April 15 1863, 3rd Md P.H.B. at Camp Parole
For the Herald and Torch.
“Gilpin Barracks,” Annapolis,
April 2, 1863.
—Represented in the Army of the Union as Old Washington County is, by numbers so creditable, and by material which will never cause her loyal people to blush, it will perhaps, not be uninteresting, to a part at least of your readers to learn of [...]
~ We are now commanded by Lieut. Col. Charles Gilpin of Alleghany County, he having succeeded Lieut. Col. Downey, whose daring flash into Boonsboro, when that town was filled with rebel troops, on the 10th of last September, will long be remembered by those who witnessed the bravery of the charge and the success of the escape.
Among the number of those who were so unfortunate as to be at Harper’s Ferry when that place was so ingloriously surrendered, we were, as a consequence, compelled to spend several months in Camp Parole. Notwithstanding the demoralizing effect of a life of idleness such as that spent in a Camp of Paroled Prisoners, where the vicious from every portion of the Army can have free intercourse, and thus exercise a bad influence over those who are disposed to do right notwithstanding four months were spent by the Regiment in daily contact with such influences, it was selected by the Commander of this Department, at the urgent solicitation of the Commandant of Camp Parole to guard the Camp as soon as our exchange was effected. We have been performing that duty since the first of February; in addition to which guards have been furnished for the General Hospitals at the Naval Academy and St. John’s College and for the railroad between Annapolis and Annapolis Junction. The last duty is performed by Company F. The company is very comfortably quartered at different points along the road in, snug log cabins, the neatness and convenience of which renders them more home-like than the canvas houses to which we are accustomed. Under the efficient command of Captain Maxwell, seconded by Lieutenants Mayberry and Startzman the company has attained a proficiency in discipline and drill that is an honor to Hagerstown. Having been in service over a year, and having heard the shrill whistle of Rebel bullets, and deep bass of traitor artillery, they may be put down as “live soldiers” who can be relied on.
Col. Gilpin is very popular with officers and men. With his superior qualifications as an energetic, administrative officer, and with a will,— possessed by none but brave men,—he has a Regiment which respects and esteems him, and which, when he commands “forward” will obey, whether the command means to the Potomac or the Rappahannock, to the Cumberland or the Mississippi.
In an article which will be perused by Loyal Men in Washington County, it is not necessary to explain the definition of P. H. B. It is enough for them to know that such men as Major Roger E. Cook, Captains Bamford and Firey are in the Brigade, and to remember the condition of the border at the time they entered the service.
But for fear that you and your readers may weary, I will close this introduction of the 3rd Md. P. H. B. to the columns of the Herald, by stating that Co. F. (which has not lost a man by disease, although in service over sixteen months,) is not at present represented in the Hospital.
Herald of Freedom & Torch Light
Washington County Free Library
Hagerstown (Md.), Newspapers; Maryland, History, Civil War, 1861-1865
Washington County (Md.), 1861-1865