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PHOTO BY KEVIN HEMSTOCK — At a fundraiser at the Caulk’s House, June 28, Sgt. Mark Dubin, of the Chesapeake Independent Blues, helps State Highway Administration archaeologist Julie Schablitsky in a discussion of musket artifacts.

By Kevin Hemstock

FAIRLEE – Nearly a hundred guests dined on delicacies and received a strong dose of local history, Saturday, June 28 during a special afternoon get-together to raise funds for the re-enactment of the Battle of Caulk’s Field.

The event was hosted by Tulip Forest Farm at the Caulk’s House, within view of the battlefield where Maryland militiamen defeated the British in a nighttime battle in August 1814.

Attendees were greeted at the driveway by two re-enactors, Sgt. Mark Dubin and Pvt. Bill Cummings, members of the Chesapeake independent Blues, dressed in uniforms of 1812 Maryland militia. Recruit Stewart Barroll, regaled as an 1812 militia cavalry dragoon, also represented the Blues.

Julie M. Schablitsky, Ph.D., archaeologist for the State Highway Administration, and Donald G. Shomette, Ph.D., author, gave presentations under a shaded canopy. Schablitsky discussed the artifacts her team found in two surveys of the battlefield in 2012 and 2013. Shomette gave an overview of the War of 1812.

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PHOTO BY KEVIN HEMSTOCK — Author Donald Shomette discusses the War of 1812 at the Caulk’s House.

The Battle of Caulk’s Field took place on Aug. 31, 1814, when British sailors and Royal Marines under the command of Capt. Sir Peter Parker engaged the 21st Regiment of Maryland Militia, commanded by Lt. Col. Philip Reed. When the smoke cleared, 14 British soldiers, including Parker, were dead. There were no American fatalities.

Schablitsky noted that the remains of 12 or 13 British soldiers are still buried somewhere on the battlefield. Shomette said that Parker’s body was carried back to his waiting ship and transported home for burial, preserved for the trip in a barrel of rum.

Richard van Stolk, of Tulip Forest Farm, reminded everyone that two new markers, added to the Battle of Caulk’s Field monument, would be dedicated on Aug. 31.

At various times during the day, the visitors were treated to tours of the Caulk’s House, perhaps the first time the house has been open to the public. The tours were led by architectural historian Michael Bourne, author of “Historical Houses of Kent County,” and Elizabeth Beckley of Preservation Maryland.

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PHOTO BY KEVIN HEMSTOCK — At a fundraiser for the Battle of Caulk’s Field 2014 committee Saturday, June 28, Barbara Jorgenson, at left, asks questions of Michael Bourne and Elizabeth Beckley, during a tour of the Caulk’s House. Bourne and Beckley were volunteer docents at the rare tour of the house that was built in 1743. Above the mantel is a portrait of Philip Reed, who commanded the Maryland Militia during the Battle of Caulk’s Field.

The Kent County Tourism Office arranged the fundraiser, with the assistance of Linda Dawson and the Battle of Caulk’s Field 2014 Committee.

Planning for the re-enactment has been under way for more than a year through the Kent County Office of Tourism. It will include re-enactors portraying both the Maryland Militia, and British Royal Marines and sailors. Mounted dragoons and artillery will add to the authenticity. The battle is planned for the afternoon of Aug. 31 on the actual battlefield. There will also be vendors, exhibits, a sutler’s village and re-enactor camps along with food and music.

Chestertown is involved in the battle commemoration. On Saturday, Aug. 30, there will be a parade down High Street, with dragoons leading a large cadre of the re-enactors paced by a period fife and drum unit. A 15-star flag raising and wreath laying, at the War of 1812 monument in Monument Plaza will follow. Artifacts from the battle will be on display at the Bordley History Center.

The June 28 fundraiser was one of several to benefit the battle re-enactment. Also planned is the raffle of two tickets to the Nov. 30 Ravens home game against the Chargers. For more information, contact the Kent County Office of Tourism, 410-778-0416; or email tourism@kentcounty.com. Check the website, www.kentcounty.com/1812.

