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.