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6th Maryland Group Plans Monument At Pamplin Park

(May 2007) PETERSBURG, Va. - The 6th Maryland Regiment of Infantry Descendants Association plans to erect a monument to the men of the 6th Maryland Regiment on the Civil War battlefield at Pamplin Historical Park. Donations are invited to help pay for the monument that will be dedicated on April 2, 2008.

The regiment was made up of men from the farms, villages and cities of Maryland and started with 1,000 volunteers who marched off to war from Baltimore in August 1862. By the end of the war, the regiment had been reduced to just 300 proud veterans who marched through Washington, D.C., in the Grand Review of the Army of the Potomac's VI Corps.

Early on the morning of April 2, 1865, the men of the 6th Maryland were in the forefront of the massive assault on Confederate lines by some 14,000 soldiers of the VI Corps. Maj. Clifton K. Prentiss, who was mortally wounded, led the unit's assault. Sgt. John E. Buffington was awarded the Medal of Honor for being the first Union enlisted man to mount the parapet of the Confederate entrenchments.

The breakthrough of the Army of Northern Virginia lines that morning led to the withdrawal of Confederate forces from Petersburg and Richmond. One week later, Lt. Gen. Robert E. Lee surrendered his army to Lt. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant.

The 6th Maryland Regiment fought throughout Virginia in battles at Winchester, Locust Grove, The Wilderness, Spotsylvania Court House and Cold Harbor. They marched across the James River to participate in the siege and battles at Petersburg.

They were called upon to defend Washington, D.C., when Confederate forces threatened its outskirts and fought at Opequon, Fisher's Hill and Cedar Creek in the Shenandoah Valley. Their last major battle was fought at Saylor's Creek just days before the surrender at Appomattox. The 6th Maryland also fought in numerous skirmishes at such places as Wapping Heights, Kelly's Ford, Brandy Station and Ream's Station.

The site of the April 2, 1865, breakthrough battle is now part of Pamplin Historical Park and The National Museum of the Civil War Soldier. The 422-acre historical park is a National Historic Landmark. The park encompasses original, well-preserved Confederate fortifications that may be viewed from the Breakthrough Trail. The granite and bronze monument designed by sculptor and painter Gary Casteel will be placed on the spot where the 6th Maryland made its pre-dawn attack at Petersburg.

Tax deductible contributions towards the $25,000 cost may be sent to: Pamplin Historical Park, 6th Maryland Trust Account, 6125 Boydton Plank Rd., Petersburg, VA 23803.

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