Monday, December 24, 2012

1st Maryland Battalion CSA (2nd MD)

1st Maryland Battalion - CSA
     The 1st Maryland Monument is located along Slocum Avenue on the lower summit of Culps Hill.  It was with great resistance by Union Veterans that this monument was finally erected and dedicated on November 19, 1886 at the cost of about $1,000.  It is the only Confederate regimental monument erected by a Confederate veterans association.  Another point of controversy was a smaller marker honoring the most advanced position of the regiment which was inside Federal breastworks.  Finally after much fuss, the veterans were allowed to place their marker about 50 yards from where their larger monument stands, inside the breastworks.  These triumphs for the old Confederate veterans were not without concessions though.  Because there were two Federal regiments on the hill both with the 1st MD in their name (1st MD Eastern Shore and 1st MD Potomac Home Brigade of Lockwood's Brigade), the Confederate 1st MD Battalion was required to change their name to the 2nd MD CSA on their monument, which they did.  On the monument, above this new name, in lighter carving, is the original name as well.
Smaller advanced Marker
     The regiment belonged to Steuart's Brigade, Johnson's Division of Ewell's Second Corps.  It was involved in the fighting on Culps Hill on both July 2nd and 3rd with the latter being the most violent on their numbers.  They suffered severe casualties on July 3rd and for the battle lost 56 killed, 118 wounded and 15 missing for a total of 189 casualties of the 400 taken into battle.  Their Colonel (Herbert) was mortally wounded on the 3rd and command fell to Major William Goldsborough who left a vivid account of the action that day.

"Slowly I moved down the column, with feelings I had never before experienced on the battle-field, for I felt I had but a minute more to live; and as I gazed into the faces of both officers and men, I could see the same feeling expressed, for all were alike aware of their danger. But no coward's glance met mine. There was no craven in those ranks. They had sneaked to the rear the day before. But the compressed lip, the stern brow, the glittering eye, told that those before me would fight to the last. Reaching my post, I looked up the line, and there stood the brave Steuart, calmly waiting for the troops to get in position.

'Fix bayonets,' was the command, quietly given; and the last act in this bloody drama was about to be enacted. It was a dreadful moment, but one brief second of life yet left! The sword of the General is raised on high! 'Forward, double-quick!' rings out in the clarion tones, and the race to meet death commenced. The fated brigade emerged from the woods into the open plain, and here-oh God! What a fire greeted us, and the death-shriek rends the air on every side! But on the gallant survivors pressed, closing up the dreadful gaps as fast as they were made. At this moment I felt a violent shock, and found myself instantly stretched upon the ground. I had experienced this the feeling before, and knew what it meant, but to save me I could not tell where I was struck. In the excitement I felt not the pain, and resting upon my elbow, anxiously watched that struggling column. Column, did I say? A column no longer, but the torn and shattered fragments of one. But flesh and blood could not live in such a fire; and a handful of survivors of what had been a little more than twelve hours before the pride and boast of the army, sought to reach the cover of the woods.

But that merciless storm of bullets pursued them, and many more were stricken down. Among those who escaped, with a slight wound, was Adjutant Winder Laird, who, as he passed where I lay, caught me up and carried me to the shelter of the woods.

Faint and sick from the loss of blood, I fell into a stupor, from which I was aroused by the voice of Lieutenant Thomas Tolson.
'Can I do anything for you sir?' he kindly inquired.
'Tell Captain Murray to take command of what remains of the battalion,' I directed.
'Alas, sir, Captain Murray has fought his last fight, he fell dead, close to my side, late in the charge,' he answered.
Colonel Herbert's prophecy was fulfilled.”
          - Major William Goldsborough, 1st MD Bat.

Major William Goldsborough, 1st MD Bat

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