Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 03.djvu/149

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139
Maryland Troops in the Confederate Service.

"whose nerves were steady and head level." From returns in the Adjutant-General's office, Richmond, in the early part of 1863, there had been mustered into the service in all the States from 19,000 to 21,000 citizens of Maryland. These facts were obtained from the office at that time by Major-General I. R. Trimble. From this time until the close of the war this number was being frequently added to. These men were all volunteers in the highest sense. The difficulties they had to encounter in running the blockade deterred many a stout heart from making the effort; in fact, many who did make the attempt were captured by the Federal forces. At a very early period of the war Maryland was overrun with Federal soldiers, who guarded every avenue to the South, and it was a very hard matter to keep the "underground railway" in operation. Large sums were paid to get through—in some instances one hundred dollars and more. A party who was living in New York when the war broke out was one month in making his way from that city to Richmond; for three days was hid in a swamp on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, sleeping at night in a potato hole or house dug in the ground, and finally, in the attempt to cross the Potomac river, was intercepted and shot at by some Yankees in a launch from a Federal gunboat. He however escaped and reached the Virginia shore in safety, losing all his baggage, and the boat in which he crossed was captured.

Many persons have said if the Marylanders were so anxious to enlist in the Confederate service, why did they not do so when General Lee's army was in their State. It must be remembered that the army only went into the western part of the State, which was to Maryland the same as West Virginia was to Virginia, there being a large Union element in both sections, and the Federal forces took special precaution to prevent recruits coming up from the balance of the State, where the devotion of the people to the Confederate cause was undoubted, as evidenced by the large Federal force which was stationed there during the whole war to keep them in subjection.

If all these facts are carefully looked at and well considered, it will be seen that Maryland did her duty as well as could have been expected with her surroundings, and as Mr. Jefferson Davis in a letter, published in "Scharf's Chronicles of Baltimore," says, "the world will accord to them peculiar credit, as it always has done to those who leave their hearthstones to fight for principle in the land of others."

Lamar Hollyday.


Baltimore, Maryland.