Charles Sumner Post, G.A.R.

Charles Sumner Post, G.A.R. (HM2JW2)

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N 39° 12.424', W 76° 3.979'

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“Fraternity, Charity, Loyalty”

African American Civil War veterans constructed this meeting hall for Charles Sumner Post No. 25, Grant Army of the Republic (G.A.R.) in 1908. The hall is one of only town known to survive that were built for soldiers who served in the United States Colored Troops (USCT), segregated units composed of former slaves and free blacks commanded by white officers. The post had an auxiliary wing, Woman's Relief Corps 1, the first such group organized in Maryland.

A small group of veterans formed the post shortly after the war, naming it for the abolitionist Massachusetts senator who urged President Abraham Lincoln to extend full rights to African Americans. Sumner later argued against Kent County's U.S. Senator George Vickers for passage of the Fifteenth Amendment, extending voting rights to black males, and spearheaded the passage of the first Civil Rights Act.

The G.A.R. was the largest national Civil War veterans' group, an organization with white, black, and mixed-race posts in many parts of the country. Organized under the principles of "Fraternity, Charity, Loyalty," it lobbied Congress for pensions and was very influential in national politics.

In 1868, the national G.A.R. established May 30 as Decoration Day; today we celebrate Memorial Day on that date. For decades after the Civil War, like other posts

throughout the country, Sumner Post veterans commemorated the day by parading through Chestertown and placing flowers "on the graves of dead soldiers, black and white, Union and Confederate." The last Sumner Post veteran died in 1928.
HM NumberHM2JW2
Series This marker is part of the Maryland Civil War Trails series
Placed ByMaryland Civil War Trails
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Sunday, August 25th, 2019 at 8:03am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 407934 N 4340296
Decimal Degrees39.20706667, -76.06631667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 39° 12.424', W 76° 3.979'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds39° 12' 25.44" N, 76° 3' 58.74" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling South
Closest Postal AddressAt or near , ,
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