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The Battle of Caulk's Field
War of 1812

Source: History of Kent County Maryland, 1630-1916, Fred G Usilton.
Submitted by
Brenda Duckworth

The Battle of Caulk’s Field 

This battle was fought in the early morning hours of August 31, 1814, on the soil of historic Old Kent, near what is now known as the well known summer resort, Tolchester.  

           Of the land battles of the war with Great Britain, 1812-1814, the battle of Caulk’s Field was of signal importance upon the result of the battle of North Point and the defense of the city of Baltimore (September 12, 1814). The war had been in progress nearly two years and neither country had been able to force its conclusion.

           Wearying of the rather desultory fighting, at last Great Britain determined to make a final effort to terminate the struggle with the United States. In August, 1814, she directed her war vessels to again enter the Chesapeake Bay. The “Annual Register” of 1814, a British publication, says: “The operations of the British Armaments on the coast of the southern American States had hitherto been on a small scale and calculated rather to alarm and irritate than to produce any considerable effect- but in this year the resolution was taken of striking some important blow in these quarters.”  Tactics in that war were similar to those of earlier date and England’s policy of burning the defenseless shore towns and villages, as well as the pillaging of farms that laid along the water courses, was expected by the American citizens and soldiers at that time.

           The previous year the British had burned Havre de Grace and Frenchtown at the head of Chesapeake Bay. They then went into the Sassafras River and burned both Georgetown and Fredericktown-incidentally bringing to light the heroism of Kitty Knight, which is herein fully told.

           The Maryland forces were preparing to defend the city, and soldiers were being drilled throughout the state with the expectation of going to the aid of Baltimore’s defenders when they were needed. Across the Chesapeake on the Eastern Shore, bodies of volunteers were camped ready to move at a moments notice. In Kent the Twenty-first Regiment of Maryland Militia under Col. Philip a Reed was encamped at Bellair, now known as Fairlee, a little village about five miles from the bay shore and about seven miles west of Chestertown. The regiment consisted of five companies of infantry, one cavalry and one artillery company, in all just 174 men. They had five pieces of artillery and were fairly well equipped with guns, pistols and swords, but had only twenty rounds of ammunition for each man. It is needless to say that Colonel Reed was kept posted by the citizens of the county, and he quickly received news from the bay-shore garms whenever a strange sail was seen out on the waters of the Chesapeake.

           Late Saturday afternoon, August 27th, news reached Colonel Reed that a frigate was headed up the bay abreast of Swan Point, and with her were two smaller vessels. A strong southerly breeze filled their sails and they came bounding up the Chesapeake over the white caps presenting a beautiful sight. The ship was the “Menelause,” commanded by Captain Sir Peter Parker, Bart. She carried in addition to her regular crew about one hundred and twenty soldiers. She was armed with thirty-eight guns – only six less than our then famous warship “Constitution”.

           That Sir Peter Parker was ordered to make a “diversion” on the Eastern Shore is verified by the following  extract from a letter to the Admiralty written September 1st., 1814,by Vice Admiral Cochrane, then on board the flagship “Tonnant” in the Patuxant River.” Captain Sir Peter Parker on the ‘Menelaus’ with some small vessels was sent up the Chesapeake above Baltimore to divert the attention of the enemy in that quarter”

           The most important part of “diverting the attention of the enemy” was to prevent the troops from crossing the bay to the assistance of Baltimore. Captain Sir Peter Parker was ordered to capture when possible the small bodies of American soldiers, to burn the farmhouses along the bay shore and to harass the people in every possible way.

           Following the instructions of his superior officer, he brought his vessel to anchor late Saturday night off the mouth of Fairlee Creek. Sunday morning, August 28th, Captain Parker landed about one hundred men on the farm known as “Skidmore”, then owned by Mr. John Waltham, where they burned every building on the farm, together with all the wheat in the granary as well as in the stacks in the fields. According to a letter written from Chestertown on September 6th, 1814, to the “Weekly Star,” published in Easton, Talbot County, Maryland, (a copy of this old paper can be seen in the library of the Maryland Historical Society} Mr. Waltham sustained a loss of eight thousand dollars. On the following Tuesday Morning, August 30th, the farm belonging to Richard Frisby, Esq., then living in Baltimore, was raided and buildings burned. His farm of 422 acres in Kent County just north of Fairlee Creek was part of the grant known as “Great Oak Manor.” He sustained a loss of not less than six thousand dollars.

