Isaac
Randolph


 

ISAAC C. RANDOLPH was appointed to the Camden Fire Department in July of 1873, taking the place of Thomas Grapevine, who had resigned. He served as an extra man with Engine Company 2 until April of 1874, when he was replaced by Charles Swope. He was re-appointed on April 8, 1878. He served until April 5, 1882 when he was replaced by Isaac M. Shreeve.

Isaac C. Randolph was born in New Jersey in January of 1843 to Edward E. and Rebecca P. Randolph. The family, which included younger brother William, was living in Camden's South Ward when the 1850 Census was taken. Edward E. Randolph was working as a house carpenter. The family was still in the South Ward at the time of the 1860 Census. Isaac Randolph was working as an apprentice hatter. 

Isaac C. Randolph enlisted in Company G, 12th New Jersey Infantry Regiment on September 4, 1862.

The Twelfth New Jersey Infantry was commanded by Colonels Robert C. Johnson, J. Howard Willetts, and John Willian during its term of service. This regiment was raised under the second call of the president for 300,000 men, Robert C. Johnson, of Salem, formerly major of the Fourth regiment (3 months' men), being commissioned as colonel early in July, 1862. Woodbury, Gloucester county, was selected as the rendezvous, and on July 25 the first detachment of troops, about 950 men, was mustered into the U. S. service. Many of the officers had already seen service in other regiments, but comparatively few of the men were familiar with military duties or requirements, though all entered cheerfully upon the work of preparing for the duties before them. 

On September 7, 1862 the regiment left the state for Washington, but at Baltimore was diverted from its course by Gen. Wool, commanding  that district, who ordered it to proceed to Ellicott City, the county seat of Howard County, Maryland, 15 miles from Baltimore on the line of the Baltimore & Ohio railroad. 

At Chancellorsville, on May 3, 1863, the regiment received its first taste of actual warfare. It behaved with great gallantry, though the loss was severe, amounting to 179 in killed, wounded and missing. Although under arms during the two succeeding days and nights, it was not again engaged, and on the night of the 5th it re-crossed the Rappahannock and proceeded to its old camp, having in its first battle lost over one-tenth of its men. Soon after reaching the field at Gettysburg on July 2, Company I was sent out on the skirmish line, but the combat not yet being opened, only two or three casualties were sustained. In the afternoon a house and barn  standing about 200 yards west of the Emmitsburg road and nearly equidistant from either army having been occupied as a cover by  the Confederate sharpshooters, Companies B, H, E and G were sent out  to dislodge them, which they did, capturing 6 commissioned  officers and 80 men, but with considerable loss, Captain Horsfall  of Company E, a brave officer, being killed, and Lieutenant Eastwick wounded. During the fearful infantry contest of the following  day the regiment was actively engaged, but only lost 5 or 6 men  killed and 1 officer and 30 men wounded. 

On October 14, when near  Auburn mills, some 2 miles east of Warrenton, the Confederate  cavalry made an attack upon the corps of which the regiment was  a part, evidently hoping to capture its train, but they were  repulsed with loss and the corps continued its retreat toward Centerville, the point which Lee was straining every nerve to reach in advance of the Union troops. In the engagement at  Bristoe Station, which lasted for 3 or 4 hours, several men of the Twelfth were wounded, Lieutenant Lowe, of Company G, being among the number. In the skirmishes at Mine Run the regiment did not sustain any casualties, although under fire on several occasions. In the affair at Morton's Ford, some 10 men of the  regiment were wounded, but only 1 fatally. 

At the battle of  the Wilderness, although not engaged as a whole, the regiment  suffered considerably, Lieutenant John M. Fogg, of Company H, being  killed, while Lieutenant Frank M. Riley, of Company K, and several others were wounded. Two days later the regiment lost heavily, Lieutenant Colonel Davis and Captains Chew and Potter being among the  wounded. In the magnificent assault at Spottsylvania, which  resulted in the capture of over 3,000 prisoners and some 30  guns, the Twelfth again suffered severely, Lieutenant Colonel Davis being  instantly killed while bravely leading the regiment; Captain H. M. Brooks and Lieutenant E. P. Phipps were severely wounded and  were obliged to quit the service in consequence. In the  assault at Cold Harbor the loss of the regiment was severe, Captain McCoomb, commanding the regiment, being mortally wounded  by the explosion of a shell, which also killed or wounded several privates. Up to June 16 the total loss of the regiment  in this memorable campaign had been some 250 killed, wounded or missing- a large proportion of the wounded being officers. 

