Oct 19 2009 Civil War Marker Celebration Draws Distant Relatives
Civil War Marker Celebration Draws Distant Relatives
A cold, rainy Saturday morning didn't dim enthusiasm surrounding the historical significance of a new Civil War Trails marker dedication in downtown Frederick .
The marker was dedicated near the former B&O Railroad station at South Market and All Saints streets in commemoration of Frederick 's role in the 1859 John Brown's Raid.
The event marked 150 years to the day since Frederick 's response to John Brown's Raid in Harpers Ferry, and how three Frederick Fire Co. militia units traveled by train to be the first out-of-state responders to the invasion.
No amount of rain or cold would keep Bud Perrett of Worman's Mill and Sheree Hemp of Jefferson away from Saturday's event. The two residents traced their family tree to participants in the raid.
"I just wanted to come out and commemorate the 150th anniversary of an event my grandfather played a part in. He was commended for his bravery," said Hemp, who described herself as a great-great-granddaughter of Dr. William Tyler Jr., a surgeon with the 16th Maryland Militia sent from Frederick to Harpers Ferry.
Hemp had heard about her family connection to the raid from oral history, she said. Finding it online in Maryland's historical archives solidified the details for her.
Hemp shared an excerpt of an Oct. 22, 1859, report, describing the actions of the 16th Maryland Militia at Harpers Ferry.
According to the report by Col. Edward Shriver, "Dr. Tyler obtained a position inside of the yard, followed the Marines to the charge and was the first to receive and attend to Marine who was mortally wounded."
"My oral history was the only thing I was going by. It was fascinating to find that story and I'm just honored to be here," Hemp said.
Perrett, a volunteer at the Monocacy Battlefield visitor center in Frederick , is also connected to the raid.
"My connection is I'm a descendant of John Brown's cousin, Sheldon Brown, even though it is not a direct line," Perrett said. "What makes things interesting is John Brown had 20 children by two wives. His father had 12 children."
Family members didn't talk about the link when he was growing up, but someone did a lot of research and revealed this about 10 to 15 years ago, Perrett said.
"This celebration piqued my interest," Perrett said. "John Brown was adamantly opposed to slavery.
The Frederick area is ripe with history that people would do well to learn about, Perrett said.
"Some people have lived here their entire lives but know nothing about the Battle of the Monocacy, which was a significant battle," Perrett said. "With our new visitor center, we're trying to make people more aware."
The United Fire Co. is the oldest continuously operating fire station in the country, making it an appropriate location for the marker, said Chip Jewell, Frederick County Emergency Communications director, who helped organize the event.
Tourism Council of Frederick County Executive Director John Fieseler thanked the small crowd for showing up in inclement weather and Todd Johnson, president of United Fire Co. read this 1860 poem titled "The Frederick Volunteers" published in the Frederick Examiner, and dedicated to the three Frederick fire companies that defended the nation during the John Brown Raid -- the United Guard of the United Steam Engine Fire Company, the Rifles of the Independent Hose Company and the Defenders of the Junior Fire Company.
"In what history, can we find, among the soldiers of mankind, a host of heroes form in line, like the Frederick Volunteers?
"In ancient or in modern days, did ever poets tune their lays, to patriots, crowned with such praise, as Frederick Volunteers?
"What bright days throughout the year, at our reviews the nation cheer, when crowds immense haste far and near, to admire our volunteers?
"The brave alone deserve the fair, the ladies, who best judges are, assert, no soldiers can compare, with Frederick Volunteers."