http://www.cr.nps.gov/hps/abpp/battles/va119.htm:

[*]  Report of Maj. Gen. Philip H. Sheridan, U.S. Army, commanding Middle Military Division, including operations August 4, 1864 – February 27, 1865: Official Records, Series I, Vol. XLIII, Part 1, pp. 52–54.  

Revised Register of Soldiers and Sailors of New Hampshire in the War of the Rebellion 1861 – 1866, as prepared and published by Authority of the Legislature, by Augustus D.   Ayling (NH Adjutant General). Printer: Ira C. Evan, Public Printer, 1895

All Published


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