A Maryland Confederate Mother


I found this amusing incident in “Recollections of a Maryland Confederate Soldier under Johnston, Jackson and Lee” by McHenry Howard.  When McHenry Howard finally arrived home to Baltimore on May 27th 1865 he found a note waiting for him:

“To Mr. McHenry Howard,

  You are hereby notified that you have been this day enrolled by us in the Militia Forces of the United States, in the State of Maryland, under the Act of Congress of July, 1862, in the Third Enrollment  District of Baltimore County corresponding to  the 3rd Election District of said County, and will hold yourself in readiness for any such Military duty as under the Laws and Constitution of the United States may be required of you.”

                                                                                                                                                                                         R.S Williamson  

                                                                                                                                                                                        John S Stitcher

                                                                                                                                                               Enrolling Officers   

                                                                                                                                                                               September the —1862

McHenry found out the story behind the letter. Two men arrived at the Howard house and after talking with a servant insisted on seeing Mrs. Howard. Elizabeth Key Howard was the daughter of Francis Scott Key of the Star Spangled Banner fame as well as the niece of the Chief Justice Roger Brooke Taney. Mrs. Howard met the men at the door and they said ” Madam,we are the enrolling officers and we have come to get the names of the male members of your family – Have you a husband or  sons  capable of bearing arms? Mrs.  Howard said ” Yes a husband and six sons.”  “Your husband, what is his name and where is he?”   “Charles Howard  (Charles Howard was the son of John Eager Howard, the hero at the Battle of the Cowpens in the Revolutionary War), he is a prisoner at  Fort Warren ”    “And your eldest son?”  “Frank Key Howard,  he is also in prison with his father.”  “And your next son?”  ” John Eager Howard, he is a Captain in the Confederate Army.”  “And the next?”  “Charles Howard, he is a Major in the Confederate Army.”  “And the next?”  James Howard, he is a Lieutenant-Colonel in the Confederate Army.”  “And the next?”  “Edward Lloyd Howard, he is a surgeon in the Confederate Army.”  During this time the men were becoming flustered and finally said “And your youngest son?”  “McHenry Howard, he is also in the Southern Army and with Stonewall Jackson and I expect  he  will be here soon”  (This was during the Maryland Invasion by Lee and Jackson)  Mrs. Howard proceeds to shut the  door in their faces   and the enrolling officers retired to the sidewalk and wrote the above mentioned note, slid it under the door and left.

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Published in: on July 26, 2009 at 6:48 am  Leave a Comment  

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