As we remember the sacrifices and contributions of African Americans to the Union during the Civil War, one significant chapter that often goes overlooked is the story of Camp Stanton. Located in Benedict, Maryland, Camp Stanton played a critical role in the training and preparation of United States Colored Troops (USCT) soldiers, including many African Americans from Broadneck Peninsula in Anne Arundel County, MD. In this blog post, we will explore the history and significance of Camp Stanton and its lasting impact on the legacy of the USCT soldiers from Broadneck Peninsula.
History of Camp Stanton:
Established in 1863, Camp Stanton was one of the first and largest USCT training camps in the country. It was named after Edwin McMasters Stanton, who served as the Secretary of War under President Abraham Lincoln. The camp was located in Benedict, a small town in Charles County, Maryland, and was strategically situated on the banks of the Patuxent River. The location provided access to both water and land transportation, making it an ideal spot for training troops.
Importance of Camp Stanton for African Americans from Broadneck Peninsula:
Camp Stanton played a critical role in the training and preparation of USCT soldiers, including many African Americans from Broadneck Peninsula in Anne Arundel County, MD. These soldiers came from all walks of life and included both free African Americans and former slaves. Many of them had never received any formal military training, and Camp Stanton provided them with the skills and knowledge they needed to serve in the Union Army.
In addition to military training, Camp Stanton also provided essential resources and support for the soldiers. This included access to medical care, supplies, and equipment. The soldiers were also provided with food and shelter, which was especially important as many of them had left behind families and homes to fight for their country.
Legacy of Camp Stanton for African Americans from Broadneck Peninsula:
The legacy of Camp Stanton lives on through the contributions of the USCT soldiers who trained there, including the African Americans from Broadneck Peninsula in Anne Arundel County, MD. These soldiers played a significant role in the Union victory, fighting in some of the most pivotal battles of the Civil War, including the Battle of Petersburg and witnessing the conclusion of war in Appomattox, VA. . The bravery and sacrifices of the USCT soldiers helped pave the way for the eventual abolition of slavery and the recognition of the rights of African Americans.
Today, Camp Stanton is recognized as an important historical site and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Efforts are underway to preserve and restore the site so that future generations from Broadneck Peninsula and beyond can learn about the history and legacy of the USCT soldiers.
Stories of African American soldiers from Broadneck Peninsula:
During the Civil War, many African Americans from Broadneck Peninsula in Anne Arundel County, MD, joined the Union Army and trained at Camp Stanton. One notable example is Private Isaac Hall, who was born in Anne Arundel County and joined the USCT in 1863. He served in the 19th Regiment, USCT and fought in several battles, including the Battle of New Market Heights. Private Hall was later awarded the Medal of Honor for his bravery in that battle.
Another example is Private Joseph Johnson, who was also from Anne Arundel County and joined the USCT in 1863. He served in the 19th Regiment, USCT and fought in the Battle of Petersburg and was at Appomatox when the Confederacy surrendered. Private Johnson continued to fight and traveled to Texas, before returning to Broadneck Peninsula and lived out his life in the area now known as Brownswoods.
Camp Stanton played a significant role in the training and preparation of USCT soldiers from Broadneck Peninsula in Anne Arundel County, MD during the Civil War. These soldiers overcame significant challenges, including racism and discrimination, to serve their country and fight for their own freedom. Today, we honor their bravery and sacrifices, and we remember the importance of Camp Stanton in their journey. As we continue to work towards equality and justice for all, we must never forget the legacy of the USCT soldiers and the important role that Camp Stanton played in their story.
"Camp Stanton, Maryland," Historic Marker Database, accessed March 12, 2023, https://www.hmdb.org/m.asp?m=195735 .
"Camp Stanton," Maryland Historical Trust, accessed February 22, 2023, https://mht.maryland.gov/historicalmarkers/Details.aspx?id=RM-297&recNum=6&county=Charles+County
"Camp Stanton and US Colored Troops" Maryland History by the Object , accessed March 12 2023, https://jeffersonpatterson.wordpress.com/2021/02/11/camp-stanton-and-the-u-s-colored-troops/
"USCT Training Camps," African American Civil War Memorial and Museum, accessed February 22, 2023, https://www.afroamcivilwar.org/usct-training-camps/