Star Spangled National Historic Trail

Nestled on the Eastern Shore of the Chesapeake Bay, Kent County is the perfect destination for any history lover who’s is looking to enjoy a historically-rich vacation.

One of the best tours is the Star Spangled National Historic Trail, which depicts the history of the War of 1812 in Kent County. There are several important memorial sites on this trail where you can learn more about this important time in American history including: Fairlee Creek, Caulk’s Field, and the grave of Colonel Philip Reed, one of the area’s best-known Revolutionary War heroes and 1812 military leaders.

Caulk’s Field – Kent County braced for the return of the British in August 1814, who returned in an attempt to divert attention from Washington. They landed on August 30 and marched inland to Isaac Caulk farm, where they met the American militia.

The Americans stood their ground during the night attack and their victory in the Battle of Caulk’s Field boosted morale following the enemy’s invasion of Washington, D.C.

Kitty Knight House – The British burned most of Georgetown. Catharine “Kitty” Knight supposedly convinced the British commander to save this house and that of a neighbor.

Eastern Neck Island – On August 27, 1814, Col. Reed used Eastern Neck Island to trick the British into thinking his forces were smaller. Reed encouraged his cavalry to cross the water from the mainland at in a ferry scow to avoid being spotted by the British, who were able to observe their activities from their encampment on Kent Island,.

The Inn at Mitchell House – On September 3, 1814, the British raided Major Thomas Mitchell’s home. Mitchell’s horses were shot and he was taken prisoner. The British believed he was the commissary general for Maryland; however, he was actually a militia contractor for Kent County. 

Swan Creek – A week before the battle at Caulk’s Field, the H.M. Menelaus, commanded by Sir Peter Parker, landed at Swan Creek to raid farms in the area. 

Fairlee Creek – On August 28, 1814, Royal Naval vessels commended by Sir Peter Parker fired rockets at the house of Henry Waller on the West side of Fairlee Creek.  

Turners Creek – On their way to attack Fredericktown and Georgetown, the British landed at the mouth of Turner’s Creek and forced John Stavely to serve as their pilot.  After the raid and burning of the towns, they returned Stavely to Turner’s Creek and plundered the property of John Lathim for supplies.

Christ Episcopal IU Church CemeteryLt. Col. Philip Reed, (1760-1829), Commander of the American militia at the Battle of Caulk’s Field, is buried here. Following a successful career in the American Revolution, where he rose to captain, Reed served in the State house of delegates and the U.S. Senate, before returning to military service in the War of 1812.  After the war he was twice elected to Congress. He died November 2, 1829 at his home near Rock Hall.

Dougherty Barroll House – Located on High Street in Chestertown, the Dougherty Barroll House was home to Joseph Hopper Nicholson, a member of the U.S. House of Representatives and Francis Scott Key’s brother-in-law.

Widehall – Located on Water Street, Widehall was the home of Judge Ezekiel Forman Chambers (1788-1867) who commanded a company under Lt. Col. Philip Reed at The Battle of Caulk’s Field.  Judge Chambers died at Widehall in 1866 and is buried in Chestertown Cemetery.

Hynson-Ringgold House – This was the home of James Edmondson Barroll (1779-1875), secretary and adjutant to the Troop of Horse under the command of Capt. Frederick Wilson.