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Lexington Park in St. Mary's County, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Medals of Honor

St. Mary's County U.S. Colored Troops

 
 
Medals of Honor Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Devry Becker Jones (CC0), September 12, 2021
1. Medals of Honor Marker
Inscription.  
During the Civil War, more than 700 African American men from St. Mary's County served as soldiers and sailors in the U.S. Army and Navy. Some enlisted to obtain their freedom; some were already free and joined from a sense of duty. Black men could not enlist, although many wished to, until after the Emancipation Proclamation of January 1863 authorized it. In May 1863, the War Department issued General Order No. 143, establishing the Bureau of Colored Troops. Mill Stone Landing was one of several recruiting stations in St. Mary's County. Most of the recruits there were assigned to the 7th Regiment, U.S. Colored Troops (USCT). Two of these local farmers-turned-soldiers enlisted in the 38th USCT at Camp Stanton in Charles County: Sgt. James H. Harris, Co. B, and Pvt. William H. Barnes, Co. C. Each of them later received the Medal of Honor for their heroism during the Battle of New Market Heights southeast of Richmond, Virginia, on September 29, 1864.

Discover more exciting stories about St. Mary's County during the war and walk in the footsteps of the men and women who made history here. Stories abound of courageous lighthouse
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keepers, smugglers, men who cast votes bravely in front of their neighbors, a pioneering hospital, and a tragic ship-sinking during the pursuit of President Abraham Lincoln's assassin. Make a little history of your own as you take to Maryland's Civil War Trails.

[Sidebar:]
Sgt. James H. Harris, Co. B, 38th USCT, shown wearing his Butler Medal. Union Gen. Benjamin F. Butler, commanding the Army of the James, which included the 38th and several other USCT regiments, issued this medal to honor the valor of 200 of his soldiers including Harris and Barnes. Harris was awarded the Medal of Honor "for gallant conduct" on Feb. 18, 1874.
 
Erected by Maryland Civil War Trails.
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: African AmericansHeroesWar, US Civil. In addition, it is included in the Maryland Civil War Trails, and the Medal of Honor Recipients series lists. A significant historical month for this entry is January 1863.
 
Location. 38° 16.583′ N, 76° 27.815′ W. Marker is in Lexington Park, Maryland, in St. Mary's County. Marker is on Three Notch Road (Maryland Route 235) 0.1 miles north of Buse Road, on the left when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 22178 Three Notch Rd, Lexington Park MD 20653, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers
Medals of Honor Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Devry Becker Jones (CC0), September 12, 2021
2. Medals of Honor Marker
are within walking distance of this marker. Against the Odds (within shouting distance of this marker); Cedar Point Lighthouse Cupola (1896) (within shouting distance of this marker); Cedar Point Lighthouse (within shouting distance of this marker); McDonnell Douglas AV-8B Harrier II (within shouting distance of this marker); Beech T-34B Mentor (within shouting distance of this marker); Raytheon T-6A Texan II (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Bell-Boeing MV-22B Osprey Test Aircraft No. 8 ("Eight-ball") (about 300 feet away); NC-8A Mobile Electric Power Plant (MEPP) (about 300 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Lexington Park.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on September 14, 2021. It was originally submitted on September 13, 2021, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. This page has been viewed 176 times since then and 4 times this year. Last updated on September 13, 2021, by Bradley Owen of Morgantown, West Virginia. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on September 13, 2021, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia.

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Feb. 22, 2024