THE MONUMENT STREET GIRLS


The ladies of our group “Company D” 2nd Maryland Infantry play an important part in teaching history by telling the “Maryland” story. The story of the Maryland soldiers is only just a part to the overall bigger picture that Marylanders faced during the War Between the States. The War was not only fought on the Battlefields but also on the Homefront in occupied Maryland. To help tell the story of the “Homefront” war, our ladies represent former pro Confederate social group called the Monument Street Girls. Without the efforts of those women, the Maryland war effort for the South may have been lesser of an impact on the contribution made by Maryland for the Confederacy. 

 The “Monument Street Girls” were a group of women that lived in the vicinity of the Washington Monument on Monument Street in Baltimore City. Hence the name “Monument Street Girls”.  The Ladies strongly supported the South and the Confederacy as well as strongly opposing Union occupation of Baltimore (and Maryland). The ladies openly waved Confederate flags when Federal troops marched by.  The ladies sewed uniforms and gathered materials to send through Union lines to Confederate Maryland Troops in Virginia.  

Achsah Carrol Win, one of "the Monument Street girls” was responsible for putting "Maryland, My Maryland" to the tune of the " Lauriger Horatius" (the German "Tannenbaum, O Tannenbaum") and have it printed by by publishers Miller and Beacham in Baltimore. James Ryder Randall, a Baltimore poet, was the man who wrote Maryland, My Maryland in 1861 after the Baltimore riots. He was inspired to write the poem when his best friend was one of the people killed by Union troops during the incident. Upon heaing Randall’s poem, Achsah Carrol Win put the words to music and it was an instant sensation which carried like wildfire through Maryland and the Confederacy.

One of the most famous Monument Street Girls was Hetty Cary. Hetty and her sister Jennie smuggled drugs and clothing across the Potomac through the Union blockade for Confederate troops. They were forced to leave Baltimore after federal authorities discovered her Southern sympathies. They escaped to Richmond,Cwhere they then lived with their cousin Constance Cary and her mother, who served as the girls' chaperone. The three young ladies became known as the Cary Invincibles. 

The Cary women created the first Confederate Battle Flag. Due to confusion among the troops during the battle of First Manassas as both the Confederate National flag resembled the Stars and Stripes of the Union national flag, Confederate General P.G.T. Beauregard recommended that the Confederate flag be changed.  The honor was given to the Cary girls.

Constance Cary wrote "During the autumn of ‘61, to my cousins, Hetty and Jennie, and to me was entrusted the making of the first three battle flags of the Confederacy. They were jaunty squares of scarlet crossed with dark blue edged in white, the cross bearing stars to indicate the number of the seceded states. We set our best stitches upon them, edged with gold fringed, and, when they were finished, dispatched one to General Joseph Johnston, another to General Pierre Beauregard, and the last to General Earl Van Dorn. The banners were made from red silk for the fields and blue silk for the crosses.” The resulting flag, commonly called the Southern Cross (based on the St. Andrews cross emblem of Scotland) served as the principal battle flag of the cavalry, infantry, and artillery units in the Army of Northern Virginia from November 1861 until it’s surrender at Appomattox Court House in April 1865.

The Monument Street Girls were also the ladies who made Regimental Flags for both the 1st and 2nd Maryland Infantry.

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CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO THE STORY OF HETTY CARY

ND© Co “D” 2nd MD INF C.S.A. 2014