George Hume "Maryland" Steuart

Confederate General George Hume Steuart        George Hume Steuart was born 24 August 1828 in Baltimore, Maryland. He was only nineteen when he graduated from West Point, 37th in the class of 1848, and was assigned to routine frontier duty with the cavalry (the Second Dragoons) mostly fighting Indians. He took an active  part in the US Army's  Cheyenne expedition of 1856, 1857-1858 Utah expedition against the Mormons and Comanche expedition of 1860. Though Maryland had not been allowed to secede from the Union, Steuart resigned his U.S. captain's commission on April 22, 1861, and entered the Confederate service as a captain in the cavalry.

        Hailed as "one of Maryland's gifted sons", he labored vigorously but in vain to bring his native state into the Confederacy. When the 1st Maryland Infantry formed that May, Steuart, initially a captain of cavalry, was named the regiment's lieutenant colonel. In July, after fighting at First Manassas, Steuart was promoted to colonel and regimental commander. According to a fellow officer, Steuart's "rigid system of discipline quietly and quickly conduced to the health and morale of this splendid command." Because his name was so often misspelled, and to distinguish him from cavalry commander J.E.B. Stuart, Confederates always referred to him as "Maryland" Stuart.

        He was promoted to brigadier general in early March 1862 and commanded a brigade consisting of the Forty-fourth, Fifty-second and Fifty-eighth Virginia regiments, to which the First Maryland was added, in Richard S. Ewell's division during "Stonewall" Jackson's Shenandoah Valley campaign. On 8 June 1862 at Cross Keys Steuart received a shoulder wound that disabled him for several months; he would not return to the Confederate army until the following May. When he did return, he was given command of a brigade in Edward Johnson's division. Steuart was nicknamed "Maryland" because of his devotion to the native state and to distinguish him from cavalry commander J.E.B. Stuart. In mid-June 1863 when the Army of Northern Virginia crossed into Maryland on its way to Gettysburg, Steuart jumped off his horse, kissed his native soil and stood on his head. He led the brigade at Gettysburg (in the battle for Culp's Hill, Steuart's brigade took 700 of the 2000 casualties suffered by Johnson's division, more than any other brigade), during the Wilderness, where Steuart's leadership of North Carolina troops against two New York regiments resulted in 567 Union losses, and at Spotsylvania where he and most of his brigade were captured along with 20 Confederate cannon in the fighting at the Mule Shoe. Steuart refused to shake Winfield S. Hancock's hand who he knew from his days in the US Army and snapped at a major who offered him a horse to ride to the rear. Steuart was sent to Charleston, South Carolina; he was imprisoned at Hilton Head and was eventually exchanged in the summer of 1864. He commanded a brigade in George Pickett's division during the Petersburg campaign, at Five Forks, and at Sayler's Creek before surrendering with the army at Appomattox.

        Steuart returned to Maryland, where he divided his time between farming and rising to state command  of the United Confederate Veterans. He died at the age of 75 on 22 November 1903 at South River, Maryland. He is buried in Green Mount Cemetery in Baltimore along with several other prominent Confederate generals including Joseph E. Johnston and Isaac R. Trimble.  John Wilkes Booth, the assassin of Abraham Lincoln, is also buried in Green Mount.

Recommended Books on Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson & the Shenandoah Valley Campaign!

cover                    cover

General George УMarylandФ Steuart was a tough and nasty martinet. He soon showed his power to the militarily ignorant Confederates in his command. It was not uncommon in his camp to see two or three men tied up by their thumbs to a cross pole. His favorite trick was to sneak up on sentries and try to catch them unaware. One night his trick backfired. He startled a private who grabbed hold of the little officer and pummeled him mercilessly, after which he pretended not to have recognized the general.

Taken from SIDELIGHTS AND LIGHTER SIDES OF THE WAR BETWEEN THE STATES: A Feast of History in Small Bites Cooked Up by Ralph Green, Past Commander-in-Chief Sons of Confederate Veterans. Used with permission.