The Sharpshooters

The Sharpshooters

A History of the Ninth New Jersey Volunteer Infantry in the Civil War

Edward G. Longacre

432 pages
37 illustrations


January 2017


$34.95 Add to Cart

About the Book

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.

Author Bio

Edward G. Longacre is the award-winning author of numerous books on the Civil War, including The Early Morning of War: Bull Run, 1861Fitz Lee: A Military Biography of Major General Fitzhugh Lee, C.S.A. (Nebraska, 2010); and Gentleman and Soldier: A Biography of Wade Hampton III (Nebraska, 2009). He lives in Newport News, Virginia, on land fought over during the 1862 Peninsula Campaign.


"All serious Civil War historians will recognize Longacre's copious research and appreciate the detailed service record he narrates. This book is especially recommended for anyone interested in New Jersey history and the Ninth's contribution to the Union war effort."—Evan McLaughlin, Civil War News

"Readers will find much to learn about the dedication of these men from New Jersey and the role they played in helping to bring the war to a successful conclusion."—Brian Steel Wills, Civil War Book Review

"The Sharpshooters deserves a space in any library dedicated to the history of the Civil War. It sheds light on one of the neglected theaters of war, and one regiment that fought there."—Naor Wallach, On Point: The Journal of Army History

"The Sharpshooters certainly will engage readers with well-told examples of heroics interspersed with the usual grumbling and missed opportunities that accompany any body of men caught up in conflict."—Dave Page, Journal of America’s Military Past

“In The Sharpshooters, seasoned historian and master storyteller Ed Longacre breathes life into a memorable account of common men struggling to overcome the unvarnished reality of war. Heads above most regimental histories.”—Rod Gragg, author of Covered with Glory: The Twenty-Sixth North Carolina Infantry at the Battle of Gettysburg

The Sharpshooters covers all the bases, including organization, tactics, and soldiers’ mixed political, social, and racial attitudes in a unique unit deployed in a little-known theater of war, filling a niche in both New Jersey and Civil War history.”—Joseph G. Bilby, coauthor of “Remember You Are Jerseymen!”: A Military History of New Jersey’s Troops in the Civil War

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
1. Attention Riflemen!
2. Down to the Sea in Troopships
3. Jersey Muskrats
4. “Charge, Ninth, Charge!”
5. Working on the Railroad
6. Failed Raids and Futile Pursuits
7. Southern Excursion
8. Sweet Home North Carolina
9. Veteran Volunteers
10. The Killing Fields
11. Decline and Revival
12. War’s End, and After
Appendix: Regimental Roster

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