My name is Taira Sullivan and I am this summer’s intern for the Finding the Maryland 400 project. I am a senior History major at Washington College in Chestertown, MD. While I enjoy studying history in its entirety, I have always had a special interest in American history. As a Maryland native, I am thrilled to have the opportunity to explore Maryland’s role in the Revolutionary War through researching the lives of individuals who were part of the First Maryland Regiment.
This summer I will be to conducting further research on the lives of those individuals who served in the Fifth Company. Previous research conducted by former interns Emily, Jeff, and Daniel worked to create a cohesive picture of who the Maryland 400 were as a group and explored in depth the Marylanders’ involvement in the Battle of Brooklyn. At the Battle of Brooklyn on August 27, 1776, the entire Continental Army came under threat when the army was badly routed. Of the companies covering the retreat, the Fifth Company was among those who were able to cross the swampy Gowanus Creek and rejoin the body of the Continental Army. The remaining companies were forced to skirt the swamp and make one last stand at Old Stone House suffering severe casualties in the process. Without the bravery shown by the Maryland 400 it is likely that the Continental Army would have been demolished.
The names of forty-one men from the Fifth Company are currently known. Approximately thirty soldiers remain to be identified. This summer I will be furthering this research through writing biographies for known members of the Fifth Company and, if possible, determining the names of those unknown. Biographies of some members of the company including Captain Nathaniel Ramsey, First Lieutenant Levin Winder, and James Marle have already been completed. My goal this summer is to research and create comprehensive biographies for the remaining soldiers of the Fifth Company to establish a more comprehensive picture of what happened to individual Marylanders who served at the Battle of Brooklyn.
During the summer of 2013 I interned at the United States Naval Academy Museum here in Annapolis. While there I worked extensively with the collections, notably a chest of personal and military correspondence spanning the entirety of the life of Rear Admiral Ludlow Case, who served with distinction during the Civil War. I have experience deciphering and reading early 19th century handwriting as a result of this work, which I believe will aid immensely in my research for Finding the Maryland 400.