What’s the Maryland Line?

The Maryland Line was the name used by the Maryland Continental Troops in the American Revolution. The Maryland troops were often referred to as the “Old Line” by General Washington and he regarded them as some of his finest soldiers. They valiantly on many battlefields, especially at Long Island, Camden, The Cowpens and Guilford Courthouse. During the Civil War, many of the Maryland Confederates were the descendents of these heroic freedom fighters. One of these men was the Maryland Confederate officer Bradley T. Johnson who lobbied to unite all the Maryland Men under one banner. This was finally authorized on June 22nd, 1863 by Secretary of War James A. Sedden.

                                                     Confederate States of
America, War Department

                                                                        Adjutant and Inspector-General’s Office

Richmond, Virginia, June 22, 1863

Colonel Bradley T. Johnson : 

    Sir :-  You are authorized to recruit from Marylanders and muster into service companies, battalions and regiments of Infantry, cavalry and artillery, to serve for the war, and to be attached to and form part of the Maryland Line.

       By Command of James A. Sedden, Secretary of War.

                                                                Samuel W. Melton, Major and A. A. G.




Unit’s that composed the Maryland Line were as follows:

  •   2nd Maryland Infantry (Ist Maryland Battalion)
  •   1st Maryland Cavalry Battalion
  •   2nd Maryland Cavalry ( Gilmor preferred to act as a Partisan and resisted joing the Maryland Line
  •  1st Maryland Artillery (Dement’s Battery)
  •  2nd Maryland Artillery ( Baltimore Light Artillery)
  •  3rd Maryland Artillery never joined and served along the Mississippi River
  •  4th Maryland Artillery (Chesapeake Battery)

Maryland Confederate soldiers were noted for their “natty attire”, they generally wore Kepi’s  (even late in the war), were alway’s well drilled and fought hard. Bradley Johnson and his small band of men were   praised by Wade Hampton for his work in harrassing Kilpatrick and Dahlgren in their Richmond raid.  After his command was destroyed at Moorefield in 1864,  Early’s cavalry unit’s were consolidated and Johnson lost his command. He finished out the war in North Carolina as commandant of the prison in Salisbury, North Carolina.


Published in: on December 8, 2006 at 9:02 pm  Comments (20)  

The URI to TrackBack this entry is: https://marylandreb.wordpress.com/2006/12/08/whats-the-maryland-line/trackback/

RSS feed for comments on this post.

20 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Mark,

    I don’t like to disagree with you, but “heroic freedom fighters”. Do you not think that this is a touch exaggerated?

    The facts in the ‘blog’ still made it a good post though!

    Best wishes,


  2. I did that for your benefit! 😀 Maryland Troops generally accounted pretty well for themselves in battle during the Revolution. I think you will find that they and Soldiers from Delaware were the glue that held the Continental Army together. This tradition was carried on by Marylanders during the civil war.

  3. I should have guessed. And there was me thinking that your patrotism had got the better of you for one moment. A question; perhaps for the new RWDG! Were colonial irregulars more effective than the Continental Army during the Revolution?

  4. Your point is well taken about the Colonial “irregulars”. Their style of guerilla warfare had to be upsetting to the British troops. But something you have not touched on is the failure of the British Army to use the Loyalists as a tool and this eventually alienated the Loyalist Troops. The British commanders would have been better served to use the 50,000 or so Loyalist Soldiers who would be fighting on their soil and to protect themselves from Colonial Rebels than importing Hessians who had no cause in this fight.

  5. An interesting point about loyalist troops. I think it fair to point out that even the ‘loyalty’ of British regulars and colonial loyalist irregulars was open to question, being a major reason for the hiring of mercenaries. Remember, this was a new British Royal family; and unpopular at that, and there was much sympathy for the colonists.

    However, I would agree that the failure to use such troops was a major blunder, and the subsequent failure to protect them and their families from ‘Patriot’ reprisals was a major failure of British foreign policy.

