Answering the Call

Other Forms of Service

Soldiering isn’t the only way to serve your city or country in wartime. Others supported the war effort in many ways small and large.

Contributing to the Effort

At the request of the Committee of Vigilance and Safety, many Baltimore residents contributed provisions such as food, weapons and tools for digging trenches. Solomon Etting, the head of another prominent Jewish family, took a leading role in the Committee of Viligance and Safety, and was involved in the effort to organize hospitals for those wounded in the war.

Minutes of the Committee of Vigilance and Safety, courtesy of the Maryland Historical Society. Solomon Etting, courtesy of

Sew Patriotic

George Armistead, Commander at Fort McHenry, commissioned Mary Pickersgill, a widow who had recently moved to Baltimore, to make a flag large enough to be seen flying over the fort during battle. Because none of her rooms could hold such a thing, she worked out of Claggett’s Brewery. The finished flag was 30 feet wide by 42 feet long and included 15 stripes and 15 stars one for each state in the union at the time. Pickersgill was paid $405 for her efforts. This flag inspired Francis Scott Key’s poem.

In the Trenches

Blacks and whites worked side by side to build fortifications for protection in the event of land assault. Their efforts provided a defensive position for American troops during the Battle of North Point.

Battle of North Point by Don Troiani (National Guard Heritage Series)

Roger’s Bastion - Baltimoreans prepared a defense position against British land invasion along Hampstead Hill, including extensive trenches, earthen berms and mounted cannon.

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The A-Mazing Mendes Cohen was created by:

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Special thanks to: 

The David Berg Foundation; The David and Barbara B. Hirschhorn Foundation; Maryland Heritage Area Authority; Homer and Martha Gudelsky Foundation; The Richard and Rosalee C. Davison Foundation; Morris Schapiro + Family Foundation, Barbara P. Katz; The Eliasberg Family Foundation; Members of the Jewish Museum of Maryland and Minotaur Mazes.