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Unit History

2nd Maryland Baltimore Light Artillery


Mustered early in the war in 1861, the Baltimore Light Artillery was created as part of a greater effort to bring in willing volunteers from the border state of Maryland. Commanded initially by Captain John Brockenborough, the battery was first assigned to camp duties in Centerville until March of 1862, when Johnson was forced to pull back from Manassas, joining Ewell in their retreat into the Shenandoah Valley. However, they would soon "find the elephant," and against fellow Marylanders, at the battle of Front Royal.

In a later retreat up the Shenandoah Valley, the Baltimore Lights were attached to J.E.B. Stuart's cavalry in the protection of the rear of Jackson's army, where they were daily having to fend off the biting hordes of the advancing blue coats. For instance, at the battle of Harrisonburg, they helped defend Turner Ashby and their fellows in the 1st Maryland Infantry, though their situation grew dire when Ashby was killed. However, they were not shy of spirit, having successfully driven through enemy lines to retreat to safety after being surrounded on Fisher's Hill at a previous engagement.

At the Battle of Cross Keys, the 2nd MA held the precarious left of Ewell's line, which was exposed and under constant fire, though they were able to both stand that and even capture a pair of Napoleons at Port Republic, which was then gifted to them by General Richard Taylor.

In response to Richmond being threatened during the Peninsula Campaign, Jackson managed to move his army all the way to Gaines Mills in only seven days, where they quickly engaged Federal troops only ten miles from the town. After the 1st Maryland Infantry engaged them as the forward pickets, the 2nd MD Artillery was brought up to finish off driving the Yankees from their front. The next day, the battery was engaged against enemy artillery, and under the direct supervision of Jackson were able to get into relatively close range, since their cannons were more effective than if they were to try and fight at longer range against the enemy's superior cannons. They continued to duel against the enemy artillery through the battles at Dispatch Station of June 29th, and at the battle of Malvern Hill on July 1st.

While their infantry comrades of the 1st MD had to return home at the end of their enlistment shortly after the previous battles, the artillery continued to serve under Jackson, then attached to Starke's Louisiana Brigade. 

During the Maryland Campaign, the battery first helped in the siege of Harper's Ferry from the Loudon Heights south of the town across the Shenandoah River, but then were quickly sent to help at Sharpsburg during the evening of the 16th, where they helped guard Lee's left flank near the Poffenberger Farm. As fighting grew intense near Dunker Church, the battery was virtually alone as masses of blue infantry threatened to overwhelm their position. They managed to defend against three different charges before the day was over.

Again joining Ewell's Division after their winter sojourn in 1862, they were still with the division when the Army of Northern Virginia again made their way north to the quaint town of Gettysburg. The battery once more was placed to guard the left flank of Lee's lines on Culp's Hill but suffered several casualties due to the enemy having artillery supremacy over the hill coming from the Federal artillery lines on Cemetery Ridge. However, they were able to get some revenge during the second retreat of Lee from the north near Zion Hill, where they defended their fellow men of the Maryland Line against Federal artillery. Getting within point-blank range they drove the enemy battery off the field, allowing their comrades to continue the retreat.

Over the next several months, the battery continued to help the beleaguered army, though suffered heavily for it. One gun and its attendants were captured at Culpepper Courthouse, and another two were almost captured while many men and horses became additional casualties of war at Yellow Tavern in May of 1864. 

Finally, the death knell of the unit tolled during the Valley Campaign of late 1864, where despite a recent rejuvenation from an influx of new guns and men, another four guns and twenty-three men were captured. The remnants moved into camp at Fisherville but were instead remade into infantry during the fighting in the trenches of Petersburg. They finally surrendered with the last of their men at Appomattox Court House.

Equipment and Unit Info

The artillery is an integral part of the armies of both sides, and often one of the heaviest hitters, able to eliminate threats from a greater distance than any other branch could achieve alone. Below is a list of some of the requirements for taking part, so take a look at our sutler's page to find anything you might need. But please bear in mind before any purchase to check with your assigned guide as to what would be correct or not. Similarly, this unit is currently one that can go either Union or Confederate, so while the list below will showcase mostly Confederate requirements, you can take a look here for the other unit and its requirements. 



* Kepi or Forage Cap in any artillery style, or Slouch Hat (not to be confused with a cowboy hat, they are not period)

* Sack coat or Richmond Depot Type II jacket, in Cadet or Richmond grey. Buttons with either "CSA" or "A" imprint. Any sort of red trim is optional.

* Muslin or homespun shirt

* Sky blue trousers

* Suspenders

* Thick socks, preferably wool

* Brogans or period boots (not cowboy boots)


* Canteen (VERY important), with a grey wool cover, cotton sling

* Waist belt with CS belt buckle


* (Optional) Any correct period revolver such as the 1851 Navy Colt, 1858 Remington, or the 1860 Colt Army.  Or, an artillery carbine such as the J.P. Murray, or the P-58 Enfield, used by both armies.  Remember, the cannon is your main armament, and is the focus of an artilleryman's attention.

Camping and other Necessities:

* A-tent or Shelter/Dog Tent (full or half)

* Period-looking seat of some sort, whether stool or full chair

* Mess kit; tin or steel plate and cup, and knife, fork, and spoon.

* Cotton dress gloves

We must note here that any other necessities will depend on your style of camping. Some prefer to have a cot while some prefer to sleep on the ground with a period ground cloth and plenty of blankets for comfort and heat. The inside of the tent is up to you and is not a public space unless you want it to be. Add to this list based on your own needs.


















The Crossland Banner often used by Pro-Confederate Marylanders.

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