Civil War Institute
From my high school, which is majority African American, it takes only ten minutes to drive to Oakland Manor, a grand, sweeping 19th century-style stone house that sits in my hometown of Columbia, Maryland, a town made up mainly of apartments and identical suburban homes. Growing up, the manor was no more than a big, old building that hosted weddings and was somehow tied to my local history. Growing up, moreover, I did not realize the extent to which my hometown was tied to slavery and the Civil War; both seemed too far removed from a community that stressed diversity and inclusion throughout my childhood. However, after discovering a monument to the Confederate soldiers from Howard County, in which Columbia is located, I learned that Oakland Manor holds a historical narrative that I never knew existed so close to home. During the Civil War, it was the property of a cavalry officer who joined the Confederacy and owned three slaves–all brothers who joined the USCT and fought against their former owner’s cause. Ten minutes from my high school was sitting an opportunity to learn about and interpret slavery and the Civil War in my hometown. [excerpt]
This is the author's version of the work. This publication appears in Gettysburg College's institutional repository by permission of the copyright owner for personal use, not for redistribution.
Jensen, Anika N., "Discovering the War at Home: Oakland Manor, George Gaither, and the Shipley Brothers" (2017). The Gettysburg Compiler: On the Front Lines of History. 281.