War of the Rebellion: Serial 068 Page 0820 OPERATIONS IN SE. VA. AND N. C. Chapter XLVIII.

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staff in circulation, which indiscriminately condemn and denounce officers and men of the so-called Maryland Brigade. Whilst I am fully aware that I have no right to censure you or your staff's actions or remarks, I beg leave to be allowed to submit to you a few facts, which might perhaps give you a better opinion of the material, or at least of part of it, in question. The little command to which I belong, i. e., the Eighth Regiment Maryland Volunteers, had reported on the morning of the 5th instant 247 combatants, and accounts now for 94 casualties out of this number, among which 2 color bearers and two entire sets of color guards, besides 1 captain killed, who seized and waved and held the colors after they were shot down twice in the assault of the 9th instant. Moreover this regiment never yielded an inch of ground before ordered to do, so and never showed the slightest hesitation to go wherever commanded to go. I admit that there may have been things amiss with some of the officers and men, but, general, I implore you not to punish by disgrace those who do not deserve it. I dare tell you, and bring it to test, that our colors and regiment were as close, and closer, to the rebel works as any other regiment of your corps or the Army of the Potomac on the same spot where we were ordered to charge. I also offer myself and my regiment to any future test, and not as braggadocio, but as proof how bitter I feel a sting which I do not believe we deserve. I state that I have in my possession testimonials of my behavior in the battle of Antietam and other occasions, and that I, even in this campaign, attracted the attention of Lieutenant Mead, of General Robinson's staff, by my efforts to rally the men of the brigade after our first engagement in the Wilderness. General, if this letter is treason, punish me for it accordingly; if not, please cause to be removed the unqualified stigma on the Maryland Brigade.

I have the honor to sign myself, very respectfully,


Major Eighth Maryland Volunteers.


May 16, 1864.


SIR: I have just received a communication from the major commanding the Eighth Maryland Regiment complaining of censorious remarks made indiscriminately upon the command by myself and staff. There is an error in this. The only fault I have found with the command was common to the whole division, which fell back so unnecessarily, as I think, at the time General Robinson was wounded. But I can allow for their confusion in so unexpectedly falling upon a line of battle of infantry while pursuing a force of flying cavalrymen. I have retained the brigade under my own immediate control ever since, and shall not cease to give them my personal attention. I fully believe the brigade can do honor to its State, and I shall take care that the opportunity is afforded, and that it shall be a good one. I wish you to assure the command that I and my staff of not rate them as unworthy, nor shall I speak of them except in favorable terms so long as they maintain their organization in so trying a campaign.