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Camp Stanton and the Archaeology of Racial Ideology at a Camp of Instruction for the U.S. Colored Troops in Benedict, Charles County, Maryland.

Author(s): Matthew Palus

Year: 2016

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Summary

Camp Stanton was a major Civil War recruitment and training camp for the U.S. Colored Infantry, established in southern Maryland both to draw recruits from its plantations, and to pacify a region yet invested in slavery. More than a third of the nearly 9,000 African Americans recruited in Maryland during the Civil War were trained at Camp Stanton. Archaeological survey and testing resulted in the discovery of four features associated with shelters that housed recruits over the winter of 1863-1864. This evidence, and also an assemblage of militaria resulting from metal detection survey firmly establishes the former location of the camp.

Illnesses plagued Camp Stanton causing many deaths among recruits. Abolitionist William Birney, chief of recruitment in Maryland and superintendent over the camp, blamed the unhealthful location, but racial ideology also manifested in the management and provisioning of the camp, as the Union defined a priori the African-American soldiers’ capabilities.


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Cite this Record

Camp Stanton and the Archaeology of Racial Ideology at a Camp of Instruction for the U.S. Colored Troops in Benedict, Charles County, Maryland.. Matthew Palus. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Washington, D.C. 2016 ( tDAR id: 434294)


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Spatial Coverage

min long: -129.199; min lat: 24.495 ; max long: -66.973; max lat: 49.359 ;

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 741

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America