to forward applications for transfer. I would therefore respectfully request that such orders and instructions be given as to insure the speedy formation of the Maryland Line, designating by whom the transfers can be made and the place where all can assemble; and I would further ask that it be made imperative upon officers to forward any applications from the men. I feel confident that within a few weeks all can be assembled and ready to take the field. The First Maryland Regiment, being the largest body of Marylanders, could serve as the nucleus, and all the rest be ordered to report there immediately. At this time, in accordance with the conscription act, there is a general reorganization of the Army, regiments from other States receiving their recruits, being rapidly filled up, and electing their company and field officers. The Marylanders, as you no doubt are aware, are scattered in different regiments, almost all of them being twelve-months' men and having already served nearly a year. They are, almost to a man, anxious to serve the Confederate States. All they ask is be with men from their own State. Some whose term of service of twelve months has expired have been told by their officers that the conscription act will compel them to remain where they now are. From all I can learn the Maryland men are greatly disheartened at not being able to procure transfers and at the obstacles thrown in their way. They consider the law plain enough, and wonder why it is not carried out. They, like men of other States, naturally wish to get together, to be with their relatives, friends, and neighbors. As Maryland is not represented in Congress nor an acknowledged State of the Confederacy, one great object which will be attained on forming the Maryland Line will be its representing the State. It will serve as a rallying point for all Marylanders, and will be constantly increased by men coming over from Maryland. It will serve also to keep up the spirits of our friends in Maryland by letting them know the State is represented by an organized and constantly increasing military body in the Confederacy. It being understood that citizens from Maryland are not subject to the operation of the conscription laws, and therefore not liable to compulsory service (though no one doubts the determination and the readiness of every refugee from that State to sustain with all his might the Southern cause), it is worthy of consideration how much it is due to persons thus situated to observe and carry out a regulation of the Confederate Congress intended for their gratification, and which observance cannot fail to be influential in conforming their loyalty and enthusiasm in the present crisis. It having been assigned to me individually to carry out the objects contemplated in the order above referred to, I feel it is my imperative duty to omit no proper exertion to accomplish the contemplated object, and I do not doubt you will feel that I cannot do otherwise s subject as I have to your attention.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your most obedient servant,
GEORGE H. STEUART,
Issue general order requiring all native-born Marylanders in volunteer regiments to be sent to Richmond to such officers as General Steuart may designate. If the times of the men are out they are entitled to their discharges, not being embraced by conscription act.
G. W. RANDOLPH.