August 15, 2010

Marker in Berlin, Maryland

I stopped at a Civil War Trails marker on the way to Ocean City. It turned out to tell the story of a man who was freed from slavery by the U.S. Army in Maryland and served as a soldier for the remainder of the war.

Isaiah "Uncle Zear" Fassett was born into slavery southeast of here in Sinepuxent in 1844. His owner, Sarah A. Bruff, released him from bondage at age nineteen on November 11, 1863, when the U.S. Army paid her $300 in compensation. That same day, Fassett enlisted in Company D, 9th United States Colored Troops. This infantry regiment served in South Carolina and also fought in several battles in Virginia in 1864-1865, including the Wilderness, Deep Bottom, Fussell's Mill, Fort Gilmer at Chaffin's Farm, and the siege of Petersburg. The regiment was among the first to occupy Richmond on April 3, 1865. After the Confederate capital fell, Fassett was promoted to corporal then discharged on November 26, 1866. His brothers, Franklin, Andrew, John, and George, also were freed and served in the U.S. Army.
The text goes on to tell how Corp. Fassett was active in the GAR (Grand Army of the Republic) in the years after the war until his death in 1946. A sidebar discusses Worcester County as a haven for smugglers during the war.

The marker is in front of the St. Paul United Methodist Church. I followed a Civil War Trails sign from US 113.

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