FOURTH MARYLAND ARTILLERY.
THE Chesapeake Battery was organized by a combination of Maryland
I volunteers, originally intended for infantry service, under command of
Captain Joseph Forest, of St. Mary's County, and Captain William D.
Brown, of Baltimore City. The young men composing the battery were from the
Eastern and Western counties in about equal proportions, and, as events proved,
they were a remarkably fine body of men, and made their mark on more than one
desperately fought field. At the time of its organization guns were very difficult
to procure, and the consequence was the company was not able to take the field
until some weeks after its organization, in the early part of 1861, but they were
finally equipped with four pieces of inferior calibre, and sent to Camp Lee for
instruction. Here the battery was fully organized by the election of the following
officers : Captain, William D. Brown, of Baltimore; First Lieutenant, John E.
Plater, of Baltimore; Junior First Lieutenant, Walter S. Chew, of Washington,
D. C.; Senior Second Lieutenant, John Grason, of Queen Anne's.
Later on Benjamin G. Roberts, of Queen Anne's, was elected Junior Second
Lieutenant, to fill the vacancy occasioned by the death of Lieutenant John Grason,
who was killed at Fredericksburg on December 13th, 1862, and Thomas P.
La Compte was some time after promoted Junior Second Lieutenant.
At the Camp of Instruction the men rapidly became proficient in the artillery
drill, thanks to Martin Harvey and Peter Williams, two young Virginians, who
had been detailed from the Richmond Howitzers as instructors, and who remained
permanently with the battery, and set an example on the field which the Mary-
landers were not slow to emulate.
During the Peninsular campaign the battery belonged to the reserve artillery,
but was after that attached to Colonel Snowden Andrews' artillery battalion,
composed of the Carpenter's Lynchburg, First Maryland and Fourth Maryland
Colonel Andrews won fame at Cedar Run in August, 1862, as he did on many
other fields, and so well did the Chesapeake battery acquit itself in this engage-
ment that General Early complimented the men by presenting them with
Cushing's regular battery of four ten-pound Parrotts captured in that battle, thus
enabling them to discard the old smooth-bores that had prevented the battery
from participating more conspicuously in other engagements.