5th Regiment Maryland National Guard in Philadelphia 1870


The 5th Regiment MNG is one of the oldest Regiments in the United States. Founded on December 3rd, 1774, the 5th went on to distinguish itself in the Revolutionary War as well as the the War of 1812. The 5th was called the “Dandy 5th” because they were one of the best dressed and drilled regiments in the Country at the outstart of the Civi War. Being a border state, there obviously were factions supporting both sides of the war effort. Since Baltimore is a Southern city, a large portion of the men headed South to serve the Southern cause. Serving in many units, former members of the 5th fought and died gallantly during the war.  After the war in 1867, due to political unrest at election stations the unit was re-united with many men who fought in the war on both sides. Since the ranks were swelled with so many ex-Confederates, the unit was thought to be Disloyal by it’s Northern neighbors.  In 1870, the unit was to attend an encampment in Cape May, New Jersey and had to pass through Philapelphia along with the 7th New York.  A local paper, the Evening Bulletin on July 13th 1870 reported…..”A regiment of Rebel volunteers from Baltimore, notorious for it’s active participation in the effort to destroy the Union, prominent as a part of that infamous conspiracy which threw Baltimore as a threatening obstacle in the pathway to Washington, is going to Cape May, and must needs to pass through Philadelphia.  It is composed of men whose traitorous enmity cost the lives of the brave men of the 6th Massachusetts, who fell, pro-martyrs, in the streets of Baltiumore, and that compelled the first perilous and laborious march of the Seventh New York to Washington. And now it is proposed to water the compliment which Philadelphia extends to the patriotic New York Seventh, by extending the same courtesy to the Rebel Maryland Fifth. The two regiments, one nobly true to its country and the other bitterly false to it in its hour of need, are to be counted worthy of equal honor, and a Philadelphia regiment has been found willing to ignore all the  principles of the war for the Union, and to cast dirt on the memories of the brave men whom these Maryland Rebels helped to send to their now almost forgotten graves, while they play the courtier to men whom they cannot recognize in their organized military capacity without doing dishonor to themselves.”

But by attacking the Maryland unit, the Evening Bulletin was denounced by the other local papers. The unit recieved large ovations as it paraded through Philadelphia on July 22nd 1870 and was recieved at the depot by two committee’s. One representing the citizen’s and the other one representing the Military. The 5th Maryland then proceeded to the Continental Hotel where they were greeted warmly by Philapelphia resident General Robert Patterson who was the veteran of three wars.  After a successful encampment at Cape May, the unit headed home to Baltimore passing through Philadelphia and recieved the same adulation.

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Published in: on November 18, 2006 at 2:16 pm  Leave a Comment  

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