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The Ann Arrundell County Historical Society seeks to
encourage and inspire present and future generations to preserve and explore
the County's history to foster a greater appreciation for our shared legacy.
Shops: Two Browse and Buy Shops for collectibles and antiques:
The Benson-Hammond House Shop
The South Shop, old WB&A Railroad Power Station at Jones Station Road
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Society's Collections offer researchers a wealth of information.
R. Rebecca Morris launched her new Civil War book about Annapolis as the main camp on the east coast for Union prisoners of the Confederacy released on parole. The book details the change of Annapolis from a sleepy market-town to an overcrowded city filled with thieves, murderers and prostitutes. As many as 10,000 parolees were held at any one time in the camps. Morris' book describes the concept of the “Parole d’ honneur” meaning “word of honor” which undergirded the system of prisoner exchange negotiated between the Union and the Confederacy, and adopted in July 1862, and provided the name for today’s Parole.
Camp Parole was set up on the farm of Charles S. Welch, two miles from Annapolis and adjacent to the railroad. No trace of this third camp remains but historians feel that it was probably located between Chinquaphin Round Road and Route 2, bounded by West Street and the railroad on the east and Forest Drive on the west, with today’s Parole Street at the center.
Early in the war, lacking a system for disposition of the 1,000 Confederate prisoners taken at the Battle of Rich Mountain WVA on July 11th l861, Union General Winfield Scott advised Union General George B. McClellan, whose forces had taken the prisoners, to release them on parole--after they pledged an oath not to take up arms again against the United States.
Unofficial arrangements for the exchange of prisoners between the North and South were used until the appointment of a Commissary General of Prisoners in October l861 to oversee the care and management of current and future prisoners of war. The agreed upon “cartel,” or list of rules, for prisoner exchange and parole ultimately negotiated between the Union and the Confederacy was based on the cartel for the same purpose between the United States and Great Britain in the War of 1812.
Before the cartel, Union soldiers released on parole by the Confederacy were relied upon to return to their units, however, many deserted or took advantage of an enlistment bonus of $300 by joining another unit. To assure adequate fighting forces for the Union, paroled men were required to report to one of three army camps. Those from New England and the Middle States were to report to Annapolis. .
Morris is an Annapolis resident who grew up in Glen Burnie MD. Her father, a civil war buff, took her on tours to battlefields and taught her about the war in Maryland. Morris is a 1971 graduate of the University of Maryland. She retired in 2010 after a 35 year career in Information Technology. Her article “Brewer’s Hill Cemetery” was published in the Quarterly History Notes of the Historical Society. This is her first book.
This book is published in honor of the 50th Anniversary of the Ann Arrundell County Historical Society, Inc. and was conceived as its Civil War Sesquicentennial project by Mark Norton Schatz.