twelve months, as their muster rolls showed.
On May 18th Company C's time expired and they were mustered out by Colonel Johnson
, who expostulated with them to no effect.
They wanted their rights, they wanted to go into the cavalry, they were tired of trudging.
So off they went.
They had no idea of going home, or abandoning the fight.
The rest, except Companies A and B, being absent on detached service, were nearly in a state of mutiny as they neared the enemy.
At length, on May 22d, when twelve months from the muster at Harper's Ferry
expired, the large majority of them stacked their arms and refused to do duty.
This was mutiny, and the colonel promptly had the arms packed in the wagons and the men put under a guard with loaded guns.
He sent for Color-Sergeant Doyle
, as good a soldier as ever bore musket, and showed him how impossible it was to have any discussion in the presence of the enemy, and directed him to find out how many men were willing to go on and defer the decision of their claims and complaints until after the campaign.
reported that about half the command were willing to stand by the colors in any event.
The army was then within an easy march of Front Royal
, where Banks
had stationed a force to protect his flank.
The next morning, the 23d, the march was begun, the First Maryland in the worst possible condition—one-half under arrest for mutiny, the rest disgusted with the service, and the colonel disgusted with them.
A halt was made for rest about five miles from Front Royal
, and during it an aide brought this order: ‘Colonel Johnson
will move the First Maryland to the front and attack the enemy at Front Royal
The army will halt until you pass.
The colonel turned on his regiment: ‘You have heard this personal order from General Jackson
and you are in a pretty condition to obey it. You are the sole hope of Maryland
You carry with you her honor and her pride.
Shame on you—shame on you. I shall return ’