his rank and had ridden ahead to talk to General Jackson
about the condition of his command and apply for some detached service, where he could rest and receive recruits from the Marylanders then flocking to Virginia
He was reduced to seven companies and two hundred and seventy-five rifles.
The time of two companies had expired and that of a third, Company C, would expire on June 17th.
heard all this and assented to it cordially, and then said, ‘Colonel
, I can't let you go on detached service at this time.
Go and select a good camp, drill your men three times a day, and you'll draw recruits as soon as they know where to find you.’
All this was incontrovertible, but Jackson
's drill did not tend to replenish depleted ranks.
He drilled that regiment in three battles in the next three days and in ten in the next thirty! Colonel Johnson
, however, galloped back to his command as fast as he could, and on his arrival found it moving rearward, First Maryland farthest from the enemy, in the rear.
It was about sundown, and as they moved across an open field, he broke from his place in column and pushed on to get parallel to the Fifty-eighth Virginia, the leading regiment, the Forty-fourth Virginia next.
were riding at the head of the Fifty-eighth, Ashby
's dark face afire with enthusiasm.
His hair and head were as black as a crow and his beard grew close up to his black eyes, until he looked like a Bedouin chief.
He was pointing out the positions and topography, swinging his arm right and left.
‘Look at Ashby
enjoying himself,’ said the Maryland
colonel to Adjutant Ward
riding by his side.
They pushed across the open field and entered the wood.
The evening sun was shooting its horizontal arrows through the June foliage.
The wood was open, with little undergrowth and the timber well grown and large.
sent over to the First Maryland for skirmishers.
Company G, Captain Nicholas
, and Company D, Captain Herbert
, were sent to him. They were