Where They Fell – Confederate Soldiers of the 1st Maryland Battalion on Culp’s Hill

Tom Elmore

1st Lieutenant
Member of the Year
Joined
Jan 16, 2015
Having drawn up maps of the Culp’s Hill fighting, and knowing the company alignment of the 1st Maryland Battalion, in addition to specific information on when and where several of their casualties occurred, I have prepared the attached map. The numbered red dots correspond to the following list of soldiers from the battalion who were either killed or wounded close to that spot based upon my research. Details are included from the cited source references. The list is organized chronologically beginning from the time the battalion advanced to Rock Creek on the evening of July 2, until they marched away around midnight on July 3.

1. Four soldiers, Company B, 7:30 p.m., July 2. Scarcely had we reached the creek when we were fired upon by the enemy who were ambushed [that is, lying in ambush] nearby. Four of Company B fell wounded and many others along the line. (The “Diary” of John H. Stone, 1st Lieutenant, Company B, 2d Maryland Infantry, C.S.A., Maryland Historical Magazine, vol. 85, Summer 1990, p. 132)

2. Lieutenant Colonel James R. Herbert, 7:40 p.m., July 2. He was wounded by three separate minie balls in the first enemy volley, in the abdomen, right forearm and leg. (Civil War Memoirs of Washington Hands – probably written by Major William W. Goldsborough; and Confederate Casualties at Gettysburg, by John W. Busey and Travis W. Busey, 2:612)

3. Private John A. Hardesty, Company A, between 7:40-7:55 p.m., July 2. Instantly killed 30 yards from the enemy’s works. (Address of Lt. Andrew C. Trippe, delivered at dedication of the monument erected in Loudon Park Cemetery to Capt. William H. Murray and his soldiers who fell in the Confederate line, 1875)

4. Private John G. White, Company C, night, July 2. [While] out in the open, he halted for the purpose of reloading when he was struck by a ball. (A “Rebel’s” Recollections of Bloody Days That Led to Gettysburg, by John Goldsborough White, The Baltimore Sun, May 26, 1929, The Handley Library, Winchester, Virginia.)

5. Private William H. Bowley, Company A, night, July 2. Instantly killed by a volley after taking the works. (Boy Soldiers of the Confederacy, by Mrs. Susan R. T. Hill, p. 146)

6. Major William W. Goldsborough, 10:25 a.m., July 3. Wounded, but carried back to safety. (Civil War Memoirs of Washington Hands)

7. Captain William H. Murray, 10:30 a.m., July 3. Killed nearly at the foot of the entrenchments … killed instantly less than 50 yards from the foe. (Address of Captain Thomas, The Maryland Confederate Monument at Gettysburg, Dedication, Southern Historical Society Papers (SHSP), vol. 14, p. 444; General George Steuart’s Brigade at the Battle of Gettysburg, by William P. Zollinger, SHSP, vol. 2, pp. 105-107)

8. Private Lamar Hollyday, Company A, 10:30 a.m., July 3. Received a gunshot wound in his upper thigh and was shot a second time during the morning charge. He was dragged some distance by a “huge” Yankee, his shattered leg in agony. When he reached the Federal lines, someone called out, “Isn’t that a rebel?” and Hollyday responded, “Yes, I am a rebel.” (Boy Soldiers of the Confederacy, p. 146; Confederate Casualties at Gettysburg, 2:617)

9. 2nd Sergeant J. William Thomas, Company A, 10:30 a.m., July 3. Just as a retreat was ordered, he fired and was about to turn when stricken down by a ball in his hip that exited at the front of his stomach. (Diary of J. William Thomas, Handley Regional Library, Winchester, Virginia)

10. Private H. Wilbur Morrison, Company A, between noon and midnight on July 3. He came safely down the hill only to meet his summons [death] at the base. (Address of Lt. Andrew C. Trippe, op. cit.)

