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47192Re: 1812 Bicentennial events in 2014-15

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  • Ed Seufert
    Jan 31, 2014
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      Commodore Tom,
      I'd still be wary of some of Fulton's infernal machines if I were you!
      Just so happens that Myron and I have met with both Jeff-Patt and Bladensburg in the past two weeks and have a better idea of bicentennial events here in the Chesapeake. 
      To give an idea of locations, I've created URLs for google maps for each of the major events.  All maps are taken down to the same scale level,  500ft/200M, in order to give a relative size for each location.  The letters "A" and "B" on each are the approximate size of the battle field area.
      Jefferson-Patterson Park - June 21-22 - http://goo.gl/maps/zd6xh
      The original actions at St Leonards Creek were mostly naval.  Commodore Barney's gunboat flotilla was bottled up in the creek by Royal Navy gunboats and warships and the two actions were the result of his attempting to get free.  Jeff-Patt plans to have a naval engagement at the mouth of the creek as one of their battles and two land engagements on the fields noted.  (We will not have access to all the fields as we did in 2008.)  Royal Navy landing parties did land near the marked fields in 1814. 
      Bladensburg - Aug 23-24 - http://goo.gl/maps/fz47n
      Most of the bicentennial activities will be at the Bladensburg Waterfront Park.  We will recreate the Battle of Bladensburg on the fields noted in two stages separated by a short break.  The vast majority of the original battlefield on the other side of the Anacostia is taken up by urban sprawl and the Lincoln cemetery.  The Royal Navy contingent of Ross's Army numbered 12 Officers and 235 sailors as well as Royal Marines. 
      Caulks Field - Aug 30-31 - http://goo.gl/maps/jHFk3
      This is a Royal Navy affair with the British attack force made up of Sailors and Royal Marines.  The field is the original field, mostly unchanged over the past 200 years and still plum farmland.  The main re-enactment will take place on the 31st, 200 years to the day of the original, following ceremonies dedicating two new monuments.  One of these will be for the 12 British dead still buried somewhere on the field.  We will need sailors with either pike and musket, both documented as being used in this action. 
      North Point - Sept 6-7 - http://goo.gl/maps/1JfoM
      This action defines the Battle of Baltimore (original date is Sept 12).  A tactical defeat for the Americans here was also a strategic victory as it delayed a planned assault on the city.  Like Bladensburg, the original battlefield is surrounded by suburban sprawl though nine acres still remain and are undergoing development as a State Battlefield Park.  General Ross's death in this action derailed the British attack on Baltimore and directly affected the actions at New Orleans.  The Royal Navy contributed a battalion of 600 sailors to this action.  (The dock next to the battlefield on the map is only accessible to very small boats; not much depth to the waters in this area.  Check with Myron.)   
      Ft McHenry - Sept 11-14
      Since there are no opposing forces, there is no battle re-enactment so no map.  A new paper outlining the activities at the fort was just sent out today and I still need to digest it all.  Safe to say, if you plan to camp there, you will need to be on site by the 11th and will not get out until the evening of the 14th.  Activities aboard any vessel laying off Ft McHenry are not under the jurisdiction of the NPS and I understand the dock of the fort is NOT open for use by said vessels.
      I also plan to be aboard the Witch (not which), provided my invite is not revoked and have offered my Marines to maintain law and order aboard any historic vessel that wishes to be in attendance.  (By my estimates, I think that puts about 50 of us on the Witch!)  We need to maintain the proper ratio of sailors and marines for each boat at 4 to 1.
      There are other smaller activities planned of which several are still be worked on.  One of these is the attack on Ft Washington which is scheduled for July 13 (original date, Aug 27) and the surrender of Alexandria, Aug 31.
      There are also some events where the Pride of Baltimore will be involved though that schedule is not available yet.  The Pride, for this year, will be staying in Chesapeake waters.  I also understand the Lynx will be in here for some events.
      I hope this helps in some of your decision making.
      Ed Seufert, Sgt
      1812 Royal Marines
      ----- Original Message -----
      Sent: Friday, January 31, 2014 11:04 AM
      Subject: 1812 Bicentennial events in 2014-15


      I have waited patiently for objections to the position of Commodore to surface but it just occurred to me that there are no practical submersibles yet. Military aviation is confined to hot air balloons, so that means all opposition will come at me via surface ships only. With my loyal crew, I feel armed enough to withstand any attacks.. So, steady as she goes..

      We have entered the final year of the War of 1812 Bicentennial and it behooves us to examine the opportunities for naval themed events and focus on those that offer the best chance for meaningful re-enactment. As such, I have been looking at what information I have and have some in mind. Your input on these and others would be welcomed.

      The Royal Navy campaigns in the Chesapeake became quite intense in 1814 and there are a few events listed. The June 21-22 event “The Battle of St. Leonard’s Creek” at Jefferson-Patterson Park Maryland promises to be spectacular with preliminary plans listing a significant tallship presence. I know I shall be making it my major southern event this year but I have heard of some others, not least is the “Star Spangled Banner” event in Baltimore in September. Maritime artist and Crown Forces Commander Peter Rindlisbacher will be bringing his cutter-rigged Which of Amherstburg up from Texas to act as a British gunboat during the festivities. Myself, I’m hoping for a berth aboard her but I know there are many local boats that could participate. This iconicUS battle victory will be done up right, I’m certain, and I wouldn’t care to miss it.

      There are undoubtedly other Chesapeake area events planned but I have no or little data to relate. My focus with this post is Naval themed events.


      So, shipmates, that is the latest as I have it. Funding is up to the local organizers and you would do well to inquire of them as to compensation but I suspect that what was feared in 2012 has happened, that the public purse would close because of the perception that the war was only of 1812. Still, these will be amazing anniversary events and I would hope that organizations, both in planning events and for groups attending events, would feel that it is important to be there and participate and that the costs are manageable because of the significance of these historical occurrences. I will do all I can to make as many as possible.

      Your Humble Servant

      Thomas Hurlbut,

      Commodore pro tem,

      Crown Forces NorthAmerica Naval Establishments

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