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Maryland WWI Centennial Home

Tina at St. Annes Cem

Honoring WWI Soldiers in Anne Arundel County

For the past 20 plus years Tina Simmons has been researching Anne Arundel County cemeteries and their occupants for the Anne Arundel Genealogical Society. She is trying to keep track of the WWI soldiers buried in those cemeteries, recording their military service. She currently has information on 221 individuals buried within Anne Arundel County. As a disclaimer, although she also has information on individuals at the Annapolis National Cemetery, none are currently listed as World War I veterans although she believes that there are some. At the United States Naval Academy cemetery, there are 52 individuals listed as World War I veterans who she is currently adding to her database.

 Some interesting facts about the WWI veterans:

  • African-American veterans accounted for 99 of the 221 individuals recorded and served in mostly the service and labor areas. One served in both World War I and II; two served in the Spanish-American War and World War I. Five veterans were members of the 811 Pioneer Infantry.
  • Of the World War I tombstones she has found, 122 of the 221 individuals were believed to be white. Two were listed as having been killed in battle: Benjamin Carr “in France” and Leroy Disney in the Argonne-Meuse Offensive. Five were listed as having fought in both World War I and II; one in the Philippines, World War I, and II; and one in the Spanish-American War and WWI.
  • Louis Phipps was perhaps one of the most famous of her list of veterans, having been Postmaster in Tracy’s Landing; Mayor of Annapolis; State Senator of Anne Arundel County; and Clerk of the Court in Anne Arundel County, as well as having been a veteran of both World Wars.
  • Stanley Howes Windsor (1896-1974) is buried with his wife, Alice Merrill Windsor, at Cedar Bluff Cemetery in Annapolis. Under her name is written “First 300 Volunteers, U.S.N., WWI”.

Tina believes that there are many other individuals whose military service was never recorded on their tombstones or, do not even have an existing tombstone. To research WWI veterans she recommends using old newspaper obituaries, The National Archives (www.wwvets.com), and various veterans organizations such as the VFW (Veterans of Foreign Wars) and the American Legion.  She notes that service in the armed forces was a category filled in on death certificates starting around 1950 and may be helpful to those starting to research individuals for their military service. 

She is always interested in adding to her list of known military veterans; if you know of someone who is buried in Anne Arundel County please be sure to pass the information along to Tina!  She is the Cemetery Chairman for the Anne Arundel Genealogical Society (www.aagensoc.org/index.php) and can be reached at: tinasimmons622@yahoo.com 

 Preserving The Ghost Fleet of Mallows Bay

MallowsMallows Bay is situated south of Washington, D.C., along the tidal Lower Potomac River off the Nanjemoy Peninsula of Charles County, Maryland. This small embayment and adjacent waters contain one of the largest assemblages of shipwrecks in the Western Hemisphere. While there are nearly 200 known vessels dating from the Revolutionary War period to well into the 20th century, the vast majority represent the civilian efforts of the U.S. Shipping Board Emergency Fleet Corporation during World War I. The need to man this fleet was a significant factor in the expansion and development of the U.S. Merchant Marine. At almost 300 feet long the skeletal remains of the last wooden steamship fleet fill the bay and give the illusion of rising from the waters when the tide ebbs and have been dubbed, “The Ghost Fleet.”

In addition, the area boasts archaeological sites and artifacts representing the depth of history of the Piscataway peoples and their ancestors in the region; there are Civil War encampments, as well as evidence for historic commercial fishing endeavors that include sturgeon fisheries and caviar canning.

The area is contiguous to the Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail, the Star Spangled Banner National Historic Trail, the Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail and the Lower Potomac Water Trail, which offers many educational and recreational opportunities.

Thriving populations of bald eagles, heron, beaver, river otter, deer, turtles and numerous aquatic species call this area home. Striped bass, white perch, channel catfish, blue crab, and others make this area particularly popular for recreational fishing. In fact, Mallows Bay is widely regarded as one of the best bass fishing areas in the country.

Designating this section of the Potomac River as a National Marine Sanctuary offers exciting opportunities to educate the public about our nation’s culturalMallows and maritime history, the ecology of the Chesapeake Bay and Potomac River and to promote conservation and research, as well as enhance recreational fishing, boating and tourism in Maryland.                

The Partnership Committee submitted the nomination in September, 2014 to coincide with the initiation of global commemoration of WWI and is striving to fulfill all the necessary requirements to see the Sanctuary open formally in April, 2017 in order to commemorate the centenary of the American entry into the First World War. In addition, April is also appropriate because it is Archaeology Month in Maryland and Earth Day is April 22.