During the War of 1812, people living in the Chesapeake Bay region endured great political, economic and emotional upheaval. Men and women of various occupations, classes, races, and ages played a role in the war, and many experienced tragedy and loss. Their bravery, resourcefulness and resilience influenced the evolution of the nation as a whole and enabled the country to survive its first test of democracy since the American Revolution.
During the war, nearly every white male citizen age 18 to 45 was a "citizen-soldier". Chesapeake Bay residents also helped by building earthworks and raising money to pay for the defense of their communities.
A person’s status in American society at the time shaped his or her wartime experiences. Women, American Indians, and free and enslaved blacks faced additional challenges during the tumultuous war years.