BROOKEVILLE – Secretary of the Department of Budget and Management Eloise Foster and Department of Business and Economic Development (DBED) Secretary Dominick Murray presented $1.2 million in matching grants to 15 Maryland non-profit and government entities in support of fifteen War of 1812 bicentennial projects.
Among the grants highlighted at the Oct. 21 presentation ceremony were Kent County’s Battle of Caulk’s 2014 for $67,048. The funding will support the reenactment of the Battle of Caulk’s Field planned for Aug. 31, 2014.
Representing Kent County at the presentation, at the Brookeville town hall, were Jen Davis of the county’s Department of Tourism and Economic Development and Caulk’s Field 2014 committee members Mark Dubin, Steve Frohock and Kevin Hemstock.
“In 2014 we will celebrate the 200th birthday of the National Anthem across the state,” said Foster. “I am particularly proud to see these grants support important 1812 partners such as the town of Brookeville in its bicentennial celebration.”
The grants, supplemented by more than $2.5 million in matching funds, will support programming, education, visitor experience and capital improvement projects that expand economic development and tourism-related job creation throughout the State.
“We are pleased to be able to provide these grants, which will be supplemented by more than $2.5 million in matching funds to revitalize communities, spur tourism and create jobs,” Murray said.
“From the production of a Star-Spangled Banner IMAX 3D film that will be screened nationwide to the battlefield reenactment at Caulk’s Field in Kent County, these grants will bring the bicentennial to life in 2014,” said Bill Pencek, executive director, Maryland War of 1812 Bicentennial Commission.
The presentation was followed by pictures and tour of the Madison House, where President James Madison sheltered after fleeing Washington when the capital was attacked and burned by the British in 1814.
The Star-Spangled 200 (SS200) Grant Program stimulates investment in the commemoration of the bicentennial of the War of 1812 for maximum benefit to Marylanders. The Grant Program will operate for the three-year commemoration and is funded through corporate sponsorships, state appropriations and Star-Spangled Banner Commemorative Coin surcharge proceeds. There are a total of six grant application rounds during the three-year commemoration. The fifth round is currently open and will close on November 1, 2013. Eligible organizations can learn more at www.StarSpangled200.org.
The 15 partners and 15 projects supported by the Star-Spangled 200 Grant Program include:
Program and Events Projects MPT’s War of 1812 Coverage of Star-Spangled Spectacular 2014 Partner: Maryland Public Television Amount: $140,852
The War of 1812 in Southern Maryland Partner: Tri-County Council for Southern Maryland, Southern Maryland Heritage Consortium Amount: $50,000
The Battle of Caulk’s Field Bicentennial Reenactment 2014
Partner: County Commissioners of Kent County
Calvert County Star-Spangled Celebration and the 1812 Fair and Reenactment Partner: Calvert County Chamber of Commerce Amount: $110,800
Battle of Baltimore Festival and History Conference Partner: The Creative Alliance Amount: $115,000
Brookeville War of 1812 Bicentennial Commemoration Partner: Town of Brookeville Amount: $98,550
Visitor Experience Projects Baltimore in 1814: Defenders and Victory Partner: Maryland Historical Society Amount: $165,000
“Star-Spangled Banner: Anthem of Liberty” IMAX 3D film Partner: The Maryland Academy of Sciences Amount: $250,000
Howard County Welcome Center at Historic Savage Mill Partner: Howard County Tourism Council Amount: $25,000
Revisiting 1812 at Captain Henry Thompson’s Clifton Partner: Civic Works, Inc. Amount: $19,100
“For Whom it Stands: The Flag and the American People” Partner: Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History and Culture Amount: $128,000
Education Projects “O Say Can You See: the Star-Spangled Banner in Sports” Partner: Babe Ruth Birthplace Foundation Amount: $20,500
The Anthem Project Partner: Make Your Mark Media Amount; $30,000
Capital Projects 1812 Defenders in Frederick’s Mount Olivet Cemetery Partner: Francis Scott Key Memorial Foundation Amount: $20,000
War of 1812 American-Made Naval 6 Pounder Cannon
Partner: The Maryland School for the Deaf Foundation, Inc.
Projects summaries can be accessed at www.StarSpangled200.org.
