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[221] some persons, who had recently arrived in the Confederacy, having access to the authorities in Richmond, had produced such erroneous impressions on them and misled them to such an extent as to have been able to procure from them this unjust and extraordinary order. It was not the act of any friend of the regiment nor of any soldier who had ever served in it, as far as could be ascertained.

Elzey and Steuart our first and second Colonels had been wounded in battle and were out of the field. They were never consulted about it. Colonel Johnson had been the sole field officer with it since Lieutenant-Colonel Dorsey had been wounded at Winchester, and having been continously in the field since the war commenced, had neither time nor taste for the Richmond intrigues. No more cruel blow could have been struck at him or his brother officers. They had fronted and fought the enemy for fifteen months, in such a way as to have from them the respect of their commanding officers, and the whole conduct of the command had been such as to place it high in the esteem of the whole army.

Whatever was the intention of the authors of this deed toward Colonel Johnson and his officers it signally failed in injuring them. General Ewell immediately requested a higher rank for him, that of Brigadier-General, and General Jackson placed him in command of the Second brigade of his old division, which he led at second Manassas, and had the triumph of marching into Maryland and into Frederick. All the other officers soon were placed in honorable and responsible positions. But the consequences to Maryland were such as the conspirators did not foresee. The army went there. Thousands wished to enlist. Every one asked “Where is the First Maryland?” The disappointment and chagrin at finding it disbanded was extreme. They had no Maryland organization to rally on. Colonel Johnson tried to organize a force in Frederick, but before a skeleton could be found the army marched, Sharpsburg was fought, Maryland evacuated, and the whole Confederacy filled with complaints that Maryland did not rise; that no men joined our army, and that she was untrue to the South.

Had the First Maryland regiment been with Jackson in Frederick during the three days he was there it would have filled up to two thousand men. Eight hundred, at least joined the cavalry and artillery companies as it was, but with that regiment as a nucleus, two thousand men would certainly have been obtained in three days.

They had no time to get together and organize companies, select captains and choose officers. That was impossible. So they were left behind or scattered through the whole army, and the consequence has been the most widespread distrust of Maryland among the Southern

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Bradley T. Johnson (3)
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George H. Steuart (1)
R. S. Ewell (1)
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