(1st Maryland Infantry Battalion)
The monument to the Confederate Second Maryland Infantry is southeast of Gettysburg on Culp’s Hill. (39.816695° N, 77.218242° W; map; Tour map: South Culp’s Hill) A marker showing the extent of the advance of the battalion is a short distance to the west in the saddle between upper and lower Culp’s Hill.
This was the first Confederate monument on the battlefield and met a great deal of resistance from the battlefield commission authorities. It was finally allowed to be erected and was dedicated in 1884. But the commission required it to be designated as the “2nd Maryland Infantry” even though the unit was known as the First Maryland Battalion at the time of the battle.
The reason given was there were already two Union regiments designated as the First Maryland (First Maryland Potomac Home Brigade and First Maryland Eastern Shore), and the Confederate 1st Maryland Battalion had been redesignated as the Second Maryland Regiment in 1864. So the monument was erected to the “2nd MD. INFANTRY C.S.A.” But a close examination of the monument just above the unit designation shows an unofficial but professionally carved correction (middle right). The position marker refers to the “1st MD. BATTALION C.S.A.”
The battalion was commanded by Lieutenant Colonel James Herbert until he was wounded on July 2nd. Major William Goldsborough then took over until he, too was wounded. Captain Murray having been killed, Captain Torsch then briefly led the battalion until relieved by Captain James P. Crane. The battalion brought 400 men to the field in eight companies, losing 56 killed, 118 wounded and 15 missing.
There is no better example of a state caught between two sides than what occurred at Culp’s Hill, where the Union 1st Maryland Eastern Shore faced the Confederate 1st Maryland Battalion. Color Sergeant Robert Ross of the Union regiment was a cousin to Color Sergeant P.M. Moore of the Confederate battalion, who was wounded several times and captured by his neighbors.
Colonel Wallace of the Union 1st Maryland wrote, “The 1st Maryland Confederate Regiment met us and were cut to pieces. We sorrowfully gathered up many of our old friends and acquaintances and had them carefully and tenderly cared for.” Included among these dead was the battalion’s mascot, Grace. Union General Thomas Kane recalled, “He licked someone’s hand, they said, after he was perfectly riddled.” Kane ordered the dog given decent burial “as the only Christian minded being on either side.”*
*Pfanz; Gettysburg–Culp’s Hill and Cemetery Hill, pp.320-321
From the front of the monument:
1st Md. Changed to
2nd MD. Infantry. C.S.A.
From the right side:
On the morning of July 3rd the battalion moving by the left flank formed at right angles with and inside the works and charged under a fire in in front, flank and rear to a stone planted 100 yards west from this monument
From the left side:
400 Strength in Battle.
From the rear:
The First Maryland Battalion Infantry,
Lieut. Col. Jas. R. Herbert,
Stewart’s Brigade, Johnson’s Division, Ewell’s Corps,
Army of Northern Virginia.
Advancing from Rock Creek about 7 p.m. July 2nd
Occupied the line of works at this point and held its position until next morning
From the marker:
Point reached by 1st Md. Battalion C.S.A. July 3rd 1863
“Superbly researched and extremely well written. Colonel Driver lets the primary sources and soldiers’ diaries do the talking while he knits events together with insight and objectivity. The Appendix, listing most of those who served with the First and Second Maryland, is equally well done and may be worth of the price of the book on its own. Those interested in the contribution occupied Maryland still managed to make to the Confederate cause will want this one (and its companion on the Maryland Cavalry, CSA) on their bookshelf.” (review by Eastern Shoreman on Amazon)