Memoir of the First Maryland regiment.
[written in July 1863.]
Paper no. 6.
The capture of dispatch Station — behind M'Clellan.
The conduct of the Regiment at Cold Harbor was probably more creditable than any action they ever performed.
The fighting actually done by them really amounted to nothing — nothing in comparison to the gallant dash at Harrisonburg
, nor the deadly struggle at Cross Keys
where, hour after hour they rolled back the attack of Fremont
's regiments in that terrible storm of iron and lead.
Going into action late, over ground filled with dead and wounded, swept on all sides by shot and shell, while battalion after battalion came back in disorder, they moved on unshaken as steadily as iron, silent, steady, and attentive, they obeyed every word of command promptly, and accurately, and at last stormed the strong position of McGee's house at a “right shoulder shift arms” and without firing a shot.
When the rush of disordered troops backward seemed about to attract their attention, the word of command ordering the changes of arms in the manual, were heard and obeyed at once, with precision, and nothing but the perfect coolness and steadiness of the men and officers saved us from almost annihilation.
Other regiments, who went in with us, stopped to fire — got in disorder, lost very heavily, and then from the confusion in the ranks, and their losses, were forced to retire.
The discipline and coolness of our men saved us from all this.
In this battle General Ewell
lost his horse, General Elzey
was wounded, and the chivalrous Wheat
, with many other of our old friends killed.
being wounded, devolved the command of his brigade upon Colonel Walker
, of the Thirteenth Virginia, and General Ewell
separated us from it, making the “Maryland line
” again a distinct command, under Colonel Johnson
Before the battle he had ordered Captain Brown
to report to Brigadier-General Fitz. Lee
, in order to give them a chance for service, so for seven days the command only consisted of the First Maryland and the Baltimore
During the morning of Saturday, June 28th, Jackson
moved off down the left bank of the Chickahominy
, Ewell on the right, the First