August 22, 2014
Beginning on August 30th the two day celebration of the bicentienal of the Battle of Caulk’s field will begin here in Kent County.
The War of 1812 is one of those forgotten wars. Although from the war came the poem written by Francis Scott Key that became our national anthem.
And had it not be for the Battle of Caulk’s Field, the poem perhaps wouldn’t have been written. The battle came between the burning of Washington, which happened on August 24, 1814 and the bombardment of Fort McHenry on September 13–14, when Key penned his poem.
Early in the morning of August 31, 1814 Capt. Sir Peter Parker, commander of the frigate HM Menelaus, moved toward militia camp near the town of Belle Aire (now Fairlee). The moon was full and he had a slave to guide him. Parker was an English Baronet and an up and rising political figure who was short of his 30th birthday.
The militia leader Lt. Col. Philip Reed had advance information that Parker’s unit was marching and they meet in battle.
The American militia won a victory with only 3 wounded. The British had at least 25 killed, wounded and missing. Fourteen British soldiers and sailors, including Parker, and 13-year-old midshipman John T. Sandes, were killed. All other than Sir Peter Parker is buried in unmarked graves at Caulk’s Field.
An article by Kevin Hemstock found on the County’s 1812 Web site gives a good description of The Battle.
The two day celebration will begin with activities in Chestertown on August 30th. There will be a Period Parade beginning at 10am and a Wreath Laying/Flag Raising ceremony at 11. During the day there will be a number of exhibits and presentation. (See Schedule Below).
Sunday August 31 will have a full day of activities from 10am to 4pm. The be the day of re-enactment will be held at 2pm. Earlier in the day at 11 there will be a Formal Military Ceremony (Wreath Laying and Flag Raising) at the monument. (See Schedule Below)