“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Oxford in Talbot County, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)

Oxford Wharf

Recruiting United States Colored Troops

Oxford Wharf Marker image. Click for full size.
By Paul Crumlish, August 7, 2010
1. Oxford Wharf Marker
Inscription. The Emancipation Proclamation, issued January 1, 1863, authorized the recruiting of African Americans as United States soldiers. Blacks on the Eastern Shore of Maryland and Delaware sought freedom for themselves and their families in return their service in the Union army. Union Gen. William Birney and his staff raised seven regiments of what were called United States Colored Troops (USCTs) — the 4th, 7th, 9th, 19th, 30th, 39th and 118th — in Maryland. The Maryland General Assembly offered bounty money to each man who enlisted as well as to owners who freed their slaves for service. Many slaves, however, freed themselves to join the Federal forces, since the Emancipation Proclamation freed no slaves in Maryland.
Recruitment efforts on the Eastern Shore were successful, and Oxford became a principal embarkation point for the USCTs in this area. On September 18, 1863, loaded with new recruits, the steamboat Champion departed Oxford wharf for Camp Stanton on the Patuxent River at Benedict, where the men were trained for war. Quaker James Dixon wrote, ”The [slave] owners and others stood silent and thoughtful upon the wharf and beach, and as the steamer moved off, the colored people on board, waving their hats in good bye, broke out into one of their jubilant hymns, such as they were accustomed to sing in
Wide view of the Oxford Wharf Marker image. Click for full size.
By Paul Crumlish, August 7, 2010
2. Wide view of the Oxford Wharf Marker
their religious meetings, for having no patriotic songs those hymns were converted into songs of deliverance from slavery.”

[Right-hand Inset]
The 19th USCT, recruited from African Americans living here, was organized at Camp Stanton between December 25, 1863, and January 16, 1864. It served in the Overland Campaign in Virginia in May–Jane 1864, at first guarding wagon trains during the Battle of the Wilderness. After the Siege of Petersburg began in mid-June, the regiment participated in combat operations, including the Battle of The Crater. It joined in the pursuit of the Confederate army to Appomattox Court House. Later it served in Texas and was mustered out on January 15. 1867.
Erected by Maryland Civil War Trails.
Marker series. This marker is included in the Maryland Civil War Trails marker series.
Location. 38° 41.579′ N, 76° 10.446′ W. Marker is in Oxford, Maryland, in Talbot County. Marker is at the intersection of East Strand and North Morris Street (County Route 333), on the left when traveling east on East Strand. Click for map. Marker is in this post office area: Oxford MD 21654, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 6 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. The Robert Morris Inn (within shouting distance of this marker); Oxford - Bellevue Ferry (within shouting distance of this marker); Oxford (approx. 0.6 miles away); In Memory of Col. Tench Tilghman (approx. 0.8 miles away); Grave of General Perry Benson (approx. 4.1 miles away but has been reported missing); “The Wilderness” (approx. 4.1 miles away); “Canterbury Mannor” (approx. 4.3 miles away); “Hole-in-the-Wall” (approx. 6.1 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Oxford.
Related marker. Click here for another marker that is related to this marker. To better understand the relationship, study the marker shown.
Categories. African AmericansWar, US Civil
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by PaulwC3 of Northern, Virginia. This page has been viewed 604 times since then and 60 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on , by PaulwC3 of Northern, Virginia. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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