Home News Star-Spangled History Places To See Things To Do Resources About Star Spangled Navigation
War Header

The Last of Baltimore's "Old Defenders"
Source: Extract from The Last of the Old Defenders of Baltimore, Sept. 1880. by Scott S. Sheads
(New Discoveries and Interpretations: War of 1812 in Maryland.)

Following the War of 1812, the defenders of Baltimore returned to their occupations, raised their families, and told their heroic stories to their grandchildren. By the 1840’s they were regarded as a national treasure much like their revolutionary forbearers before them. As veterans from the War of 1812 passed away, their obituaries were published throughout the country.

On April 1,1842,  the surviving registered members formally organized the “Association of Old Defenders of Baltimore in 1814” for the purpose of keeping alive the memory of those who fought in the defense of Baltimore in September 1814. They agreed to meet annually until such time when the last five members were no longer able to attend.

On September 6, 1884, The Sun reported that the organization had disbanded since the number of surviors had dwindled.   As a result, the Society of the War of 1812 in Maryland was formed on September 12, 1892 by the descendants to annually commemorate Defenders’ Day in Baltimore and keep the "Old Defenders’" stories alive.

Who was Maryland's last "Old Defender"?
Of the 1,259 registered members of the Old Defenders’ Association recorded at its founding in 1842, the last known Maryland defender may have been Cecil County native, Elijah Bouldin Glenn (1796-1898). Glenn was  a private in Captain Peter Pinney’s company, 27th Maryland Regiment.  He fought at the Battle of North Point. Glenn died on July 5, 1898 at the age of 102.  

Scott S. Sheads is a recognized author-lecturer on the War of 1812 and serves as a National Park Service ranger-historian at Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine in Baltimore.

War of 1812 Image
Sign up for the Key Notes e-newsletter | Maryland Visitor Information | Maryland War of 1812 Bicentennial Commission   

Site Map | Contact the Office | Accessibility | Privacy Note | Terms Of Use   
 401 East Pratt St, 14th floor, Baltimore, MD 21202  (410) 767-6974