  6. I have an interest in gathering information on the 3rd Maryland Artillery CSA. As noted in your list they weren’t truly part of the Maryland Line as they spent their entire war service in the western theater. There isn’t much written about them. The one account by one of its surviving officers, Capt. William L. Ritter, appears in Goldsmith’s, “The Maryland Line in the Civil War” (1900) as the chapter on the 3rd Maryland. It would seem that their service should bring an added historical dimension to Maryland’s confederate effort in the war since they fought in such battles as Atlanta, Vicksburg, Franklin and Nashville. The unit is memorialized in a monument along with the 3rd Maryland Infantry USA at Orchard Knob, Chickamauga and Chattanooga Battlefied Park, Chattanooga, Tennessee. The monument specifically mentions Captain John B. Rowan (killed Dec. 16, 1864 at Nashville) along with Lt. Ritter. Both men mustered in at the inception of the unit. Ritter became Capt. on Rowan’s death until the conclusion of the war a few months later. Rowan was a prominent lawyer in Elkton, Cecil County, MD prior to his enlistment. Ritter is from Carroll County, MD. Any additonal information on the unit would be greatly appreciated.

  7. Hi Mark,

    I would like to offer you a review copy of “Two Brothers: One North, One South. ” It is a novel about the Prentiss brothers of Baltimore. William Prentiss served in the C.S. 1st and 2nd Maryland Battalions and Clifton Prentiss served in the U.S. 6th Maryland Infantry Regiment. While an historical fiction, it closely and accurately follows the two brothers throughout the war and involves many exploits of the Maryland Line. If you are interested, please respond to my e-mail address and a copy will be dispatched to you by Priority Mail. Please visit the author’s website for more details – http://www.davidhjones.net

    • Hi Dian, I hope Mr Jones is doing well with his book. Sounds very interesting.


  8. Great information, I am a member of the Maryland line camp SCV and will be using the information in my monthly news letter. Thanks

    • Thank you Tom for the nice words. If I can be of any more help drop me a line.

  9. In reply to a comment posted by Pam Shinnick in January 2007–You may have found these by now but just in case, here are some additional sources for information on the Third Maryland Artillery (CSA)

    Web sources:


    Published sources (I have digital transcripts of most of these if you want them):

    Ritter, William L. “Operation of a Section of the Third Maryland Battery on the Mississippi in the Spring of 1863.” Southern Hist Soc Papers 7 (1897): pp. 247-49.

    “Sketch of the Third Maryland Artillery.” Southern Hist Soc Papers 10 (1882): pp. 328-32, 392-401 & 464-71; and 11 (1883): pp. 113-18 & 186-93.

    “Sketches of the Third Maryland Artillery.” Southern Hist Soc Papers 11 (1883): pp. 433-42 & 537-44 and 12 (1884): pp. 170-72

    “Third Battery of Maryland Artillery, C.S.A., Its History in Brief, and Its Commanders.” Southern Hist Soc Papers 22 (1894): pp. 19-20

    • Thanks for helping Pam out James! The 3rd Maryland Artillery was a fine battery fighting in the Trans-Mississippi.

  10. Another source for the Third Maryland is W. Edward Gill’s research paper which can be retrieved at the link below.


  11. My GG-GF, Maximillian A.K. Tippett (from St. Mary’s Co., MD) was a private in Co. B of the 1st MD Cavalry. I was doing some on-line research and came across your website and I’ve enjoyed reading your articles. Thanks.

    • Thanks for your reply Karen. If you need any information on him or his service with the 1st Maryland let me know. I think his name is cool….what did the A.K. stand for?

  12. His name was Maximillian Attaway Kepler Tippett, but everything I’ve ever seen just uses his initials. In one place I’ve seen it as “Allaway” but he had a relative that married an “Attaway” so I think it is the latter. The only info I currently have are copies of his Civil War CSA military record cards – from the National Archives that have muster rolls, POW records, etc. I know that he was taken prisoner and sent to Camp Chase, and then was sent to Point Lookout, which is near where he was from in St. Mary’s Co. I went to his gravesite on Confederate Hill at Loudoun Cem. several years ago on Confederate Memorial Day. Oh, and I know he was in the Md Line Confed Soldier’s Home. If you have info other than what I have, I would enjoy seeing it. Thanks.

  13. I’ll see what I can dig up for you. Must have been really hard to be kept at Point Lookout and be so close to home.

    • Hi Karen,

      It seems that Maximillian also served in the 1st Maryland Infantry Co. H during 1861-62. He joined the 1st Maryland Cavalry in Charlottesville, VA during September of 1862. I found this in Robert Driver’s book on the 1st Maryland and 2nd Maryland Cavalry. I’ll keep looking for more information.

      • Sorry for the delay in getting back to you. Thank you very much for that information! I do appreciate it.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: