“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Cambridge in Dorchester 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
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.
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, 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.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: African AmericansWar, US Civil. In addition, it is included in the Harriet Tubman, and the Maryland Civil War Trails series lists.
Location. 38° 34.266′ N, 76° 3.846′ W. Marker is in Cambridge, Maryland, in Dorchester County. Marker is at the intersection of Rose Hill Place and Radiance Drive, on the right when traveling north on Rose Hill Place. Marker is in the parking lot of the Dorchester County Visitor Center in Sailwinds Park, which can be seen when entering Cambridge from the Choptank River bridge (US 50). Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 2 Rose Hill Place, Cambridge MD 21613, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Cambridge (here, next to this marker); Discover: Dorchester (here, next to this marker); Enjoy Our Park (here, next to this marker); A Landscape and Lifestyle Defined by Water
Cambridge Marker and Civil War Trails Marker at the Visitor Center image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain
3. Cambridge Marker and Civil War Trails Marker at the Visitor Center
(within shouting distance of this marker); Choptank River's Natural History (within shouting distance of this marker); Choptank River Bridge (within shouting distance of this marker); Exploring Dorchester's Fragile Beauty (within shouting distance of this marker); Living off the Land (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Cambridge.
More about this marker. 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.) 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on June 15, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 1,580 times since then and 7 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on June 15, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.
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Feb. 27, 2021