Finding the First Maryland 400
The heading recalls the famous Seinfeld episode were they were trying to sell a TV series to NBC. The concept was a show about nothing! Of course, it was anything but that. I was going to take a pass on doing a blog this week as it is, after all, Easter week. But I received a post from a blog I follow and I decided to review the Blog as it directly connects to The Patriot Spy, book one in the Yankee Doodle Spies series. So this week we have a blog about a blog!
Several months ago, a Facebook friend sent me a link to a Blog established by the State of Maryland Archives. The Archives commissioned a research project on Maryland's First Continental Line regiment called "Finding the Maryland 400." As the Blog's home page explains:
|The attack of the Maryland 400|
events, 400 of Maryland’s soldiers were sent to cover the retreat from the field, and bravely threw themselves at a much stronger and better positioned British force repeatedly. Though they succeeded in buying enough time for the retreat, they suffered heavy losses, perhaps over half of their number. Who exactly these men were has remained unknown, with little to commemorate their actions in the battle."
So in the summer of 2013, the Maryland State Archives and the Maryland Military Department, Office of the Adjutant General, the Maryland Military Historical Society, and other partner groups hired some interns to research the identities of the the First Patriots who served in the Maryland 400 at the Battle of Long Island. Their goal was to create an accurate list of the Maryland soldiers who participated in the battle and write biographies about some of the men. The chronicles the research progress as well as new discoveries.
The blog is well designed and appealing. The key sections are:
Biographies - This is a list of members of the 400 with links to their biographies. Among them are Smallwood, Mordecai Gist (who has a role in The Patriot Spy) and Ware (mentioned above). The biographies are listed by company, a nice touch.
Interactive Map - This is my favorite part of the blog. Everyone has to be somewhere and the researchers do a really nice job geospatially portraying the movement of the members of the 400 based on pension records, unit rolls, correspondence, etc. As more data is uncovered and added, this will prove a fun and easy research tool. One can note quickly, for example, that several members migrated to the reaches of Tennessee, Kentucky, Ohio and Pennsylvania after the war, indicative of the new nation's trend west that ended (ironically) when the Brooklyn Dodgers moved to Los Angeles. The original Brooklyn Dodgers club house was a building at the center of the battle in which the gallant 400 fought.
Those who want to see for themselves (and let us know via this blog) can go to directly to the Blog, which is on Word Press (can I mention another blog platform?): http://msamaryland400.wordpress.com/about/
You do not have to be from Maryland or even a Revolutionary War, or even a history buff to appreciate and enjoy "Finding the Maryland 400" Blog. Although still a work in progress, based on what the researchers have put together so far, and the quality of the display, I give "Finding the Maryland 400" a full Five Fifes.
|Monument to the Maryland 400 in |
Brooklyn's Prospect Park