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Benedict in Charles County, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
Camp Stanton
Training Post for USCT
 
Camp Stanton Marker Photo, Click for full size
By Richard E. Miller, January 4, 2004
1. Camp Stanton Marker
 
Inscription. Nearby stood Camp Stanton, a Civil War-era recruiting and training post for African American Union soldiers. Named for Secretary of War Edwin Stanton, the camp was established in August 1863. Although black soldiers had served in the nationís armed forces since the Revolutionary War, they were barred from the U.S. Army during the Civil War until President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863. The 7th Regiment, United States Colored Troops (USCT), organized in Baltimore, trained here. The 9th, 19th, and 30th Regiments were organized and trained at Camp Stanton. All of the units saw hard combat in Virginia during the last campaigns of the war.

Slightly down river from here stood The Plains, a plantation owned by Col. John H. Sothoron, one of the wealthiest men in Southern Maryland and an ardent secessionist. On October 20, 1863, U.S. Army Lt. Eben White arrived there on a mission to recruit black soldiers. White was accompanied by two USCTs, inflaming Sothoron and one of his sons home on leave from the Confederate army. A scuffle ensued, White was killed, and Sothoron fled to Virginia. Sothoronís wife and children vacated their home until after the war, while The Plains housed former slaves from Virginiaís Northern Neck. In November 1868, a St. Maryís County jury acquitted Sothoron in
 
Benedict Marina - area once the site of Camp Stanton Photo, Click for full size
By Richard E. Miller, October 20, 2007
2. Benedict Marina - area once the site of Camp Stanton
 
White's death. Sothoron filed a $98,638 claim against the U.S. government for “losses and damages sustained at The Plains.” The claim was rejected in 1875.
 
Erected by Maryland Civil War Trails.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Maryland Civil War Trails marker series.
 
Location. 38° 30.263′ N, 76° 40.907′ W. Marker is in Benedict, Maryland, in Charles County. Marker can be reached from Wilmott Drive, on the left when traveling south. Click for map. Follow Prince Frederick Road (MD Rte. 231) to Benedict (½ mile west of Patuxent River Bridge). Turn south on Benedict Avenue-Mill Creek Road and follow the Maryland Civil War Trails signage about ĺ mile to the end of Wilmott Drive and the parking lot for the Benedict Marina and Restaurant. The marker is adjacent to the Marina boardwalk on the bank of the Patuxent River. Marker is at or near this postal address: 19305 Wilmott Drive, Benedict, MD, 20612, Benedict MD 20612, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 6 miles of this marker, as the crow flies. The British are Coming (approx. half a mile away); Benedict (approx. 0.8 miles away); a different marker also named Camp Stanton (approx. 0.8 miles away); St. Johnís Holiness Church (approx. 3.3 miles away); Maxwell Hall (approx. 3.5 miles away); Battle Creek Cypress Swamp (approx. 5 miles away); Charlotte Hall School (approx. 5.4 miles away); Maryland Begins Here (approx. 5.4 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Benedict.
 
More about this marker. On the lower left is a photo of Plains plantation with this caption, “Two mid-17th century cemeteries are all that remain of the once-thriing Plains plantation. The cemetery for the plantation's owners has been rebuilt with bricks and stone fragments used to mark their graves from centuries past. The cemetery set aside for the plantation's slaves has no remaining markers if it had any at all. Today it is marked by a simple monument commissioned by the community of Golden Beach.”

There is a large photograph of “Company of the 4th USCT.” on the right.
 
Regarding Camp Stanton. The camp was named for Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton. The trainees were all of African descent and most had recently been freed from slavery elsewhere in Maryland in order to fight in the War of the Rebellion. Many would die in camp from exposure during the severe winter of 1863, but the survivors would march into combat with their regiments in Virginia, the Carolinas, and elsewhere during 1864 and 1865. Of the four regiments, the Seventh suffered the highest number killed in action (85), and two white officers with the Thirtieth would be recipients of the Medal of Honor.
 
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker. To better understand the relationship, study each marker in the order shown.
 
Also see . . .  Camp Stanton. from “African-American Sites Along the Patuxent River” (Submitted on December 9, 2007.) 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on December 8, 2007, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland. This page has been viewed 2,640 times since then. Last updated on January 28, 2009, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland. Photos:   1. submitted on December 9, 2007, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland.   2. submitted on December 8, 2007, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page.
 
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