The men who formed the 4th Maryland had originally intended to form an infantry company under the command of Captain William Brown of Baltimore, in the fall of 1861 in Richmond. Though field guns were scare at this juncture, so many other batteries having already been outfitted, these Marylanders were induced to form an artillery battery. In the winter of 1861 they were outfitted with four inferior guns and sent to Camp Lee. Here, two Virginians, Martin Harvey and Peter Williams were detailed to the battery from the Richmond Howitzers as instructors. After training, these two men remained with the battery.
During the Peninsular Campaign the 4th Maryland served as reserve artillery. Afterwards the battery was assigned to Colonel Snowden Andrew's artillery battalion, where it fought alongside Carpenter's Battery and the 1st Maryland Artillery. (See 1st Maryland Artillery for detailed account of battalion's history).
The ancient smooth bore guns of the battery often prevented them from being of much use in battle. In August of 1862, as Jackson struck at Pope near Cedar Mountain, the 4th Maryland so distinguished itself at Cedar Run, that General Early presented the battery with 4 ten-pounder Parrotts captured in the battle.
When Jackson moved to Manassas Junction and destroyed the great stores the Federal army had built up there, the Chesapeake Battery was engaged at Bristoe and for a time fought directly under the eye of Mad Jack himself. Seeing Jackson watching them, the men stopped to cheer their commander, but he simply ordered them to re-new their fire. That night they were heavily engaged in a fire fight with an enemy battery. They suffered several casualties, but when day light broke on the Federal position the battery was gone and much of it's crew and infantry support lay wounded or dieing on the ground.
The 4th Maryland participated in the reduction of Harper's Ferry, then rushed with Jackson to Sharpsburg. Returning to Virginia, the battery was moved to Fredericksburg, where it fought valiantly on December 13th at Hamilton's Crossing. After Fredericksburg the battery went into winter quarters at Bowling Green and re-fitted. When Hooker moved on Lee's left flank in the Spring of 1863, the 4th Maryland returned to Hamilton's Crossing and participated in Early's defense there against Sedgewick's assaults on the Confederate postion above Fredericksburg. During the engagement, Dement's Battery, whose twelve-pound Napoleons were ineffective against the Federal cannon was moved and the 4th Maryland took it's place. The position was an extremely hot one, but the battery held it's position until the entire battalion was moved back near Telegraph road. There Snowden's artillery, hidden from the advancing infantry, dealt it a series of devestating volleys, allowing Early's infantry to push the staggering column back and retake the hills overlooking Fredericksburg.
The 4th Maryland was attached to Ewell's Corps in June, 1863, and moved with him to the Valley as he made his way north. The battery was not engaged at Winchester, and did not see much fighting until it reached gettysburg, where it was placed on Brenner's Hill with Andrews' Artillery Battalion. Brenner Hill was opposite Culp's Hill and the artillery was placed there to support Ewell's assaults on Culp's Hill and Cemetery Hill. But the Federal Artillery on Cemetery Hill, a much taller elevation, dominated the Confederate artillery. W.W. Goldsborough ("The Maryland Line") quotes one member of the 4th Maryland: "Brenner's Hill was simply a hell infernal." The battey had three guns silenced during the artillery duel on the second day. The fourth gun had a wheel shattered, which the crew replaced and continued firing. Captain William Brown, commander of the battery was killed, as were seven of his men. Eight men were wounded. Half the battery's horses were killed as well.
The battery continued in service to Appomattox, but it's chronicler does not mention much after Gettysburg. It was evidently present at Fort Gregg in the Petersburg defenses. On one occassion the battery ran out of ammunition and employed a Lieutenant's coat to pick up Federal shells so they could be lobbed back at the Union guns.
Unit history provided by Gary Baker of the Association of Carroll's Sacred Trust.