Creative Alliance Presents 1814: The Summation — A Symposium on the War of 1812

Creative Alliance Presents 1814: The Summation — A Symposium on the War of 1812

Seminar IV — The Battle of Baltimore

As the British approached Baltimore by sea and land, over 15,000 soldiers, militia, and ordinary citizens were organized into a defensive line at a location then known as Hampstead Hill to prevent the destruction of Baltimore City. While the whole world knows of the bombardment of Fort McHenry this panel covers the land components of the Battle of Baltimore, from North Point to Hampstead Hill; bringing to life the people, strategies, and sacrifices that led to the successful defense of the city.

Scott Sheads – Moderator

Author, Historian
National Park Service Historian, Fort McHenry

Scott Sheads is the leading historian at Fort McHenry and has appeared in multiple documentaries on the War of 1812. He served as co-historian with the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History in the "Saving the Star-Spangled Banner" preservation project (1999-2004) and for "The Star-Spangled Banner National Historic Trail Study," National Park Service (2001).

His current book project is a civilian study of The Baltimore Campaign of North Point and Rodgers Bastion, September 1814."

Ralph Eshelman

Research Associate, Calvert Marine Museum
PhD University of Michigan

Ralph Eshelman has served as historical consultant and/or has appeared in many War of 1812 documentaries including "Battle for Washington" Bladensburg Visitor Center orientation video; "Anthem: The Story of the Star-Spangled Banner;" "Weather That Changed The World: Thunderstorm That Saved D.C.," Weather Channel; "Star-Spangled Banner: Anthem of Liberty," IMAX film; "Francis Scott Key and the Song that Built America," National Public Television documentary and; "Anthem: the Story of The Star-Spangled Banner," an online teacher resource.

Eshelman served as War of 1812 historian for United States Department of Education, and taken part in multiple War of 1812 conferences. Eshelman served as the historian for the “Star-Spangled Banner National Historic Trail” Study Team of the National Park Service and was designated “Honorary Colonel of the Fort McHenry Guard” in 2009. His book In Full Glory Reflected: Discovering the War of 1812 in the Chesapeake co-authored with Burt Kummerow will be his main topic at the event.

Christopher George

Author, Historian
MLA Johns Hopkins University

Christopher T. George is the author of Terror on the Chesapeake: The War of 1812 on the Bay published by White Mane in 2001 and a 20-year student of America’s forgotten conflict. He is the founding editor of the Journal of the War of 1812 and coordinator of the National War of 1812 Symposium series held each fall since 1996, usually in Baltimore.

Chris is now at work on a biography of British Major General Robert Ross in cooperation with Dr. John McCavitt of Rostrevor, Northern Ireland. Robert Ross was the British general who captured Washington, D.C., in August 1814 and was killed during the attack on Baltimore three weeks later. It is anticipated that the book will be published by the University of Oklahoma Press in their “Campaigns and Commanders” series in time for the bicentennial of the events of 1814 in which Ross gained his greatest fame.

Robert Cummins Jr.

Author, Historian
Author of “Heritage of Courage”

Robert Cummins is the author of Heritage of Courage, the definitive volume on the organization of the Defenders of Baltimore. Heritage of Courage inspired the installation of a new wayside at Fort McHenry by the same name, which was dedicated during the Bicentennial on September 12, 2014. Bob most recently spoke at the 18th National War of 1812 Symposium and is slated as a speaker in an author lecture series at Fort McHenry planned for this spring. He has held positions in the War of 1812 Consortium and Society of the War of 1812 on both state and national levels. He is an 8th generation Baltimorean, descended from five veterans of the Battle of North Point, including 3rd Lt. Robert Cummins of Archibald Dobbin’s Company of the 39th Regiment, Maryland Militia, who stood firm in the intense action of holding up a collapsing American left flank in Baltimore on Sept. 12th 1814. By vocation, Robert has been a NASA and defense contractor for over 30 years. He has written technical articles and published poetry in addtion to Heritage of Courage.