Maryland in the Civil War
Maryland Under Federal Military Power
Source: Confederate Military History, Vol. 2
Governor Hicks did not respond to the first call of the President of the United States for troops until he had delivered the State over to the Federal authorities, securely tied, handcuffed and gagged, and when habeas corpus was defied, freedom of speech made a crime, liberty of the press suppressed, trial by jury abolished, Butler holding down Baltimore under the prisons of Federal Hill and throttling the State government at Annapolis. Governor Hicks, who, at the meeting in Monument Square in the afternoon of April 10th, prayed his God to wither his right arm if ever he raised it against a sister Southern State, against Virginia and the South, had not complied with President Lincoln's first call for troops, but Butler's guns and the Federal control of the city recovered him from the panic into which he had been precipitated by the paving stones of Pratt St., and on the 14th of May, the day of Ross Winans' arrest, he issued a proclamation calling for four regiments of volunteers to serve for three months, "within the limits of Maryland, or for the defense of the capital of the United States, and not to serve beyond the limits aforesaid." In consequence of the delay, the short term of service and the ridiculous terms proposed for enlistment, the government refused to accept the home guards, guaranteed "never to leave the State except in case of invasion."
On the 2d of May President Lincoln had called for forty-two thousand and thirty-four regulars to serve for three years, and a large number of men who had volunteered under the first call enlisted under the second.
James Cooper, Esq., who was a native of Carroll county, Maryland, but had lived all his life in Pennsylvania and had served that State in the Senate of the United States with honor to himself and distinction to his State, was commissioned brigadier-general by the Federal authority, and assigned to the duty of raising and organizing the militia of the State of Maryland for Federal service. The governor and State authority were thus superseded by the Federal government, as the legislature was shortly afterward dispersed, imprisoned and disbanded, the judges ignored and the courts trampled under foot. The Constitution of the United States as well as that of Maryland was thus suspended and another instance given, as has been done since history began, that "inter arma silent leges"--in time of war paper guarantees and written agreements have no force. It was freely asserted by the great legal authorities, by learned lawyers and great judges, supporting the Union side, that "constitutions are not made for war times!"
Patterson's army, after retiring from Virginia, on the expiration of the time of its ninety-day men, was camped at Williamsport, where during the summer it was reinforced by new recruits. Maj.-Gen. N. P. Banks was assigned to command this army and picketed the Potomac from Georgetown to Harper's Ferry. Maj.-Gen. Joseph Hooker with a division was posted in southern Maryland, and picketed the Potomac from Washington to its mouth. Forty thousand men were thus occupied in guarding Maryland along the line of the Potomac alone.
Another division was posted in Baltimore with garrisons at every county town in the State. The November election of 1861 was considered of great consequence to the Union side in that State. Governor Hicks, in his zeal not to raise his arm against a sister Southern State, applied to General Banks to work into the Maryland election so that "a killing majority shall be rolled up against secessionism. General McClellan issued an order to General Banks, calling his attention to the alleged "apprehension among Union citizens in many parts of Maryland, of an attempt at interference with their rights of suffrage by disunion citizens." The wolves clearly perceived the intention of the lambs below them to muddy the stream. He directed Banks to garrison the polls, and see "that no disunionists are allowed to intimidate them, or in any way interfere with their rights." Also to arrest all persons who have recently returned from Virginia and who show themselves at the polls. General Dix, governing in Baltimore, directed the United States marshal and the provost marshal to arrest all disloyal persons and to hold them securely. Col. John W. Geary, of the Twenty-eighth Pennsylvania regiment, reported from Point of Rocks, Maryland, November 8, 1961, to Capt. R. Morris Copeland, assistant adjutant-general on Banks' staff:
"Previous to the election a number of enemies to the Union in this State preliminated schemes for disturbing the peace of the various precincts. I had several of the most prominent actors in this, among whom was a candidate for senator, arrested before election and held until to-day. I had detailments from various companies of my regiment, with proper officers, stationed in Sandy Hook, Petersville, Jefferson, Urbana, New Market, .Buckeye-town, Frederick City and other places where the polls were held. Owing to the presence of the troops everything progressed quietly and I am happy to report a Union victory in every place in my jurisdiction."
These arbitrary arrests caused Lord Lyons, the English minister at Washington, to remonstrate with Mr. Lincoln. On November 4th he wrote Earl Russell that he had told Mr. Seward that "while the English people did not enter far into abstract questions of national dignity, they felt very strongly on the subject of the treatment of their fellow citizens abroad: nothing inspired them with so strong or lasting a resentment as injuries or indignities inflicted by foreign governments on her majesty's subjects." Mr. Seward replied that "the recent arrests had all been made in view of the Maryland elections, that those elections would be over in a week's time, and that he hoped then to be able to set at liberty all the British subjects now under military arrest." In another dispatch of September 16, 1861, Lord Lyons says: "A war has been made at Baltimore upon particular articles of dress, particular colors, portraits of Southern leaders and other supposed symptoms of supposed disaffection. The violent measures which have been resorted to have gone far to establish the fact that Maryland is retained in the Union only by military force. They have undoubtedly increased the dislike of the people to their Northern ruler."
