The 5th New Jersey Regiment established a reputation of being a no nonsense, quality regiment. As part of the 2nd NJ Brigade, it saw action on the Peninsula, at 2nd Bull Run, Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville. It entered the Gettysburg Campaign as a truly veteran regiment.
On July 2, 1863 the 5th NJ found itself in a fight for its virtual life. Positioned along a fence line in advance of the Union line on the Emmitsburg Road, the men found themselves confronting the overwhelming power of two divisions of Longstreet’s Corps.
Their action at Gettysburg, like many other regiments, needs to be told. One of Fox’s Fighting Regiments, the 5th NJ Regiment added to its fine record by its performance on July 2nd.
John Hayward is a professor of History at Southern NH University. A graduate of Slippery Rock University in 1975 he obtained his Master of History at UNH in 1988.
In 2008 he earned the Horace Mann Lincoln Fellowship Award for excellence in teaching about Lincoln. He has written two books on New Jersey and the Civil War. One is, “Give it to Them, Jersey Blues” a history of the 7th NJ and the other. “Follow Me, Jersey Men” a history of the 5th NJ. He is currently involved in writing the history of the 2nd New Jersey Brigade.
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