The Maryland Society of the Sons of the American Revolution has undertaken a huge project to research the biographies of the men of the Col. William Smallwood’s Battalion that left Maryland in July 1776 and headed to New York to help save Washington’s Army. A smaller group of this Brigade became known as the Maryland 400 for their heroic stand, later giving Maryland the moniker of the Old Line State and which is annually celebrated in New York with a weeklong series of events.
The Project was the brainchild of Major General James Adkins who kick started it with personal contribution of his own funds when he was still Adjutant General of Maryland. Major General James A. Adkins’ involvement carries a strong tradition down to today from these Men of 1776. General Adkins recently retired as the 28th Adjutant General of Maryland and three of the first four Adjutant Generals were members of this Smallwood Maryland Brigade. These men who went to NY, fought hard against larger British numbers and some died, some were imprisoned and later released, and became leaders in Maryland. The 1st AG was Henry Carberry, a cadet in the 5th Independent Comp, the 2nd AG was Samuel Turbutt Wright who was second lieutenant of Captain Edward Veazey's Seventh "Independent" Company who was imprisoned and then later released, and the 4th AG John Gassaway was an ensign in the 5th Comp.
The Project was continued with generous contributions by Washington College in Chestertown MD through their annual contribution of interns. When MDSSAR Past President Christos Christou heard of the project, he encouraged the Maryland State Society to get involved and to make the first contribution of $10,000 from the Maryland 400 Trust Fund. The Project has already resulted in numerous biographies being posted and downloadable from the Maryland State Archives website where they will remain in perpetuity to the public to access for free. This second contribution of $10,000 brings the total so far to $20,000 from just MDSSAR with individual contributions and resources from the Maryland Archives, Washington College, individual DAR and C.A.R. Members, and Friends of the Archives taking the total to over $40,000 so far.
As more biographies are completed, they will be posted reminding Marylanders of their great heritage and unlocking the stories of the past.
Visit the site at https://msamaryland400.wordpress.com/ to learn more.