1st Battalion, Maryland Loyalists
The recreated Maryland Loyalists was founded in 1991 and incorporated in 1997. We are based in central Maryland with some members in northern Virginia, and we participate in reenactments from Florida to Quebec.
Although we usually wear recreated uniforms and accouterments of a British Line unit, we can also field in the civilian clothes of the early part of the war. We are members of the British Brigade and the Southern Crown Forces.
In 1777, wealthy planter James Chalmers raised the First Battalion Maryland Loyalists on Maryland's Eastern Shore. Chalmers was given command of the unit and commissioned a Colonel. Perhaps the most famous member of the Battalion, outside of Maryland, was Captain Phillip Barton Key whose nephew Francis Scott Key would become famous on his own 37 years later.
Over 300 men joined the Maryland Loyalists to help quell the "unnatural rebellion" and protect Maryland. They never got the chance.
After the British evacuation of Philadelphia in June 1778, the Marylanders were sent to forage on Long Island, New York. From there they were sent, with other Crown Forces, to British West Florida to garrison the forts at Pensacola and Mobile against incursions by the Spanish.
Mobile was the first to fall with the surrender of Fort Charlotte on March 12, 1780. The Maryland Loyalists joined in the unsuccessful attempt to retake Mobile. The troops withdrew to Fort George.
Fort George and its redoubts in Pensacola were placed under siege on March 9, 1781. Loyalist forces held out against overwhelming odds until May 8, 1781. After two months of nearly constant battle, the commanding officer of the Crown Forces, Major General John Campbell, surrendered.
At war's end, The Maryland Loyalists were exiled to Canada. While sailing to their new homes, their ship, HMS Martha, sank in the Bay of Fundy. It is said that, after putting their wives into the small boats, the Marylanders formed up into ranks on the main deck as the ship went down.
For additional information about the Maryland Loyalists visit our website by clicking here. Additional information can be found on-line at the Loyalist Institute in the Maryland Loyalists' Regimental History section of this site.
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