Druid Hill

Druid Hill (HM4P6)

Location: Baltimore, MD 21217
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Country: United States of America
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N 39° 18.946', W 76° 38.444'

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Strategic Union Encampment

Within a year of the April 1861 Baltimore Riots, the first of several U.S. Army camps and fortifications began encircling Druid Hill, and important location high above the city and adjacent to the Northern Central Railroad. The 114th and 150th New York Infantry Regiments occupied Camp Belger (Fort No. 5) here, named for Col. James Belger, quartermaster for of the Middle Department headquartered in Baltimore , March 1862. At least fifteen regiments eventually encamped here near the intersection of Madison and North Avenues, in the shadow of the park's main gates.

In July 1863, Druid Hill became known as Camp Birney, after Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton assigned Gen. William Birney, son of an abolitionist, to recruit African Americans for U.S. Colored Troops (USCT) regiments. Birney freed 16 shackled slaves from a Pratt Street slave pen when they promised to enlist. He also organized the 7th USCT here, as well as the 4th and 39th USCTs in 1864. The most notable member of the 4th USCT was college-educated Sgt. Maj. Christian Abraham Fleetwood, born free in Baltimore on July 21, 1840. He enlisted on August 17, 1863, and was one of 14 USCTs awared the Medal of Honor for heroism in the Battle of Chaffin's Farm near Richmond, Virginia.

At the October 1860 ceremonies opening 745-acre Druid Hill Park, Mayor Thomas Swann said, "We are here to proclaim the equality of rights to all, and to dedicate this park, now and forever, to the people of this great city." Fast-growing Baltimore had burgeoning industry, a majority foreign-born population, and the largest number of urban free blacks in the country. Druid Hill, funded by taxing privately owned horse-drawn railways, was the nation's third large urban "country park" after New York's Central Park (1858) and Philadelphia's Fairmount Park (1859).
HM NumberHM4P6
Series This marker is part of the Maryland Civil War Trails series, and the Medal of Honor Recipients series.
Placed ByMaryland Civil War Trails
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014 at 7:39am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 358555 N 4353101
Decimal Degrees39.31576667, -76.64073333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 39° 18.946', W 76° 38.444'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds39° 18' 56.76" N, 76° 38' 26.64" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)410
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 1415-1499 Swann Dr, Baltimore MD 21217, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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