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[248] army retired, having Major Goldsborough for his companion, as will presently appear.

The next morning Major Goldsborough, now in command of the battalion, took companies ‘B’ and ‘G’ and advanced as sharpshooters to reconnoiter, but being met with a terrific fire, front and flank, from infantry and artillery, they retired. But the last act of the bloody drama was about to be enacted. The Second Maryland moved forward from the captured works into the open, changed front into line, formed with the brigade and advanced upon the enemy, who in heavy force were behind impregnable works. Major Goldsborough protested against this charge as being mere murder, but General Steuart replied that he, also, had protested. Goldsborough, seeing the charge would be desperate, said to the chivalric Captain Murray: ‘Take command of the right wing; I prefer to lead the left.’ Two more valiant leaders never found glory on a field of carnage. Within ten or fifteen minutes about two-thirds of the Second Maryland were killed or wounded, the remnant retiring sullenly, unpursued, and reoccupied the captured works.

Captain Murray was killed late in the charge, his body being covered with earth thrown up by countless bullets. Goldsborough was wounded, it was believed unto death; a minie bullet bored a terrible hole through his left lung, coming out at the back; yet, raising himself on his elbow he watched his gallant men being mowed down. General Steuart, with tears coursing down his cheeks, said: ‘Some one else must be responsible for the loss of those brave men. I obeyed orders.’ Steuart, a typical soldier, a Marylander and a West Pointer, idolized the Maryland infantry, most of whom he had taught, trained and inspirited.

Major Goldsborough writing, historically, said: ‘The devoted little brigade—already reduced to about nine hundred men—made their way slowly from the captured works, sometimes crawling to the spot where they were to be senselessly slaughtered. Nine hundred brave men to storm a mountain, upon whose sides bristled the bayonets of ten thousand foemen, and artillery innumerable. Some one's hands are stained with the blood of these gallant men.’

As in Pickett's charge, made a few hours later, Steuart's brigade advancing, received, front and flank, a withering fire from infantry and artillery, at enormous odds and entrenched, but the command from brave Steuart was, ‘Fix bayonets; forward, double-quick!’ And, like Pickett's men, they charged into defeat and death. The analogy is plainer, because the respective charges of Pickett's division

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George H. Steuart (11)
Leander W. Goldsborough (11)
John T. Pickett (6)
William H. Murray (4)
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