Augustus W. Bradford was the candidate of the Union party, Benjamin C. Howard, of the Democratic party. The Union soldiers voted everywhere "freely without hindrance, and fully without denial, and speedily without delay," as much and as often as they chose. Bradford was declared elected by a majority of over 30,000. He could just as well have had a recorded majority of 300,000.
The marshal of police, George P. Kane, the police commissioners, and the mayor of Baltimore had been arrested in July and imprisoned at Fort Lafayette. Thus, at the beginning of the year 1862, the Federal army of occupation was commanded by Major-General Dix in Baltimore; Hooker in Charles county, and along the Potomac, south of Washington, Generals McClellan, Keyes and Casey; in and around Washington, General Stone at Poolesville, and Banks at Darnestown, up to Williamsport, General Kelly at Cumberland, where he was relieved early in January by General Lander. It had elected Augustus W. Bradford governor, and a subservient legislature in November, 1861. The judiciary was deposed and dragged from the bench. Judge Robert B. Carmichael, illustrious for a long life of private virtue and public service, was seized on the bench in his court house at Easton in Talbot county, knocked senseless with a revolver on the very seat of justice, incarcerated in the negro jail in Baltimore, and thence sent to Fort Lafayette and there held. Hon. James L. Bartol, of the court of appeals, was imprisoned in Fort McHenry. As General Lee said in his proclamation to the people of Maryland: "Words have been declared offenses, by an arbitrary decree of the Federal executive, and citizens ordered to be tried by a military commission for what they may dare to speak." Lord Lyons, therefore, well said, "that the violent measures which have been resorted to have gone far to establish the fact that Maryland is retained in the Union only by military force."
The legislature was convened by Hicks on December 3, 1861, and promptly passed resolutions of thanks to Col. John R. Kenly, of the First Maryland regiment, "for his early, prompt and distinguished services in the cause of his country."
But the lot of the Maryland Unionists was not a happy one. They had harnessed themselves to the car of the radical revolution, and they began to see, when too late, whither they were being driven. In March, 1862, the legislature passed a resolution that "The general assembly of Maryland have seen with concern, certain indications at the seat of the general government, of an interference with the institution of slavery--in the slave-holding States--and cannot hesitate to express their sentiments, and those of the people they represent, in regard to a policy so unwise and mischievous. This war is prosecuted by the nation with one object, that, namely, of a restoration of the Union, just as it was before the rebellion broke out. The rebellious States are to be brought back to their places in the Union without change or diminution of their constitutional rights, etc., etc."
They further resolved frequently and copiously against the secessionists and in favor of the Union. Nevertheless and notwithstanding this outcry, in April, I862, Congress passed a law for the abolition of slavery in the District of Columbia. The legislature of Maryland passed a "treason law," which denounced the penalty of death against any one convicted of levying war against this State, or who shall adhere to the enemies thereof, whether foreign or domestic, giving them aid or comfort within this State or elsewhere. Punishments were also denounced for breaking railroads or canals; for belonging to any secret club intended to encourage the secession of the State from the Union; for displaying secession flags, encouraging any minor to go South and join in the rebellion, or furnishing any minor or any other person with money, clothes, provisions or conveyance to aid in such an object. It also appropriated $7,000 for the relief of the families of those soldiers of the Sixth Massachusetts regiment who were killed in the riot of April 19, 1861. It made no provision for the families of those citizens of Maryland who were killed by the soldiers. Loyalty could not further go.
When President Lincoln, on the 14th of April, 1861, called for seventy-five thousand volunteers to suppress the rebellion, he required Maryland to furnish four regiments of four hundred and eighty men each as her quota. But on the 20th, the day after the Baltimore attack on the Massachusetts troops, Governor Hicks wrote him that "he thought it prudent (for the present) to decline responding affirmatively to the requisition." About the last of April, as has been noted, the Federal government commissioned Hon. James Cooper of Frederick to raise a brigade. Recruiting was at once begun in Baltimore by J. C. McConnell, and other companies were raised in different parts of the State, and before the first of June, 1861, the First regiment Maryland volunteers was mustered into the service of the United States, and John R. Kenly commissioned colonel, and Nathan T. Dushane lieutenant-colonel. The Second regiment was mustered in about the middle of September under Colonel Summers and Lieutenant-Colonel Duryea. The Third Maryland was recruited by foreigners in Baltimore City and western Maryland and was commanded by Colonel DeWitt. The Fourth regiment, commanded by Colonel Sudburgh, was composed of Germans. The First and Second Maryland artillery companies were commanded by Captains Hampton and Thomson, and the First Maryland cavalry by Lieutenant-Colonel Miller.
