|Capt. Joseph Hopper Nicholson
(1777 Kent Co., MD - 9 Jun 1819 Queen Anne's Co., MD)
Little is know about the personal life of Joseph Hopper Nicholson (1777-1819), son of Joseph Nicholson (1709-1787) and his second wife Mary Hopper (1734-1786/87). However, there is one account of his participation in the War of 1812 in "Queen Anne's County - Its Early History and Development" by Frederic Emory. In this and other sources, Joseph Hopper Nicholson is referred to as "Joseph Hopper Nicholson, Jr." or J. H. Nicholson, Jr.".
In August, 1813, part of the Queen Anne's County militia, under the command of Major William Hopper Nicholson (nephew of Joseph Hopper Nicholson), prepared to defend a British attack on the town of Queenstown. However, the body of infantry of the local militia consisted of only 62 men whereas the British forces amounted to at least 2000 men. Major William H. Nicholson determined that his forces were not sufficient to engage the enemy and ordered his men to withdraw to Centreville which they could more easily defend. However, he had previously dispatched a picket guard of 21 men (from previous accounts it is assumed that this was a cavalry unit) under the command of Capt. Joseph Hopper Nicholson, Jr. and Capt. Massey. As the main body withdrew across the Wye River, Major Nicholson became concerned for his picket guard stationed about two miles from Queenstown on the Kent Island road at the point known as Slippery Hill. The picket guard had not withdrawn with the main body as ordered. In his book, Emory states "Mounting his horse, he (Major Nicholson) started in that direction and within half a mile of the post heard firing which, continuing, left him ?without hope that an individual of them was left alive'. He returned to the main body and, he states in his report, "found them all at their posts - all cheerful and anxious for the onset of the enemy notwithstanding their numbers. A fresh volley of musketry created feelings which I can never forget. It assured me that my picket was not annihilated as I supposed but (to their immortal honor) they had abused my orders of the night before, rallied and a second time attacked the enemy. I instantly sent the adjutant to meet them and they arrived safe at our line about four hundred yards in advance of the enemy. If anything I could say would add to the reputation of those gentlemen, how freely would I say it. In giving their names to the public I do all that I can. It should be known that a picket guard composed of the following gentlemen stood firm at their posts, received the attack and returned fire of a column of British troops two thousand strong, supported by four field pieces, retreated, formed again and gave the enemy their second fire." A list of the names of the picket guard follows which includes the name of Capt. J. H. Nicholson, Jr.
In this skirmish the horse of the British general, Sir Sidney Beckwith, was shot under him and several of the enemy were killed.