During the summer of 1814, British commanders attacked the Chesapeake region in retaliation for the Americans burning York, Canada (Toronto). Captain Sir Peter Parker, a cousin of Lord Byron and a rising star in the British Navy, was ordered to sail his ship, HMS Menelaus, into the Northern Chesapeake and disrupt American communications and movement. Upon learning where the Kent County Militia was encamped, Parker marched on Belle Air (known today as Fairlee) on August 31st. Under the command of Lt. Col. Philip A. Reed the British were repulsed. There were 27 British wounded and 14 killed including Peter Parker. There were no American casualties. A few nights later the British raided the Mitchell Plantation and took Mr. and Mrs. Mitchell prisoner. They shot all their horses to ensure no one could ride for help. Mrs. Mitchell was released, but Mr. Mitchell remained a prisoner of war until his release in 1817.
What Happened After the Battle of Caulk's Field?
The Battle of Caulk's field raised American morale after the loss at Bladensburg and the burning of the nation's capital. Two weeks after the battle, the British Chesapeake campaign came to an end when Fort McHenry withstood their fierce naval bombardment. Both Caulk's Field and the Mitchell House are now on the National Star-Spangled Banner Trail.