My Flag My Country 'The Ishmael Day Story'
During the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, comes a story of true patriotism. Based on a real patriot, Ishmael Day. Follow his life from his exciting youth until, as an old man, he takes on the Confederate Cavalry and lives to tell about it. A professor who reviews books for Clemson University considers this a must read. More
Have you ever been driving down the highway and seen a road sign that reads "Historical Marker Ahead"? How many of us have ever stopped to see and read the marker that was obviously placed there due to someone's heroic deed? Well, William R. Bell was one of those people who saw such a road sign outside of Baltimore, Maryland near the town of Fork, and the time to not only read the marker, but to do some research as to why the marker was there. This marker reads:
When one of Harry Gilmore's Confederate
Cavalrymen (on July 11, 1864) pulled down
his Union flag, Day shot him and then escaped
to the woods. They burned his house and barn.
Okay, so what's the big deal about Ishmael Day, and who in the world was Harry Gilmore? It was these two questions that inspired William R. Bell to research these long dead Americans. A synopsis of these two men can be found in the Epiloge of Ishmael Day which reads:
"The real Ishmael Day was born on March 20, 1792 in Baltimore County. He was the son of Edward and Mary Day. He married Charity Johnson on March 21, 1822 at St. Johns Parish Protestant Episcopal Church. A daughter, Jenny Day, died October 1, 1836 at the age of 1 year and 10 months. Charity died in 1846. Ishmael re-married again to Ann E. Day who died in 1868 at the age of 63.
Little is known of his life except that during the American Civil War, he was sympathetic to the Union Army, in a neighborhood that had sympathy for the Confederate Army. His home, on Sunshine Ave in Fork, Maryland, near Mount Vista Estates and the intersection of Harford Road, was the site of a tragedy on July 11, 1864.
When the advance guard of Harry Gilmore's group was in the area, Ishmael Day placed a large Union flag over the road. Gilmore's ordinance Sergeant Eugene Fields told Day to take the flag down.
After Day refused, an argument followed and Ishmael Day shot Sgt. Fields at close range with a shotgun. Gilmore's men took Fields to Wright's Hotel, accompanied by Gilmore where Fields later died.
Gilmore's men burned Day's home. After the incident, Day fled into nearby fields and hid under a cider press for several days until he could escape to the city of Baltimore. After a time, he returned and rebuilt his home. When Ishmael Day died he was buried in the cemetery of Fork United Methodist Church in Fork, Maryland"
Although this novella is based on the real Ishmael Day, it has been fictionalized to gain the interest of the reader. The story takes the reader from the events of July 1864, back through his exploits during the War of 1812. A fun, easy to read story that keeps you engrossed.