In my first post on Charles B. Jaques, I wrote in paragraph #12 that the 1863 publication Report of Major-General John Pope. Letter from the secretary of war, in answer to resolution of the House of 18th ultimo, transmitting copy of report of Major General John Pope described Charles as being ‘missing’, last seen on the battlefield near Centreville, Virginia, tending to the wounded on August 29, 1862.
Well, I have since learned why Charles was described as missing thanks to the marvelous book Give It to Them, Jersey Blues! by John Hayward (Hightstown, NJ, Longstreet House, 1998, 355 pages—available on Amazon).
Page 69: “Assistant Surgeon Charles Jaques also returned after being captured at Bull Run. During the battle, Jaques had positioned himself just behind the firing line. When the Regiment withdrew, he elected to stay with the wounded who could not be brought back. … Lieutenant Colonel Francine thought that Jaques was wrong in staying behind, so he arrested the doctor upon his return. Francine felt that the doctor should have helped tend to the seventeen wounded men that had been brought from the field. No charges were ever brought against Jaques and he was released after only a few days.”
Imagine positioning yourself just behind a firing line…I can’t imagine the courage that took.
Charles in mentioned fleetingly several more times in the book (pp. 91, 93, 151), and his photo appears on p. 209. (I have written to the publishers to request permission to include the image in this blog, but have not gotten a response yet.)
In one case (pp. 91, 93), Charles and Lt. Col. Price observe that Francine appears “so dry and parched that he could barely speak above a whisper.” On Charles’ advice, Francine turned the Regiment over to Price and moved to the rear. In another (p. 151), when the number of sick men in the regiment was rising alarmingly, Charles is noted as expressing great concern about the lack of fresh water and fruits and vegetables for the men.
The book is a marvelous tribute to the men of NJ’s Seventh Regiment. It contains a wealth of information and a large photo gallery. If you have an ancestor who served in this regiment, you just may find their image here.