Leonardtown in St. Mary's County, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
The Mural Story
Though Congressman Harris was arrested after the Civil War was over, he was, nonetheless, charged with war crimes for giving a small amount of money to two freed Confederate prisoners making their way from the Point Lookout prison camp to Baltimore. In fact, the prisoners had been detained by Union officers and ordered to seek lodging from the congressman. Harris was suspicious and instead of taking the men into his home at Ellenborough, just outside of Town, he gave them each a dollar and suggested they seek food and lodging at the hotel.
The soldiers reported this to the Union officers who had Congressman Harris brought
He was immediately transferred to a boat waiting in Breton Bay and taken to Washington, D.C. for incarceration. He was convicted of war crimes by a military tribunal, even though he was a civilian and the war was over when the alleged crime occurred. He was also removed from his seat in the House of Representatives and thrown in jail.
Leonardtown lawyer John A. Camalier pleaded the case of Cong. Harris to President Andrew Johnson who agreed that Harris had been treated unfairly. He gave Camalier a pardon for Mr. Harris and told the attorney to invite Cong. Harris to the White House for dinner that night.
The unrepentant Harris refused the dinner invitation in the strongest terms. He returned to Leonardtown and was sent back to Congress at the next election.
Location. 38° 17.49′ N, 76° 38.13′ W. Marker is in Leonardtown, Maryland, in St. Mary's County. Marker is on Washington Street (Business Maryland Route 5) near Leonardtown Road (Business Maryland Route 5), on the right when traveling north. Click for map
Other nearby markers. At least 5 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Center of Citizenship (within shouting distance of this marker but has been reported missing); Leonardtown (within shouting distance of this marker); World War I Monument -- Leonardtown (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Site of the Methodist Episcopal Meeting House (c.1847) (about 300 feet away); The Great House (about 700 feet away). Click for a list of all markers in Leonardtown.
Also see . . . Off the Beaten Path in Leonardtown. This VirtualTourist.com page has a number of well annotated photographs of Leonardtown buildings by grandmaR. Scroll down to see them all. (Submitted on April 19, 2007.)
Categories. • Colonial Era • War of 1812 • War, US Civil •
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Tom Fuchs of Greenbelt, Maryland. This page has been viewed 1,770 times since then and 28 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on , by Tom Fuchs of Greenbelt, Maryland. 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11. submitted on , by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. • J. J. Prats was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.