           The night the “Menelaus” dropped down the bay and anchored off the shore about a mile north of the farm on which Tolchester Beach is now located, abreast of “Chantilly,” the farm recently owned by Captain William I. Rasin. The day had been hot and sultry and the ship’s crew, as well as the marines welcomed the cool evening breezes off the bay as the vessels swung to their anchors.

           Captain Parker had watched from the deck of the Menelaus the golden path on the waters of the Chesapeake that led straight out to the great red orb- had watched with thoughtful gaze the great red sun set behind the hills of the Western Shore. His thoughts were of home and loved ones. Far away in his home in England his wife and three little sons, Peter, Charles and George, were looking forward to his return to them. When Sir Peter was twenty-two years of age (in 1809) he had courted and married Marianne, second daughter of Sir George Dallas, Bart. To her he now sat down and wrote:

                                                                “H.M.S.Menelaus

                                                                August 30, 1814

           My Darling Marianne:

           I am just going on desperate service, and entirely depend upon valor and example its successful issue. If anything befalls me, I have made a sort of will. My Country will be good to you and our adored children. God almighty bless and protect you all- Adieu, most beloved Marianne, Adieu!

                                                                Peter Parker

           P.S. I am in high health and spirits.”

           That he had a premonition that his end was near is borne out by this very touching letter to his wife. Certain are we that he realized the risk he was taking, and as certain are we that he did  not shirk what he regarded as his duty. He had been told by one of the negroes on Mr. Frisby’s farm that morning that about two hundred militia were encamped behind a woods about a half mile inland from where his vessel lay at anchor. The negro intentionally misled them as the troops under Colonel Reed were five miles away! Sir Peter Parker determined to surprise and capture this body of soldiers later in the night. It has recently been stated in one of the weekly papers printed in Chestertown that Sir Peter Parker mad the statement on leaving the vessel that night that he would eat his breakfast in “Chestertown or hell.”  This statement is entirely without foundation and is an unwarranted aspersion on the character of the man. There is no historical evidence that he even thought of attacking Chestertown. Captain Sir Peter Parker, his chief officer, Henry Crease, and his lieutenant Pearce together discussed that evening the proposed attack on the American camp. They formed their plans and determined to wait until after midnight to land the soldiers and seamen on the shores of historic old Kent.

           The night was hot, the breeze had died out and the mist hung over the water, almost shutting out the shore, along which the little waves chased one another on the pebbles. The “lap” of the waves and the occasional plaintive call of a whippoorwill in the woodland bordering the shore were sounds that added to the oppressiveness of the night.

           At Bellair, out in the country about five miles from where the vessels lay at anchor, Colonel Reed, who had fought the British in the War of the Revolution, discussed with his officers and a few of the leading citizens of the county the plans to meet the threatened attack of the British. He had sent pickets to the bay shore to give warning when there was a landing made by Sir Peter Parker.

           About twelve o’clock at night one of those pickets brought word to Colonel Reed and Captain Parker “had landed about one hundred and fifty men” and was marching eastward out the road past the north end of the “Big Swamp”. The moon had risen and threw long shadows over the fields, making objects inthemist less distinguishable than they otherwise would be. Colonel Reed lost no time but ordered the militia to advance at once. They proceeded toward the Chesapeake Bay, Crossing the “Tulip Forest,” “Eccleston” and the “Everest” farms, and reached the ridge on the high ground on Mr. Isaac Caulk’s farm, just to the south of his house, at about half past twelve.

           To the left of the ridge the main road ran down towards the bay. To the right of this road a strip of heavy timber stretched away to the west. Immediately in front of his position Colonel Reed could see the open low land of “Moore’s Field,” fifty acres, perhaps, of cleared land. Here Colonel Reed halted his men, forming in position to cover the probable advance of the enemy.

           The following letter written by colonel Reed to Brigadier-General Benjamin Chambers gives a very excellent description of the arrangement of the troops as well as a fair account of the engagement and results:

                                                     “Camp at Belle Air.

