Civil War 1860 - 1866
1860 - 1866.
Civil War - Close Light Guards - Excitement During War- First
Port Johnson Coal Dock
Rumors of war with the South, at this
period, were freely discussed among the inhabitants. War was the
topic everywhere. It was talked about in the meeting-house, in
the store, by the fire-side at home, and in the fields. Farming
In the spring of 1861, the great Civil
War broke out. Middle aged men and youths hastened to enlist,
'while the old men and boys remained at home to work the farm.
The local military company, called the
Close Light Guards,1 was merged into
Company E of the Second New Jersey, in April, to serve for three
months. This company drilled at the Mansion House, then located
on Grand Street, Pamrapo. In August, 1862, most of them
re-enlisted for nine months' service in Company C, Twenty-first
New Jersey. They were sent to Washington. Others enlisted in New
York and Jersey City.
During the war, the post-office was
besieged with anxious inhabitants for letters from their loved
ones guarding the Capitol and on the fighting border. New York
newspapers, such as the "Tribune," "Herald" and "Post," were
bought and read with eagerness. Food products went up. Milk was
sold at thirty cents per quart, yeast as high as twenty cents,
and tea at $1.50.
A military company wearing the French
uniform, called the Duryea Zouaves, camped for nearly a year on
the property now used as a picnic grove on the Newark Bay shore
in Pamrapo. This company was not composed of local men. They
were a rough lot, and always in mischief. The inhabitants were
not sorry at their departure.
At last the long years of war passed by, and the survivors
returned home. There was great rejoicing, except for those who
had lost their dear ones. The little township had done its first
important duty, and that was in serving its country. The first
coal dock at Port Johnston (on the Kill) was completed and in
operation in July, 1866. This place became one of the principal
coal depots in the country. It was named in honor of the
President of the C. R. R. of N. J. at that time.
Named after J. B. Close, a local resident.
Source: First History of Bayonne, New
Jersey, by Royden Page Whitcomb, Published by R. P. Whitcomb, 24
East 37TH Street, Bayonne, N. J., 1904.