A BRIEF RETROSPECT OF THE HISTORY OF MARYLAND'S REPRESENTATIVES IN THE ARMY AND NAVY OF THE UNITED STATES DURING THE GREAT CIVIL WAR,
A. D. 1861 TO 1865
This regiment was organized at Baltimore, Md., from August 12 to September 8, 1862, to serve three years. It was mustered out, in accordance with orders from the War Department, by reason of close of the Civil War, June 20,1865. This regiment, raised in pursuance of President Lincoln's call of July 2, 1862, was essentially a representative Maryland regiment. Eight companies were recruited in counties representing different sections of the State, as follows:
Company A, Carroll County; Company B, Cecil County; Company C, Carroll County; Company D, Frederick County; Company E, Cecil County; Company G, Cecil County; Company H, Washington County; Company K, Queen Anne's County; and two companies, F and I, were recruited in the City of Baltimore.
The regiment rendezvoused at Baltimore City and, after a brief period for drill and discipline, left September 20, 1862, to join the Army of the Potomac, then in Western Maryland, where it was assigned to the Maryland Brigade, 8th Army Corps. Subsequently the following assignments were made:
March 28, 1863, to the 3d Brigade, 2d Division, 8th Army Corps; June 16, 1863, to the 1st Brigade, 2nd Division, 8th Army Corps; July 9, 1863, to the 2d Brigade, 3d Division, 3d Army Corps; March 24, 1864, to the 2d Brigade, 3d Division, 6th Army Corps, where it remained until the close of the war.
With the Maryland Brigade, the regiment remained on the upper Potomac until December, 1862, when it marched to and encamped on Bolivar Heights, Harper's Ferry, Virginia. On the 28th day of March, 1863, the 6th Regiment was detached from the Maryland Brigade and ordered to Berryville, Va., where it was assigned to McReynolds' (3d) Brigade, 2d Division, 8th Army Corps.
On June 13, 1863, Rhodes' Division of the Confederate army, under Lee, attacked this brigade at Berryville, Va., when, after a brief skirmish, McReynolds retired towards Winchester, Va. Whilst enroute, they were again attacked on the same day at the ford on Opequan Creek, when the 6th Regiment and a section of Alexander's Battery of Maryland Artillery handsomely repulsed the enemy, with severe loss. Immediately on arriving at Winchester, the regiment took part in the battle then raging there, where the entire Confederate army was being concentrated, with the hope of a speedy capture of Winchester, along with General Milroy's Division of the 8th Army Corps.
The 6th Regiment occupied the Star Fort, and defended it with great gallantry during the days of the 14th and 15th of June, 1863, and until ordered to retire with the Division. In its efforts to cut its way through the enemy's line, at daylight on the 15th, the 6th Regiment took part in the engagement that ensued on the Martinsburg road and, by a skillful maneuver, passed around the enemy's flank and escaped almost intact, continuing the retreat to Harper's Ferry. The 6th was now assigned to the 2d Brigade, 3d Division, 3d Army Corps, with which it participated in the battles incident to the movements of the Army of the Potomac, under General Meade, in the autumn and winter of 1863-64, in Northern Virginia.
The 6th Regiment having been transferred to the 6th Corps on March 23, 1864, took its place in line of battle with that justly celebrated fighting corps of the Army of the Potomac, in the battle of the Wilderness, May 5, 1864. The 6th Regiment participated in all the battles that followed the battle of the Wilderness, and at Spottsylvania, Cold Harbor and Petersburg, behaved with great gallantry, suffering severely.
In July, 1864, when the Confederate army, under General Early, invaded Maryland and attempted to capture the capital of the nation, the 6th Army Corps, including this regiment, was sent from Grant's army at Petersburg to drive the enemy back. The timely arrival of the 6th Army Corps did not only save the capital from capture, but speedily expelled the enemy from Maryland.
A new army was created in the Shenandoah Valley and General Sheridan placed in command, with instructions to destroy, utterly, all the Confederate forces in that section, where four long years of alternate victory and defeat had attended the Union armies. This regiment, with the 6th Army Corps, took a conspicuous part in the splendid Union victories, under General Sheridan, that crowned the efforts of this army at Winchester, Virginia, September 19, Fisher's Hill, Va., September 22, and Cedar Creek, Va., October 19, 1864.
After the utter destruction of all the Confederate armies in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, the 6th Regiment, with the 6th Army Corps, returned to General Grant's army in front of Petersburg, in the latter part of 1864. The regiment participated with the 6th Corps in the assault and capture of Petersburg, Va., April 2, at the battle of Sailor's Creek, April 6, and at the final surrender of Lee's army at Appomattox Court House, Va., April 9, 1865.
Immediately after the surrender of Lee, the 6th Corps, with Custer's Cavalry, made a forced march of 100 miles to Danville, Va., with the view of intercepting the Confederate General Johnson, who was marching to the relief of Lee. Johnson, however, being apprised of this movement, surrendered to General Sherman at Greensboro, N. C.
From Danville the 6th Corps and Sheridan's Cavalry corps marched direct to Washington, and, arriving too late for the general review, were reviewed separately by the President, after which the regiment was finally disbanded at Baltimore, Md.
The 6th Regiment of Infantry, Maryland Volunteers, is classified as one of the three hundred fighting regiments of the Civil War. Its casualties were as follows: Killed, 8 commissioned officers and 120 enlisted men; total, one hundred and twenty-eight; died of disease, etc., one commissioned officer, and one hundred and seven enlisted men.
Aggregate loss by death, two hundred and thirty-six men; and two hundred and thirty-three enlisted men wounded in battle.
This regiment, in its arduous campaigns, traveled by railroad 575 miles, by boat 577 miles, and on foot 1,751 miles, a total distance of 2,908 miles.
In addition to the numerous skirmishes and engagements in which the 6th Regiment participated, the regiment has been accredited by the War Department, U. S. Army, for its good conduct in the following official list of battles, viz.: Winchester, Wilderness, Spottsylvania, Cold Harbor, Petersburg, Opequan, Fisher's Hill, Cedar Creek, Wapping Heights, and Sailor's Creek
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