These first forces raised for the Union in Maryland were, with the exception of the First regiment, mainly composed of foreigners, aliens by birth and aliens to the institutions, ideals and motives that for nine generations had formed the character of Marylanders. They were good men, but they were not Marylanders. They were devoted to the Union, but they had no conception of the force and duty of "courage and chivalry." The First Maryland under Kenly was the only Maryland regiment on the Union side. The Confederate Marylanders, on the other hand, embodied the faith and pride of the State. Not a historic family of Maryland but was represented in the Maryland Line. Five grandsons of John Eager Howard, of the Cowpens, carried sword or musket in the First Maryland regiment. A grandson of Charles Carroll of Carrollton rode as a private in Company K, First Virginia cavalry. Colonel Johnson, of the Maryland Line, rode at the head of seventy-two kinsmen, descendants of soldiers of the Revolution, his own flesh and blood!
In the summer of 1862 the First and Second Eastern Shore regiments were raised under Colonels Wallace and Wilkins; the First and Second regiments Potomac home brigade under Colonels Maulsby and Johns; and the Purnell Legion of one regiment infantry, Col. William Louis Schley, one company of artillery and two troops of cavalry; the First Maryland artillery, Captain Alexander, and the Fourth, Sixth, Seventh and Eighth regiments of infantry. There was also a battalion of artillery, Maj. E. R. Petherbridge, Battery A, Capt. I. W. Wolcott, with eight three-inch rifle 10-pounders, and Battery B, Capt. A. Snow, with six of the same as Battery A.
Colonel Kenly was promoted brigadier-general on the 22d of August, 1862, "for gallant conduct at the battle of Front Royal." On September 8th he was assigned to command a brigade to consist of the First, Fourth, Sixth, Seventh and Eighth regiments of Maryland volunteers with Alexander's battery of light artillery. The First regiment, as we have seen, served with distinction in the valley under Banks in 1862. The Second was with Burnside at New Bern, N.C. There they received the following decoration from their commanding general:
"Headquarters Department of North Carolina.
New Bern, May 22, 1862.
Lieut.-Col. Eugene Duryea,
Commanding Second regiment Maryland Volunteers:
Sir:--The commanding general desires me to express his gratification at the skillful and soldierly manner in which your movement on Pollocksville was executed on the 14th and 17th instant, and high appreciation of the fortitude and perseverance with which the obstacles presented by the elements were borne and overcome by yourself and your command.
I have the honor to be, colonel,
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
LEWIS RICMOND, A. A. G."
The move on Pollocksville consisted of a march of sixty miles in seventy-two hours in the face of an active enemy, through deep mud and in a drenching rain, maintaining their position for two days against heavy odds, repelling repeated assaults and performing their work effectually, and then safely returning to the army notwithstanding a vigorous pursuit!
The Second Maryland returned with Burnside to Virginia. where it joined Pope and did good service at Second Manassas. Maryland is not entitled to merit for this gallant command. Its colonel, Duryea, was not connected by blood or in any way with the State, and most of the enlisted men were foreigners.
The Third regiment, under Colonel DeWitt, was hotly engaged at Cedar Run, and lost heavily. Major Kennedy and over one hundred men were killed and wounded. They also lost over thirty-three per cent of the command at Sharpsburg, killed and wounded.
The First regiment of cavalry, Lieutenant-Colonel Miller and Maj. James M. Deems, served under Generals Buford and Sigel in the army of the Potomac, in 1862.
The Potomac home brigade, Col. William P. Maulsby, and the Purnell Legion, were enlisted and organized as home guards for home service and never to leave the State. Colonel Maulsby, of the First regiment, and commanding the Potomac home brigade, was as high spirited and as chivalric a knight as ever set lance in rest for the rescue of the Holy Sepulcher, for he was a Marylander by descent, by tradition and in every fiber of his being. Therefore, when the army of the Potomac moved toward its enemy, Maulsby's Potomac home brigade moved with it, on its own ardent demand. Its muskets would have marched had there been no men to carry them, for the spirit of the commander permeates and electrifies all under him, and the fire of the head and heart heats all the members.
The Maryland artillery battalion, under Maj. Edward R. Petherbridge, was before Richmond in the artillery reserve under Colonel Hunt. At the New Bridge over the Chickahominy, Battery B once had an artillery duel with the First Maryland artillery, Confederate, in which it fired over six hundred shots, doing considerable damage.
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ON TO MARYLAND IN THE CIVIL WAR, CHAPTER IX