Baltimore African Americans and the Civil War

Another Civil War-related post from the City of Baltimore Archives

Baltimore City Archives Blog

Baltimore’s Druid Hill Park formally opened to the public in 1860. During the Civil War, U.S. military encampments with temporary wooden barracks populated this park as well as several others around the city. Citizens still visited the parks and sometimes made flag presentations to the troops.

The Birney Barracks, occupied by African American troops, stood south of Druid Hill Park in the vicinity of Madison and North Avenues. The above post-war print depicts Druid Hill Park looking south to where the Birney Barracks were once located.

On two separate occasions in August 1863, the city’s African American community made flag presentations to the Fourth U.S. Colored Troops, a regiment composed of many Baltimoreans, at the Birney Barracks. Ceremonies were held each time on the parade ground. A magnificent silk regimental flag (costing $75 in 1863; the equivalent of $1,200 in 2013 currency) was given to the Fourth in a ceremony…

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