Summary/Commentary: The battalion was comprised of seven companies, aligned (from left to right) as: B-G-E-D-F-C-A, with Company A being the largest. The above ten examples represent a rather concise summary of the battalion’s heaviest fighting on Culp’s Hill. The first casualties sustained at Rock Creek [#1] were inflicted by Brig. Gen. George S. Greene’s skirmishers concealed 100 yards west of the creek – mostly the 78th New York, supported by Company H of the 137th New York. They were clearly prepared to surprise their opponents, and some Confederates justifiably regarded them as the first Federal line, although it was soon dispersed. Moving on up the hill, the battalion was surprised again in the fading light by a volley from the 137th New York, which was spread out in a thin line behind strong works [#2-3]. The far right companies of the battalion, A and C, near the hilltop also had to contend with a heavy cross-fire emanating from the works 150 yards to the west [#4-5]. On the forenoon of July 3, the brigade assembled at the edge of the woods bordering the east side of the field [Pardee], with the battalion being divided into two parts by the stone wall, with Companies A and C on the north side of the wall, and the rest on the south side. The former were the last to cross the crest and owing to the topography advanced nearly to the Federal line [#7-9] before being repulsed. At noon the battalion fell back with other Confederate units to the base of the hill, where they skirmished for the rest of the day with light loss [#10] until about midnight, before pulling back across Rock Creek with Maj. Gen. Edward Johnson’s division and moving to the northwest of the town.

See also: https://civilwartalk.com/threads/1s...h-new-york-on-culps-hill.135801/#post-1571162
 

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Gettysburg Guide #154

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It is interesting to read that the 1st MD, CSA referred to the initial shots as coming from Union men lying in ambush. Given the area assaulted by the 1st MD, CSA, their opposite number must have been the 78th NY, as the 60th NY was positioned farther to the north. The 78th had only just arrived to replace the 28th PA, when that regiment departed with the rest of the Corps to reinforce the Union left. Hence, the 78th had little or no time to establish much in the way of concealment. Of course, they would have been greatly aided in that regard by the quickly gathering twilight.
 

kholland

Captain
Retired Moderator
Joined
Feb 13, 2011
Location
Howard County, Maryland
Having drawn up maps of the Culp’s Hill fighting, and knowing the company alignment of the 1st Maryland Battalion, in addition to specific information on when and where several of their casualties occurred, I have prepared the attached map. The numbered red dots correspond to the following list of soldiers from the battalion who were either killed or wounded close to that spot based upon my research. Details are included from the cited source references. The list is organized chronologically beginning from the time the battalion advanced to Rock Creek on the evening of July 2, until they marched away around midnight on July 3.

1. Four soldiers, Company B, 7:30 p.m., July 2. Scarcely had we reached the creek when we were fired upon by the enemy who were ambushed [that is, lying in ambush] nearby. Four of Company B fell wounded and many others along the line. (The “Diary” of John H. Stone, 1st Lieutenant, Company B, 2d Maryland Infantry, C.S.A., Maryland Historical Magazine, vol. 85, Summer 1990, p. 132)

2. Lieutenant Colonel James R. Herbert, 7:40 p.m., July 2. He was wounded by three separate minie balls in the first enemy volley, in the abdomen, right forearm and leg. (Civil War Memoirs of Washington Hands – probably written by Major William W. Goldsborough; and Confederate Casualties at Gettysburg, by John W. Busey and Travis W. Busey, 2:612)

3. Private John A. Hardesty, Company A, between 7:40-7:55 p.m., July 2. Instantly killed 30 yards from the enemy’s works. (Address of Lt. Andrew C. Trippe, delivered at dedication of the monument erected in Loudon Park Cemetery to Capt. William H. Murray and his soldiers who fell in the Confederate line, 1875)

4. Private John G. White, Company C, night, July 2. [While] out in the open, he halted for the purpose of reloading when he was struck by a ball. (A “Rebel’s” Recollections of Bloody Days That Led to Gettysburg, by John Goldsborough White, The Baltimore Sun, May 26, 1929, The Handley Library, Winchester, Virginia.)

