Morris County Memorializes Civil War Soldiers

“Brother Against Brother” Shares History & Stories of Local Soldiers

Commissioner Deputy Director Shaw filming at the Martin Berry House in Pequannock.

Morris County today unveiled the newest addition to its online Morris County’s Veterans Compendium: “Brother Against Brother: The Civil War,” on the 163rd anniversary of the Battle of Fort Sumter in 1861 and the official start of the devastating four-year conflict.

Published by the Morris County Office of Planning & Preservation, the ninth installment of the Veterans Compendium was released at 7 a.m. this morning, April 12, to coincide with the moment the United States Army first returned fire at Fort Sumter in Charleston, S.C., during a siege launched 2-1/2 hours earlier by the Confederate States Army.

Notably, Captain Abner Doubleday, who later resided in Mendham, fired the first cannon shot for the Union Army.

View the History & Stories of Morris County Civil War Soldiers

Morris County Commissioner Deputy Director Stephen Shaw and Joseph Barilla, Director of the Office of Planning and Preservation, recently toured two sites associated with Morris County Civil War veterans: Independent Hose Company No. 1 in Morristown and the Martin Berry House in Pequannock Township. Among the Morris County veterans highlighted during their site visits were Heyward Glover Emmell and James Robert Evans.

View “Morris County in the Civil War” Video

View Photos from Video Shoots at the Historic Sites

Heyward Glover Emmell, fondly known as H.G., was a Union Army private attached to Company K of the 7th New Jersey Infantry Regiment, and he fought at the Battle of Gettysburg, a turning point in the war for the Union Army.  

In civilian life, H.G. owned and operated a stationary store and he was a founding member of the Independent Hose Company No. 1 in Morristown in 1867. Both his former store on South Street and the firehouse on Market Street stand today, serving as physical reminders of the men and women who make up Morris County’s rich history.

James Robert Evans, who resided in the historic Martin Berry House in Pequannock with his wife, Julia, served in Company H of the New York 62nd New York Infantry Regiment. He was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor on Feb. 25, 1895 — 30 years after the end of the Civil War — for his heroism in 1864 during what was known as the Wilderness Campaign in Virginia.

The citation reads: “Private Evans went out in front of the line under fierce fire and, in the face of the rapidly advancing enemy, rescued the regimental flag with which the color bearer had fallen.”

(l-r) Joe Barilla with Clive Cloutts, Jr. and James Murray of Independent Hose Company No. 1 in Morristown.

Evans, who died Dec. 27, 1918, was buried in The First Reformed Churchyard, Pompton Plains, N.J.

“Morris County’s involvement in various wars throughout history only becomes that much more apparent through

the stories told about the soldiers who fought in these battles. A significant amount of research is undertaken by our Office of Planning and Preservation to uncover these stories,” said Deputy Director Shaw. “I’d like to personally thank everyone involved in this project, including Pequannock Township Manager Adam Brewer, Pequannock Township Historian Ed Engelbart, the Pequannock Historical Society and the volunteer firefighters with Morristown Independent Hose Company No. 1.”

“Brother Against Brother”

The phrase “brother against brother” evokes the Civil War, a theme embodied in the Halsey family of Rockaway, Morris County.

Lt. Edmund Drake Halsey fought with the 15th New Jersey Infantry Regiment of the Union Army, while his brother Joseph Jackson Halsey served in the Virginia Cavalry with the Confederate Army. Both brothers survived the conflict; however, Edmund, accompanied by his loyal horse Ned, returned to Rockaway following the war, while Joseph remained in the South.

More common in Morris County was the enlisting of brother with brother, and for the Union cause. 

 

Many of them served together, and in some cases, with their fathers. Brother veterans Israel Day Lum of

Edmund Drake Halsey.

Madison and William Harvey Lum of Chatham jointly addressed school children during post-war patriotic events. Brothers Cyrus and Daniel Estile of Pequannock served alongside their father John Estile. John died in 1862 of unknown causes, Daniel succumbed to fever in 1863 and Cyrus lived until 1907.

 

The Cumberland River Disaster

 

On May 6, 1862, the St. Igail Ferry attempted to cross the Cumberland River in Kentucky. Laden with Union Army horses, artillery, and soldiers burdened with full packs, the ferry capsized, claiming the lives of numerous men. Among the casualties were soldiers from Company L of the 27th New Jersey Infantry Regiment, consisting largely of men from Morris County, particularly the Rockaway area. Peter Peer of Denville was among the survivors, later resuming his occupation as a boatman on the Morris Canal.

 

Risking Life and Limb

 

Men risked life and limb to gain citizenship through United States military service.

 

Daniel Knott of Boonton, who was born in Great Britain, sacrificed a leg serving in Company K of the 4th New Jersey Infantry Regiment. He earned U.S. citizenship on Nov. 4, 1865, and in a poignant display of loyalty, marched in the New York City funeral procession for General Ulysses S. Grant on Aug. 8, 1885, covering a route of over 20 miles.

 

William Harvey Lum.

In Washington Township, Alpheus Illif was mistakenly reported killed in action in 1864 and his wife held a memorial service presided over by the Rev. Martin Herr of Dover. But Alpheus had been captured and confined in the Confederacy’s notorious Andersonville prison until the war’s end. He eventually returned home and served as Chaplain for the Samuel Starr G.A.R. Post in the German Valley section of Washington Township.

 

While historic records are scant regarding women’s roles in the war, Dover resident Margaret Kelley, wife of Private James P. Kelley, served as a war nurse in a Washington D.C. hospital. Margaret attended a reunion of the 15th Regiment of New Jersey on September 17, 1903 at the Mansion House in Dover, where it was reported that she encountered a former patient. 

 

To view other detailed veterans and cultural resource projects researched by Morris County’s Office of Planning and Preservation, please visit the Morris County Planning & Preservation Office website. 

 

If you notice omissions, errors, have additional information or images to share contact  jwilliams@co.morris.nj.us.

 

 

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