Friday, August 23, 2013

Command Of A Storming Party

Union First Lieutenant John James Toffey received his commission to this rank in the 33rd New Jersey Infantry August 23rd 1863.

John James Toffey was born June 1st 1844 in Pawling, Duchess, New York.  He was the son of George A and Mary D (Cook) Toffey.

He joined the Union service as a Private August 28th 1862 in Company C of the 21st New Jersey Infantry, which was a nine month regiment.  When the 21st disbanded, Toffey received a commission as a First Lieutenant for Company G of the 33rd New Jersey Infantry on August 23rd 1863.  He served with them on November 23rd 1863 in the Battle of Missionary Ridge at Chattanooga, Tennessee.  It was during this battle that Toffey was awarded the Medal of Honor.  Do to wounds received Toffey was discharged on June 2nd 1864.  He reenlisted in the Veteran Reserve Corps serving as a Lieutenant until 1866.  It was while still in this service that Toffey was an eyewitness to Lincoln’s assassination, he would testify at the conspirator’s trial.

Following his military service Toffey became a County sheriff in Hudson County, New Jersey.  He served as New Jersey state treasurer, was an alderman in Jersey City, New Jersey, and was elected to the New Jersey State Legislature.  Toffey received his Medal of Honor September 10th 1897, the citation reads; “The President of the United States of America, in the name of Congress, takes pleasure in presenting the Medal of Honor to First Lieutenant (Infantry) John James Toffey, United States Army, for extraordinary heroism on 23 November 1863, while serving with Company G, 33d New Jersey Infantry, in action at Chattanooga, Tennessee. Although excused from duty on account of sickness, First Lieutenant Toffey went to the front in command of a storming party and with conspicuous gallantry participated in the assault of Missionary Ridge; was here wounded and permanently disabled.”  He died March 13th 1911 in Pawling, New York and is buried in the Pawling Cemetery.

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