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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
St. Michaels in Dorchester County, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Deflecting the Enemy

Star-Spangled Banner National Historic Trail

 
 
Deflecting the Enemy Marker image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, November 25, 2012
1. Deflecting the Enemy Marker
Inscription. Local Lore hails St. Michaels for "fooling the British" during the War of 1812 by using lanterns to misdirect gunfire high above the town. It is certain that this shipbuilding village successfully fended off two enemy assaults in 1813.

On August 10 British forces landed and overtook the gun battery at Parrot's point. After spiking the cannon and returning to their vessels, they exchanged cannon fire with the towns militia before withdrawing down the Miles River. The British reappeared on August 26, landing at Wades Point and dispatching 1,800 troops to march on the town. The local contingent, numbering 500,confronted the advancing forces. After a few shots were volleyed the British departed.

"We were fortunate enough not to have a man hurt, although grapeshot flew like hail in the town, and their balls passed through a number of houses." -- Excerpted from a letter from St. Michaels quoted in Baltimore's Niles' Weekly Register.

A cannonball allegedly crashed through William Merchant's house and bounced near his wife and daughter, giving the 1805 structure the name "Cannonball House."

Nearby places to learn more about the War of 1812:
* Easton -- site of an armory and the earthworks of Fort Stoakes
* Chesapeake Exploration Center at Ferry Point Park -- information about the British
Deflecting the Enemy Marker image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, November 25, 2012
2. Deflecting the Enemy Marker
occupation of Kent Island in 1813
* St. Michaels Museum at St. Mary's Square -- Exhibits on St. Michaels in War of 1812; exterior view of Cannonball House on the Square
*Queenstown -- Where British approached by land and water in a surprise attack
*Muskrat Park -- St. Michaels waterfront park with two replica War of 1812 six-pounder cannons

 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Star Spangled Banner National Historic Trail marker series.
 
Location. 38° 47.236′ N, 76° 13.234′ W. Marker is in St. Michaels, Maryland, in Dorchester County. Marker can be reached from Cherry Street. Click for map. On the waterfront promenade in front of the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum. Marker is in this post office area: Saint Michaels MD 21663, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. War in the Chesapeake (here, next to this marker); Oystering on the Chesapeake (here, next to this marker); Freedom's Figurehead (a few steps from this marker); Navy Point Historic Houses (within shouting distance of this marker); Captain John Smith's Shallop (within shouting distance of this marker); Too Much of a Good Thing
Cannonball House image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, November 25, 2012
3. Cannonball House
200 Mulberry Street at St. Marys Square
(about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Rebuilding Rosie Parks (about 300 feet away); Tolchester Bandstand (about 300 feet away). Click for a list of all markers in St. Michaels.
 
Categories. War of 1812
 
Mrs. Merchant and the Cannonball image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, November 23, 2012
4. Mrs. Merchant and the Cannonball
A cannonball allegedly crashed through William Merchant's house and bounced near his wife and daughter, giving the 1805 structure the name "Cannonball House." illustration by Gerry Embleton
Map -- Your Are Here. image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, November 23, 2012
5. Map -- Your Are Here.
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. This page has been viewed 370 times since then and 23 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on , by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland.   4, 5. submitted on , by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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