The “Independent Greys” was the name used by several Maryland Militia infantry companies that formed a battalion within the 53rd Maryland Militia Regiment from 1859-1861. Shortly after the Baltimore Riot on April 19, 1861, it was clear that Maryland was not going to secede from the Union. Many members of the various Maryland militia units were very “pro South. "The 53rd Maryland Militia was one of those militias. The unit dissolved as many of it’s members went south to serve in the Confederate Army being formed in Virginia. It is estimated that over 30,000 Marylanders served in the Confederate Army during the war. Many Marylanders found themselves serving in Virginia Regiments since Maryland as a state never seceded.
There were several “all Maryland’ units that were ultimately raised. One of those units was the 1st Maryland Infantry Regiment formed in the Spring of 1861. Company D of the 1st Maryland Infantry Regiment was commanded by Capt. James Herbert. Capt. Herbert formally served as a Lieutenant in Company A, 53rd Maryland Militia prior to the war. Company A was one of the “Independent Greys” companies within the 53rd Maryland. Carrying on with tradition; Capt. Herbert nicknamed his Company D “The Independent Greys”.
You can see the evidence of this per Capt. Herbert’s 1862 (February) newspaper recruiting advertisement in The Richmond Enquirer (photo at right).
Carrying on with the same Maryland tradition, we named our modern day organization the “Independent Greys”. We are a living history organization that teaches the public about the Confederate Marylanders role in the American Civil War. Our organization is based out of Baltimore, MD with members spanning several states. The genesis was in 2014 with the creation of the group, “Company D” 2nd Maryland Infantry (1862-1865). Since then, our organization has evolved and expanded to include an early war 1st Maryland Infantry Regiment impression. We also created a youth program called the “Maryland Cadets”. This is a youth history club that participates in battlefield trips, camping excursions, and attending some of our various living history events. Also, our organization created a regularly published virtual online magazine called the “True Marylander”. The Independent Greys organization also has civilian impressions of the “The Monument Street Girls” and “Plug Uglies”. Both of these impressions are historically accurate and are embedded within Maryland’s (Baltimore’s) history.
If you are looking to join a group that represents Maryland, then look no further! We are the best you will find in the hobby! No other Maryland group is as well researched or organized than our group! Early War, Mid War, Late War, Civilian impressions, and even youth programs….we have it covered! If you have the heart and the desire to “do it right’…then YOU are the type of person we want!