The Search for the Chesapeake Flotilla
High Technology Locates Ships
Background: Sketch of Barge by Commodore Joshua Barney.
(Inscription under the image in the lower left)
Copper sheathing was often used on ships to protect the outer hull below the water line from worm-like creatures called wood borers. Inside the hull, it was used to form watertight compartments where food and other perishables could be protected from water damage. This sheathing was fastened to the gunboat with small copper nails, like those above.
(Inscription under the image in the upper center)
Above top: Jenna Watts and Marc Henings measure artifacts.
(Inscription under the image in the lower center)
Grapeshot consisted of cast iron balls about the size of golf balls, which were arranged around an open frame and
(Inscription under the image on the right)
In the field, East Carolina University graduate students (L to R) Kim Eslinger, Matt Muldorf, and Tane Casserley record and measure a bow apron timber from an American War of 1812 gunboat.
The Archaeological research was supported in part by grants from the Department of Defense’s Legacy Resource Management Program. The National Park Service’s American Battlefield Protection Program, and the Maryland Maritime Archeology Program.
St Leonard Creek
Gunboats No. 137 & 138
During 1998 and 1999, two of United States Chesapeake Flotilla’s gunboats, No. 137 and No. 138, were located and partially excavated near the headwaters of St. Leonard Creek. Among the artifacts found were a gun fling, .69 and .75 caliber musket shot, several buttons, grapeshot, and copper sheathing nails.
All the artifacts were treated at the Maryland Archaeological Conservations Laboratory at Jefferson Patterson Park and Museum.
Commodore Joshua Barney considered these two boats to be slow and difficult to sail, so they were scuttled in shallow water before
The British later finished their destruction by setting the vessels on fire. The two boats found by underwater archaeologists exhibited tell-tale burn marks from the British action. This damage, along with the artifacts, the vessels’ size, and their place of discovery, all confirm that they are the American gunboats.
Erected by Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development.
Location. 38° 23.661′ N, 76° 30.442′ W. Marker is in St. Leonard, Maryland, in Calvert County. Marker is on Jefferson Patterson Park Road. Touch for map. The marker is located on the grounds of the Jefferson Patterson Park and Museum. Marker is in this post office area: Saint Leonard MD 20685, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. “We Must Have Done Them Considerable Damage” (here, next to this marker); Smith’s St. Leonard Site (within shouting distance of this marker); Attention to Detail-Gertrude Sawyer, Architect (within shouting distance of this marker); The Government at St. Leonard’s (within shouting distance of this marker); John Stuart Skinner (within shouting distance of this marker); Valor at St. Leonard Creek (within shouting distance of this marker); “The Commodore Can Beat Any…Barges…Sent Against Him” (within shouting distance of this marker); Land Battle Evidence (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in St. Leonard.
Categories. • War of 1812 •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on February 23, 2015, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Md 21234. This page has been viewed 199 times since then and 34 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on February 23, 2015, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Md 21234. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.