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ET on the Chesapeake


So the Maryland and the 8th regiment MVM had cast off into the night and the unknown. An hour into their trip, they ate from their rations that had been issued in Philadelphia.  But before that the captains ordered their soldiers to discharge their weapons over the side into the water, a wise precaution to guard against any tragic accidents.

All except two of the weapons. There were civilians that had talked their way aboard the vessel, and General Butler had decided that it would be best to mount a two man guard over the one boat that the Maryland carried, to prevent a traitor from stealing it and reporting their whereabouts to any hostile forces ashore.

In my research I have run across accounts that claim that Andrew Carnegie also was aboard the Maryland on this trip. I am not fully convinced that he was. The future steel magnate and philanthropist, did travel via the Maryland when called to Washington to help form the Telegraph Corps. But communications signed by him seem to indicate that he was in Altoona, PA at this date. (I hope to be able to clarify everything in a future history).

One individual that I have identified with certainty who was on the Maryland at this time was David X Junkin, the then current chaplain at the Naval Academy.  He was returning from a trip north. His presence would prove fortunate for all of them.

With more than 800 members of the regiment, plus scads of other people, it all came down to one’s awareness, and it was pretty much limited by each groups’ familiarity within their own unit. With their supper eaten and weapons discharged, they settled in for the night. They bedded down on both the upper and lower decks to get much needed sleep before their arrival at Annapolis.

When they arrived off Annapolis at 2am, the officers let the men sleep on, and ordered the ship hove to, and awaited the dawn. Though with the coming of the light, the fog of war settled in with a vengeance, obscuring the true nature of the two forces opposing one another.


About rwoz2

Poet, historian, writer for stage and screen. Responder to Jesus (Romans 5:8)

2 responses to “ET on the Chesapeake

  1. Chuck Gargan ⋅

    Hi, Thanks for your site. My ancestor in the 8th MVM was 1st Lt. Thomas Hun Berry of Co. D. We have a copy of a letter from an Admiral of the Navy back then giving Thomas Berry credit & commendation for being the one who sailed the USS Constitution (along with his Sappers & Miners) to NY harbor from Annapolis. In John Reynold’s book, apparently Co D partied pretty hard in NY after they landed. I would enjoy greatly finding out what you know from your research. Thank you for efforts!

    • rwoz2

      Welcome, so glad to have you stop by. I am honored to have a descendant of Lt Berry visit my blog. I believe I have a couple of pictures around somewhere of the Lynn Light Infantry and I’ll send you some copies when I run them down. The Admiral you mention – was he one of the Rodgers brothers? George had command of the Constitution at that time, and Christopher was in charge of the midshipmen. I presume it was Christopher as George was killed during the war.

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