The 1st Maryland Regiment

  • Authorized oon January 14, 1776 in the Maryland State Troops as the Maryland Battalion.
  • Organized in spring of 1776 at Baltimore and Annapolis, to consist of 9 companies from northern and western Maryland.
  • Assigned on July 6, 1776 to the Main Continental Army.
  • Assigned on August 12, 1776 to Stirling's Brigade, an element of the Main Continental Army.
  • Adopted on August 17, 1776 into the Continental Army.
  • Relieved on August 31, 1776 from Stirling's Brigade and assigned to McDougall's Brigade, an element of the Main Continental Army.
  • Maryland Independent Companies attached on September 19, 1776.
  • Relieved on November 10, 1776 from McDougall's Brigade.
  • Assigned on December 10, 1776 - January 1777 to Mercer's Brigade, an element of the Main Continental Army.
  • Reorganized and redesignated in January 1777 as the 1st Maryland Regiment, to consist of 8 companies.
  • Assigned on May 22, 1777 to the 1st Maryland Brigade, an element of the Main Continental Army.
  • Reorganized on May 12, 1779 to consist of 9 companies.
  • 1st Maryland Brigade relieved on April 5, 1780 from the Main Continental Army and assigned to the Southern Department.
  • Relieved on January 1, 1781 from the 1st Maryland Brigade and assigned to the Maryland Brigade, an element of the Southern Department.
  • Furloughed on July 27, 1783 at Baltimore.
  • Disbanded on November 15, 1783.




In January of 1776, the state of Maryland resolved to raise a battalion for the defense of that Province. William Smallwood was appointed to be colonel of the battalion. Three companies from Baltimore and six companies from Annapolis were combined to form the battalion. It was organized as eight battalion companies and one light infantry company. Made up from men from northern and western Maryland, it was assigned to the Main Army under George Washington on July 6, 1776. The battalion was assigned to the brigade of William Alexander, Lord Sterling, along with the Delaware Battalion of Col. John Haslet. This was the start of a close association between the troops from Maryland and Delaware that was to last through the entire war. Smallwood's men were in action first at the Battle of Long Island and won great praise for their repeated charges against the British forces. They were largely responsible for the successful withdrawal of the American forces across Gowanu Creek to the main forces in Brooklyn.

The Maryland Battalion distinguished itself at the Battle of Long Island by singlehandedly covering the retreat of the American forces against numerically superior British and Hessian forces. Thereafter, General George Washington relied heavily upon the Marylanders as one of the few reliable fighting units in the early Continental Army. For this reason, Maryland is sometimes known as "The Old Line State." The 175th Regiment Maryland National Guard claims descent from "The Maryland Line".

Later the unit was reorganized and redesigneated as the 1st Maryland Regiment in January 1777. On April 5, 1780, it was assigned to the Southern Army under Maj. Gen. Horatio Gates, and later under Maj. Gen. Nathaniel Greene. One of the few Continental regiments that fought in both the Northern and Southern campaigns, it took part in the following major battlers: Long Island, New York, White Plains, Trenton-Princeton, Brandywine, Germantown, Monmouth, Camden, Cowpens, Guilford Courthouse, Hobkirk Hill, Ninety-Six and Eutaw Springs. It was furloughed on July 27, 1783 at Baltimore and disbanded on November 15, 1783.

Time Line

  • Formed on December 3, 1774 in Baltimore, Maryland, as the Baltimore Independent Cadets
  • Absorbed into 1st, organized on January 2, 1776, with eight battalion companies and attached independent companies.
  • Smallwood's Maryland Regiment reorganized and expanded on December 10, 1776- March 27, 1777 into the Maryland Brigade, Continental Line (comprising 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, and 7th Maryland Battalions.)
  • Reorganized in 1780 to form the 1st and 2nd Maryland Brigades.
  • Reorganized on September 13, 1780 into a single regiment of two battalions and designated as the 1st Maryland Regiment.
  • Reorganized on April 12, 1783 as the Maryland Battalion
  • Mustered out on November 15, 1783 at Baltimore.
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