|1st Maryland Battalion - CSA|
|Smaller advanced Marker|
"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|