1st Maryland Infantry, Potomac Home Brigade, US
At the outbreak of the American Civil War, Maryland had attempted to remain neutral. While several thousand disenchanted Marylnders who supported the southern Cause, did go South, few Marylanders initially responded to President Lincoln's call to arms to "squelch the rebellion."
Maryland did, however, raise milita forces to protect it's boundaries from Confederate incursion. As the war progressed these units, known as Home Brigades, were intigrated in the total command structure of the Army of the Potomac.
The first such unit organized was the First Regiment Infantry, Potomac Home Brigade, Maryland Volunteers. The 1st PHB was organized at Frederick City from August 15, to December 13, 1861. Term of service was for three years.
Companies A., B., D. & I. were recruited in Frederick County. Company C. was from Baltimore City, companies E., F. & H. were recruite from Washington County, Company G. from Baltimore, Carroll and Frederick Counties and Company K. was from Baltimore city and Frederick County.
The 1st PHB was assigned to General Banks' Division and remained in winter quarters near Frederick with Banks' Division. In the spring the 1st PHB moved with Banks into Virginia and up the Shenandoah as far as Winchester befre being recalled and assigned to guard sections of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad in Maryland and Virginia. When Stonewall Jackson drove Banks out of the Shenandoah in May of 1862, the 1st PHB was moved to Harper's Ferry to shore up Federal defences there. A detachemtn of the regiment skirmished with Confederate troops on Louden Heights on May 27th.
After Jackson moved back up the Valley, the 1st PHB was returned to duty along the B. & O. When Lee defeated General Pope at Second Manassas and moved toward Maryland, the 1st PHB gallantly contested rebel crossings at several fords along the Potomac and at the mouth of the Monocay River. The regiment then marched to Harper's Ferry, where it took part in the defense of the garrison during Jackson's seige. The regiment surrendered with the garrison on September 15th, and was paroled to duty on the Potomac in southern Maryland.
When the Army of Northern Virginia marched through Maryland in June of 1863, the 1st PHB was one of the Maryland regiments rushed north into Pennsylvania. The regiment was assigned to General Lockwood's ad hoc brigade and attached to the Army of the Potomac's 12th Corps. 12th Corps was holding the far left of the Union line at Gettysburg, along Culp's Hill. After securing a position along Culp's Hill, the 1st PHB was among the units removed from the right and thrown into the Federal left to stem the attack of General Longstreet on July 2nd. The 1st PHB was hotly engaged at this time. Later that evening, when the unit returned to Culp's Hill, the Marylanders found their trenches occuppied by confederate forces, among them their fellow Marylanders in the 1st/2nd Maryland Infantry C.S.A.
Union batteries shelled the Confederates holding on to Culp's Hill on the morning of the 3rd. This was followed by an attack by 12th Corps to retake it's position. The fighting was heavey and somewhat unusual as a number of friends and relatives found themselves firing at familiar faces.
After Gettysburg the 1st PHB participated in the persuit of Lee back into Maryland, then returned to duty along the B. & O. When General Early invaded Maryland in July of 1864 (see the Raid) the 1st PHB was among General Lew Wallace's defenders at Monocacy Junction on July 9, 1864.
In December of 1864 the 1st PHB's term of service ended and those men wishing not to re-enlist were mustered out of service. The remaining veterans formed the core of the 13th Maryland Infantry, which was recruited to full strength in April of 1865.
The regiment lost 3 officers dead in battle, and 42 enlisted men. One officer and 85 enlisted men died of disease.
History Provided by Gary Baker of the Association of Carroll's Sacred Trust
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