Monday, October 22, 2012

Nine Months To Save The Union

The 15th Vermont Infantry a Nine Month Regiment was mustered into Union service October 22nd 1862.

President Abraham Lincoln called for more Union troops on August 4th 1862 following the disastrous defeat of Major General George B McClellan’s Peninsula Campaign.  The 15th Vermont Infantry was a nine month regiment raised in response to this request.  The men were mostly recruited from Caledonia, Orleans, Orange and Windsor Counties. They went into Camp Holbrook October 8th 1862 at Brattleboro VT, and were mustered into the Union Army October 22nd 1862.  The next day the men of the 15th left by train for Washington, DC, where they would join the 14th Vermont Infantry at Camp Chase in Arlington, Virginia.

The 15th spent the winter and spring performing picket duty in defense of Washington, DC.  On June 25th 1863 the 15th became part of the First Corps, and were ordered to march to join the rest of Brigadier General John Fulton Reynolds Corps in the pursuit of Confederate General Robert E Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia.  As they neared Gettysburg on June 30th 1863 at Emmettsburg, Maryland, the 15th along with the 12th Vermont Regiment were detached from the rest of the Brigade.  These two Vermont Regiments spent the Battle of Gettysburg guarding the First Corps trains near Rock Creek Church about 2 miles from the battlefield.  Following the defeat of the Confederates the 15th joined in the pursuit south, marching over South Mountain to Williamsport on July 14th 1863.

The men of the 15th found their nine months were up a few days later on July 18th 1863.  They were moved by train to New York City where they spent a few days during the New York City Draft Riots.  They arrived back in Vermont and were mustered out of service on August 5th 1863.  The 15th started with 942 men, out whom they had 78 die from disease, and 5 who were taken prisoner of war.
If you would like to read more about the 15th VT, check out Nine Months with the 15th Vermont Volunteers

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