From this time forward the regiment was in position at various  points on the line, and in July it participated in the movement  and affair at Strawberry Plains and Deep Bottom, on the north  side of the James. Thence, by a forced march, it returned to  the Petersburg front, arriving in time to support the assault  at the explosion of the mine, July 30, though not actually engaged. It participated in the second movement to Deep  Bottom, charging the enemy's picket line under Captains Chew and  Acton, and upon returning marched to the extreme left flank of  the Army of the Potomac, whence it was marched to Reams' Station, on the Weldon railroad, where the 1st division of the  corps had preceded it. In the severe action at the latter  place Lieutenant Colonel Thompson, commanding the regiment, was severely wounded and Lieutenants Rich and Stratton were killed. 

After the action at Reams' station the regiment was in various  positions along the Petersburg front, Fort Hell on the  Jerusalem plank road, Fort Morton, and at other points, until  late in October, when it moved out and participated in the  action known as the battle of the Boydton road, where it lost 4  killed and 9 wounded, including Captain T. O. Slater. In the winter of 1864-65 it took part in the various actions at  Hatcher's Run, where in one instance it charged across the run,  waist deep, and took the enemy's works, upon which its color bearer, Ellwood Griscom, was the first to plant the national  colors. It was present in the movements of the army preceding the main assault on the Petersburg defenses; took part in the  assault, under the command of Major Chew, and aided in the various actions during Lee's retreat until his surrender. It  returned, via Richmond, to Bailey's crossroads, in front of  Washington, where in June, 1865, the old battalion of the  regiment was mustered out of service, and in July the remainder of the regiment. Its total strength was 1,899, and it lost, by  resignation 14, by discharge 171, by promotion 56, by transfer  206, by death 261, by desertion 216, by dismissal 3, not  accounted for 29, mustered out, 943.

Private Randolph was among those who mustered out on June 4, 1865 at Munson's Hill, Virginia.

Isaac Randolph returned to Camden and married. When the 1870 Census was taken Isaac and Martha "Mattie" Randolph were living with his parents and brother William in Camden's Middle Ward. Isaac Randolph was working as a clerk in a box factory at the time. 

As stated above Isaac Randolph was appointed to the Camden Fire Department in July of 1873. He was the living at 653 John Street, which was later renamed Locust Street. Four other Camden firefighters of that era also lived in the 600 block of John Street, William Gleason 646, James M. Lane at 644, John Vanstavern at 647, and John W. Streeper at 649.

By 1877 the Randolph family had moved to 225 Pine Street. Edward Randolph had passed away, his widow lived with Isaac and his family, as did brother William Randolph.

The 1880 Census shows Isaac and Martha Randolph living with their children Franklin T., 10 and Clara, 8 months at 203 Hartman Street, which was renamed Clinton Street in 1882. Isaac Randolph was working as a sawyer. His brother William was living with them, but had no occupation.

The 1883 City Directory shows that Isaac Randolph and family was still living at Clinton Street. Involving himself in local politics, Isaac Randolph served on the Board of Education in 1884 and 1885

By 1887 Isaac Randolph had moved to 526 South 2nd Street, where he would make his home through 1906. On June 5, 1900 when the Census was taken, Isaac C. Randolph was living at 526 South 2nd Street with his wife, Martha "Mattie" Randolph. Of their five children, only one was living. He was working as "box sawyer". His brother William Randolph was living, he was not working and passed away not long afterwards.  

Isaac Randolph passed away in 1909, survived by his wife, son Frank T. Randolph, and two grandchildren. His widow was approved for a Civil War widow's pension on May 26, 1909. She was living at 200 Berkley Street when the 1910 Census was enumerated.

Isaac C. Randolph was a member of the William B. Hatch Post No. 37, Grand Army of the Republic, as were brother firefighters William W. Mines, Alfred Ivins, and Benjamin H. Connelly.


Philadelphia Inquirer - July 26, 1873
John Gray Jr. - Thomas Grapewine - Henry Frost
Bernard Dennis - Elwood Cline
David B. Sparks - Charles Elfreth - Joseph Nece
William Osler
- Isaac Randolph

Philadelphia Inquirer * March 26, 1877


Philadelphia Inquirer - October 22, 1900
 

Civil War Pension Record
 

Philadelphia Inquirer - October 22, 1900
 


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