I am very happy to share the news that we have recently completed the last of our biographies. They are all now complete!
We began in 2013, and it has taken a long time and a lot of work to get this far. It was only possible thanks to our partner organizations and all of our supporters. The Maryland Society of the Sons of the American Revolution has sustained us for five years, making it possible for us to continue our work, and helping us move towards our goal of writing full biographies of every known Maryland soldier at the Battle of Brooklyn. Washington College has also been a wonderful partner, sponsoring seven interns over the years. We also received support from the Maryland Military Department, Office of the Adjutant General, the Maryland Military Historical Society, the Moss Family Foundation, the First Maryland Regiment, Inc., and many individual donors. You can continue to support the project here (designate Maryland 400): https://shop.msa.maryland.gov/Donations/pages/donate.aspx
Each of our 872 biographies tells the story of the Maryland 400’s soldiers in as much detail as we know. Of course, we know more about some people than others. A number of the soldiers were prominent figures in Maryland, like William Smallwood, Samuel Smith, Tobias E. Stansbury, and Levin Winder. Others were famous in their own times, like Henry Carberry, though their renown has faded. Some, like John Deaver or William Bruce were never famous, but left very full accounts of their lives.
All told, about two-thirds of our biographies have no information outside of military service. For 40 percent of the men, we could only find out that they enlisted in early 1776, with nothing else known about their lives or fates. Even for them, however, we are glad that we could list their name, and tell as much of their story as we could, doing our best to memorialize them.
With perhaps one exception, all of the men listed on Biographies page or Roster was a member of the First Maryland Regiment in 1776, when they fought at the Battle of Brooklyn. Some of them were sick at the battle, or were late in arriving in New York, but they are included. Men who were discharged or deserted before the battle are not.
Who is the one exception? That is Pvivate Henry Shipley, the only person we included even though he wasn’t part of the regiment (there are a handful of people we included whose service is too ambiguous to tell for sure). Shipley’s story is fascinating: his widow received a pension for his service at Brooklyn, but deeper research revealed that he never served with the First Maryland. Read his whole biography to learn the story!
What comes next? Our main focus right now is to work on pulling together everything we’ve done and getting it published as a book. Stay tuned for more updates!
Thank you all again for your support and interest!