A Brief History of the Fifth Maryland Volunteer Infantry

by Patrick McSherry
General:

The Fifth Maryland Volunteer Infantry served its term of service in the continental United States. It did not see overseas service.

Unit History:

The Fifth Maryland Volunteer Infantry, apparently formed around a Maryland National Guard unit,  assembled at Pimlico, Maryland on April 25, 1898. Several weeks later, on May 14, th regiment was mustered into federal service. At the time of mustering in, the regiment consisted of forty-eight officers and 935 enlisted men.

Five days after being mustered in, the regiment was sent south, to the large training camp forming on the grounds of the old Civil War battlefield of Chickamauga in Georgia. The new camp was named Camp Thomas. The regiment arrived at Camp Thomas on May 21st, but, luckily for the men, the unit shipped out for Tampa, Florida shortly thereafter on June 2. Camp Thomas was to become greatly over crowded and very unsanitary, resulting in a large number of deaths.

The 5th Maryland arrived in Tampa on June 5. Only July 31st, the regiment was shifted slightly to Tampa Heights. It reamined here until August 18th. The regiment was in this location when Spain and the U.S. agreed to an armistice, ending the war's fighting, though the war would not officially end until December 10, 1898, when the Treaty of Paris was signed.

On August 18, 1898, the regiment proceeded to Huntsville, Alabama. Again, its stay was short, and on September 5, it was ordered home to Baltimor, Maryland. The regiment was furoughed for one month, beginning on September 11. On October 22, the Fifth Maryland Volunteer Infantry was mustered out of service. At the time of mustering out, the regiment consisted of forty-nine officers and 1,229 enlisted men.

During its term of service, the regiment  had one officer and nineteen enlisted men die of disease. In addition, eight men were discharged on disability, one man was court-martialed, and three men deserted. The regiment has one of the lower desertion  rates experienced by regiments during the war.



Bibliography:

Novak, Greg, Remember the Maine and to Hell with Spain; Being a Wargamer's Guide to the Spanish American War 1898. (Champagne: Ulster Imports, 1990) 37.

Riley, Hugh Ridgely and Charles S. Carrington, Roster of the Soldiers and Sailors Who Served in Organizations From maryland During the Spanish American War. (Westminster: Family Line Publications, 1990).[Contributed by Douglas Rawlinson].

Statistical Exhibit of Strength of Volunteer Forces Called into Service During the War with Spain; with Losses from All Causes. (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1899).


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