Most Maryland 400 veterans returned to Maryland after their military service ended. Many, perhaps most, of them stayed in the state afterward, but plenty moved on instead, mostly heading west in search of land.
Michael Waltz, a private in the Second Company in 1776, for example, ended up in Wayne County, Ohio. He moved there in 1834, traveling with his family from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, “in order to be near his relatives who had previously left Pennsylvania.”
Waltz’s westward migration is not particularly noteworthy, but his military service is. He left the First Maryland Regiment sometime in November or December 1776, signing on with a Pennsylvania unit. We have found hardly any men who went on to serve in another state after leaving the Maryland Line.
Because Waltz didn’t serve with the Maryland troops after 1776, his service differed from theirs in several significant ways. For one, he took part in “the capture of the Hessians at Trenton,” in December 1776. While the Marylanders were present at that battle, there were so few of them left after five months of fighting that they played only a minimal role.
Over the next few years, Waltz’s regiment saw the same action as the Maryland troops, fighting in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, mostly trying to keep the British out of Philadelphia. In 1780, however, Waltz’s path diverged significantly from the Marylanders, who were sent to the south to take on the British, beginning a long, bloody campaign. The Pennsylvanians stayed with George Washington in the north, where they saw little combat.
The next year, the Pennsylvania regiments mutinied on New Year’s Day, 1781, an event that Waltz witnessed, and possibly took part in. The mutiny was resolved by offering disgruntled soldiers discharges or payment in hard currency (instead of worthless paper money), and Waltz was among the men who stayed. He probably fought at the Battle of Yorktown in October 1781—where only a handful of Marylanders were present—and was discharged in August 1783.
What drew Waltz to enlist in a Pennsylvania regiment isn’t clear. Since he settled in Pennsylvania after his discharge, he may have come from there originally. The Second Company, with whom he fought in 1776, was raised in Prince George’s County, Maryland, and offers no obvious connection to Pennsylvania.
Regardless of how he came to join the First Maryland Regiment in 1776, Waltz’s life is a fascinating one. Read his bio here to learn more about him and his family.
On Oct 10, 2017 2:26 PM, “Finding the Maryland 400” wrote:
> Finding the Maryland 400 posted: “Most Maryland 400 veterans returned to > Maryland after their military service ended. Many, perhaps most, of them > stayed in the state afterward, but plenty moved on instead, mostly heading > west in search of land. Michael Waltz, a private in the Second Co” >
it is always important to note that the Maryland Veterans may not have stayed in Maryland after the War and that pensions can be found in other states for our Maryland Veterans. Great article!