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Monday, September 28, 2009

More Civil War Enrollees

While the Tuckerton Beacon was published from the late 1880's, only copies from 1917 have been preserved and are available on microfilm. The nearest locations that have the microfilm available are both in Toms River - the Ocean County Library Main Branch on Hooper Avenue and the Ocean County Historical Society on Hadley Avenue. You can Google their web sites for their open hours.

One of the features in most of the available editions of the Beacon is their "Out of the Past" Column where they reprint a column from an earlier newspaper. This allows us to read reprints of news from unavailable older newspapers. I am in the process of collecting "Out of the Past" columns to preserve this valuable resource. They will be featured on the Blog from time to time.

Today's Blog presents an "Out of the Past" column that lists Little Egg Harbor Civil War participants. It was furnished by Dr. Theophilus T. Price and originally published in the May 26, 1904 edition of the Tuckerton Beacon. Since Bass River Township was a part of Little Egg Harbor Township until March 30, 1864, Bass River residents names appear on the list.

The following February 8, 1865 letter from the Little Egg Harbor Township Committee gives T.T. Price certain authority to ascertain procedures in conducting the draft in Little Egg Harbor during the Civil War era. This documents that he had an official capacity in the Little Egg Harbor draft and thus had intimate and accurate knowledge regarding the names of the Civil War draftees, so I feel confident that the list published in the Tuckerton Beacon is accurate. I apologize for the small size of the letter, but constraints in Google's Blog development procedures make it impossible to enlarge while still fitting within the allotted screen width.

Letter, courtesy of Dan Melega, from the estate of Minnie Courtney and Clara Salmons. It is believed to have come from a Cramer family in Lacey Township.

Following is a transcription of the letter:

Tuckerton, N.J.
February 8th 1865

This is to certify that Theophilus T. Price is hereby commissioned by the Township of Little Egg Harbor Burlington County New Jersey, to visit the city of Trenton and if need be the city of Washington to ascertain all particulars, and to obtain whatever modifications may be necessary or required, in all matters pertaining to the impending Draft so far as the enrollment lists- credits, and quota of the Township is concerned.

Township Committee of the Township of Little Egg Harbor Burlington Co N.J.
Joseph B. Sapp
Archs R Pharo

Evidence that the trip was made to Trenton is found at the bottom of the letter where $9.75 in expenses are listed, probably in the handwriting of Theophilus T. Price:

Expenses - Fare from Mt. Holly to Trenton & back $1.30
Hotel fare at Trenton 1 day 3.00
Do. [ditto] At Mt. Holly & horses 4.85
? fees - cars & c .60

Dr. Theophilus Townsend Price (born May 21, 1828 - died April 27, 1908). The above photo was taken at age 60. Dr. Price was a graduate of Haverford College and Crozier Seminary, a surveyor, a civil engineer, a physician, a Surgeon at the Marine Hospital in Tuckerton, a Secretary of the Tuckerton Railroad, the Superintendent of Schools for Little Egg Harbor, and a volunteer surgeon in the Civil War. He was also an author and historian, writing the history and compiling the statistics for the book "Atlas of the New Jer­sey Coast" in 1878. Originally from Cape May, Theophilus married Eliza Pharo in 1854 and became quite active in the affairs of Little Egg Harbor Township. (Photo courtesy of the Tuckerton Historical Society.)

Unfortunately, I didn't have time to compare Dr. Price's list of Little Egg Harbor actual enrollees with the Mount Holly Herald's list of Bass River Township draftees presented in last Friday's Blog entry. I suspect that none are on both lists, as the "From the Past" article states " . . . Fifty were drafted in three drafts in 1864 and 1865. Only four drafted men were held for service. All of the others furnished substitutes or were exempt by disability." Perhaps, some enterprising Blog reader can do a comparison and report back.

Pete S

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