The Star-Spangled 200 Star-Spangled 200, a national bicentennial in Maryland, commemorates the writing of the Star-Spangled Banner and the War of 1812. Star-Spangled Sailabration in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor and the Chesapeake Bay launched the multi-year commemoration in June 2012. Sailabration included a maritime festival with 45 vessels from a dozen nations and an air show featuring the Blue Angels, and drew more than 1.5 million visitors. Star-Spangled 200 continued Spring 2013 through Summer 2014 with the Chesapeake Campaign, a series of more than a dozen festivals in waterfront communities around the Bay. Two conferences were held at the U.S. Naval Academy in 2013 – Cross Tech, June 10-11 and From Enemies to Allies, June 12-15 – bringing together leaders in cyber security and scholars from the U.K, Canada and the U.S. Events will culminate with Star-Spangled Spectacular, September 6-16, 2014, celebrating the 200th birthday of the National Anthem. Star-Spangled 200 is supported by its Presenting Sponsor AT&T with Founding Partner support from Constellation and Papa John’s. For more information, please visit www.StarSpangled200.com or www.StarSpangled200.org.
FAIRLEE – In a modern day first, the state commander of the National Guard reviewed a militia group that symbolizes the citizen soldiers who faced off against the British during the War of 1812. The rare occurrence was an unscripted kickoff to one of the events in Kent County marking the bicentennial of the war.
Maj. Gen. James A. Adkins, the state’s adjutant general, reviewed 18 members of the Eastern Shore Militia Aug. 31, at “Caulk’s Field Remembered at the Inn at Mitchell House.”
Adkins presented bicentennial coins to a select number of the militia recognizing special achievement or sacrifice.
The 10-minute review immediately followed a ceremony, at the Battle of Caulk’s Field monument about three miles away, where British and American officials raised the two countries’ flags and placed wreaths at the monument.
Fourteen British Royal Marines and sailors were killed in the battle, Aug. 31, 1814. Twelve British soldiers are still buried somewhere on the site.
There were no American fatalities.
The review began the two-day festival at the Inn at Mitchell House. Joseph Mitchell owned the house during the War of 1812. Mitchell was abducted by the British three days after the Battle of Caulk’s Field, possibly in retaliation for their loss in the battle.
Along with food, vendors and activities, the weekend’s event included the militia’s encampment.
The militia, funded by state and National Park Service grants and organized as part of the bicentennial, participates in activities throughout the Shore and teaches about the state’s citizen soldiers like those who made up Kent’s 21st Regiment that fought at the Battle of Caulk’s Field.
Many of the Eastern Shore Militia members camped on the Mitchell House property Friday and Saturday night. It was the largest camp by the militia, and included a larger number of participants than at any previous event, since the company’s formation last year.
Early Sunday morning eight members marched from the Inn at Mitchell House to the Caulk’s Field monument.
The presence of the militia wasn’t the only thing that drew the public to this special event. In fact, they weren’t the only re-enactors. Ft. McHenry Guard members were on hand to read poems about the Battle of Caulk’s Field and interpret the historical information.
Both days members of the Friends of Kent County War of 1812, which sponsored the event, had fundraiser raffles. One of the items raffled was an American Girl doll donated by the U.S. Daughters of the War of 1812, and a “basket of history” donated by the Historical Society of Kent County. Read more
FAIRLEE – The state’s National Guard commander will join British officials in a ceremony marking the 199th anniversary of the Battle of Caulk’s Field.
In a reprise of last year’s ceremony, Maj. Gen. James A. Adkins, the state’s adjutant general, will be joined by Lt. Col. Colby Corrin, of the British Royal Marines, in a wreath-laying ceremony at the Caulk’s Field monument at 11 a.m., on Aug. 31.
The battle was fought in the late night of Aug. 30 and early morning Aug. 31, 1814, when about 150 British Royal Marines and sailors, under the command of Capt. Sir Peter Parker, clashed with 174 American militiamen of the 21st Regiment, under the command of Lt. Col. Philip Reed. Fourteen British soldiers, including Parker, were killed. The remains of a dozen British soldiers are still buried somewhere on the battle site.
The ceremony, open to the public, is expected to include flag-raisings for both countries. Flags for both nations now fly at the monument, located at the Tulip Forest Farm property on the side of Caulk’s Field Road off Route 21.
