About the Society

The objectives of the Society are the collection and preservation of rolls, records, books, and other documents relating to the War of 1812; the encouragement of research and the pre-servation of historical data, including memorials to patriots of that era in our national history; the caring for the graves of veterans of the War of 1812; the cherishing, maint-enance and extension of the institutions of American freedom; and the fostering of true patriotism and love of country.

The Society of the War of 1812 traces its origins to the American militia companies who met the British thrust at Baltimore following the burning of the National Capital. Those veterans led by Major General Samuel Smith repulsed the Wellington’s Invincibles at North Point on September 12, 1814. A contemporary record related that on September 14th, after the repulse of the British by land and by sea, exulting citizensoldiers vowed “We will never disband”. Historically this oath marks the birth of our Society. Francis Scott Key penned his epic song “The Defence of Fort M’Henry” [sic]. On the 1st anniversary, September 12, 1815, the Defenders turned out to witness the laying of the Battle Monument cornerstone in Baltimore.

On the 14th of May 1842 the veterans received their first organizational charter in Maryland recorded in the Circuit court of Baltimore as “THE ASSOCIATION OF DEFENDERS OF BALTIMORE” and had as their purposes the encouraging of love of country, and commemoration of the war. In 1893 as the line of Old Defenders was thinning, the Maryland group reorganized to include the male descendants of veterans and was incorporated on October 25, 1893 as “The Society of the War of 1812 in Maryland of Baltimore City”. On 14 April 1894 the societies from MD, CT, MA, NY, and PA formed the General Society of the War of 1812, with each of the constituent societies becoming a state society thereof.

The insignia of the Maryland Society is a formee’ cross surmounted by an eagle, and suspended from a ribbon of gold-black-gold stripes representing the Calvert arms. In the center of the medal is reproduced the Battle Monument, at the Monument Square, Baltimore. On the right of the monument is depicted two crossed guns, and on the left two crossed cannons.

On the left corner is inscribed the word “Society”, upper corner “War 1812”, right corner “Maryland” and lower corner “Organized 1814”. The finish of the medal is in gold or bronze.