|About the Book|
A young soldiers experiences in the Civil War.The battle of Chancellorsville of May 1-4, 1863 was now over. This was to have been the battle that Major-General Joe Hooker knew would unquestionably destroy General Robert E. Lees entire Army of Northern Virginia. Everything had been so well-planned with other Union Generals enthusiastic and sure of success. The Union forces had 130,000 men and Lees army had 60,000 soldiers. Despite this, when the battle ended four days later, the Union Army had experienced one of the worst defeats ever. Their losses represented about seventeen thousand casualties. Undoubtedly this tragedy to the Union prompted orders from the War Department to recruit additional forces. One of these new forces would find our protagonist enlisted - a real person and through whose eyes and journal all of the others and factual events will be told. Recorded in the same month of May 1863, former Governor Charles S. Olden, with eminent officials of New Jersey, petitioned the War Department in Washington, D.C. to authorize the raising of a regiment of New Jersey Cavalry to be called Second Regiment. This petition bears on its back the endorsement and signature of President Lincoln, dated June 12, 1863, with a request that the Secretary of War consider it at once. Under the provisions of an Act of Congress, which had been approved July 22, 1861 under authority and instructions received by the Governor, dated from the War Department Adjutant Generals Office, Washington, D.C. June 30, 1863, and as set fourth in General Orders #4, dated at the Adjutant Generals Office, Trenton, New Jersey, July llth. General Orders 191 and 110, War Department, Adjutant Generals Office, Washington, D.C. April 29, 1863. New Jersey Governor Joel Parker signed the final indorsement to raise the new Regiment of Cavalry. The organization of the States 32nd. Regiment, or Second New Jersey Cavalry Regiment, commenced immediately and the authority to raise companies was issued to individuals in different parts of the State. The Headquarters of the Regiment was established at Camp Parker, Trenton, New Jersey. In February of 1862, Lieutenant Colonel Joseph Karge had been assigned to the First New Jersey Cavalry. Shortly thereafter he was placed in command of that regiment. Soon after the battle of Fredericksburg, however, he found himself so seriously disabled by an old wound received on August 20th that he resigned his commission on December 12th, 1862. On June 18, 1863, a commission was issued, making Lieutenant Colonel Karge Chief of the Militia of the State of New Jersey with the rank of full Colonel. His first duty was to raise troops. Colonel Karge accepted this new commission, and on the same day issued his military notice inviting those who wished to offer their services to report to his headquarters in Trenton, New Jersey. By July 4th the emergency eased somewhat. The battle of Gettysburg had been fought and General Lee was retreating back to Virginia. Vicksburg, Mississippi had surrendered to General Grant.