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

Bel Air

Southern Sympathizers Sought

Bel Air - Southern Sympathizers Sought Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By William Pfingsten, June 20, 2007
1. Bel Air - Southern Sympathizers Sought Marker
Inscription.  On July 31, 1861, 300 men from the 12th Pennsylvania Infantry under Capt. Daniel Leasure marched into Bel Air to arrest Southern sympathizers and confiscate weapons from local militia units. The troops halted at the courthouse square, then dispersed to do their work. They blocked all of the roads leading to and from Bel Air and rounded up local citizens including Capt. Archer Jarrett of the Harford Light Dragoons, Henry Farandis, former state senator, and Thomas Hays, merchant. They arrested Jarrett when he refused to divulge the location of the militia’s arms and inspected the homes of Farandis and Hays without success. (Hays’s house still stands in Bel Air.) The Baltimore Sun reported that Hays was arrested and then released; Jarrett was released on September 22. After an unsuccessful day of searching the town, the Pennsylvanians departed.

Some Harford County residents served in the U.S. Army, and two of them received the Medal of Honor: Sgt. Alfred Hilton, Company H, 4th Regiment U.S. Colored Troops, and Col. Charles Phelps, 7th Maryland Volunteer Infantry. Other citizens joined the Confederate States Army. They included Capt.
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William Bissell, 8th Virginia Infantry Regiment, Pickett’s Division, and Gen. James J. Archer, A. P. Hill’s Division. Bissell’s hotel stood across the street from the courthouse, where Archer's portrait now hangs in the notable citizens gallery. His childhood home is located in Susquehanna State Park.

[photo caption] Harford County Courthouse, constructed 1859 - Courtesy Historical Society of Harford County
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: War, US Civil. In addition, it is included in the Maryland Civil War Trails series list. A significant historical date for this entry is July 31, 1861.
Location. 39° 32.133′ N, 76° 20.917′ W. Marker is in Bel Air, Maryland, in Harford County. Marker is at the intersection of Main Street and Office Street, on the right on Main Street. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Bel Air MD 21014, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. A different marker also named Bel Air (within shouting distance of this marker); Historic Bel Air (within shouting distance of this marker); Veterans Memorial (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Frederick Ward Park (approx. 0.2 miles away); Sacred to the Memory of the Men of Harford County (approx. 0.2 miles away); "The Door" (approx. 0.2 miles
Marker at Courthouse image. Click for full size.
Photographed By William Pfingsten, June 20, 2007
2. Marker at Courthouse
away); The Norris House (approx. 0.2 miles away); The Hays House (approx. ¼ mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Bel Air.
More about this marker. Located on Court House lawn.
Credits. This page was last revised on September 17, 2020. It was originally submitted on June 22, 2007. This page has been viewed 2,623 times since then and 60 times this year. Last updated on September 16, 2020, by Carl Gordon Moore Jr. of North East, Maryland. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on June 22, 2007, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland. • J. Makali Bruton was the editor who published this page.

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Jun. 5, 2023