The battle of Caulk’s Field took place on August 30, 1814, at wait for it…Caulk’s cornfield. One week before the battle, a British ship, H.M. Menelaus landed at the Swan Creek led by Peter Parker. the forces from the ship raided farms in the area. In 1814, royal vessels, still led by Peter Parker fired rockets at Henry Waller’s house in Fairlee Creek and burnt his house and barns to the ground
Well, this was in present day Kent County in Maryland. Philip Reed, then leading the American militia within the area received information about the movement of the British troops to Skidmore. The major used the Eastern Neck Island to mislead the oncoming British forces in regards to the size of the militia. This happened in a rather interesting way. the Britons, from their camp, had a good line of view of the American militia at the island. The Colonel instructed a few of his men to walk past the waterfront from the mainland and back again. This led the British to believe that their enemies were far outnumbered.
Once the British had landed, Reed prepared to strike them only to realize they were in search of the American Militia. The major gave orders for a countermarch with the Right going towards Caulk’s house. the British Marines moved along with the British sailors towards the Americans. The Major alerted his men and mobilized them towards the enemy. The Americans took their positions in a cornfield that belonged to Isaac Caulk and got stationed ready for an ambush. The American militia started to shoot at the oncoming British men wounding and killing several of them. The American troops’ ammunition, however, began to get depleted quickly but just then the British troops started to retreat. Among the wounded was the leader, Sir Peter Parker who had been mortally shot. He died shortly afterward and his body was shipped to Bermuda in a barrel for burial.
The local rumor mill has it that after Sir Peter Parker was wounded, he was taken to the current day Inn at Mitchell House, pickled by the American militia then sent to England. However, this seems to have been confused with the story of General Mitchell who owned the house by then. the general was captured by British forces and imprisoned in England for three years. The militia’s victory over the British at the Battle of Caulk’s Field uplifted the morale of many other Americans beyond Kent’s borders.
As the year came close to an end, the war ended with a signing of the Treaty of Ghent on the 24th of December. It is however notable that the treaty was not ratified by the United States Senate until early 1815. One effect of the delay was that battles such as the Battle of New Orleans led by Andrew Jackson still took place. The battle of Caulk’s Field was definitely a defining moment for the war and for Kent County in particular.
The battle of Caulk’s field took place in Kent County, Maryland during the war of 1812. It involved American militia trying to repel the landing of British forces. The battle ended in American victory. Some structures and places stood out as being of significance during this war. we take a look at several of these and the roles that each structure/place played in the war.
Eastern Neck island
A few days before the battle of Caulk’s Field, the leader of the American militia. Philip Reed used the island to mislead the oncoming British forces in regards to the size of the militia. This happened in a rather interesting way. the Britons, from their camp had a good line of view of the American militia at the island. The Colonel instructed a few of his men to walk past the waterfront from the mainland and back again. This led the British to believe that their enemies were far outnumbered. however, the man leading the British forces at the day of the battle admits to have been surprised at the site of their enemies’ militia and regular troops occupying the whole coast.
The original structure was the home of Major Thomas Mitchell. The British raided his residence in 1814 and took him prisoner. the British Believed that Maj. Mitchell was the commissary for Maryland. It is also beleived that the British forces leader, Peter Parker was taken to the house after being wounded in battle. Word has it that the British held Maj. Mitchell prisoner in England for three years. The current Inn at Mitchell House was built later in the year 1825.
Swan Creek and Fairlee Creek
One week before the battle, a British ship, H.M. Menelaus landed at the Swan Creek led by Peter Parker. the forces from the ship raided farms in the area. In 1814, royal vessels, still led by Peter Parker fired rockers at Henry Waller’s house in Fairlee creek and burnt his house and barns to the ground. Both creeks were basically landing areas for the British forces.
Turner’s creek was an area with quite a number of residents in the early 19th century . In 1813, the British vessels landed on Tuner’s creek and forced one of the residents to be their pilot. What followed was a raid of towns and burning of property. A structure there -Knock’s Folly- was built by George, son to Donaldson Yeates who operated a business in Turner’s Creek.
Also known previously as memorial park, the county seat of Kent County played significant roles in the war of 1812. The town was on the western shore of Kent county along the river Chester. In as much as this was an advantage, the location gave British forces an easy time targeting and raiding houses for supplies and provisions. The western side of the county also happened to be the battleground for the famous battle of Caulk’s field. Chestertown was home to several significant people during the war. Some of the structures include Widehall and Dougherty Barroll house, homes to Ezekiel Forman and Hopper Nicholson.