“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Chester in Queen Anne's County, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)

Maryland's Eastern Shore

Hundreds of Enslaved and Free Black Men Enlisted

Maryland's Eastern Shore Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, June 14, 2008
1. Maryland's Eastern Shore Marker
Inscription. Although isolated from Maryland's largest population centers, the Eastern Shore was important to the state's role in the Civil War and exemplified the citizens' divided loyalties.

In the years before the war, enslaved African-Americans here began escaping bondage via the Underground Railroad to the North and Canada, helped on their way by sympathetic blacks and whites and such courageous "conductors" as Harriet Tubman, an Eastern Shore native. During the war, hundreds of enslaved and free black men from the Eastern Shore enlisted in the United States Colored Troops, the black units authorized in January 1863 when President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation. Afterward, returning black veterans established towns and emancipation celebrations that still survive today.

Some of the Shore's white residents held fast to the Union, while others supported the Confederacy. Although combat bypassed this area, families here as elsewhere suffered the loss of their men as well as the hardships of war. Newspaper publishers suspected of disloyalty to the Union were arrested. Streams and towns on both sides of the Chesapeake Bay became smugglers' havens as enterprising watermen ran the Federal blockade to supply Confederate forces. When the conflict ended, Eastern Shore residents returned to their fields and fishing vessels,
Eastern Shore Trails Map image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, June 14, 2008
2. Eastern Shore Trails Map
Along with the portrait of Douglass and the drawing of the Maryland.
and the passions of war subsided.

Please drive carefully as you visit Civil War Trails sites on Maryland's Eastern Shore.
Erected by Maryland Civil War Trails.
Marker series. This marker is included in the Maryland Civil War Trails marker series.
Location. 38° 58.487′ N, 76° 14.944′ W. Marker is in Chester, Maryland, in Queen Anne's County. Marker can be reached from Piney Narrows Road, on the right when traveling north. Click for map. Located at the Queen Anne's County Visitor Center, just east of the Bay Bridge, on Kent Island. Marker is at or near this postal address: 425 Piney Narrows Road, Chester MD 21619, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 4 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Chesapeake Country National Scenic Byway (a few steps from this marker); Byway Destinations (a few steps from this marker); a different marker also named Byway Destinations (a few steps from this marker); Enemy Occupation (within shouting distance of this marker); Crossing Point (approx. half a mile away); Working the Waters (approx. half a mile away); Island in the Marsh: a hummock (approx. 2.1 miles away); Road to Battle (approx. 3.3 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Chester.
More about this marker.
Visitor Center Parking Area image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, June 14, 2008
3. Visitor Center Parking Area
Note the restored Skipjack in the background.
On the lower left is a photo of a Company of the 4th USCT, one of several infantry units formed in Maryland. A portrait of Harriet Tubman is in the center of the marker. On the right is a map of the Eastern Shore area with red stars indicating the location of Civil War Trails sites and blue question marks indicating information centers. A portrait of Frederick Douglass is on the right side of the map. In the upper right is a drawing of The steamer Maryland was commandeered for the U.S. Army in the spring of 1861. It transported supplies and soldiers north and south. (Courtesy Historical Society of Cecil Co.)
Regarding Maryland's Eastern Shore. This is one of the standard Eastern Shore markers used throughout the area, and is duplicated at other locations.
Also see . . .  Civil War Traveler - Maryland Chesapeake Bay Area. Detailed listing of the Civil War Trails sites around the Chesapeake Bay, including the Eastern Shore points of interest. (Submitted on June 15, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.) 
Categories. African AmericansWar, US Civil
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 1,017 times since then and 60 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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