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Federal (USV)


George J. Van Arsdale

(1840 - 1863)

Home State: New Jersey

Branch of Service: Infantry

Unit: 13th New Jersey Infantry

Before Antietam

He enlisted at age 22 in Company D, 13th New Jersey Infantry on 8 August 1862 and mustered as Private.

On the Campaign

He was in action with his Company at Antietam on 17 September 1862.

The rest of the War

He wrote a poem in January 1863 called A Soldier to his Mother, and sent it to her in a letter in April.

Since I left my home, Dear Mother,
In the scenes of war to share,
I have felt you, if none other
Would remember me in prayer.

Oft amid the storms of battle,
In its fiercest forms, I've stood,
Heard its loudest thunders rattle,
Seen the field run red with blood.

Cannon roared in tones of thunder,
Whilst the solid shot and shell
Rent the air and burst asunder,
Leaving death wherever they fell.

Heaps of dead were round me lying,
Gory heaps on every side,
Mangled, shattered, torn and dying,
Rolling in the crimson tide.

But some unseen power preserved me
In the wild and fearful fight,
And a strength heroic nerved me
As I struck for truth and right.


And my heart is still in keeping,
With my country's glorious cause,
And until it ceases beating,
Will defend her flag and laws.
He was mortally wounded in action at Chancellorsville, VA on 3 May 1863, and died of wounds 8 May.

References & notes

Basic information from the D Society1. His gravesite is on Findagrave. His stone may be a cenotaph: he died "behind the lines" and only his bible was sent home, so it's not clear if his body was ever returned (per letters in the Van Arsdale family papers, Special Collections, Rutgers University Archives - research by Kellen Allen for his 2013 Master's dissertation at Rutgers - source also of the poetic quote above).


05/06/1840; Somerset County, NJ


05/08/1863; in VA; burial in Peapack Reformed Church Cemetery, Gladstone, NJ


1   D Society, Veterans, Co. D 13th NJ Infantry, Historical Sketch of Co. D, 13th Regiment, N.J. Vols., Newark (NJ): D.H. Gildersleeve & Co., 1875, pg. 79  [AotW citation 17248]