Chesapeake Legends and Lore from War of 1812

Southern Maryland News Net
May 10, 2013

Ches Legends and Lore Book-WEBAvailable at the Calvert Marine Museum Store

The Calvert Marine Museum Store has an impressive selection of books about the Chesapeake region, and in keeping with the bicentennial of the War of 1812, book selections on that topic are especially rich. The recently released publication Chesapeake Legends & Lore from the War of 1812 written by Ralph E. Eshelman & Scott S. Sheads is now available for sale in the store.

In the two hundred years following the War of 1812, the Chesapeake Campaign became romanticized in tall tales and local legends. St. Michael’s on the Eastern Shore of Maryland was famously cast as the town that fooled the British, and in Baltimore, the defenders of Fort McHenry were reputably rallied by a remarkably patriotic pet rooster. In Virginia, the only casualty in a raid on Cape Henry was reportedly the lighthouse keeper’s smokehouse larder, while Admiral Cockburn was said to have supped by the light of the burning Federal buildings in Washington, D.C. Newspaper stories, ordinary citizens and even military personnel embellished events, and two hundred years later, those embellishments have become regional lore. Join historians Ralph E. Eshelman and Scott S. Sheads as they search for the history behind the legends of the War of 1812 in the Chesapeake.

Ralph Eshelman was co-director of the Patuxent River Cultural Resource Survey, which discovered and partially excavated a War of 1812 vessel from the U.S. Chesapeake Flotilla. He conducted a holistic inventory of War of 1812 sites in Maryland for the National Park Service’s National Battlefield Protection Program and has published four books on the War of 1812. Eshelman was designated “Honorary Colonel of the Fort McHenry Guard” by the National Park Service in 2009. He currently serves as a consultant to the Star-Spangled Banner National Historic Trail. Eshelman has visited every known War of 1812 site in the Chesapeake Bay region and is considered among the leading experts on this resource base.

Scott S. Sheads has served as a ranger-historian and historic weapons officer at Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine in Baltimore since 1979. Scott served as a co-historian for the Smithsonian Institution’s “Saving the Star-Spangled Banner Project” and for the National Park Service’s “The Star-Spangled Banner National Historic Trail” feasibility study. He has published several books on the War of 1812 and the Civil War and has authored numerous journal articles for the Maryland Historical Magazine. Scott’s most recent publication is The Chesapeake Campaigns, 1813–1815: Middle Ground of the War of 1812 (Osprey Publications, Ltd., 2013).

The Museum Store is open seven days a week from 10:15 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. For more information about this publication, contact store manager Maureen Baughman at 410-326-2750 or email baughmmp@co.cal.md.us .

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