Once a bustling Patuxent River port on Charles County's Eastern border, Benedict was one of the first designated colonial ports in Maryland established by the 1683 Act for Advancement of Trade. Storehouses flourished near the wharves and ship building began earnestly in the late 1600's. Between 1817 and 1937, steamboats carrying freight and passengers stopped at Benedict en route to Baltimore and ports south. Benedict is also an important site on the Star Spangled Banner National Historic Trail (www.nps.gov/stsp/index.htm). During the War of 1812, 4500 British troops came ashore in Benedict in August 1814 on their way to Washington, D.C. After burning the White House and the Washington Navy Yard, the troops returned to Benedict carrying their wounded and supplies. Two British soldiers who died on this return march were buried at Old Fields Chapel cemetery in Hughesville. Benedict is also home to Camp Stanton, a Civil War training facility for African American soldiers. Unfortunately, no buildings or landmarks in Benedict have survived from the War of 1812. The Charles County government has proposed a plan of development and historical research to help uncover Benedict’s significant past. Archeological digs, historical site surveys, and archival research have been proposed as future endeavors. To learn more about the future plans for Benedict, you can visit www.charlescounty.org/benedict. In the near future, visitors will be able to experience the rich history of Benedict. Today, this sleepy waterfront community offers visitors a fine variety of fresh seafood at its riverside restaurants. If arriving by boat, you can tie your boat alongside the pier. If you are traveling by car, the journey offers a rural landscape peppered with tobacco barns, farms, antique stores, fresh produce stands, and nurseries where you can take home some of the best of Charles County. By land or sea, you're sure to enjoy spectacular scenery and delicious local crabs, oysters, and fish.
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