Welcome to War of 1812 tidewater country. Here, in the waters and on the shores of the Chesapeake Bay, Americans fought to preserve their recently won independence from the British. Detailing sites from Maryland to Virginia to the District of Columbia, this portable guidebook points readers to the war’s most important battlefields and historic places.
The book is organized into eighteen tours. Five Historic Route Tours guide enthusiasts down the same roads and past the same buildings that proved critical in the struggle. Thirteen Historic City, Town, and Regional Tours feature key sites in Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia. Visitors can pick a tour and follow the President and First Lady as they fled Washington, D.C., or British troops as they landed at North Point, or the Declaration of Independence as patriots saved it from the invaders.
The tours are organized geographically to make trip planning easy. All are accessible by car or on foot; bike and water excursions are also suggested where appropriate. Each tour includes a brief history and information every visitor will need to know, such as the address, phone number, website, parking availability, days and hours of operation, and entrance fees. The guide is richly illustrated throughout, showing many structures that no longer exist and numerous historic sites not visible from public roads. Detailed maps direct visitors to each site.
Tourists can step back in time as they travel the same roads and waterways that American and British troops did two centuries ago.
About the Author
Ralph E. Eshelman is a cultural resource management consultant and historian who served as historian for the National Park Service's Star-Spangled Banner National Historic Trail study. He is coauthor of The War of 1812 in the Chesapeake: A Reference Guide to Historic Sites in Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia, also published by Johns Hopkins.
Table of Contents
List of Abbreviations vii
Part 1 Historic Route Tours
British Invasion Tour (Maryland) 9
Battle of Bladensburg Tour (Maryland) 40
Saving the Declaration of Independence Tour (District of Columbia, Virginia) 59
First Family Flight Tour (District of Columbia, Virginia, Maryland) 65
Battle of North Point Tour (Maryland) 78
Part 2 Historic City, Town, and Regional Tours
Annapolis and U.S. Naval Academy Tour 101
Baltimore Tour 111
Southern Maryland Tour 135
Maryland Eastern Shore Tour 147
Head of the Chesapeake Tour 160
Frederick Tour 173
Alexandria Tour 177
Greater Norfolk Tour 184
Richmond and Petersburg Tour 201
Tappahannock Tour 207
Central Virginia Tour 211
Other Tidewater Virginia Sites 217
District of Columbia
Washington, D.C., Tour 221
A Suggested Walks 249
B Suggested Bicycling Areas 254
C Canoe, Kayak, and Small Boating Areas 259
D Boat Excursions 265
Suggested Reading 269