                                                                3d Sept, 1814

           “Sir:

                I avail myself of the first moment I have been able to seize from the incessant labor, to inform you that about half past eleven o’clock in the night of the 30th ult., I received information that barges of the enemy, then lying off Waltham’s farm were moving in shore. I concluded their object was to land and burn houses,etc, at Waltham’s and mad the necessary arrangements to prevent and to be prepared for an opportunity which I had sought for several days, to strike the enemy. During our march to the point threatened it was discovered that the blow was aimed at our camp.

                “Orders were immediately given to the Quarter Master to remove the camp and baggage, and to the troops to countermarch, pass the road by the right of our camp and form on the rising ground about three hundred paces to the left retiring on the road, the artillery in the centre, supported by the infantry on the right and left.

                I directed Captain Wickes and his Second Lieutenant Beck with a part of the rifle company to be formed so as to cover the road by which the enemy marched, and with this section I determined to post myself, leaving the line to be formed under the direction of Major Wickes and Captain Chambers.

                The head of the enemy’s column soon presented itself, and received the fire of our advance party at seventy paces distance, and being pressed by numbers vastly superior I repaired to my post on the line, having ordered the riflemen to return and form on the right of the line.

                “The fire now became general along the whole line and was sustained by our troops with the most determined valor. The enemy pressed our front; joined in this be threw himself upon our left flank which was occupied by Capt. Chambers’ company. Here, too, his efforts  were unavailing. His fire had nearly ceased when I was informed that is some parts of our line the cartridges were entirely expended, nor did any of the boxes contain more that a few rounds, although each man brought about twenty into the field.  The artillery cartridges were entirely expended.

                Under these circumstances, I ordered the line to fall back to a convenient spot where a part of the line fortified when the few remaining cartridges were distributed amongst a part of the line. Which was again brought into the field, where it remained for a considerable time, the night preventing pursuit? The  artillery and infantry for whom there were no cartridges, were ordered to this place,(Belle Air}.

                The enemy having made every effort in his power, although apprized of our falling back manifested no disposition  to follow us up but retreated about the time our ammunition was exhausted. When it is recollected that very few of our officers or men had ever heard the whistling of a ball; that the force of the enemy, as the most accurate information enables us to estimate, was double ours;  that it was commanded by Sir Peter Parker of the “Menelaus” one of the most distinguished officers of the British navy composed (as their officers admitted in subsequent conversation) of as fine men as could be selected from the British service, I feel justified in the assertion that the gallantry of the officers and men engaged on this occasion could not by excelled by any troops.

                The officers and men performed their duty. It is, however, by an act of justice to notice those officers who seemed to display more than a common degree of gallantry. Major Wickes and Captain Chambers were conspicuous: Captain Wickes and his Lieutenant John Beck of the rifle corps, Lieutenant Enneck (Everest?) and Ensign Wm. Skirven of Captain Chambers’ company exerted themselves, as did Captain Hynson and his Lieutenant Grant, Captain Usselton of the brigade artillery and his Lieutenant John Reed and Morgan Brown. Lieutenant Tilghman, who commanded the guns of the volunteer artillery in the absence of Captain Hands, who is in ill health and from home, was conspicuous in his gallantry; his ensign Thomas also manifested much firmness. I am indebted to Captain Wilson of the Cavalry who was with me for his exertions and also to Adjunct  Hynson who displayed much zeal and firmness throughout. To Dr. Blake, Dr. Gordon and to Isaac Spence, Esq., who were accidentally in camp I am indebted for their assistance in reconnoitering the enemy on his advance.

                You will be surprised, Sir, when I inform you that in an engagement of so long continuance, in an open field, when the moon shone brilliantly on the rising ground occupied by our troops, while the shade of the neighboring woods under the protection of which the enemy fought gave us but an indistinct view of anything but the flash of gas guns, that under the disparity of numbers against us, and the advantage of regular discipline on the side of the enemy we had not one man killed, and only one sergeant, one corporal, and one private wounded and those slightly wounded

                The enemy left one midshipman and eight men dead on the field and nine wounded, six of whom died in the course of a few hours. Sir peter Parker was angst the slain: he was mortally wounded by a buckshot and died before he reached the barges to which he was conveyed by his men. The enemy’s force consisted of marines and musketeers, was in part armed with boarding pikes, swords and pistols, no doubt intended for our tents, as orders had been given by Sir peter Parker not to fire.