5. Private William H. Bowley, Company A, night, July 2. Instantly killed by a volley after taking the works. (Boy Soldiers of the Confederacy, by Mrs. Susan R. T. Hill, p. 146)

6. Major William W. Goldsborough, 10:25 a.m., July 3. Wounded, but carried back to safety. (Civil War Memoirs of Washington Hands)

7. Captain William H. Murray, 10:30 a.m., July 3. Killed nearly at the foot of the entrenchments … killed instantly less than 50 yards from the foe. (Address of Captain Thomas, The Maryland Confederate Monument at Gettysburg, Dedication, Southern Historical Society Papers (SHSP), vol. 14, p. 444; General George Steuart’s Brigade at the Battle of Gettysburg, by William P. Zollinger, SHSP, vol. 2, pp. 105-107)

8. Private Lamar Hollyday, Company A, 10:30 a.m., July 3. Received a gunshot wound in his upper thigh and was shot a second time during the morning charge. He was dragged some distance by a “huge” Yankee, his shattered leg in agony. When he reached the Federal lines, someone called out, “Isn’t that a rebel?” and Hollyday responded, “Yes, I am a rebel.” (Boy Soldiers of the Confederacy, p. 146; Confederate Casualties at Gettysburg, 2:617)

9. 2nd Sergeant J. William Thomas, Company A, 10:30 a.m., July 3. Just as a retreat was ordered, he fired and was about to turn when stricken down by a ball in his hip that exited at the front of his stomach. (Diary of J. William Thomas, Handley Regional Library, Winchester, Virginia)

10. Private H. Wilbur Morrison, Company A, between noon and midnight on July 3. He came safely down the hill only to meet his summons [death] at the base. (Address of Lt. Andrew C. Trippe, op. cit.)

Summary/Commentary: The battalion was comprised of seven companies, aligned (from left to right) as: B-G-E-D-F-C-A, with Company A being the largest. The above ten examples represent a rather concise summary of the battalion’s heaviest fighting on Culp’s Hill. The first casualties sustained at Rock Creek [#1] were inflicted by Brig. Gen. George S. Greene’s skirmishers concealed 100 yards west of the creek – mostly the 78th New York, supported by Company H of the 137th New York. They were clearly prepared to surprise their opponents, and some Confederates justifiably regarded them as the first Federal line, although it was soon dispersed. Moving on up the hill, the battalion was surprised again in the fading light by a volley from the 137th New York, which was spread out in a thin line behind strong works [#2-3]. The far right companies of the battalion, A and C, near the hilltop also had to contend with a heavy cross-fire emanating from the works 150 yards to the west [#4-5]. On the forenoon of July 3, the brigade assembled at the edge of the woods bordering the east side of the field [Pardee], with the battalion being divided into two parts by the stone wall, with Companies A and C on the north side of the wall, and the rest on the south side. The former were the last to cross the crest and owing to the topography advanced nearly to the Federal line [#7-9] before being repulsed. At noon the battalion fell back with other Confederate units to the base of the hill, where they skirmished for the rest of the day with light loss [#10] until about midnight, before pulling back across Rock Creek with Maj. Gen. Edward Johnson’s division and moving to the northwest of the town.

See also: https://civilwartalk.com/threads/1s...h-new-york-on-culps-hill.135801/#post-1571162
Congrats, Tom. A very detailed and thorough study of this action. This sector of the battle has always fascinated me (being a lifetime Maryland resident) as it involved troops from opposite sides but from my state facing each other. Fascinated me, but also gave me a brief insight into how this war was so hard to fathom.
 
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Tom Elmore

1st Lieutenant
Member of the Year
Joined
Jan 16, 2015
Excellent work. I do have a question, my GGGrandfather was in the 3rd North Carolina and would their losses have been in similar positions and pattern?
Regards
David

David, yes, but just to the immediate right (north) of the Marylanders in their different positions. The left of the 3rd North Carolina kept in direct contact with the right of Company A, 1st Maryland Battalion, even during the late morning attack on July 3, although they were just a small group by then.
 

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