Col. David T. Jenkins
David Jenkins grew up in Vernon, attended Rensselaer Polytechnic institute, became a surveryor and laywer, and volunteered to fight for the Union after the Civil War broke out. He was credited for nearly single-handedly recruiting the 146th regiment of New York State Volunteers. They became part of the NY 5th Zouaves, under the direction of General Garrard.
Jenkins rose to the rank of Colonel, an astounding accomplishment for a volunteer, let alone in such a short time. He led the regiment valiantly at major battles including Gettysburg. He was killed in action at the Battle of the Wilderness in 1865.
Born: 1836 Vernon, NY
Burial: Vernon Village CemeteryView Gravesite Details
After assisting to raise the 117th New York Infantry (Fourth Oneida), Jenkins was mustered in as a first lieutenant and regimental adjutant of the 146th on Aug 26, 1862 (Fifth Oneida). Born May 4, 1836, the tall and slender 26-year-old had attended Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, and was practicing law in Vernon at the commencement of the war. A competent soldier and skilled engineer, Jenkins was promoted Major on Sept 17, 1862, then rose to lieutenant colonel on July 23, 1863. On May 5, 1864, he was in command of the division pickets, but learning that an attack was to be made, he asked to be returned to his regiment to lead it into battle. At the head of the regiment he led his men in the charge across Saunders Field in support of the 140th New York. The last time he was seen by member of the unit, he had his back against a tree and was leaning on his sword. He had been wounded at least twice, once in the head and another shot through the body, yet he encouraged his men to “go on.” Hopes that Jenkins had been captured faded as time passed. His body was never recovered. Major A. Pierson Case of the regiment remembered: “in a time of heroes, he too was a hero—he was ours, and we ought to be proud of him.”
More information on the 146th Regiment and 5th Zouaves of New York: https://museum.dmna.ny.gov/unit-history/infantry-2/146th-infantry-regiment