Memoir of the First Maryland regiment.
Paper no. 3.
The affair at Sangster's Station.
As spring approached, the pressure upon McClellan
to do something became irresistible.
It was evident he must move.
He had for six months been organizing an army which for numbers, material and men was represented to be unparalleled.
He had drilled it, and disciplined it, inured his men to the duties of the camp, the bivouac and the out-post.
By grand reconnoissances and marches he had accustomed them to move in masses.
Notwithstanding, during the winter he had feared, not only to attack Johnston
, immensely his inferior in numbers, but to expose himself to Johnston
But his time was come, and the North
would wait no longer.
By the 20th of February all our heavy baggage and sick had been sent off, and for a week the army had been in light marching order.
On Friday, the 7th of March, the wagons were started, and three days cooked rations retained.
Everything was ready for a move when Colonel Johnson
was ordered to proceed to Sangster's Station with 200 men, and there relieve Lieutenant Colonel Walker
, Thirteenth Virginia.
In the companies detailed there were only 150 men, and leaving the rest to bring down rations, Colonel Johnson
started, reaching Colonel Walker
's reserve two miles and a-half distant, about midday.
While he was superintending the relief at one part of the line and Colonel Walker
at the other, a vidette came dashing in, saying the “Yankees were coming,” and kept on with accelerated speed.
immediately offered to post himself on the railroad on right and rear, to prevent a flank movement, while Colonel Johnson
collected his pickets to give them a brush in front.
Just then the enemy's skirmishers appeared, and whilst Colonel Johnson
was galloping towards parts of A and B companies to hurry them on, having ordered Lieutenant Hough
, Company F, to fall back and hold a road, a troop of about forty cavalry charged Company F, some of them chasing the Colonel
a short distance, and broke it as it endeavored to reach a fence to form on. Part of it got to the fence, and with Lieutenant-Colonel Stewart
, delivered a well directed volley, killed the commanding officer
, and saved themselves, except Lieutenant Stewart
, who was taken prisoner.
In the meantime