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Recruited as sharpshooters and clothed in distinctive uniforms with green trim, the hand-picked regiment of the Ninth New Jersey Volunteer Infantry was renowned and admired far and wide. The only New Jersey regiment to reenlist for the duration of the Civil War at the close of its initial three-year term, the Ninth saw action in forty-two battles and engagements across three states. Throughout the South, the regiment broke up enemy camps and supply depots, burned bridges, and destroyed railroad tracks to thwart Confederate movements. Members of the Ninth also suffered disease and starvation as POWs at the notorious Andersonville prison camp in Georgia.
Recruited largely from socially conservative cities and villages in northern and central New Jersey, the Ninth Volunteer Infantry consisted of men with widely differing opinions about the Union and their enemy. Edward G. Longacre unearths these complicated political and social views, tracing the history of this esteemed regiment before, during, and after the war—from recruitment at Camp Olden to final operations in North Carolina.