The first week of my time at Maryland State Archives has passed and the project to identify the members of the Maryland 400 has officially begun. This first week of work has been mostly dedicated to building a foundation on which to build. To be more specific, Jeff and I created a spreadsheet listing all of the potential members of the Maryland 400, which includes the entire First Maryland Regiment–a list that is currently about 700 soldiers long. In order to be able to update the bios of all these men quickly, we also have been creating physical folders for each of them with the information we currently have.
However, I also got a few chances to actually hunt down sources in the archives, which is of course the infinitely more interesting activity. So far I found 2 documents which will be of use to us. The first is a listing (albeit an incomplete one) of the men comprising Captain Edward Veazey’s 7th Independent Company, which out of the Independent Companies played the most significant role in covering the American retreat. Captain Veazey lost his life during the battle. This list will be vital to us, because before it was found we had no listing of the Veazey’s company aside from the 4 commissioned officers.
The second document I found completely by accident, having taken the wrong container out of the stacks. Nonetheless this mistake proved fruitful when I came upon a pay abstract of for several of the Companies under Colonel Smallwood command in September of ’76. It lists how many Privates and and Sergeants each company has and thus can be used to established precisely how many men were killed/captured in specific companies. Now that the foundation work is coming to an end I hope to spend more time searching down more documents.