". . . But the past does not exist independently from the present. Indeed, the past is only past because there is a present, just as I can point to something over there only because I am here. But nothing is inherently over there or here. In that sense, the past has no content. The past -- or more accurately, pastness -- is a position. Thus, in no way can we identify the past as past." p. 15

". . . But we may want to keep in mind that deeds and words are not as distinguishable as often we presume. History does not belong only to its narrators, professional or amateur. While some of us debate what history is or was, others take it into their own hands." p. 153

Silencing the Past: Power and the Production of History (1995) by Michel-Rolph Trouillot

Saturday, August 16, 2014

The Battle Of Caulk's Field Remembered, Where It Happened - War of 1812

From the Chestertown Spy,* the local online weekly gazette, that includes articles, essays and opinion about the Kent County, Maryland community, reported on and written by the community, whether politics or dog training classes.

"At midnight, August 30, 1814, between Chestertown and Rock Hall, in a field of shadowy figures and muzzle flashes, a 45-minute clash between British royal marines and local militia ended 14 British lives, including that of Sir Peter Parker, captain of the Menelaus. The Kent militia suffered only wounds.
The Battle of Caulk’s Field, while no Bladensburg—a devastating strategic loss for the small American army—is, nonetheless, a unique and significant marker in the field of American History. Its memorial and past ceremonies, performed by U.S. National Guard and British Royal Marines at the battle site, have come to symbolize a mutual respect for the past and highlight a future of shared endeavors.
Here, former editor of the Kent County News Kevin Hemstock and Friends of Caulk’s Field Committee President Steve Frohock discuss the Chesapeake theatre of the War of 1812, the Battle of Caulk’s Field, Peter Parker, and the upcoming weekend of events commemorating the war’s Bicentennial.
No more a post-it note, the War of 1812 is being discovered as a full-fledged chapter in American history."
The 15-minute video of the discussion is worth watching, not only for the information the two local historians provide, but also because it's delightful to see and listen to historians who know their stuff and are enthusiastic about learning ever more, whenever they can.

The local historians of this community -- which is just about everybody who lives here, and they love sharing what they know -- are as impressive as any other professional historians and scholars.

El V and I visited the site of the Battle of Caulk's Field on a Thanksgiving Day in 2010.  There shall be a Bicentennial re-enactment on August 30th.

These Kent Country events are so much fun.  Partly it's because of the food, partly because, while the events are executed as accurately as possible, neither the re-enactors nor the watchers take themselves too seriously.


*  The Chestertown Spy is named for The Spy, Chestertown's 18th century newspaper.

No comments: