Friday, July 22, 2005

First Maryland Cavalry

First Maryland Cavalry - Information on the First Maryland Cavalry Battalion which was a volunteer unit that served the Confederacy during the American Civil War between 1861 and 1865.

Maryland was a border state that never left the Union. However, as this site shows, there were plenty of volunteers from Maryland who joined the rebel forces.

From the site:

What was eventually to become the First Maryland Cavalry Regiment, C.S.A., was originally organized sometime in 1860 in Howard County Maryland as a cavalry company of approximately 75-100 men (including 17 members of the Dorsey family), called the Howard County Dragoons. Commanded by Capt. George R. Gaither, they were said to be "handsomely uniformed according to United States army regulations and equipped with the best cavalry sabers and Colt's Revolvers." When the Sixth Massachusetts marched through Baltimore on 19 April 1861 resulting in serious rioting and civil disturbance (as well as the deaths of 4 soldiers and 12 citizens), the Howard County Dragoons assembled at Ellicott's Mills and on 20 April 1861 marched into Baltimore to help restore order. Afterwards, due to the unionist sympathies of Maryland politicians, the company was forced to either disband or march South of the Potomac and join the Confederate forces.

On 14 May 1861, 75 men, most from the Dragoons, organized under Capt. Gaither at Leesburg, calling themselves the "Maryland Cavalry". The company then marched on 15 June 1861 to Winchester and on 17 June 1861 joined the 7th Virginia Cavalry under Col. Angus McDonald. The 7th Virginia was ordered to Romney Virginia on 18 June 1861, where the Maryland Company performed picket duty until 18 July 1861 at which time the company withdrew from Col. McDonald's command (it is said due to dissatisfaction with the idle life they were leading) and placed itself under the command of J.E.B. Stuart and became Company K of the First Virginia Cavalry, which had been organized two days earlier (16 July 1861) .

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