A National Guard color guard is expected to be on hand, led by Jari Villenueva. Last year Villenueva played first one then the other national anthem with a bugle.
Following the ceremony, participants from both nations are expected to make their way to the Inn at Mitchell House, across from the county fairgrounds for Caulk’s Field Remembered at the Inn at Mitchell House will be under way. In what may be a first of its kind event, at about noon, Adkins is scheduled to review as many as 18 dedicated members of the Eastern Shore Militia, comprised of professional re-enactors.
The militia, funded by state and National Park Service grants and organized as part of the bicentennial, participates in activities throughout the Shore, offering the public glimpses of what life was like for the state militia units, such as Kent’s 21st Regiment, that fought in the War of 1812.
Caulk’s Field Remembered runs Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 31 and Sept. 1. Admission is free. Paid parking is available at the county fairgrounds with free shuttles from there to the Inn at Mitchell House.
ST. MICHAELS – A dozen members of the Eastern Shore Militia participated in the activities marking the anniversary of the Battle of St. Michaels, Aug. 9 -10.
Activities included an American and British camp on St. Mary’s Square. The militia had four tents set up.
The militia and other various re-enactor units coordinated to march in the parade, which kicked off at 10 a.m. down Talbot Street, ending at Seymour Avenue.
Eastern Shore Militia members participating included commander Lt. John Wyman, Sgt. Mark Dubin, Cody Griffith, Bill Cummings, Bob Musch, Ryland Chapman, John Gumz, Chris Algiere, Tom Antovick, Jacob Phillips, Dylan Hepner and Tom Salemi.
Following the parade was the opening ceremony with the Star Spangled Banner Flag Raising at Muskrat Park. It was highlighted by the firing of cannon by the Fort McHenry Guard.
Joining the Eastern Shore Militia in the activities were the Fort McHenry Guard and Fort McHenry Guard Fife & Drums, St. Michaels Patriotic Blues, the Ship’s Company, Inc. War of 1812, the Veteran Volunteers the 1812 Royal Marines No. 1 Cpy., 2nd Battalion, and the 4th Company, 5th Regiment, Maryland Volunteer Infantry – Baltimore United Volunteers.
The militia will next set up camp at Caulk’s Field Remembered at the Inn at Mitchell House, in Kent County, Aug. 31, where members will stand for review by Maj. Gen. James Adkins, adjutant general and commander of the Maryland National Guard.
ANNAPOLIS – Historians, re-enactors, noted authors and government officials met Aug. 1 at a charrette to review source material, maps, photographs, British and American accounts, and a recent archaeological study, as part of the preparation for the 2014 re-enactment of the Battle of Caulk’s Field.
The battle took place on a farm field near Fairlee, in Kent County, Aug. 31, 1814, between about 150 British sailors and marines, and about 174 American militiamen. Fourteen British soldiers died, including the commander, Capt. Sir Peter Parker. The re-enactment will take place on the exact date, in the exact location, as the battle 200 years before.
The charrette, 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., was at the offices of the Maryland Historical Trust. Attending were: Stewart Barroll, Chestertown lawyer and re-enactor; Bernadette Bowman, director of the Kent County office of Tourism and Economic Development and chairman of the Friends of Kent County War of 1812; Michael Bosworth, U.S. Navy engineer and naval historian; author-historian Ralph Eshleman; Steve Frohock, member of the Friends of Kent County Maryland, War of 1812; author-historian Christopher George; Kevin Hemstock, member of the Friends of Kent County War of 1812; Nancy Kurtz, of the Maryland Historical Trust; Ross Kimmel, re-enactor; Ed Seufert, re-enactor; and Robert Reyes, historian and archivist.
While the basic narrative of the battle is known, based on accounts by the American and British officers, numerous questions remain. They include: what was the role of the American cavalry? Did Parker really intend to attack Chestertown? Who was the Afro-American man who told Parker about the militia location, and was he helping the British or trying to lead them astray? What was the path onto the battlefield taken by Parker and his men in the initial attack on the militia?
A draft report of a two-phase archaeological survey, conducted last year by the State Highway Administration, courtesy of the American Battlefield Protection Program, was also discussed.
