Memoirs of a Maryland Volunteer; War with Mexico, in the years 1846-7-8

Soon after the news of the battles on the Rio Grande had been received in Baltimore, I went to the city of Washington, provided with a letter of introduction to the President of the United States from an influential citizen of Baltimore, - Mr. Francis Gallagher, - and had an interview with Mr. Polk. I solicited from him an appointment to the regular army ; he told me that he purposed calling for volunteers - would take some from Maryland, and that then I would have an opportunity to respond to the call of my country with higher rank than he could give me.

Continued my efforts to enter the regular army until the 1st day of June, when after a conversation with Lieutenant-Colonel Wm. H. Watson, I determined to raise a company of volunteers for a battalion which he was organizing for twelve months' service.

On the next day, the 2d of June, opened a rendezvous in the armory of the Eagle Artillery Company (of which company I was the First Lieutenant), and another at Trades' Union Hall, corner of Baltimore Street and Tripolett's Alley. Volunteers came in with extraordinary rapidity, and on the morning of the 4th day of June I carried to the city of Washington, by railroad, two officers and fifty-eight men, the whole having been recruited by me in less than thirty-six hours. Prior to leaving my rendezvous in Baltimore Street, I was honored and gratified by being presented with a sword and sash by Captain George P. Kane, the commanding officer, on behalf of the Eagle Artillery Company, with which I had been connected as private and officer for several years.

On reaching Washington we were met by the volunteers from Baltimore who had preceded me, and escorted to the War Department, from whence we marched to the Marine Barracks, where quarters had been assigned my recruits.

On the next day sent Lieutenants Francis B. Schaeffer and Oden Bowie back to Baltimore to bring more men, who, I had been informed, were anxious to join the company. They returned on the 7th, and on the next day, the 8th day of June, 1846, we marched to the War Department, and were mustered into the service of the United States by Lorenzo Thomas, Major and Assistant- Adjutant-General United States Army, for twelve months, my company consisting of three officers and eighty-four non-commissioned officers and privates.

My commission bore date the 4th day of June, 1846; and on the 13th of the same month I was on board the transport steamer Massachusetts, bound for the seat of war in Mexico, with as brave a set of men as ever wore the uniform of the United States army. The battalion was of the best material for the service and the country in which it was to be engaged, but lacked trained officers to set it up and make soldiers of its rank and file. This, time and the effect of war brought about, and I lived to see the battalion second to none in the volunteer arm of the service in appearance and efficiency.

The thread of my memoirs is now taken up from notes, letters, and diary, mostly made and written as the events occurred.

The following is the roll of the company, which was known as "Baltimore's Own" :

Captain, John R. Kenly.

First Lieutenant, Francis B. Schaeffer.

Second Lieutenant, Oden Bowie.

Sergeants : William E. Aisquith, William Hickman, George O. Lansdale, Thomas Tyser.

Corporals : Benjamin F. Brand, James H. Mansfield, James A. Beacham, James Tibbles.

Privates : John Andrews, John F. Alexander, John Allen, Wm. Allen, Lemuel Atkinson, George W. Bowie, John A. Billington, Wm. A. Butler, Wm. Bannister, Samuel Beaston, John Boyd, Edward Boulanger, Jacob Baker, Edward I. Byram, Richard H. Belt, James B. Canning, George N. Collins, De Azro A. B. Cutting, Jacob Degomp, Francis M. Dobbin, Joseph H. Dick, Henry I. Ekling, Charles Fischer, Louis Fuller, Henry Forbush, Francis Fisher, George Gordon, Samuel Gelston, Vincent Henxler, John H. Hipkins, James Henry, Barney Hawkins, George T. Hugo, Charles Hill, George Healey, Wm. S. Hatch, Charles Johnson, John S. Johnson, David Johnson, Leroy Knight, Thomas Leyburn, Thomas Leveuton, Francis A. Labedie, John Loughry, Samuel Lockhart, William Macready, George Macnelly, Joseph B. Millard, James H. Merton, Jacob Morris, John Magness, Charles W. Matchett, John McGunnell, Edward Myers, Henry P. Norris, Francis Louis Nettan, Franklin B. Nimocks, Josiah Pregg, Charles Pratt, James Peregoy, Setli S. Rogers, John Reese, Joseph B. Richardson, Wm. M. S. Riley, Andrew I. Ritter, Wm. Rapley, John K. Robinson, James W. Sullivan, John Smith, Thomas T. Stansbury, Wm. H. Sibley, John W. Turner, Joseph Wharry, Daniel Williams, Wm. Wilson, and Ernest Tressel.

The following were subsequently mustered into the company, viz. :

Privates : John Creamer, Armistead Henderson, Alexander Ramsay, Henry Heft, and Chas. Heidelbach.

Under the Act of Congress before referred to, the field and company officers of the volunteers accepted under the call were to be appointed and commissioned according to the laws of the State from whence they came; and I, with my two lieutenants, were commissioned by his Excellency, Thomas G. Pratt, Governor of the State of Maryland.

The organization to which I was attached was de-ignated '' The Battalion of Baltimore and Washington Volunteers," and which became subsequently widely and well known as "The Old Baltimore Battalion." It was composed of six companies of infantry ; four of them having been recruited in Baltimore, and two of them in the city of Washington, District of Columbia. They were officered as follows :

Company A, from Baltimore: Captain, James E. Steuart; Lieutenants, Benjamin Ferguson Owens and Samuel Wilt; add'l. Second Lieutenant, David P. Chapman.

Company B, from Baltimore: Captain, James Piper; Lieutenants, Lawrence, Dolan, and Marcellus K. Taylor; add'l. Second Lieutenant, Isaac H. Marrow.

Company C, from Washington: Captain, Robert Bronaugh; Lieutenants, Phineas B. Bell, William O'Brien, Thomas M. Gleason.

Company D, from Washington: Captain, John Waters ; Lieutenants, Wm. I. Parham, Eugene Boyle, Edward Murphy.

Company E, from Baltimore: Captain, John R. Kenly ; Lieutenants, Francis B. Schaefifer and Oden Bowie ; add'l. Second Lieutenant, William E. Aisquith.

Company F (Chesapeake Rifles), from Baltimore: Captain, James Boyd; Lieutenants, Joseph H. Ruddach and Robert E. Has-lett; add'L Second Lieutenant, James Taneyhill.

The whole under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel William H. Watson, its only field officer.