                Many of these arms, with rockets, muskets,etc., have fallen into our hands, found by the picket guard, under Ensign William Skirven which was posted on the battle ground for the remainder of the night. Nothing but the want of ammunition saved the enemy from destruction. Attached are the names of the wounded; and as an act of justice to those concerned, I enclose you a list of every officer and soldier engaged in this affair. Certain information from the enemy assures us that his total loss in killed and wounded was forty-two or forty three, including two wounded lieutenants.

            I am sir, your most obedient humble servant,

                                                                Phil. Reed,

                                                                Lieut. Col. Commanding.”

           “Names of the wounded of Captain Chambers’ Company:

           John Magnor, Sergeant, slightly in the thigh

Phillip Crane, Corporal, a ball between the tendons and bone of the thigh, near the knee

Of Captain Page’s Company:

John Clanville, a private, shot in the arm”

           The “Menlaus” and her two companion vessels were withdrawn on Wednesday night, August 31st, after taking aboard the body of Sir Peter Parker and the wounded men and a anchorage made across the bay off Pool’s Island. Her acting commander, Henry Crease, reported the Caulk’s Field engagement to his superior officer, Vice-Admiral Sir Alexander Cochrane.

           Under the date of September 1st, 1814, he says in part: “With grief the deepest, it becomes my duty to communicate the death of Sir Peter Parker, Bart., late commander of His Majesty’s ship “Menelaus,” and the occurrence attending an attack on the enemy’s troops on the night of the 30th, ult., encamped at Bellair.”

           “The previous and accompanying letters of Sir Peter Parker will, I presume, fully point out the respect the enemy on all occasions evince at the approach of our arms.”

           “An intelligent black man gave us information of two hundred militia being encamped behind a woods, distand half a mile from the beach, and describe their situation so as to give us the strongest hope of cutting them off and securing the largest part as our prisoners, destroying the camp, field pieces,etc., and possessing also certain information that one man out of every five had been levied as a requisition on the Eastern Shore for the purpose of being sent over for the protection of Baltimore, and who are now only prevented from crossing the bay by the activity and vigilance of the tender and ship’s boats.”

           “One hundred and four bayonets with twenty pikes were landed at eleven o’clock at night under the immediate direction of Sir Peter Parker, Bart., captain, the first division headed by myself and the second by Lieutenant Pearce. On arriving at the ground we discovered the enemy had shifted his position, as we were then informed, at the distance of a mile farther. Having taken the lookout piquet (picket) immediately on our landing, we were in assurance our motions had not been discover, and with the deepest silence followed on for the camp. After a march of between four and five miles in the country, we found the enemy posted on a plain surrounded by woods, with the camp in their rear; the were drawn up in line and perfectly ready to receive us. A single moment was not to be lost. By a smart fire and instant charge we commenced the attack, forced them from their position, putting them before us in full retreat to the rear of their artillery, where they again mad a stand, showing a disposition to outflank us on the right. A movement was instantly made by Lieutenant Pearce’s division to force them from that quarter, and it was at this time, while animating his men in the most heroic manner, that Sir Peter Parker received hismrtal wound, which obliged him to quit the field and he expired in a few minutes. Lieutenant Pearce, with his division,sonn routed the enemy, while that under my command gained and passed the camp. One of the field pieces was momentarily in our possession, but obliged to quit it from superior numbers. The marines under Lieutenant Beynon and Lieutenant Poe formed our centre, and never was bravery more conspicuous.”

           “Finding it impossible to close on the enemy from the rapidity of their retreat, having pressed them upwards of a mile, I deemed it prudent to retire towards the beach, which was effected in the best possible order, taking with us from the field twenty-five of our wounded, the whole we could find, the enemy not even attempting to regaint he ground the had lost. From there prisoners (cavalry) taken by us we learnt their force amounted to five hundred militia, a troop of horses and five pieces of artillery, and since, by flags of truce, I am led to believe their numbers much greater. Repelling a force of such magnitude with so small a body as we opposed to them will, I trust, speak for itself, and although our loss has been severe I hope the luster acquired to our arms will compensate for it.”

           The engagement upon the soil of old Kent, though participated in by few men on either side, was hotly contested, and no one can accuse either side of being cowardly. It is reasonable  to suppose that the American forces expected to find at least two hured men on the British vessel under Sir Peter Parker. On the other hand, the British captain had been purposely misinformed as to the number of the American force opposing them.

