Leonardtown in St. Mary's County, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
Spies, Intriguers and Blockade Runners
The old port town teemed with spies, intriguers, and blockade runners. During the summer of 1861, U.S. naval forces landed here and searched house-to-house. Union troops occupied the courthouse and camped nearby in the Sheep Pen Woods. Locals arrested for suspected disloyalty were imprisoned at Point Lookout. Authorities closed the Beacon and jailed its editor to stem its secessionist commentary. After the war, which devastated the local economy, many residents moved west.
“When the mail arrived in our village on Monday night, bringing the intelligence that Fort Sumter had fallen, the wildest enthusiasm broke forth among our people, and huzzahs
Local U.S. Congressman Benjamin Gwinn Harris, who gave impassioned speeches favoring recognition of the Confederacy, is the only representative ever convicted of treason. Days after President Abraham Lincoln’s assassination, Harris was arrested for giving money to two Confederate soldiers on their way home, tried, and imprisoned. President Andrew Jackson later ordered his release.
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.
Location. 38° 17.373′ N, 76° 38.16′ W. Marker is in Leonardtown, Maryland, in St. Mary's County. Marker is on Courthouse Drive west of Washington Street (Maryland Route 326), on the right when traveling east. It is on the grounds of the courthouse, in front of the Old Jail. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 41625 Courthouse Drive, Leonardtown MD 20650, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 5 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. This Cannon (here, next to this marker); The Great House (a few steps from this marker); A Town Spared Veterans Memorial (about 400 feet away); World War I Monument -- Leonardtown (about 500 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Leonardtown.
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on April 19, 2007, by Tom Fuchs of Greenbelt, Maryland. This page has been viewed 1,887 times since then and 14 times this year. Photos: 1. submitted on April 19, 2007, by Tom Fuchs of Greenbelt, Maryland. 2. submitted on April 18, 2007, by Tom Fuchs of Greenbelt, Maryland. 3. submitted on April 19, 2007, by Tom Fuchs of Greenbelt, Maryland. 4, 5. submitted on March 5, 2015, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. • J. J. Prats was the editor who published this page.