De­fend­ers Day to take Fort Howard Park

The Dundalk Eagle - - FRONT PAGE - By CHAR­LENE MAYO cmayo@ches­pub.com

On Sun­day, Sept. 2, mem­bers of the com­mu­nity are in­vited to par­tic­i­pate in the De­fend­ers Day fes­tiv­i­ties from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Fort Howard Park.

Ac­cord­ing to the De­fend­ers Day Chair­per­son De­bra Zim­mer­man, the event will be very en­ter­tain­ing with some­thing to do all day long.

There will be two re-en­act­ments of the war of 1812, one start­ing at 1 p.m. and the other start­ing at 4 p.m.

Over 20 dif­fer­ent or­ga­ni­za­tions, in­clud­ing the Mary­land Flag House and the Mary­land His­tor­i­cal So­ci­ety, will bring dis­plays.

On the main stage, there will be en­ter­tain­ment from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

A ma­gi­cian, a liv­ing his­tory per­former, the Sky’s the Limit Com­mu­nity The­atre singers and a black­smith demon­stra­tion will be dis­played on stage.

There will be food ven­dors, walk­ing tours and free arts and craft for kids to en­joy.

A fash­ion show will take place, to help peo­ple un­der­stand the uni­forms sol­dier’s wore dur­ing the war.

“We think it’s im­por­tant, as the Dun­dalk His­tor­i­cal So­ci­ety, to have pre­sen­ta­tions ever y year, so, the kids grow­ing up know what all th­ese things their sur­rounded by means,” Zim­mer­man said.

“The more en­ter­tain­ing it is, the more en­gaged they be­come,” she noted.

Ac­cord­ing to Zim­mer­man, a lot of peo­ple con­sider the bat­tle at North Point a de­fin­i­tive bat­tle of the war.

On Sept. 12, 1814, Bri­tish troops landed at what is known to­day as Fort Howard with the intention of lay­ing siege to Baltimore. They had done the same to Wash­ing­ton just weeks be­fore.

While many may over­look the Bat­tle of North Point in fa­vor of the more well-known bom­bard­ment of Fort McHenry days later, the im­por­tance of the bat­tle is clear.

It was at North Point that lo­cal mili­ti­a­men were able to suc­cess­fully hold off Bri­tish forces long enough for de­fenses to be for­ti­fied in Baltimore.

The mili­ti­a­men would in­flict heavy ca­su­al­ties on the Bri­tish, in­clud­ing killing Bri­tish com­man­der Maj. Gen. Robert Ross, be­fore fall­ing back.

The Bri­tish suf­fered ap­prox­i­mately 325 wounded and killed, while about 163 Amer­i­cans were wounded or killed.

While the Bri­tish would go on to march to­ward Baltimore, the bat­tle had taken its toll on the troops. Amer­i­can forces would ul­ti­mately beat back the Bri­tish in­vaders at Fort McHenry.

“Had not the sol­diers in our area, on the North Point Penin­sula, killed Gen­eral Ross we may not be Amer­i­can, we might be Bri­tish,” Zim­mer­man said.

While the Bat­tle of North Point is of­ten a for­got­ten part of an oft-for­got­ten war, the cit­i­zens of Dun­dalk, Edge­mere, Fort Howard and sur­round­ing ar­eas con­tinue to com­mem­o­rate the bat­tle and its im­pact on Amer­i­can his­tory.

“We will con­tinue to pro­mote the her­itage we have in Dun­dalk,” Zim­mer­man said.

The event is free and free park­ing is avail­able.

For more in­for­ma­tion, visit www. dun­dalkhis­tory.org/de­fend­ers-day. html or con­tact dun­dalkhis­tory@ver­i­zon.net or 410-284-2331.

De­fend­ers Day is cel­e­brated at Fort Howard.

Buzz Chri­est of the Asquith Sharp­shoot­ers leads Amer­i­can units onto the field of bat­tle.

PHO­TOS BY JOHN G. BAI­LEY

The Sky’s The Limit Play­ers per­form­ing Women’s Voices, a fe­male perspective on the Bat­tle of North Point, in 2015.

PHOTO BY BRAD KRONER

Reen­ac­tors rolled a can­non into po­si­tion dur­ing the De­fend­ers Day cel­e­bra­tion in 2016.

Buzz Chri­est, leader of the Aisquith Sharp­shoot­ers, is a founder of the De­fend­ers Day fes­tiv­i­ties.

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