Coordinate the planning of your trip with a War of 1812 event; the County of Kent’s most notable is The Battle of Caulk’s Field. A weekend of activities is being planned for Aug. 30-31, 2014, commemorating the day, 200 years ago, when Kent County, Maryland militiamen turned back a British night attack.
A prelude to Sunday’s event will take place in Downtown Chestertown on Saturday, Aug. 30. Begin your day at the foot of High Street, where you will find a militia camp at the 18th century Customs House, military drills and demonstrations. Chestertown’s own Schooner Sultana will be on hand for tours, and the Pride of Baltimore II will be offering public sails. Find a good spot in the middle of town for a 10 a.m. parade down High Street, with dragoons leading American and British re-enactors, paced by the Fort McHenry Guard Junior Fife and Drum Corps. A 15-star flag raising and wreath laying will follow at the War of 1812 monument. Be sure to see the new display of Caulk’s Field artifacts at the Bordley Center and guest speakers, including archaeologist Julie M. Schablitsky, Ph.D., who led the Caulk’s Field surveys.
A once-in-a-lifetime event will be staged on the very bicentennial day, Aug. 31, 2014, and on the same battlefield. The re-enactment will include the portrayal of both the 21st Regiment of Maryland Militia and British Royal Marines and sailors, as well as dragoons and artillery. The battle, to begin at 2 p.m., will be staged on 35 acres of the original site. Activities on that day will include American and British encampments, civilian 1812 interpreters, exhibits, demonstrations, music, food, vendors, suttler’s village and living history. The Maryland Historical Society will be on hand to conduct the unfurling of their hand-stitched, oversized 15-Star flag, while the National Anthem is performed by The Fort McHenry Guard Fife and Drum Corps.
The battlefield remains almost unchanged 200 years later. A memorial, dedicated in 1902, is a reminder of the battle. Each year since 2012, on the anniversary, a formal wreath laying and flag raising ceremony has honored the men who fought and died at Caulk’s Field. The formal military ceremony planned on Aug. 31 this year will again involve British and Maryland military officials, special guests and the 229th Maryland National Guard Army Band. Two new monuments will also be unveiled.
A fundraising reception is being planned for June 28 at the Caulk’s Field House, built in 1743. Guests will be treated to a rare peek inside the Caulk’s house and special presentations by Donald G. Shomette, Ph.D., author of “Flotilla: The Patuxent Naval Campaing in the War of 1812” and Julie M. Schablitsky, Ph.D., R.P.A., Chief Archaeologist of the Caulk’s Field Archaeological Study.