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Maxwell Hall, Serenity Farm host War of 1812 events

March on Benedict got a perfect opening day Saturday, Aug. 30 with an overcast sky which helped keep the sultry summer heat at bay.


Serenity Farm and Historic Maxwell Hall in Benedict hosted a weekend of War of 1812 events and for a long forgotten war, folks came out in throngs to learn about the conflict that brought severe consequences to Southern Maryland.


Historic presentations, live music, the reading of personal accounts of the British attack on the colonial plantation.


“The British burned the barns,” the account, read by Carol Whitsell, stated. “A year’s worth of work was gone. The cupboard is bare. They even took the chickens. The farm is in ruins.”


The letter from a former resident of the 18th century home detailed the second of two British invasions the town of Benedict experienced 200 years ago. The first invading force withdrew, but the second landing was made with the intent of marching on the new nation’s capital.


The British moored their large warships at Point Patience in the lower Patuxent and ferried soldiers up to Benedict in smaller vessels.


It took all day to gather the troops, who in the sweltering midday heat of August marched through a severe thunderstorm, eventually reaching Blandensburg and ultimately Washington, D.C., where they sat down at a fine dinner in the White House left by Dolly Madison.


Even in war, before vacating the prestigious house, left a feast for the invaders who rewarded her kindness by setting the building ablaze after feasting.


The Redcoats may have left the farm in ruins, but at least they left the historic home of Maxwell Hall relatively unscathed. The restored house is a beautiful example of colonial architecture and was a perfect setting for Saturday’s event.


Nearby Serenity Farm hosted a field full of fun for the kids, with rides and moonbounces galore. Charles County organizations had booths while visitors got to listen to Music From the War of 1812 and enjoy food from local vendors. The kids also enjoyed seeing the exotic animals at the farm, including llamas and ostriches.


Contact Joseph Norris at joe.norris@thebaynet.com

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