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Chestertown in Kent County, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Charles Sumner Post, G.A.R.

"Fraternity, Charity, Loyalty"

 
 
Charles Sumner Post, G.A.R. Marker image. Click for full size.
By Devry Becker Jones, August 24, 2019
1. Charles Sumner Post, G.A.R. Marker
Inscription.  African American Civil War veterans constructed this meeting hall for Charles Sumner Post No. 25, Grant Army of the Republic (G.A.R.) in 1908. The hall is one of only town known to survive that were built for soldiers who served in the United States Colored Troops (USCT), segregated units composed of former slaves and free blacks commanded by white officers. The post had an auxiliary wing, Woman's Relief Corps 1, the first such group organized in Maryland.

A small group of veterans formed the post shortly after the war, naming it for the abolitionist Massachusetts senator who urged President Abraham Lincoln to extend full rights to African Americans. Sumner later argued against Kent County's U.S. Senator George Vickers for passage of the Fifteenth Amendment, extending voting rights to black males, and spearheaded the passage of the first Civil Rights Act.

The G.A.R. was the largest national Civil War veterans' group, an organization with white, black, and mixed-race posts in many parts of the country. Organized under the principles of "Fraternity, Charity, Loyalty," it lobbied Congress for pensions and was very influential
Charles Sumner Post, G.A.R. Marker image. Click for full size.
By Devry Becker Jones, August 24, 2019
2. Charles Sumner Post, G.A.R. Marker
in national politics.

In 1868, the national G.A.R. established May 30 as Decoration Day; today we celebrate Memorial Day on that date. For decades after the Civil War, like other posts throughout the country, Sumner Post veterans commemorated the day by parading through Chestertown and placing flowers "on the graves of dead soldiers, black and white, Union and Confederate." The last Sumner Post veteran died in 1928.
 
Erected by Maryland Civil War Trails.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Maryland Civil War Trails marker series.
 
Location. 39° 12.424′ N, 76° 3.979′ W. Marker is in Chestertown, Maryland, in Kent County. Marker is on South Queen Street just south of Cannon Street, on the right when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 224 South Queen Street, Chestertown MD 21620, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Worrell’s Tavern (within shouting distance of this marker); American Revolution Memorial (about 700 feet away, measured in a direct line); War of 1812 Memorial (about 700 feet away); Civil War Monument (about 700 feet away); Common Cause (about 700 feet away); Chestertown Historic District (about
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700 feet away); White & Black, Blue & Gray (about 700 feet away); In Memory of More Than 400 Prominent United States Colored Troops from Kent County (about 700 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Chestertown.
 
Categories. African AmericansFraternal or Sororal OrganizationsWar, US Civil
 

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Credits. This page was last revised on August 25, 2019. This page originally submitted on August 25, 2019, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. This page has been viewed 38 times since then. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on August 25, 2019, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia.
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