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Pvt. Stephen W. Gordon

Pvt Stephen Ward Gordon portrait

Stephen Ward Gordon mustered into service on August 25, 1862, serving three years with the 15th New Jersey Volunteer Infantry Unit at the rank of Private. The Regiment was organized at Camp Fair Oaks, near Flemington, New Jersey. Gordon participated in all of the battles in the Fredericksburg/Spotsylvania areas, fighting for the Union Army. The regiment’s most notable battle took place on May 12, 1864, on the western edge of Mule Shoe (Confederate line) in Spotsylvania. The scene better known as “Bloody Angle,” was some of the bloodiest combat between General Robert E. Lee’s Confederate army and Union troops. Soldiers fought in close contact for nearly 20 hours straight. Bloody Angle is known as the longest and bloodiest fight of the Civil War.1

battle of Bloody angle painting

After the war, Gordon applied for and received a pension, which was later terminated between 1923-1928 (not confirmed) due to his death. His body is buried in Fairmount Cemetery in Newark, New Jersey.2 Gordon's name is engraved on the back of the 15th New Jersey Volunteers monument, located along the Bloody Angle trail at Spotsylvania Court House. The monument was dedicated on May 12, 1909, the 45th anniversary of the battle.3

 

15th New Jersey Regiment monument15th regiment monument close up

Footnotes

 

1. Peter S. Carmichael, We Respect a Good Soldier, No Matter What Flag He Fought Under: The 15th New Jersey Remembers Spotsylvania, edited by Gary W. Gallagher (The University of North Carolina Press, 1998), 203-222.

2. Gregory Speciale, Find A Grave. http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GSsr=161&GSvcid=232&GRid=16315134 (accessed on March 05, 2016).

3. Steve Hawks, Stone Sentennials. http://stonesentinels.com/Spotsylvania/15th_New_Jersey.php (accessed March 03, 2016).