DEFENDERS DAY CAVALCADE
Commemoration of the repulsion of the
British forces in the Battle of Baltimore on September 12th and 13th in the year 1814
has been observed
ever since the conflict ended almost two hundred years ago. A report of the
Baltimore City Council in 1816 formally details the basis for such perpetual commemorative efforts.
The authoritative writings of Thomas Scharf in his works "History of Maryland" and
"History of Baltimore", written about sixty years after the Battle of Baltimore,
describes briefly the basis for commemoration of the Battle of Battle of Baltimore and
enumerates the major commemorative efforts to date as of his writing as follows:
"Intelligence of the defence of Baltimore was received
throughout the country with every demonstration of joy.
The fall of Washington had hushed for a time the discords
of party rancor, and untied out whole people
in the energetic prosecution of war; and the result of the
attack on Baltimore soothed the feeling for the disaster of Washington.
The joy of the Baltimoreans, rescued, as it seemed to them,
from the very jaws of destruction cannot be described.
Measures were taken for a perpetual celebration of the event;
rewards were proposed for those who had filled distinguished
positions in the defence; and a beautiful monument in the center
of the city perpetuated the the names and memory of those who
fell in defence of their homes. Around it, on each returning
anniversary of the day, amid dense crowds of spectators, the pomp of military escort, and the stirring strains of
music, march, under a tattered
flag, a handful of aged men,
their number lessening every year, the survivors of that eventful
twelfth of September, the honored company of "Old Defenders".
May it yet be long ere the last survivor of that venerable
band performs his solitary circuit!"
"History of Maryland", pages 125-126.
Today in Baltimore, the Society of the War of 1812 in Maryland
is true to its long honored
lineage of tradition of rememberance. Faithful members, all of whom are descendants of War of 1812 soldiers, participate in this annual
celebration spoken of by Scharf.Started by the veterans
of the Battle of Baltimore, and known as the Defenders'
Day Cavalcade, this celebration occurs on the second weekend in September.
The Battle Monument and other
sites are marked with wreaths of laurel in solemn rememberance in this commemorative event.
DEFENDERS DAY CAVALCADE 2000
The 185th Defenders' Day Cavalcade was held on Saturday, September 9th, 2000. Following ceremonies
at the Armistead Monument, Society members and their guests proceeded by bus, accompanied by fifers
and a color guard to the Battle Monument (pictured here) and the Wells and McComas Monument, laying
wreaths at each. Guest speaker Christopher T. George gave an enriching oration at Rodger's Bastion. Afterwards, the
Cavalcade procession enjoyed a lovely dinner. Upon return to Fort McHenry, the Army
Field Band, 1812 re-enactors, Maryland National Guard Artillery gun salutes, and fireworks completed
Defenders' Day Events.
The Society of the War
of 1812 conducting the annual ceremony at the site of the
Battle Monument at the intersection of Calvert and