PHOTO BY KEVIN HEMSTOCK -- John Wyman, at left, reads from a military manual while Tom Scoufalos, with a flintlock, demonstrates for some of the Eastern Shore Militia recruits that attended drill instruction, Saturday, at the Historical Society of Kent County's Bordley Center in Chestertown.

CHESTERTOWN – More than a dozen people, interested in being a part of the Eastern Shore Militia, attended a meeting, Saturday, to begin instruction and drills.

The unit is being formed to participate in re-enactments, living histories, parades, ceremonies and presentations to coincide with the War of 1812 bicentennial.

Saturday’s meeting, starting at 10 a.m. at the Kent County Historical Society’s Bordley History Center, focused on firearms safety, uniforms and other aspects of the unit. John Wyman, a re-enactor, and a member of the Friends of Kent County, Maryland, War of 1812, led the meeting. Tom Scoufalos, of Red Lion, Pa., assisted with drill instruction. Both were dressed in period attire.

Tom Salemi, of Greenville, N.C., also attended. He is a tailor and will provide some of the clothing and accessories for the militia uniforms.

Following the initial instruction there was a pizza lunch. Then the re-enactors split into two groups to begin drill instruction, with Wyman leading one group on the first floor, while another group worked on the second floor. Wyman read from a copy of the original manual of arms.

The recruits were originally slated to practice at Wilmer Park, but cold weather forced the effort inside.

The militia unit is a project of the Eastern Shore War of 1812 Consortium, made possible with funding from the State of Maryland’s War of 1812 Bicentennial Commission and the counties of Caroline, Dorchester, Kent, Talbot and Queen Anne’s. It is being administered by the Historical Society of Kent County in cooperation with the Friends of Kent County, Maryland War of 1812, and the Eastern Shore War of 1812 Consortium.

Applications are still being accepted for volunteers. To serve as a soldier and handle weapons, members must be at least 18 years of age. For more information contact John Wyman at 443-350-6277 or email



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