Friends of Kent County, Maryland, War of 1812 and Eshleman arranged the charrette. The Maryland Historical Trust hosted the meeting in a third-floor conference room. Assisting with arrangements were Kathy Monday and Elizabeth Hughes.
CHESTERTOWN – The show by Mary Ann Jung, depicting Rosalie Calvert during the War of 1812, has been canceled.
The performance was scheduled at the Gibson Center of the Arts at Washington College, Aug. 1.
Advanced ticket purchases will be refunded.
ROCK HALL – Members of the Eastern Shore Militia dazzled the audience and impressed the judges, enough to win Best in Show, in the town’s Fourth of July parade, one of numerous events in town celebrating on the very day of the nation’s 237th anniversary.
The parade made its way down Main Street and the 10 militia members, led by Lt. John Wyman, followed the color guard in the lead.
Afterward the militia conducted the flag-raising ceremony at the Civic Center which was followed by a poignant rendition of the National Anthem.
The militia members also conducted weapons demonstrations and drilled in the Civic Center park.
Rock Hall officials indicated their appreciation for the militia participation in the popular Independence Day event.
TOLCHESTER — “Caulk’s Field Remembered at the Inn at Mitchell House” is one of a number of activities highlighting incidents in Kent County, Md. associated with the War of 1812. One of those was the kidnapping of Joseph T. Mitchell, who owned about 1,000 acres in the vicinity of Tolchester.
On the morning of Sept. 3, 1814, three days after the Battle of Caulk’s Field, near Fairlee, a squad of British sailors and Royal Marines under the command of Lt. Henry Crease went to Mitchell’s plantation and took him and a slave into custody.
Crease was acting commander of H.M.S. Menelaus after the death of Capt. Sir Peter Parker at the Battle of Caulk’s Field. The British erroneously thought that Mitchell was a federal commissary official.
In the process of taking him prisoner, they also caused havoc at the plantation, killed Mitchell’s horses and stock and terrorized his family. Read more
CHESTERTOWN — Twelve members of the Eastern Shore Militia marched in the Memorial Day Parade, Monday, in Chestertown. They were accompanied by civilian re-enactors from Talbot County.
Led by Lt. John Wyman, the militia members represented in the parade the 21st Regiment Maryland Militia that fought at the Battle of Caulk’s Field. The Americans won that battle, near Fairlee, Aug. 31, 1814. More than a dozen British sailors and Royal Marines died in the engagement, along with their commander, Capt. Sir Peter Parker,
The Eastern Shore Militia generally does not represent a specific regiment, because the group participates in activities throughout a four-county region of the Eastern Shore. Many different militia regiments were established in the four-county regions during the war.
After passing in front of the reviewing stand on Hight Street in Chestertown, the group turned left on Lawyers Row and filed onto Monument Plaza, where they stood at attention ini front of the War of 1812 monument there.
MILLINGTON — It’s not always easy to find the graves of the War of 1812 militiamen. However, one of the earliest graves in the Asbury UM Church cemetery, on the town’s west end, is that of Spencer Merritt.
Merritt was a member of the 33rd Regiment Maryland Militia, comprised mostly of men from Upper Kent County. Many of the family names are the same as those that can be found in the area of Galena, Millington, Chesterville and Sassafras today, including Foreman, Bramble, Blackiston, Rolph, Fox, Ringgold, Wilmer, Vansant and Calder.
Born April 8, 1792, Pvt. Merrit served on several companies from 1813 to 1814. He was serving under Capt. Benjamin Massey, May 4-12, 1813, when the British attacked and burned Georgetown, in a raid that most remember as that in which the legend of Kitty Knight was established. Merritt was probably among the two dozen or so militiamen on Pearce’s Point, on the Kent side of the Sassafras River who shot at the British as the red-coated Royal Marines, in transport barges, approached Georgetown.
Merritt stayed in the Millington area after the war. He married Mary Riley, of Queen Anne’s County, in 1824 and they had at least one child, Edward.
Spencer Merritt died July 2, 1853, just a few months after his wife.
On May 26, 2013, George Mitchell, U.S. Navy (ret.), and Kevin Hemstock, a member of the Friends of Kent County, Maryland, War of 1812, placed a flag at Merritt’s grave as a Memorial Day honor to the here-to-for forgotten war veteran.