Study captures Benedict, MD history

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From a British invasion to a recruitment camp for African-American Civil War troops, the sleepy little hamlet that is present-day Benedict has seen its share of action.

The county's cultural resource study of Benedict highlights the importance it played in both local and national history and recommends ways to ensure that the town receives recognition during the state's 200th anniversary celebration of the War of 1812.

Completed in the fall, the 234-page study will be used as Charles County's resource guide when preparing for Benedict's role in the bicentennial anniversary of the war, said Cathy Thompson, the county's community planning program manager. The study outlines historic events that occurred in the Colonial port town during the last 300 years, including the British land invasion in 1814 and the establishment of Camp Stanton, a Civil War recruitment camp for African-Americans.

The document — prepared by local historians Ralph E. Eshelman, Donald G. Shomette and G. Howard Post — also describes archaeological sites, architecture and landscapes that harbor evidence of Benedict's history, Thompson said, adding that the report contains several recommendations on how to preserve and promote the town's heritage. The recommendations will serve as the county's guide on how to develop plans for the anniversary of the war that will kick off in 2012 and offers suggestions on how to plan for future development in the town, she said....

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