           Colonel Philip A Reed, who commanded the Maryland militia at this battle of “Caulk’s Field”, was a native of Kent County and at the time of the battle was in his fifty-fourth year. At the age of sixteen he had joined a volunteer company enlisted in Kent County by Nathaniel Kennard, Jr. This company was inspected and passed for service in the Continental Army by William Henry on July 22nd, 1776, just sixteen days after the signing of the Declaration of Independence at Philadelphia.

           Having seen service in the Revolutionary War, having risen from private to the rank of Captain, Philip Reed returned to his home in Kent at the close of the war, where he entered the public life of his county. He was a member of the “I.U.” Parish of the Protestant Episcopal Church and attended services in the little brick parish church at “I.U.”  In 1806 he was elected to the United States Senate. He served that time one year, and was re-elected and served until 1813. In that year he was made a lieutenant colonel of the volunteers of the State of Maryland, and, as previously stated, commanded the Twenty-first Maryland Militia until peace was restored with Great Britain. Colonel Reed became a charter member of the Maryland Society of the Cincinnati and was elected vice president of in 1828. He lived to be 69 years old, dying on November 2nd, 1829. He was buried in Christ Church Cemetery at “I.U.”and a memorial slab marks the grave of this one of Kent’s most distinguished citizens.

           Captain- afterwards known as Judge_ Ezekiel F. Chambers commanded the first company of the regiment under Colonel Reed. He was born in Chestertown on the 28th of February, 1788, acquired his collegiate education at the famous old Washington College, where he received his degree. In 1808 he was admitted to the bar, and soon developed into an able advocate. He became identified with the local military organization and was a loyal and capable soldier, rising, as I have already stated, to be captain of his company at the age of 26.

           At the election of 1824, he was sent to the upper house of the Maryland Assembly. The legislature of 1828 elected him United States Senator, to which office he was re-elected in 1832.  The following year Yale University conferred upon him the degree of L.L.D. To fill a vacancy occurring upon the bench of the Court of Appeals, he was appointed Chief Judge of that body in 1834, which place he retained until 1857.  Owing to ill health he was forced to decline the portfolio of Secretary of the Navy offered to him by President Fillmore at that time. The famous old Bedingfield Hands Mansion, facing the Chester River, in Chestertown, became the home of Judge Chambers. Here he died in 1866.  This beautiful example of Colonial architecture is now the home of Mr. Wilbur W Hubbard.

           Joseph Wickes was second in command, with the rank of Major. He was a brother-in-law of Captain Chambers, and from him was descended two of Kent’s prominent men, Judge Joseph A Wickes, and his brother Judge Pere L Wickes of Baltimore. Col.Joseph L Wickes of Baltimore and Lewin W Wickes of the State Tax Commission are also descendants.

           Time will not permit reference to other men who took parting the defence of old Kent; we will let this suffice at this time. It is , however, proper to speak of the distinguished British officer who was killed in the Battle of Caulk’s Field. As has been stated, his body was taken aboard the “Menelaus,” and as soon as possible, taken to Bermuda, and there buried with military honors on October 14th, 1814. The following spring his body was taken up and carried to England, where on the 14th of May, 1815, it was placed in the Parker family vault at St. Margaret’s Church, Westminster. While the ceremonies took place at the early hour of six in the morning,  many notables of the British Government were there, to show their respect for the memory of this distinguished citizen and soldier.

           Caulk’s Field farm was in possession of Mr. Isaac Caulk at the time of the battle. He had inherited the property. It was part of a tract known as “Arcadia,” which was granted as 1600 acres to Michael Miller, one of the first vestrymen of old St. Paul’s Church, Kent County. This particular part of “Arcadia” had belonged to Isaac Caulk’s  uncle, John Moore, and upon the death of Mr. Moore, in August, 1812, the property became Isaac Caulk’s. The War Department records at Washington call the engagement the “Battle of Moorefield” or “Caulks Field.” It is also thus spoken of in “Niles Register.” The bricks in the gable of the old Caulk’s Field House show that it was built in 1743. It is one of the oldest buildings now standing in Kent, and is now owned by Mr. E.J. Watson.

