Kent Island, August 5-26, 1813

“MARYLAND INVADED…it appears the enemy have taken possession of Kent Island, and that the inhabitants of every description have removed to the main land…From the circumstance of landing cannon on Kent Island, it appears to be the intention of the enemy to keep possession of it for some time; and certainly a more eligible situation could not have been selected for their own safety and convenience or from which to annoy us.” Captain Charles Gordon, U.S.N., August 13, 1813.

On August 5, 1813, British boats carrying the First Battalion Royal Marines and the 102nd Regiment Foot under the command of Colonel Sidney Beckwith, a total of 2,034 soldiers landed and marched overland to the “Narrows,” separating the island from the Eastern Shore. Here they encamped establishing four other encampments at Broad Creek, Parson’s Point, Kent Point, and Kent Island Narrows with their field headquarters at the home of Thomas Harrison’s estate of “Belleview” near Broad Creek and hoisted a Union Jack over its rooftop.

Admiral John Borlase described Kent Island as a “valuable & beauty Island which is half as large as the Isle of Wright…a central Point between Annapolis, Baltimore, Washington and the Eastern Ports of the State of  Maryland..”   The British prepared Kent Island from which it would launch raids on St. Michaels (August 10 and 26) and upon Queenstown (August 13). Their occupation on land and with seventeen warships posed a formidable base from which raids could be conducted.

On August 27 the British departed to prepare for winter quarters, then renew their attacks in Maryland the following spring .

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Published in: on April 10, 2011 at 12:03 pm  Comments (1)  

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  1. Great detail of the magnitude of the occupation of Kent Island by the British. I couldn’t imagine 17 British Warships surrounding the island, full of British troops roaming about the Kent Island i know today. Whenever you cross the Bay Bridge eastbound and reach the Island, one of the first signs you see, dont quote me, but it basically says the First English Settlement within Maryland. Now when i see this sign, i will never think of it in the same way. Good research, i would love to know about more forts, or where they actually docked there ships around the island.


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