Date: Tuesday, June 20, 2023
Location: Zoom Virtual Lecture
Time: 7:30 pm (EST)
“The Despot's Heel” tells the story of the secession crisis in Maryland in the early days of the American Civil War. Both the state, as well as the city of Baltimore, experienced tensions caused by the divided loyalties of its citizens. These differences erupted into a riot in the streets when a pro-secession mob attacked U.S. troops passing through Baltimore on their way to Washington, and the subsequent military occupation of the city by federal forces. News of the riot inspired James Ryder Randall, a Marylander living in New Orleans, to compose the song “Maryland, My Maryland,” as an appeal for his native state to join the Confederacy – the opening line “The despot's heel is on thy shore” refers to the U.S. military presence in the state. Maryland, however, remained loyal to the Union throughout the war. This presentation will examine the political, economic and military significance of the state in the spring of 1861 and afterward, as well as the course it took in the conflict.
Cost: $15 per household for General Admission; $10 per household for HA Members, Military, and HA Docents
About Our Presenter: Dr. Glenn F. Williams is a retired Army officer who entered public history as a second career. He is currently a Senior Historian at the U.S. Army Center of Military History, Fort McNair, DC, where his previous positions included Historian of the National Museum of the U.S. Army Project and Historian of the Army Lewis and Clark Bicentennial Commemoration. He has also served as Historian of the American Battlefield Protection Program of the National Park Service, Curator/ Historian of the USS Constellation Museum, and Assistant Curator of the Baltimore Civil War Museum – President Street Station. He is the author of several books, including Year of the Hangman: George Washington’s Campaign Against the Iroquois (Westholme), recipient of the Thomas J. Fleming Award for the Outstanding Revolutionary War Book of 2005, and named one of “The 100 Best American Revolution Books of All Time” by the Journal of the American Revolution in the spring 2017 issue. His newest book, Dunmore’s War: The Last Conflict of America’s Colonial Era, was released in May 2017. In 2018 he was recognized for contributions to the study of 18th Century American military history with the Shelby Cullom Davis Award of the Society of Colonial Wars and the Judge Robert K. Woltz Award of the French and Indian War Foundation. He holds a Ph.D. in History from the University of Maryland, College Park.