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THE MARYLAND LINE-Their Sufferings-The First to use the Bayonet-Their Battles-Their Losses.
1. No troops in the Continental army had rendered better service, endured more fatigue or won greater glory than the Maryland line. In proportion to their number, no body of men suffered more severely.
2. They were the first to use the bayonet against the experienced regulars of the enemy, and that in the earliest battle-and throughout the succeeding struggles of the war, they were most often called on to lead with that bloody weapon into the ranks of the foe. They seldom shrank from the encounter.
3. At Long Island, a fragment of a battalion. shook, with repeated charges, a whole brigade of British regulars. At White Plains, they held the advance columns at bay. At Harlem Heights, they drove the enemy from the ground. mantown, they swept through the hostile camp, with their fixed bayonets, far in advance of the whole army. At Cowpens, and at Eutaw, their ranks with unloaded muskets bore down all opposition. At Guilford, and at Camden, though the victory was not theirs, they fought with a courage
Questions.-1. What is said of the Maryland line? 2. What were they the first to do? 3. Mention the several battles in which they distinguished themselves?
THE MARYLAND LINE.
that won the admiration and surprise of the enemy, aud brought from Fox, in the House of Commons, the exclamation: "one more such victory and the British army is ruined" Everywhere they used the bayonet with terrible effect.
4. Entering into the war two strong battalions, they were soon reduced to a single company.Again swelled up to seven regiments, they were again thinned by their losses to a single regiment, and before the campaign was well passed, they were once more recruited to four full battalions of more than two thousand men.
5. Two of their Colonels, Williams and Howard, were considered the best officers of their grade in the army. Gunby, Carville Hall, Smith, Stone, Ramsey and Ford, were equal to any others in the whole continental service.
6. General Williams was born in Prince George's county, in 1749, but in the succeeding year his home was changed to Washington county, where the Conococheague unites with the Potomac. At the age of thirteen, by the death of his father, he was thrown upon his own exertions. For a time he was in the Clerk's Office of Frederick county. Subsequently, he had a similar situation in Balti
It was in this vocation that he acquired those habits of regularity and method, which were
Questions.-4. What is said of their losses? 5. What of their officers? 6. What is said of Williams' birth and early life?
so signally manifested when called to situations of the highest trust.
7. Shortly before the war, he entered into commercial life in Frederick. But when the war broke out, he gave up all thoughts of accumulating wealth, and offered his services to his country. He joined the Company of Capt. Price, formed in in Frederick, and marched to Boston. Though ambitious to lead, he expressed his willingness to serve, acknowledging that it would give him pain, if the world should believe any person with the same advantages might do more than he, committing himself to that Power whose eye is over all his works, and by whose goodness he had been preserved in numerous perils," he gave himself up with singleness of heart to the service of his country, and was found equal to any emergency in which the fortune of war placed him.
8. In 1776, he was promoted to the rank of Major, in a rifle regiment formed of Maryland and Virginia troops. His first trial in actual battle took place at the fall of Fort Washington, on the Hudson river. He was stationed in advance of the Fort, and was attacked by the Hessians. The latter were repeatedly repulsed, but being reinforced, and the rifles of Williams' men becoming
Questions.-7. What further is said? 8. What was his first military experience?
THE MARYLAND LINE.
foul by frequent discharges, he was compelled to retreat to the Fort. In the last attack of the Hessians, Williams was severely wounded.
9. Having been taken prisoner, he was doomed to fifteen months inactivity. The titled officers of the British army would sometimes amuse themselves by tauntingly asking the American prisoners in what trade they had been employed before they became officers. One of these supercilious lordlings asked this impertinent question of Williams, and had this for his reply: "That he had been bred in that situation which had taught him, to rebuke and punish insolence, and that the questioner would have ample proof of his apprenticeship on a repetition of his offence." The offence was not repeated, nor the language of Williams resented.
10. Upon an unfounded suspicion that he was carrying on a secret correspondence with Washington, he was thrown into the provost jail in New York. He was confined in the same cell with Ethan Allen. His health was impaired by the vile and scanty food that was furnished, as well as by the filth and want of ventilation of his cell, in which he remained for seven or eight months.
11. After the surrender of Burgoyne, he was exchanged, and was appointed to the command of
Questions.--9. What is said of him while prisoner? 10. How was he treated? 11. When was he exchanged? To what command was he appointed?
the 6th regiment of the Maryland line. He joined the army in New Jersey, shortly before the battle of Monmouth. His regiment, when he took command, was noted for looseness of its discipline, but under Williams' prompt and active organization, it became equal, if not superior, in thorough discipline to any in the army.
12. The sphere of action in which he was particularly distinguished, and where he acquired such honor as to raise him to eminence amongst the greatest generals of his time, was in the campaigns in the South. Under General Gates, he was appointed Deputy Adjutant General. The battles in which the Maryland line was engaged during this campaign, have already been treated of in their proper place.
13. Toward the close of the war, he was sent by Greene with despatches to Congress, and became Brigadier General, by brevet. This promotion was gained by merit, and, as it was out of the regular order of promotion, there was some dissatisfaction among the Colonels whom he had outranked.
14. After the war, Williams settled in Baltimore, and was appointed to the Collectorship of the Port by the Governor. He continued to hold
Questions.-11. What is said of this regiment? 12. Where did he acquire his principal fame? 13. When was he promoted, and why? 14. What office did he hold after the war?