PHOTO BY KEVIN HEMSTOCK  -- Members of the Chesapeake Independent Blues, attending the fundraiser at the Caulk's House, were, from left: Sgt. Mark Dubin, Recruit Stewart Barroll and Pvt. Bill Cummings.

PHOTO BY KEVIN HEMSTOCK — Members of the Chesapeake Independent Blues, attending the fundraiser at the Caulk’s House, were, from left: Sgt. Mark Dubin, Recruit Stewart Barroll and Pvt. Bill Cummings.

The Friends of Kent County, Maryland, War of 1812, is sponsoring a raffle for two  Baltimore Ravens tickets to the  Nov. 30 home game against the San Diego Chargers.

The raffle is for two tickets in the lower level, near the 30-yard line. A parking pass is included.

The winning raffle ticket will be drawn on Sunday, Aug. 31, 2014, at the War of 1812 Battle of Caulk’s Field re-enactment at the site of the battlefield near Fairlee.

Raffle tickets are $10 each for a chance at this $900+ value. They are available for purchase at the following locations:

Chestertown — Gabriel’s of Chestertown; The Finishing Touch; Sophisticated Vintage.

Rock Hall — Java Rock; The Inn at Huntingfield Creel.

Galena — Galena Antique Center.

Millington — Old News

Proceeds help fund the Battle of Caulk’s Field re-enactment.

A person must be 18 years of age or older to win. Employees of Kent County, members of the Friends group or members of the Battle of Caulk’s Field 2014 committee, or immediate family members of any of those organizations, are not eligible to win.

PHOTO BY KATHI ASH — Kent County was among those receiving grants for bicentennial activities, in Brookville, Oct. 21. From left are Department of Budget and Management Secretary Eloise Foster, Caulk’s Field 2014 committee members Mark Dubin, Steve Frohock, Jen Davis, Department of Business and Economic Development Secretary Dominick Murray and committee member Kevin Hemstock. They accepted a 15-star flag in recognition of the grant award. The presentation was made in Brookeville, Md.

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
Amount: $67,048
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.
Amount: $5,000.
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.

PHOTO BY KEVIN HEMSTOCK -- Maj. Gen. James A. Adkins, Maryland's National Guard commander, review the Eastern Shore Militia. Lt. John Lyman, militia commander, is at left. The unprecendented review of a re-enactment organizations, by the state's top military officer, took place Aug. 31, 2013, at the Caulk's Field Remembered at the Inn at Mitchell House, near Fairlee, Md.

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.

PHOTO BY KEVIN HEMSTOCK -- Maj. Gen. James A. Adkins, the state’s adjutant general, at left, shakes hands with Lt. Col. Colby Corrin, of the British Royal Marines, in a wreath-laying ceremony at the Caulk’s Field monument Aug. 31, 2012.

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.

 

 

 

 

Lt. John Wyman, at right, with other members of the Eastern Shore Militia, gives a talk during the town-wide celebration marking the bicentennial of the Battle of St. Michaels.

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.

From left: Kevin Hemstock, Bernadette Bowman, Ross Kimmell, Robert Reyes, Christopher George, Ed Seufert, Ralph Eshleman (hidden), and Steve Frohock go over maps and articles about the Battle of Caulk's Field. Participants not pictured were Stewart Barroll, Michael Bosworth and Nancy Kurtz.
From left: Kevin Hemstock, Bernadette Bowman, Ross Kimmell, Robert Reyes, Christopher George, Ed Seufert, Ralph Eshleman (hidden), and Steve Frohock go over maps and articles about the 1814  Battle of Caulk’s Field. A re-enactment of the battle is  planned in 2014. Participants not pictured were Stewart Barroll, Michael Bosworth and Nancy Kurtz.

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.

PHOTO BY BERNADETTE BOWMAN -- Members of the Eastern Shore Militia, led by Lt. John Wyman, march in the Rock Hall 4th of July parade.

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.

PHOTO BY BERNADETTE BOWMAN -- Members of the militia prepare to raise the flag at the Rock Hall 4th of July celebration.

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.

PHOTO BY KEVIN HEMSTOCK -- Jim Stone, dressed as a member of the Maryland Militia, stands at the ready in front of the Inn at Mitchell House.

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

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