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Item #: CWB12953
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First Eastern Shore Infantry. - Cols., James Wallace, John R. Keene; Lieut.-Col., William H. Comegys; Maj., William Kirby. Companies A, B and C of this regiment were recruited in Dorchester county; D, E, F, and G in Caroline county; H in Tal- bot county; I in the city of Baltimore; and K in Somerset coun- ty. The regiment was organized at Cambridge in Sept., 1861, and mustered into service for three years, but Co. A was mus- tered out on Aug. 16, 1862, by orders from the war department. In Nov., 1861, it formed a part of Gen. Lockwood's brigade in the expedition into the eastern shore counties of Virginia, after which it remained on duty along the eastern shore until Lee's invasion of Pennsylvania in the summer of 1863, when it asked to be permitted to join the Army of the Potomac. With Lockwood's brigade it was ordered to Baltimore, whence it pro- ceeded to Gettysburg where it arrived on the morning of July 3 and joined the 12th corps on Culp's hill, where it gave a good account of itself during the fighting of that day. After Lee was driven back into Virginia the regiment returned to the eastern shore and continued in the performance of special duty until the expiration of its term of service, when the original members - except veterans - were mustered out, and the veterans and recruits were consolidated with the 11th infantry. During its term of service the regiment marched 760 miles, traveled by rail 283 miles, and by water 1,323 miles. Its loss was nine men killed in battle and 52 who died of wounds and disease.
In the year 1855 he, with John T. Sangston bought his father's interest in the mercantile business, in which they prospered until the breaking out of the Civil War. In the year 1861, when that section was aroused by the prospect of a war, which, if successful on the part of the South would rend the Union, William H. Comegys disposed of his mercantile interests, freed his slaves, and willing to leave his family and fireside, animated by pure patriotism, took an active part in the organization of an independent regiment, Sep. 7, 1861, at Cambridge, Md., known as the First Eastern Shore Maryland Volunteers, of which he was appointed Lieutenant Colonel and James Wallance, Colonel. Prior to or shortly after the organization of this regiment its services were offered to the government at Washington, but was not accepted on account of uncertainty as to which side Marylanders were in sympathy. It was subsequently accepted, however, and mustered into service as part of the Grand Army of the Potomac, October 31, 1861, and consolidated with the eleventh Maryland Infantry, February 25, 1865. No men ever faced anger upon a battle field in defense of a country who more richly deserved the grateful remembrance of their countrymen than the soldiers from Maryland in the late war of the Union

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