The 2nd Maryland Infantry was mustered into service in September of 1862. Initially, the unit was designated as the 1st Maryland Infantry Battalion.The 1st Battalion was formed around the survivors of the 1st Maryland Infantry Regiment which saw service from the summer of 1861 until the summer of 1862. The 1st MD Reg. disbanded after their one year enlistment was at an end. Some members reenlisted in the cavalry and others in the artillery, but a few officers and men stayed in Richmond to recruit Marylanders, who had run the Union blockade, to try to form another infantry regiment. They were successful in recruiting five full companies by September 1862 and soon left Richmond for the Shenandoah Valley. The five companies arrived at Winchester and formed a sixth company with the extra men from between the existing companies. At this time the men elected officers for the battalion. The officers elected were as follows: Capt. William Murray (Co. A), Capt. J.P. Crane (Co. B), Capt. James R. Herbert (Co. C), Capt. Joseph McAleer (Co. D)., Capt. John Torsch (Co. E), and Capt. Fred Gwynn (Co. F). The new battalion was soon joined by Capt. William Goldsborough with a new company that he raised on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. The new company was designated as Company G. With only 7 companies, they fell short of forming a whole Regiment (10 Companies total). The unit was officially the 1st Maryland Infantry Battalion. The battalion was renamed as 2nd Maryland Infantry in October of 1863. This was to avoid confusion with being mistaken for the 1st Maryland Infantry Regiment.
On September 28th, the battalion was officially mustered into the Confederate States Army and elections were held for battalion officers. The first ballot went to Bradley Johnson for Lt. Colonel, but since he was on assignment in Richmond, he declined the office. He suggested that since Capt. Herbert did most of the work in recruiting the new unit he should lead it. The battalion agreed and made Capt.Herbert the Lt. Colonel. Capt. Goldsborough was elected to Major. Their former company’s command was taken over by Lt. Duvall (Co.C) and Lt. Stewart (Co.G).
1st Maryland Infantry Battalion’s charge on July 3, 1863-Culp’s Hill, Gettysburg
Band of Brothers
Artist: Don Troiani
The 2nd Maryland Infantry, under the command of Gen. William“Grumble”Jones, participated in the several operations in theShenandoah Valley during the winter of 1862. The Battalion’s first action was a raid on the B & O Railroad in the Spring of 1863.In June 1863, Gen. Robert E. Lee started his campaign offensive to head North. Gen. Lee needed to clear his flank and route of supplies. He sent Gen. Richard Ewell and his 2nd Corps to the Valley to take on Union Gen. Milroy's army. During this action, the 2nd Maryland Infantry was engaged in 2nd battle for Winchester.After the battle, the 2nd Maryland was assigned to Gen. George H. Steuart’s Brigade in Gen.Edward Allegheny Johnson's Division of Ewell's 2nd Corps. They headed north and joined with Lee's army at Gettysburg on the evening of July 1st.
2nd Maryland Infantry prior to battle at Cold Harbor 1864
Artist: Rick Reeves
Steuart’s Brigade slept under arms on the property of the Lady Farm, just west of RockCreek.On July 2nd, the brigade attacked the east end of Culp's Hill and was successful in carrying the lower Union breastworks. As they pressed up the hill, the 2nd Maryland met some heavy resistance. During this time Col. Herbert was severely wounded as he was hit by three separate shots. After spending the night in their captured trenches, the brigade formed up the next day (July 3rd) at a right angle to their previous position and tried to sweep the Union troops off the top of Culp's Hill (the charge on Pardee field). The Union lines had been reinforced the night prior and repulsed this attack. Maj. Goldsborough was wounded and Capt. Murray (Co. A) was killed. The command of the battalion went to Capt. Crane (Co. B), who was the next senior rank. That evening the brigade withdrew to the east bank of Rock Creek. The Marylanders Lost 48% of their force either killed and wounded during the battle.
In October of 1863, the 2nd Maryland Infantry was ordered to report to (then) Col. Bradley T. Johnson (a Marylander) at Hanover Junction, Va. In an effort to consolidate all Confederate Maryland troops together, Johnson had permission from the War Department to bring the 2nd MD Infantry, the 1st and 2nd MD Cavalry, and the 1st, 2nd, & 4th MD Artillery all together as an independent Maryland organization. This newly formed organization was called“The Maryland Line”.
During the Battle of Cold Harbor in June 1864, the 2nd Maryland was held in reserve. As Union Gen.Hancock’s assault broke the first line of Confederates, the 2nd Maryland Infantry without orders charged forward with bayonets to recapture their own line lost to the advancing Union forces. The Marylanders even turned some of the cannon on the retreating Federals. The 2nd Maryland was commended for their gallantry in this action and Gen. Lee credited them with saving Richmond.After the battle, the 2nd Maryland Infantry was attached to Archers Brigade under Gen. Archer (a Marylander). 2nd Maryland served in this brigade until the end of the war. 2nd Maryland participated in the fighting at Weldon Railroad in August 1864 which resulted in heavy casualties, including Capt. Crane. Command of 2nd Maryland was now given to Capt. Duvall of Co. C. At Peebles Farm, the Marylanders were heavily engaged again resulting in 30% casualties including Capt. Duvall (wounded). This action left only six officers still in service for 2nd Maryland. Capt. McAleer (Co D) took command. The Marylanders fought at the Battle of Squirrel Level Road with a fighting force with only 100 men left in it’s ranks. Due to some internal disputes amongst the officers left in 2nd Maryland, Capt. McAleer resigned and requested transfer to another post. Command of 2nd Maryland fell to Capt. Torsch (Company E). At Hatcher’s Run during the Spring of 1865, the 2nd Maryland Infantry (along with the rest of the Confederate line) was overrun. This Union offensive across the Confederate lines was later known as the "Petersburg Breakthrough.” This action forced General Lee to with-drawl from Petersburg and take what was left of his army west to regroup. Outnumbered and further bloodshed was pointless, Gen. Lee surrendered his Army of NorthernVirginia at Appomattox, Va. At surrender, 2nd Maryland Infantry had only 64 men left. Most of the companies were commanded by Sergeants and Corporals. Company A had the most men present (12) and Company H, the lease (1). Note: Company D had 4 men left.