The news was astounding, By the June 30, 1807 nearly everyone had read in the Talbot County Republican Star and Eastern Shore Advertiser that HMS Leopard had fired a warning shot and boarded the U.S. Frigate Chesapeake off Hampton Roads, Virginia. The Star stated that “We know not, indeed, that this savage outrage has a precedent in naval annuals.” For the residents of the Eastern Shore it was personal. One of the three American sailors taken off and impressed into British service was mariner John Stachan, a native of Queen Anne’s County who had enlisted onboard two years earlier.
The country’s honor as a sovereign republic had been approached. All across the Eastern Shore militia companies were formed and elect commissioned officers received. The best known militia companies raised were the First Troop, True Republican Blues of Queen Anne’s County. On August 25, 1813 a notice was posted for “those persons who have already associated for the purpose of forming a TROOP OF HORSE to meet at the Talbot County courthouse.”
In February 11, 1813, the Maryland Legislature passed “A supplement to the act, entitled, An Act to Regulate & Discipline the Militia of this State,” that reorganized the separate cavalry troops attached to each of the eleven brigades into eleven cavalry Regimental Districts within the state. Each district was to be composed of two squadrons of two troops each, commanded by a lieutenant colonel, each squadron a major, each troop consisting of forty-eight officers and enlisted men of the following: 1 captain, 2 lieutenants, 1 quartermaster sergeant, 4 sergeants, 4 corporals, a farrier, 1 saddler, 1 trumpeter and 32 privates.
Lt. Colonel Edward Lloyd commanding the troop called together the non-commissions officers four times a year to drill exercise and each regiment shall meet in the fall, and each squadron to meet in the spring, and each troop to meet eight times a year.
Sources: Republican Star, April 7, June 30, August 4, 25, 1807.