SIXTH REGIMENT OF MARYLAND INFANTRY
The Sixth Regiment of Maryland Infantry Descendants Association
dedicated a monument to the soldiers of the Sixth Maryland
on the Breakthrough Battlefield at Pamplin Historical Park
near Petersburg, Virginia following the Annual Pre-Dawn Tour
on Saturday, April 2, 2011
A portion of the forty descendants and family members who gathered to dedicate the monument and the artist, Gary Casteel (holding hat, with daughter), who created the outstanding design and bronze tablet. Also attending the ceremony were a number of participants from the Pre-Dawn Tour of the Breakthrough Battlefield.
David H. Jones made a brief speech prior to the unveiling.
A. Wilson Greene, Executive Director of Pamplin Historical Park, made the opening remarks at the dedication
Witnessing the ceremony was a crowd of approximately sixty people including descendants, family members and other park visitors
Bo Hitchcock and David Jones unveil the monument
Gene Mortorff, Commander of the Dept. of Maryland, SUVCW, placed a wreath on the 6th Maryland Infantry Regiment mounument
Gary and Leslie Casteel
Roy Hitchcock, Bo Hitchcock and David Jones
Descendants of Private DeWitt Henneberger and Lydia Mae Casteel
Gary Casteel and David Jones
Gary Casteel, Commander Gene Mortorff and the SUVCW Dept. of Maryland Patriotic Instructor
John Petri, descendant of Sgt. John L. Jones
David and Dian Jones
Beautiful weather blessed the day
The 6th Regiment of Maryland Infantry was made up of men from the farms, villages and cities of Maryland who fought and died from its formation in 1862 until the very end of the American Civil War. The monument to their valor and sacrifice is enshrined on the spot where the Sixth Maryland Volunteers made their pre-dawn attack and led the Sixth Corps breakthrough of the main line of Confederate fortifications at Petersburg in the early morning hours of April 2, 1865.
This major breakthrough of the defenses of the Army of Northern Virginia at Petersburg led to the withdrawal of all Confederate forces on the Petersburg and Richmond front. One week later, the retreating Confederate forces were surrounded by pursuing Union forces at Appomattox Court House where General Robert E. Lee surrendered the Army of Northern Virginia to General Ulysses S. Grant.
Major Clifton K. Prentiss led the Sixth Maryland’s in its gallant charge and was mortally wounded. Sgt. John E. Buffington of the Sixth Maryland Infantry Regiment was awarded the Medal of Honor for being the first Union enlisted man to reach the Confederate entrenchments. The men of the 6th Maryland Infantry were in the forefront of the massive 6th Corps assault of some 14,000 men. These same men fought at The Wilderness, Spotsylvania Court House, North Anna River, Cold Harbor, marched across the James River to encircle Petersburg and were called on to defend Washington, D. C. when Confederate forces threatened its outskirts. The regiment started with approximately one thousand men in Baltimore in August of 1862 and ended up with less than three hundred survivors when it proudly marched through the streets of Washington City in the Union Army’s Grand Review in June of 1865.
The site of the historic Breakthrough Battle at Petersburg is now part of Pamplin Historical Park and The National Museum of the Civil War Soldier. The park is a 422-acre historical campus that features a world-class museum, antebellum homes, an historic Civil War battlefield, a slave life exhibit, costumed living history demonstrations, educational programs, and special events. It has been called “the new crown jewel of Civil War sites in America” by Pulitzer Prize-winning historian James M. McPherson of Princeton University.
Pamplin Historical Park is recognized as a National Historic Landmark by the United States Department of the Interior. The park encompasses original Confederate fortifications that may be viewed from the Breakthrough Trail. This is a fitting place for a monument dedicated to the brave men of the Sixth Maryland Infantry, not only those who fought on this hallowed ground, but to all soldiers who served honorably in the regiment at any time during the war.
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