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[71] trotted them to the rear. General Ewell, General Steuart and Colonel Johnson were riding at the head of the column. ‘What regiment do you belong to?’ was the colonel's eager inquiry. ‘First Maryland,’ was the response of the Dutchman. ‘There's the First Maryland,’ cried the Confederate, pointing behind. Great Heavens! was such good fortune ever given to a soldier? The Federal First Maryland had been recruited under the gallant Kenly, but it was largely composed of foreigners, and the Marylanders had always refused to recognize it as representing their State. They were the only simon-pure, genuine Marylanders, and if ever they got a chance they would show them! Here was the chance. As the news flew back through the ranks, shoulders were straightened, chests thrown out, and every man thanked God he was a Marylander and was there!

As they approached the town, a hot musketry fire broke out from the doors and windows of a large building to the left, probably four or five hundred yards distant. ‘Colonel, can you take that building?’ said General Ewell. ‘Yes, sir, in five minutes.’ ‘Men, you see that house? You are to take it. Forward, double quick charge!’ And the Marylanders went at it like a charge of canister. ‘Excuse me, Colonel,’ said Adjutant Frank Ward, touching his cap as he dashed by on his pony. Capt. Billy Murray and Lieut. George Thomas broke from their proper places and ran in front, and the building was taken in half the time promised. Gathering the command together it was rushed into the town with Wheat's battalion on the left, then through the town, where the enemy was discovered on the crest of some hills with a battery in position at his center, and a force of cavalry, probably a squadron, on his right. Wheat with the Louisianians took the left, the Marylanders the front and center and moved across the open to attack. A shell exploded in the ground under the color guard,

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Robideau Wheat (2)
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