Tuesday, February 7, 2012

The 11 th New Jersey Regiment of Volunteers at Gettysburg Part II a -Schoonover

Talk about a battlefield promotion. 
In the middle of this is the sketch of John Schoonover. Born in 1828 he raised by his parents in Bushkill Falls. 
When the war clouds begin to gather they find him living and working as a teacher. He attends the same church as  the McAllisters where while there is no mention of it, he steady personality and qualities that will surface during the Civil War, come under the watchful eye of Robert McAllister. When the war opens, he signs up as a Private in the 1st New Jersey Regiment of Voluntees. When the 11th New Jersey is form he is obviously asked by McAllsiter to join the 11th NJ where he becomes its in essence bookkeeper with the rank of 2nd LT.  Thats where he is when the 11th faces the elephant for the first time at Fredricksburg. With the 11th serving more as fire supports its not till the 11ths gets into the tough sport it finds itself at Chancelorsville that he earns the notierty that will eventually bring him the command of the 11th. He is lauded by the way in McAllsiters after action report for Chancelorsville.
Gettysburg while it tests the mettle of the regiment as a whole, ir brings Schoonover from bookkeeper to Lt Colonel in command of the regiment. How could that happen you may ask  ?
In a spand of roughly 15 to 20 minutes, the regiment loses all its officers above the rank of 2nd LT and command of the regiment falls to Schoonover, who even though wounded himself three times assumes command of it and retains command till the end of the war. Though not completely uncommon in the Civil War, to go from the secretary of the regiment to commanding it in an afternoon, must have had his head spinning.  Though once again its because of bravery and steadfastness that gives him the mantle of command. 

No comments:

Post a Comment