By MAJ (MDDF) Bryan Y. Fischer
Maryland Defense Force D9
1 September 2014
At the site of the Battle of North Point in which Maryland Militia turned back a British invasion force – almost two hundred years to the day, American and British servicemen will honor the sacrifice of their ancestors. On September 12, 1814, the Royal Navy was preparing to lay siege to Fort McHenry at the entrance to Baltimore Harbor and land forces under command of British Maj. Gen. Robert Ross. Ross and his army traveled north and engaged the Maryland Militia at the Battle of North Point. While the Marylanders were eventually forced from the field, heavy casualties and the loss of Maj. Gen. Ross to American sharpshooters forced the British to end their pursuit.
As is well known to history, the siege of Fort McHenry ended with the Americans retaining control of the harbor and a local lawyer named Francis Scott Key penning a poem that would become the American National Anthem. Two-hundred years later, British and American forces will unite in friendship to honor the casualties and sacrifice of their forbearers.
In what is likely to be an historic first, British Forces will sound the bugle call "Last Post" alongside a Maryland bugler who will sound "Taps". Both are bugle calls that commemorate the fallen, each a symbol of their country's military tradition and sacrifice. The playing of Last Post and Taps together will conclude an historic commemoration of the "March of the Defenders" where the 175th Infantry Regiment, Maryland Army National Guard will march six miles in the footsteps of their predecessors. Their musical accompaniment will be the band of the Maryland Defense Force which is also heir to the traditions of the Maryland Militia of 1814.
Two-hundred years later Britain and the United States will meet again at North Point and for the first time, the mournful sounds of Taps and Last Post will carry over this hallowed ground, together.
The Maryland Defense Force (MDDF) is the State’s uniformed volunteer military unit providing professional and technical assistance to the Maryland Military Department. Established in 1917, the MDDF consists of nearly 450 personnel who perform legal, engineering, finance, medical, chaplain, field support and ceremonial services for the State of Maryland. For more information: www.mddf.maryland.gov.