In February, people around Dorchester County proudly recall the role a local militia played in defending some local farmers on Taylors Island. The Battle of the Ice Mound was fought in the closing days of the War of 1812, after the British Parliament had signed the Treaty of Ghent ending hostilities but nine days before the US Senate approved the accord. It was the last fight of the War of 1812 on the Chesapeake, which the British had effectively blockaded for three years.
On February 7, 1815, a British raiding party was returning to the warship HMS Dauntless with seven stolen sheep and two captured house servants from local farms. The temperature was frigid as the looters made their way out Slaughter Creek. Floating pack ice relentlessly gripped at the hull, gradually immobilizing their vessel. By early morning, they were firmly icebound in enemy territory.
The Ship’s Log from the Dauntless moored out in the Bay that day recorded:
“…at daylight saw ourselves surrounded with ice and by 7 o’clock the ship was fast…Noon. Fine hard weather saw nothing of our boats…8 p.m. fresh breezes with severe frost the boats not having returned fear they are frozen in.”