           On  the initiative of the late Rev. Chris. T. Denroche, in 1902, then rector of St. Paul’s Parish in Kent, a handsome granite battle marker was placed beside the main road that leads from Chestertown to Tolchester on “Caulk’s Field”. Assisting Mr. Denroche in raising the necessary funds to erect the marker were Capt. Columbus A Leary, Charles C. Hopper, Fred G. Usilton, L.B. Russell of Kent, Col. Wm M Marine, James E. Carr, Jr., Mr. Thomas Hill, and W H Gill of Baltimore.

           That there can never be offence given to those who by chance should pass that way the monument bears the following inscription:

“ERECTED TO COMMEMORATE THE PATRIOTISM AND   FORTITUDE OF THE VICTOR AND THE VANQUISHED”

LIST OF SOLDIERS

Among the old papers now in the library of the Maryland Historical Society we find a List of officers and men who were in the action at Caulk’s Field on the night of the thirtieth of  August last under Colonel Reed, in the issue of October 4th, 1814, of the Republican Star or General Advertiser, published at Easton, Talbot County Maryland. The name of the companies and the men in each company are as follows:

Of Captain Chambers’ Company:

Ezekiel F Chambers, Captain

Thomas Eunick, Lieutenant

William Skirven, Ensign

Alford, Aaron                                     Haley, James

Bordley, Thomas                                 Jones, John

Benton, Benjamin                                          Kennard, Richard

Chambers, David                                           Kemp, John (Drummer)

Chambers, Benjamin Lee                    Kennard, Thomas J

Crane, Philip                                      Lassell, William S

Coleman, Isaiah                                  Lassell, William C

Coleman, James                                  Magnor, John (Sergeant)

Comegys, Lemuel                                          Mansfield, James

Constable, Robert                               Miller, James D

Coleby, Edward                                  Notts, William

Dugan, Thomas                                   Rumney, Samuel

Dunk, Alexander                                 Russell, Theophelus

Deal, Samuel                                       Robinson, James

Elliott, William                                   Toulson, Andrea

Falls, David                                         Usselton, John

Floyd, Samuel                                     Vickers, James                  

Gooding, James                                  Vickers, Jesse

Griffith, Samuel                                  Watts, George

Haltzman, George                               Wickes, Joseph (4th)

Hickenbottom, James                          Wickes, Thomas

Herbert, Zabedel

Of Captain Hand’s Company:  (Captain Hand was too ill to serve).

Volunteer Artillery

Henry Tilghman, Lieutenant

Richard S Thomas, Ensign

Barnes, Robert                                    Nicholls, Jeremiah

Brown, James F                                  Parsley, Arthur

Copper, Henry                                    Ringgold, James, Jr

Eccleston, John B                                          Redue, Joseph

Edwards, James                                  Robertson, Henry

Elbert, Samuel                                    Seymour, Richard

Gibbs, Joseph                                     Staveley, Wilson

Hyland, William,                                           Tonson, Nathaniel

Hague, William                                   Taylor, Thomas

James, Thomas J                                Vickers, Thomas

Maslin, James                                     Wilcox, James

Middleton, James                                          Wilmer, Lemuel

Martin, William                                  Wilmer,John R

Mcguire, Robert

Of Captain Wickes Rifle Corps:

Simon Wickes, Jr. Captain

Joseph Brown, First Lieutenant

John Beck Second Lieutenant

Airy, John                                                     Pearce, John

Beck, Peregrine                                   Rolinson, Levin

Beck, John                                                     Sparks, Bazilla

Coleman, Samuel                                           Stokes, Horation

Dowling, Eliphar                                 Smith, James

Fricks, Richard                                   Smith Richard

Fellingham, Robert                             Swift, Elisha

Hartley, Thomas                                 Tharp, James

Hyland John                                       Urie, Henry

Jones, John                                         Wickes, Samuel C

Kennard, Richard                               Yates, James

Lamb, William

Of Captain Griffith’s Company:

Samuel Griffith, Captain

Joseph Thomas, Lieutenant

Baker, Samuel                                    De Course, Barney

Brown, Hiram                                    Harriss, Jonathan

Crouch, John                                      Jones, David

Crouch, James                                    Kendall, William

Dank, Henry                                       Simmonds, George G

Of Captain Hynson’s Company:

Thomas B Hynson, Captain

Richard Grant, Lieutenant

Hague, William                                   Shaw, james

Love, Robert                                       Warum, John

Whaland, Peregrine

Of Captain Page’s Company:

