Multiple War of 1812 events the weekend of Aug.2-4

MyEasternShoreMD,

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

By Jack Shaum

QUEENSTOWN–The weekend of Aug. 2 to 4 will see several events taking place in observance of Queen Anne’s County’s role in the War of 1812.

There will be events in the Queenstown/Grasonville area, Stevensville, and Centreville during the three-day period. All are projects of the Queen Anne’s County 1812 Commemoration Committee and the State of Maryland Bicentennial of the War of 1812 Commission.

The first event is at 6 p.m. Friday, Aug. 2 with the dedication of a sign at Broad Creek Cemetery in Stevensville to commemorate the British invasion of Kent Island. Parking will be available at nearby Christ Church and a shuttle will run between there and the cemetery. There is no parking at the cemetery, said Mary Margaret Revell Goodwin, chairperson of the county committee.

The weekend’s main event is the dedication of the new 1812 Memorial Park at Route 18 and Nesbit Road near Queenstown. That event, titled “Honoring Our 1812 Heroes,” takes place at 1 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 3. It will include the unveiling of a nearly 2-1/2-ton monument honoring the 20 men who stood against 300 British soldiers at Slippery Hill and won, preventing an attack on Queenstown.

The monument will include the names of all members of the Queen Anne’s County militia who served in the war. It was recently determined during a “massively challenging job” that there were 1,840 Queen Anne’s County men who served, according to Goodwin The local committee paid to have all the names tabulated in alphabetical order and she said everyone was surprised to find out there were so many.

“For years, it has never been known exactly how many militia were serving in the Maryland Militia from Queen Anne’s County,” she said. “F. Edward Wright did the phenomenal work of computing the names of all who fought here from Queen Anne’s County.”

There will be a number of signs in the park telling the story of the Battle of Slippery Hill, information on the troops on both sides and their leaders, and the story of the local slave Nathan who is believed to have been the guide for the British amphibious attack on Queenstown. Also included will be a list of all the slaves who went with the British at the time and their owners. There is also a portion of a newly discovered letter from Maj. William Hopper Nicholson, the American commander, who attempted to retrieve slaves from British ships, according to Goodwin.

There is no parking on Nesbit Road or Route 18 in the area so parking must be done on Shore Way Drive, Leonard Smith Drive and adjacent parking sites. Goodwin urges that people coming to the dedication bring lawn chairs and umbrellas to protect them from the summer heat.

At 6 p.m. on the same day, another sign will be dedicated at the point of Blue Bay Farm Road and Route 8 in Stevensville that deals with the British headquarters on Kent Island and a local resident whose home was taken over by the British.

The weekend concludes with two events Sunday, Aug. 4, in Centreville. The first will be at 1:30 p.m. on the courthouse green where a sign will be dedicated commemorating the county’s militia and the courthouse’s use as an Army recruiting office.

An hour later a sign will be dedicated at Centreville Wharf telling the story of Fort Point and its role in protecting the Corsica River.

The newly formed Eastern Shore Militia will participate at all of the events and there will also be a fife and drum corps at the park dedication. All of the events are free and open to the public.

The commission also said memorial bricks to be placed at the Memorial Park are still available for purchase. For information, call 410-758-2727.

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