Samuel Wickes, Lieutenant

Mierritt Miller, Ensign

Ashley, George                                    Eagle, James

Alloway, Gabriel                                 Frisby, William

Beck, Elisha                                        Glanville, John

Benton, Thomas                                  Hynson, Benjamin

Bryan, Stephen                                   Humphrey, John

Covington, Thomas                             Hudson, James

Covington, Jesse                                 Ivry, William

Coleman, Ezekiel                                Legg, James

Clark, Jesse                                        Miller, William

Cleaves, Nathan                                  Simons, William

Crouch, Thomas                                 Spencer, Thomas

Collins, Robert                                    Warum, Abraham

Downey, James                                   Wickes, William Jr

Dudley, Nicholas                                 Yearley, John Jr.

Dunn, John

Artillery Company

Acquilla M Ussleton, Captain

John Reed, Lieutenant

Morgan Brown, Lieutenant

Apsley, William Jr                              Nicholson, Edware

Apsley, Dulaney                                  Pennington, Benedict

Carroll, Philip                                     Rasin, Siras

Cannon, Edward                                 Rasin, Philip, Jr.

Dugan, John                                       Stewart, Henry J

Foreman, Ezekiel                                           Ussleton, James

Gedley, Joseph                                    Ussleton, William T

Hatcherson,James                               Wickes, Mathias

Leatherberry, Charles                        Weaver, William

Part of Caulk’s Field Story

      The British official list of their killed and wounded reported by Henry Crase, acting commander were, Killed, Sir Peter Parker, Baronet; Capt. JT Sands, midshipman; R Friar and R Robinson, quartermasters; J Perren, swabber; T Dorris, sailmaker; G Hall, ordinary seaman; J Evans, sergeant of marines; W Hooper, W Davis, R Johnson, W Rogers, W Powell, and R Jones, marines, a total of 14 acknowledge to have been killed. The wounded were reported to be: T Fitzmaurice, moatswains mate, severely; J McAllister, J Mooney, seamen, severely, M Cullen, seaman, slightly; J Cooper and J Malcom, seamen, severely; A McArthur, captain of the forecastle, severely Noel, seaman, slightly; T Taffield, quartermasters mate, severely; M halligan, quartermaster gunner, slightly; B G  Beynon, lieutenant of marines, severely; G Poe, similar officer, slightly;J List, J Harvey, J Schriber, G Morrell and W Smith, marines, slightly; W Golatham, E Turner and W Pritchard,marines and J Manderson, a seaman; J Rowe,landsman, and G Hobbs, captain of the foretop, severely. A total of 28 admitted to have been wounded, some of whom subsequently died.

       The Americans buried the fallen British by the roadside, where a hedge now grows in thrifty luxuriance. About the year 1830, a small boy (the late Columbus A Leary) on his way home from school saw some workmen opening a mound on the roadside; he stood and watched the dirt-heavers. The friends of the dead midshipman had sent across the ocean to bear the relics of their loved on over the sea. He was identified and his remains conveyed to England, where he sleeps perhaps in one of those beautiful country church yards where sublime stillness hovers over the sward. The earth was thrown back and has not since been disturbed. The dead Britons have graves secured against depredations, in which they will rest securely until the Judgment Day.

      The late Columbus A Leary has placed a rough stone in the hedge, on a located spot where the graves are supposed to be.

Incidents Preceding the Caulk’s Field Battle

      The success attending the operations of the British during the early part of 1814 encouraged them to carry out the determination of the Admiralty to strike some formidable blow. The army under Maj. Gen. Sir Robert Ross Consisted of 4000 picked troops and these were landed in the Patuxent River about the middle of August. They marched upon Washington, burned Bladensburg as they went, and, meeting with only  a feeble resistance from the American Army who were supposed to be defending the national capital, the British entered the city, burned the President’s house, the Capitol, the Navy Yard, and the vessels therein. This was on the 24th day of August, 1814. They returned to the fleet in the Patuxent and under the immediate command of Vice Admiral Sir Alexander Cochrane proceeded up the bay to attack Baltimore. The city was then the home of the famous “Clipper Ships” and “privateers” that were the persistent foe of the British navy and it was determined if possible to capture the city and destroy her shipping. That was the “important blow” spoken of in the “Annual Register.”




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